Tuesday, April 30, 2013


  • Not much to report this week from the show. Last episode was one of the rare ‘overshadowed by a big historical event’ ones, in which we learn Pete’s a decent fellow about race if not much else. But Harry has a point too: that’s what happened, or the degeneration of the culture (which started at the top — the hippies were slumming rich kids) hit the lower classes harder. So not much soap-opera action. Finally, Bobby Draper gets a little story line; he’s been little more than a prop all these years. Because of him we learn a little more about the mysterious Don. I’d long said one of his saving graces is he loves his kids. Turns out he was mostly faking that. A sociopath the ladies lust for (the real reason SWPLs watch); the only thing keeping him and his friends from ruin is the better culture (including the duty to take care of your kids first, not ’70s narcissism) that’s by now slipping away. There’s a war on now, Don; put your hat back on and fight! (Would enough silent-majority/conservative pushback have stopped the Sixties?)
  • The moral hollowness of the elites. Cultural Marxism. In the 1960s the New Left took over Liberalism. They kept the name but changed the content. For example, and this is profoundly important, individual rights were changed to group rights, which introduced totalitarian thinking.
  • From RR: is there any real liberaltarianism? Of course not, because the left isn’t about individual rights anymore. If liberals were becoming liberaltarians, denouncing coercive statist groupism in favor of voluntary individual association, libertarians would welcome them. Unfortunately, nothing of the sort appears to be happening.
  • More from Modestinus on Catholicism vs. the classical liberal AND modern liberal state. There are trads who think I’m as much a part of the problem as the mainline. My defense: the modus we had in ’50s America — the true church and the Constitution; living with our Protestant hosts by following the golden rule — was not a sellout. Still, he makes me think. By accepting the liberal conception of the separation of Church and State, coupled with its teachings on religious liberty and the attendant implicit rejection of the Social Kingship of Christ, the Council gave unprecedented credence to the dubious claim of the modern state to have total (or near-total) claim to the souls of its citizenry. The same claim that Henry VIII and Red China made.
  • Fr C on low-church Pope Francis. Again, if he just leaves us alone I’ll be fine. If not, if Francis turns out to be Paul VII, laymen have several options: go back to hunkering down at the lowest Sunday Novus, as for the past 40 years; Greek Catholic; or the SSPX or other irregular trads, as long as they’re not a separate church in principle. We will have the Mass. I know: what about sacraments that depend on jurisdiction? State of emergency in the church: if the local putative Catholics are really liberal Protestants, you do what you have to. Archbishop Lefebvre’s eternal Rome, not local usurpers.
  • Some of the ‘office’ in ‘Mass-and-office’, pre-conciliar Catholicism’s version of high-and-dry churchmanship: the Anglican Breviary blog. 99% Tridentine, in classic-liturgical-English translation (the English of the Prayer Book but not the Prayer Book; never an official Anglican book). Fr Daniel Oppenheimer, a trad priest in the official church and a former Episcopalian, recommends it to his parishioners. An educated churchman knows what and what not to use (leave out the Episcopal Church-related feasts). The breviary’s a treasure but a reason it never caught on with Catholic laity, besides literacy being historically uncommon, is it’s hard to use. Winfred Douglas’ Monastic Diurnal, an adapted Benedictine office he wrote in the ’30s, in the same style, is much easier to use, and for something simpler still, there’s always the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary (mimicking the breviary but the same psalms every day).
  • Chris Broussard. I don’t follow sports. Sure, this is culture-wars bait but when I first saw this blurb, I thought ESPN might be right, because his job, like mine, doesn’t include preaching. So is he a martyr? Having read the story, I say maybe. ESPN’s obviously siding with the secularist left; they’re preaching. Why dedicate a whole show to Jason Collins’ private business? Why put a conservative Christian on it, then muzzle him? So Broussard may have spoken out of turn, in context, but I wonder if he was set up.


  1. Would enough silent-majority/conservative pushback have stopped the Sixties?


    There was plenty of conservative pushback. In fact, it's hard to imagine what "more pushback" would have looked like. For one thing, a lot of the pushback was coming from people who were liberals by the standards of those times (folks like my parents), when "liberal" meant being in favor of civil rights for negroes, in favor of Medicare and the "War on Poverty," and so forth. "Liberal" did not mean free love, using drugs, and being soft on communism. The Vietnam war was a liberal project (started by Kennedy and expanded by Johnson), and most liberals supported the war almost until the end. The big political fight over Vietnam, with Gene McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy on one side and Hubert Humphrey and LBJ on the other, was an intra-liberal fight, not a liberal-conservative fight. Vietnam became a liberal-conservative issue after Nixon won and the liberals could re-cast it as a "Republican war" and thus righteously oppose it.

