Monday, May 31, 2021

                                            May 31, 2021

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

Defending the West Against the Barbarians – Recent Essays in this Series

 

Friends,

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.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

                                           May 26, 2021

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

Fake News, PolitiFact, and Media Cancel Culture

Welcome to “1984” and Newspeak

 

Friends,

Back in early December 2019 I wrote a short essay, a critique of the media “fact checker,” PolitiFact.  PolitiFact is one of several such organizations that reviews for truthfulness not only political assertions made by politicians but various claims and statements in everything from climate change, to immigration, to economics.  PolitiFact and groups like it have become a standard fall back source enabling the media to solemnly pronounce on just about anything said or written appearing in the public square.  And thus supposedly giving the media the right to assert a kind of infallibility when examining such questions.

In this they are closely allied to actions of the tech giants in censuring and cancelling undesirable speech.

Especially during the presidency of Donald Trump PolitiFact and other media-created fact checkers were extremely busy, churning out pronouncements on truth and error that would make a traditional Catholic pope envious. For it permitted them to re-write headlines and accompanying stories, and, in effect, to disallow and “cancel” opinions with which they disagreed as false.

For instance, instead of a headline that reads: “Donald Trump Claims that Muslims Celebrated the Fall of the Twin Towers in New York by Dancing on Rooftops,” the progressivist media recast the story. Now it would read: “Donald Trump Falsely Claims Muslims Celebrated the Fall of the Twin Towers in New York by Dancing on Rooftops.” And within the body of the story that theme is developed and compounded.

That occurred literally hundreds of times during the Trump years.

President Trump and many of his spokesmen were inveterate liars, and the media could prove it by referring back to unimpeachable fact checkers like PolitiFact.

It is a kind of brain-draining incestuous tautology—I refer back to a much vaunted “fact checker” which my (Leftist) friends and allies in the media have created, and they in turn confirm the headlines and statements I emit as truthful and unassailably correct.

This morning (May 26) I noticed the tactic once again deployed, this time by Associated Press Fact Checks [http://apnews.com/APFactCheck]. The news story, which showed up on AOL (and thereby also Huffington Post), is titled: AP FACT CHECK: House GOP falsely blames Biden for gas prices” . The AP is thereby enabled to declare as unequivocally false assertions made by the GOP: case closed, there can be no debate, you are wrong, and that’s it.

Yet, on closer inspection the AP’s fact checking leaves several significant points out, including notably the decision of Biden to reject and shutdown the Keystone XL Pipeline, and the effects that had on gasoline prices: “On the first day of Biden’s presidency, he issued an executive order canceling the Keystone XL pipeline — making good on his promise to the climate activists who helped get him elected….” That pipeline would have supplied more than 800,000 barrels of tar sands oil per day from Alberta, Canada, to Nebraska, where it would have met existing pipelines to continue on to Texas refineries. It would have also meant at least 10,000 well-paying jobs and an economic roll-over effect in areas affected by it. 

My own experience at the gasoline pump was that when Biden assumed office in January, prices for regular gasoline near me ranged from around $2.15 to $2.25 a gallon. Within several months of his action to cancel the pipeline, gasoline had soared to about $2.75 to $2.80 a gallon at the local station I shop at—an increase of nearly $.60 a gallon. 

True, as AP asserts, the temporary shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline affected the southeast (including my state North Carolina) for a few days and occasioned a spike in prices. AP Fact Check dwells on this and assures us that this is the reason that gas prices have risen to over $3.00 on average per gallon. 

But they conveniently forget the cancelling of Keystone XL and anti-fossil energy actions by the Biden administration, an administration that from the beginning has boasted of its belief that traditional fuels cause climate change.

In my December 9, 2019, edition of MY CORNER I mentioned that the local NBC television affiliate here in the Raleigh, North Carolina, area, WRAL, a major news outlet for the eastern part of the state, had recently announced with some fanfare that it would be using the services of PolitiFact to determine the truth or falsity of statements and claims made publicly.”

