Written by Hilary White
Not being an American myself – and being perennially confused by your byzantine and apparently interminable electoral processes (for heaven sake, people! everyone else gets it over with in five weeks!) –
I have no personal horse in the current race for your presidency, and have not been closely following the latest spectacle. But I must say from the little I’ve seen, you’ve outdone yourselves this time. To have proposed a choice between the blatant criminal Hillary Clinton and – good heavens, I can hardly type this with a straight face – Donald Trump of all people, seems to me to present all by itself an argument for those old popes’ assertions of the fundamental unsoundness of the American political proposal.
I wasn’t going to comment on the US election. It seems pointless. We live in an age in which satire is becoming daily more difficult and the whole profession is falling into desuetude. When a publication has to print the words, “This is satire,” in front of the title because the audience’s capacity to figure it out for themselves has almost vanished, it is time for us jokesters to start looking for other employment. But the final death of the form will come when you lot elect either P.T. Barnum or Cruella deVille as your president. We will have, in the current US election cycle at least, finally reached the civilizational nadir depicted in the film Idiocracy. In fact, Mike Judge himself has started giving interviews to that effect.
America, be assured that the rest of the world is indeed watching, with mouths agape and blank dumbfoundedness in our incomprehending eyes. Not that we’re judging. My own countries are not doing much better: Canada has fulfilled her role as a global leader in self-debasement and elected a twelve year-old girl as Prime Minister, a decision based, apparently, on the silkiness of his hair. And the Mother Country of us all, Britain, is poised to install a self-declared Marxist in the corresponding office. If it’s a comfort to you, it’s happening everywhere. Even little Catholic Malta, due to the perfidious neglect of her prelates and the corrosive effects of the Novusordoist New Paradigm, is busying herself with installing the most up-to-date perversions of modernity – well done, Vatican II! The most famous political satires of the past are coming true daily before our eyes, around the world, as we shrug and turn back to our phones.
So, perhaps now would be a good time to review the reasons things have come to the current pass. If the American experiment, the application of the 18th century godless philosophies of the “Enlightenment,” has finally burned itself to the ground, perhaps it is time to try to find out what was wrong with it in the first place.
There are two logical possibilities: the American Idea has been inadequately applied; it was a good one but has become lost under the personal vices of the people in charge. The second possibility is that the American idea was fundamentally flawed and the inherent logic of those flaws have led unavoidably to the current situation. The solution to the first is obvious. If the American Idea was a good one but has been abandoned by the bad people in charge, the solution is to apply it more. To oust the bad people and try to set the whole thing back on its original course.
The Church, in her saner hours, has long proposed the second as the truth: the American political idea was founded on false premises that would lead inevitably to disaster. The logic therefore leads us now to conclude that the American Idea has been tried and has failed as a result of its original errors. It is not only gone, it is impossible to revive; what remains of it is now being deliberately re-cast into another, far more sinister mold.
While the American political ideology cannot be called a religion, it does do some of the most important things real religion does: it is a cosmological ideology, presenting itself as a universal philosophical worldview, one that logically requires complete submission, rejection of any rival opposition and total, global dominance. The purpose of the American Idea was, ultimately, to have it spread to every other nation on earth and supplant and finally eradicate all competing universal philosophical worldviews. The thing it has become has the same goals.
In its most recent mutation, it is taking its place with a resurgent, brutally violent Islam as one of three contenders in the great global battle over Which Idea Will Govern and Who Gets To Be in Charge. It is the final logical formulation of the anti-authority principle that started with the Protestant revolt, a cancer that has not stopped mutating and growing, replacing healthy ideas with its own. It mutated from Protestantism into the outright atheistic and anti-rational ideas of the 18th century – outbreaks of which included the French Revolution, the American Revolution and finally the Secularist and Anticlerical Revolts of 19th century Europe that all but exterminated the old Catholic paradigm of western European societies.
In the 20th century, the same philosophical cancer branched out and grew into both forms that dominated political history of that time: the now outdated forms of “democracy” and “communism.” In our time it has changed again to become the as-yet unnamed thing that is bringing us the global ideological state, dedicated to wiping out national boundaries and the family, implementing its blatantly anti-human ideas, “gender ideology,” “transhumanism,” and legal euthanasia. We watched through the 1960s and ‘70s as it attacked and all but destroyed the family and even the basic concepts of motherhood and fatherhood in favour of the all-encompassing state.
The new thing is a hybrid of socialism and unfettered, Darwinian capitalism; but its main point still remains as it has always been: non serviam. Whatever history ends up calling it, it is of its nature utterly opposed to the Catholic paradigm; the set of ideas that we have come to call the Social Reign of Christ the King.
For Catholics, it is essential to start to understand that the media-endorsed paradigm is false, both about the secular realm and the Church. It is important to understand that the what is now ending the American Idea in the secular realm is the same thing that invaded the Church after the Council. This is a difficult task, since information on this has been suppressed in both. But the effort must be made, since understanding what has happened to the Church is the only way to understand what is happening in the world.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post for my own blog called “How to get out of the Matrix on your own,” that said that the problem with the Novus Ordo “mainstream” Church is that they don’t know what they don’t know. There is a “false floor,” the new version of orthodoxy that has been created by compromised prelates since the Council essentially to hide the great wealth of the Truths of the Holy Faith from the great majority of the faithful.