    The vast majority was aghast at the cultural phenomena that we now think of as "the Sixties." It wasn't enough to turn that tide, and I don't think anything could have been enough.

    1. I know about all of the above. So how'd the wrong side win? Was it the big boomer generation starting their long march through the institutions? But of course they didn't start it. Was it the generation right before, or an element in it, that turned enough of the kids to pull it off?

    2. I don't think there is any human explanation for it. Nearly every institution everywhere in the developed world collapsed, virtually overnight, in 1968.

    3. Re: Why "the Sixties" weren't shut down; why the modern version of liberation has taken control

      The boomers were too busy getting "toked up" and getting laid to care. For those who survived the drug abuse and sexual libertinism intact, the lure of materialism (including careerism) took over. Of course they raised children with what sort of values? I find it so interesting and ironic that the "greatest generation" sacrificed so much between the Great Depression and the depredations of WWII supposedly to make a better America for its children, only to see how so many of the Boomer generation basically ran amuck and passed so many of the moral consequences to their children. Perhaps it's one of the downsides of winning a major war.

      "One is left with the horrible feeling now that war settles nothing; that to win a war is as disastrous as to lose one." Winston Churchill

      Re: Nixon

      Not really a conservative even though he seemed like one if only because he was not a Democrat.

      Re: Social Kingship of Christ

      This is an SSPX expression IIRC. I don't recall it ever being used before in my pre-Vatican II years. How can we understand this term, assuming it is a legitimate Catholic theological opinion/position, if Jesus told Pilate "My Kingdom is not of this world?"

  2. Here's a little speculation from someone too young to know firsthand, though it fits with things I've read in books and articles from that period:

    To make sense of the change, imagine the generation gap in liberal families during the '60s as a kind of mirror image of the generation gap among Catholic families today (in which liberal parents' kids either get very serious about the Faith, or they leave altogether). Say you're born in 1946, after daddy gets home from putting that "Fascist" Hitler in his place. Mom and Pop both teach you a basically egalitarian worldview- they support civil rights for blacks, detest the excesses of "paranoid" Senator McCarthy, and support the War on Poverty. Still, they get a little "funny" about Communism- despite the fact that Communist states claim to pursue the same goals of equal treatment for all men and economic justice that they taught you to admire, your parents regard it with horror. When you ask them what's so bad about the Commies, they mutter something weak about "Extremism" that doesn't make any sense to you. You're a young person just discovering strength in your convictions, and you admire political courage in your adult role models (such as the radical left-wing professor you meet freshman year of college), not milquetoast middle-of-the-roadism. Obviously, your parents are good people, but you see they've inherited the irrational fears of the reactionary society around them. You, being courageously liberated from such prejudice, can clearly see what they cannot- that the Vietnam War is far worse than any purported Communist atrocities (which are but misguided excesses in a fundamentally just cause), that the "New Left" represented by the Frankfurt school and/or Antonio Gramsci have the right remedy for your "sick bourgeois society" that poisoned your folks' minds, etc. Mom and Pop have enough sense to know that there's something seriously wrong with your new Hippie friends, even if they can't articulate why at first, and by the time you've been hired as a full-time professor at State U. in 1980, they've started calling themselves "Conservative" instead of "Liberal", and you're pretty sure they're going to vote for Ronald Reagan- the poor deluded dears. Ah well, it doesn't matter in the long run- you're an up-and-coming professor who gets to shape young minds, and they are a couple of old fuddy-duddies just a few years from retirement and irrelevance.

    This is an extreme example, of course, written to make the point clear, but I've known a lot of families with Baby Boomer children which appear to have gone through a much milder version of this syndrome. One example: Trade-union, borderline socialist dad goes Conservative in the '70s and starts reading Burke and Solzhenitsyn, while his son grows longish hair and a moustache and eventually becomes editor at a major newspaper, occasionally penning nostalgic articles about the "idealism" of the Sixties People.

    1. Speaking as someone who is old enough (born 1953) to have known firsthand, this speculation is pretty good. I didn't follow the trajectory myself (I made a hard right turn in my politics about the time I graduated from college in the mid-70s) but I knew plenty of people who did.


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