I continued: “…over recent years … WRAL has moved steadily left and slants its news coverage towards Democrats and, increasingly, in favor of those rabid social justice warriors we now see out in the streets.”  And I added: “What a far cry from the broadcasting company founded by the conservative A. J. Fletcher which featured Jesse Helms as its one-time vice-president and on air editorialist (from 1960 until 1972)!

At that time in 2019, I decided to write to the station, to the Capitol Broadcasting Company Opinion Editor, and inquire about their claim that using PolitiFact would establish “truth” beyond all shadow of a doubt.

Here is a copy of the letter I sent:


December 4, 2019

Mr. Seth Effron

Capitol Broadcasting Company Opinion Editor

WRAL - TV

Raleigh, North Carolina

 

Dear WRAL,

Several weeks ago (November 17) WRAL-TV News announced proudly that they would henceforth be utilizing the services of professional “fact checker,” PolitiFact to verify the truthfulness of a politician’s assertion or an organization’s claim. Thus, TV 5 began a series of on-air PolitiFact-produced evaluations of several statements made by, for example, US Representative Mark Meadows on the firing by President Trump of ambassadors, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on the Border Wall, Republican statements that leading Democrats promised impeachment before President Trump even took office, and the president’s negative description of several witnesses in the “impeachment hearings.”

Invariably, the Truth-O-Meter came down hard on Republicans and conservatives. That prompted me to question the data utilized and the measures employed to make such evaluations. And just what kind of organization is Politifact and why Channel 5 would utilize it.

Examining a broad wealth of information, most of it widely accessible via the Internet, the conclusion became inescapable: PolitiFact, set up originally to monitor the truth or falsity of statements made in our political environment, itself has been accused quite credibly of a marked and demonstrable bias in its methodology and evaluations.

Thus, I believe one is permitted to seriously question the reasons behind WRAL’s embrace of this service, and why with much on-air fanfare it was  announced to viewers that, at last, there was an objective source for analyzing political statements—when, indeed, there is considerable doubt about the pronounced political bias of the very “fact-checker” employed.

Let me offer just a few examples, a few brief critiques of PolitiFact, easily discoverable on the Web:

First, there is the verdict of the reputable, non-partisan AllSides group: “PolitiFact AllSides Media Bias Rating: LEANS LEFT.” Their evaluation is based on a number of factors, including third party analysis, editorial review, community feedback, blind surveys, independent research, and confidence level evaluation.

Second, Newsweek magazine, certainly no shill for Republicans or conservatives, reported on June 27 of this year, that:

A 2013 study from George Mason University Center for Media and Public Affairs called into question who fact checks the fact-checkers, noting "Politifact.com has rated Republican claims as false three times as often as Democratic claims during President Obama's second term ... A majority of Democratic statements (54 percent) were rated as mostly or entirely true, compared to only 18 percent of Republican statements."

 

The Newsweek report went on to state: “[the] George Mason [study] concluded that news organizations overwhelmingly choose to fact-check reports or comments made by right-leaning politicians or fellow news outlets,” and then grade them almost always negatively.

The USNews & World Report, in an evaluation from 2013, also cited the detailed study from George Mason University concerning PolitiFact’s history of favoring a pro-left viewpoint:

[A] study from the George Mason University Center for Media and Public Affairs … demonstrates empirically that PolitiFact.org, one of the nation's leading "fact checkers," finds that Republicans are dishonest in their claims three times as often as Democrats. "PolitiFact.com has rated Republican claims as false three times as often as Democratic claims….”

Lastly, I offer some commentary from the standard online reference, Wikipedia, which once again presents the accusation of political bias on the part of PolitiFact:

Mark Hemingway of The Weekly Standard criticized all fact-checking projects by news organizations, including PolitiFact, the Associated Press and the Washington Post, writing that they "aren't about checking facts so much as they are about a rearguard action to keep inconvenient truths out of the conversation". In February 2011, University of Minnesota political science professor Eric Ostermeier analyzed 511 PolitiFact stories issued from January 2010 through January 2011. He found that the number of statements analyzed from Republicans and from Democrats was comparable, but Republicans have been assigned substantially harsher grades, receiving 'false' or 'pants on fire' more than three times as often as Democrats…. [Italics mine]

As I wrote earlier, these pronouncements represent just a few of the evaluations available. 