In the grandest Orwellian tradition the portions of the Faith that are opposed to the New Paradigm, in the Church and the World, have been memory-holed. If you don’t know it’s there, you won’t know to go looking for it. If you don’t have the words you won’t be able to think or talk about it. And most importantly, you will not be able to call to account the men endorsing the New Paradigm. Even with the best will in the world, you will have been able to gain only a partial and often distorted understanding of what constitutes Catholic doctrines on a wide array of topics. You will know only what they allow you to know.
Since the pontificate of John Paul II the average Catholic knows or can easily discover the Church’s teaching against contraception, abortion and euthanasia. The difficulty is that now these “life and family” related issues are what constitutes the whole of Catholic orthodoxy for many – including the mainstream secular media. It’s good to know these things and to understand how distanced it is sometimes necessary to be as a Catholic from the sex-obsessed secular culture. But this kind of limited orthodoxy is leaving many with no way to respond to our current, much broader political and social difficulties.
For fifty years it has been possible to live in the Church with this semi-orthodoxy, and find an accommodation. There has been a vast self-separation in the Church with the faithful effectively dividing themselves between “orthodox” and “liberal” parishes and organizations. But of course, this Mexican standoff could not be allowed to last forever, and the situation now is that the pope is attacking the old New Orthodoxy in the name of the New New Orthodoxy – a doctrineless “mercy” and “openness” intended to overrule even this last shred of the moral law. We are replacing the John Paul II-era knowledge with a whole roster of empty Franciscan slogans and neologisms intended to bring the Church into line with the secularist dogmas.
The purpose, of course, is to purge the Church of the remaining elements opposed to the New Paradigm. We have thus far been allowed to live in a “watchful peace” with the growing forces of evil within the Church, finding parishes and groups where more of the Faith is retained, where liturgy is not so disastrous to prompt outrage, where children can be raised in relative calm. But that time is passing rapidly, and those forces, having taken the papacy, are finally dropping their pretense of tolerance. The remaining loyalists to the old order must be removed before their triumph over Christ can be complete.
In reality, the pope is attacking the foundational precepts of Catholic ecclesiology – the Church itself, and proposing a new object, one that a faithful Catholic cannot adhere to. But because of the poverty of our training, many Catholics of good will experiencing a sick feeling in their gut that things are not right are unable adequately to articulate or explain it. The knowledge of the Faith, that would allow us to understand what is going on has been deliberately suppressed, buried under the false floor of Novusordoist neo-orthodoxy.
I have said many times here and on my own blogs that “Novusordoism isn’t Catholicism” and that is what I mean. You can be as “orthodox” as the New Paradigm will allow you to be, but because that New Paradigm has been created specifically by withholding and suppressing certain information, you will not be equipped with the parts of the Faith that you need to deal with the current realities. Many people who by necessity now call themselves “Traditionalist” Catholics are merely those who have for whatever reason been prompted to investigate what is under that false floor. We have discovered a whole buried and long-forgotten edifice, a vast, ancient “lost city” of truth, goodness and beauty, surprisingly well preserved and waiting to be reoccupied and brought back into the light again.
I’m not Chris Ferrara, and I don’t have the kind of brain that can meticulously pick apart a situation, present every permutation and detail and build a lawyerly argument out of them. But perhaps we can examine some of the Church’s documents of the past to help us begin to understand the situation we now find ourselves in. Like the situation in Rome, that of the current US election does seem to demonstrate the accuracy of the warnings issued regularly by popes for the time of your nation’s youth, and the time has come to revisit them.
Not being Gnostics, Traditional Catholics are not interested in keeping this to themselves, but are dedicated to the “restoration of all things” for the love of Christ and His truth. There is a whole world of reality under there that we are dedicated to sharing and restoring. Fortunately, nearly all of it is now available for nothing on the internet.
This is all by way of introduction for a series that we hope will help people new to this information gain the knowledge they need to deal reasonably with the current situation. It is perhaps overdue, but the time is certainly come when the answers offered by the Novusordo neo-orthodoxy will no longer serve.
The pontifical reading list I proposed in the “Matrix” blog post included:
Quanta Cura – Pius IX on the errors of the modern age, including the Enlightenment/French Revolutionary principles that form the basis of the American Constitution.
Pascendi Dominici Gregis – Pius X’s declaration of war against the Modernist heresy.
Quas Primas – in which Pius XI explains how everything you thought you knew about “Catholic social teaching” is wrong. The Social Reign of Christ the King.
Mirari Vos – Gregory XVI on the grave threat (in 1832!) of liberalism and religious indifferentism.
Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae – Leo XIII against the Americanist heresy.
We will explore together these and other documents to see what relevance and insights they can offer, and to see what threads of historical continuity we can find between the Church’s concerns in the past and our situation today.