But, then, my question: why would WRAL want to employ such an obvious and well-documented leftwing “fact-checker” to present to viewers what purport to be “unassailable truth” (and thus corrections of those deemed not to be telling the truth)? Does not the station and Capitol Broadcasting Company have a duty to viewers to at the very least let them know that PolitiFact is not the shining-truth-knight “sans reproche” that it is purported to be? 

Are there not parallels with the use of “information” on hate crimes by such now-largely discredited organizations as the Southern Poverty Law Center?

I recall many years ago, as a boy, when WRAL first came on the air, and I have watched it consistently since then, in particular its weather and sports coverage. But I must tell you that in this age of “fake news,” the Internet social media news sources, and thousands of supposed “news” items that appear daily in the ethosphere, what I have seen in recent years via WRAL as news often raises very serious issues for me—and I think for many other viewers as well.

It may not be possible to always offer “objective” reporting; indeed, it may be virtually impossible in our current environment when “fake news” dominates most of the national news media. But, as an old-fashioned believer in trying to do just that, I am deeply disappointed by your use of PolitiFact and, more so, by your unfounded claim that somehow such usage will establish the “truth” or “falseness” of a claim or statement.

That simply will not do. Your Leftwing bias is showing, and you owe it to your viewers to let them know.

Sincerely yours,

Boyd Cathey

Dr. Boyd D. Cathey    

-----------------------

I never received a reply, much less an acknowledgment of my communication.                                                                                          

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

                                                     May 19, 2021

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

 

Time to Privatize Our Public Schools

 

Friends,

Recently, a good friend related to me some of the experiences his daughter was having in a high school not too far from him. You see, his daughter is a history teacher—or should we say “social studies” teacher, to be politically correct? It seems that the curriculum she must teach and the approved texts her students must use in the classroom are redolent thematically with the idea that from its beginning America was characterized by ingrained racism: indeed, a white racism which infected and colored practically everything, from the social structures in the colonies and later codified by a racist Constitution, to the dealings—both legal and familial—between inhabitants, to the very language they used to communicate their thoughts, beliefs, and ideas.

Like other teachers at her school my friend’s daughter is instructed to impart these insights as part of an overall educational template that suggests that from its earliest settling the America colonies, and then the American republic, were moored historically in a quasi-religious belief in “white supremacy” and the pervasive “racism” which defined it.

While not as forward or fulsome perhaps as the “1619 Project’s” recommendations and its embrace of “Critical Race Theory,” grammar and high school curricula echoing the “Project” now shape students in such a way as to prepare them, if they are college bound, for a fuller indoctrination as they continue their education.

Given that most freshly minted teachers coming out today from the vast majority of our country’s schools of education already possess a well-developed predisposition and vision that comports with the vision projected by the “1619 Project,” and that many local school boards are dominated by the same vision, is it any wonder what students in public schools are being taught?

And for those who go on to college, the ground is well prepared. From a young seven year old boy who is proud that his conservative parents supported Donald Trump, who goes to church with them regularly, whose everyday thoughts turn to games, sports and friends, and are millions of miles away from “wokeness,” we transition to the molded college journalism grad at age twenty-two from the University of North Carolina or from any number of other institutions of higher learning across the nation, who mouths fierce and unrelenting slogans about “systemic racism,” “white privilege,” and “intersectionality,” and demands “equity.”  And “equity” is a weasel word never fully defined, but an essential ingredient in the Critical Race Theory (CRT) lexicon.

As Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, in their volume, Critical Race Theory: An Introduction (2012, 49) describe it, CRT calls for “aggressive, color conscious efforts to change the way things are,” meaning the use of race as the determinant in making decisions as to how property, positions of power, and prestige are allocated in society. And since for the past two millennia the white race has oppressed and abused black and brown peoples around the world, simple equality of opportunity is not enough, in fact is evil, just one more effort of the white man to maintain his privileged position. Indeed, what is entailed in the current talk about “equity” is the requirement for various forms of reparation, a kind of reverse discrimination to satisfy the social injustices and the effects of white colonialism, slavery, and exploitation of black and brown peoples over past centuries.

True, while the curricula in thousands of public schools may not be this explicit, they nevertheless seed impressionable minds and groom students for what is to come. The results are evident…on the downtown streets this past summer of nearly every large or medium-sized American city set ablaze by howling mobs, or as dozens of historical monuments have come down because they honor white people who helped create this nation, or as “woke” corporate executives, media barons, entertainment glitterati, as well as the educational establishment censor and cancel hundreds and thousands of years of Western civilization and culture...because it was created by whites.

For some twenty years I have chaired North Carolina’s Confederate Flag Day, held in early March each year. Sponsored by the North Carolina Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the event was held in the House of Representatives chamber of the historic 1840 State Capitol building, honoring the historic flags of the Confederacy and the citizen soldiers who fought under those flags. The event was always peaceful. Back in 2019, with heightened racial tensions nearly everywhere after the Charleston shootings, as we ended our observance, a large violent mob of Antifa thugs, Black Lives Matter demonstrators, and others assembled outside the Capitol blocking our exit. I’ve recounted what happened in a column published on March 11, 2019. Nearly 200 armed police and State Troopers had to form a cordon to enable us to exit the building safely and find our way to our cars.

I wrote then: “As I exited with other attendees I looked into the faces of the mob: what I observed was a very real madness, an unleashed fury, eyes filled with uncontrolled hatred…. Those angry faces—those glaring and fierce eyes…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.”

That hatred, that fury, that lunacy so apparent in the eyes of those demonstrators in March 2019 and so evident in thousands and thousands like them, begins in our schools with administrators and teachers, and with local school boards, dousing our children with the flammable ingredients which corrupt and pervert, and turn them into what I have termed modern “pod people.”

These “pod people” serve a larger and more fearsome purpose: the ultimate success of the Revolution against God and man. For their fanatical assault against what they perceive as white supremacy and racism is in fact an attack on Creation itself, on the natural laws of that Creation, and the God Who made it.

It is time for our cowardly legislators to begin the process of privatizing the public schools and turning education over once more to the parents where it belongs. 

Saturday, May 8, 2021

                                                 May 8, 2021

 

 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey



Aggressive Abroad and Despotic at Home:

 

VE Day and the End of the “American Century”

 

Friends,

 

Seventy-six years ago, on May 8, 1945, at 2301 hours, Central European Time, World War II in Europe officially ended. Although the war would continue in the Pacific Theatre for several more months, May 8 marked the dramatic end of what was certainly the most horrific and disastrous land war in history. European culture was changed irrevocably. A civilization which had survived the devastation and depopulation of the Thirty Years War, the horrors of the French Revolution and Napoleon, and then the calamity of the Great War of 1914-1918, now witnessed a kind of final collapse, a coup de grace by which its politics, its history, its traditions, its very mode of viewing the world were undone.

 

Those millennial traditions and inherited beliefs, that time-honored culture, that understanding of how societies function and properly exist so identified with Europe—what remained of that, after the catastrophe of the First World War—was now overwhelmed, subsumed into a new reality dominated by competing blocs: the United States and its allies, and the Soviet Union and its Communist satraps. Both spoke often and loudly of democracy and equality; both projected global visions for the world. Their definitions were, of course, different. But both had the cumulative effect of exiling older terminologies and language, and, in practice how Europe and the rest of the world should be organized and governed, and what principles and beliefs should be held dear.

 

In their conquered zones the Soviets, of course, did their best for the next forty-plus years to extinguish long-standing religious belief and a Western and Christian culture that dated back at least to Charlemagne’s coronation in Rome on Christmas Day, 800 A.D. But in an ironic way, Communist oppression only covered over that legacy and those inherited traditions and faith. The persecution did not extinguish that heritage; it survived intact, often just below the surface, to emerge fully vibrant in such countries as Hungary, Poland, and Russia after the fall of Communism in 1989-1991. And in some fascinating ways what the break-up and disappearance of the Soviet system revealed was that its totalitarian rule had served as kind of prophylaxis which not only kept its “captive nations” superficially docile, but also protected them against the more radical and life-altering vision of a Pax Americana from the West.

 

This last statement deserves explanation. The Marshall Plan and American insistence on disauthorizing older more conservative and traditional elements in Western Europe—during the same period as the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe—had profound cultural and educational effects. Whereas Soviet domination was unable to uproot an older religious faith and culture in its areas of hegemony—and, in reality, those forces were to play a significant role in its eventual overthrow—in countries like Germany, France, and Italy the transformation imposed by the United States was more profound and pervasive, and the resistance to change far less resilient.

 

Essentially, American global policy placed nebulous values of equality and liberal democracy ahead of allegiance to country, or, rather, insisted that allegiance to country was coterminous with acceptance of American style democracy and equality as absolutes. Of course, the rationale for this was an initially legitimate and real opposition to world Communism—our American “ideology” against theirs, our ideals against the Red menace. But in its post-war role America became the “exceptional nation,” and soon assumed the duty to go round the world and impose those ideas and that vision of democracy and equality on other, unenlightened or recalcitrant countries. To use the words of Neoconservative author Allan Bloom (in his The Closing of the American Mind): “And when we Americans speak seriously about politics we mean that our principles of freedom and equality and the rights based on them are rational and everywhere applicable.” Americans thus engaged in “an educational experiment undertaken to force those who do not accept these principles to do so.” (Quoted in Paul Gottfried, War and Democracy, 2012, p. 110)

 

In so doing our policy-makers, given free run for decades, not only attempted to impose a kind of global “world faith” which would subvert regional identities and national traditions abroad, but also strengthened and cemented the growth of what James Burnham and Sam Francis would call “the managerial state” at home.

 

It was the fulfillment of the prophetic words of General Robert E. Lee after the War for Southern Independence and the resultant radical bowdlerization of the United States Constitution: the America cobbled together in 1787 would henceforth be set upon a path “aggressive abroad and despotic at home.”

 

If World War II signaled the final eclipse of the British Empire—a decline actually begun through the exhaustion and destruction of the Great War—it also signaled the advent of the American colossus. And despite a spirited challenge from world Communism, it was the American side which would finally emerge triumphant.

 

But the seeds of our decline were already present and germinating; indeed, they had been there since those fateful days in 1865.

 

There is little said by Abraham Lincoln with which I can agree. But I do concur with the words he spoke in Springfield, June 16, 1858: “A nation divided against itself, cannot stand.” And so, just as the unsuspected election of Donald Trump in 2016 indicated rising and serious doubts about American universalism in the world, if ever so slightly, it also uncovered giant fissures and raw divisions between populations not only incapable of speaking to or understanding each other, but in fact, incapable of finding agreement over basic definitions of what is good and true. Expressions such as “systemic racism,” “sexism,” “white supremacy,” and “police brutality” have been deployed as verbal cluster bombs used to disable, cancel, and ultimately vanquish all opposition to the rapidly advancing liquidation of those remnants of Western civilization and culture which somehow escaped the post-war dissolution.

 

May 8, 1945, and the Potsdam Agreement later that August, while representing the end of mankind’s worst land war and the (brief) triumph of a Pax Americana, foretold the eventual triumph of progressivist neo-Marxism and the demise of the “American Century.” The Framers of the American Constitution in 1787 were not granted a divine guarantee that the confederation they cobbled together would last forever. It was, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, “a republic if you can keep it.”

 

That republic has not been maintained. The time for dissolution and separation is at hand.

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