The Sound Of Inevitability

[Fair Warning: This post is my attempt to delve into philosophy, political philosophy and other “deep” matters. These are not fields where I have any special knowledge/training, or have an in-depth education, and it will show. Please excuse the (overly) amateur nature of this post.]

I.

For some time now I have been of the opinion that the present outbreak of rebellion in women against male authority, a problem with many names but which can be encapsulated best by the appellation “feminism”, was inevitable in the West, and in the United States in particular. Several different factors are at play right now in the United States, any one of which would create the present crisis (which I believe it so qualifies as). Working together they have created an unstoppable juggernaut which has reshaped the culture over the last century or so to a breathtaking degree. What we have now would be largely unrecognizable to someone who lived at the turn of the 20th century. The social order which we might refer to as “Patriarchy” is now entirely gone. Whatever appears to be left of it is in fact a hollow shell, devoid of substance or meaning.

Two comments stand out in convincing me to write this post. Both took place in my post One Body, where I discussed unity within the church. However, both commenters used the opportunity of division within the church to point out greater divisions within the whole of society. The first comment comes from Denise:

I’ve thought for a while that one of the ironic things about the Christian part of the manosphere is the emphasis on authority, but limited to the need for women to submit to the authority of men. At the same time, there is a general denigration of the authority of church leaders (of whatever denomination). The need for authority permeates our lives, and wherever people are unwilling to submit themselves to the right authority over them, there will be problems.

This comment elicited a response from reader mdavid:

I’ve never really thought about things this way, but the more I reflect it’s pretty dang amusing. Think about it this way: individualistic men of the West, each claiming to be their sole spiritual authority to interpret the bible…get exactly what we ask for: division. And our women, following us, soon become a perfect reflection of their men, indeed made from our very (disobedient) rib to continue the analogy.

In this light, it’s sort of funny to complain about women being disobedient to the very men who are themselves repulsed by earthly spiritual authority. Hey, I don’t want to obey imperfect earthly authority (even though Jesus demanded it) so I’ll follow Christ directly! Well, then, why shouldn’t my wife say exactly the same thing to me? I sure can’t claim perfection for myself nor my earthly spiritual leaders. So the modern western wench is a pretty damn appropriate punishment, the more I think of it. God is clever but never malicious. He is merely giving us what we demand…earthly freedom for us and ours. Ouch.

Both of them touched on one aspect of the problem of female rebellion- the overall dislike of authority in the West. But so much more is at play. I am writing this post in order to examine some of the reasons why Patriarchy was doomed centuries ago, and to show that what is happening now is merely the fulfillment of a destiny set in place long before our time.

II.

Right now there are three major factors, or impulses, that are driving the current trend of female rebellion within the West. I use the term impulse because they are actively pulling society/the culture along; they are not reactive in nature. Each of these impulses is tied to the dominant ideology and political philosophy of the West, which has many specific flavors but overall can be summed up as “liberalism” (note the small ‘”l”). All three are linked to one another to different degrees, as while they manifest differently and have varying effects, their ultimate point of origin is the same.  The three impulses are:

  • The Anti-Authoritarian Impulse
  • The Egalitarian/Equality Impulse
  • The Freedom/Liberty Impulse

Each of these impulses has worked on its own to stoke the fires of female rebellion, each in its own unique way. While the paths they have trodden may be different, the final destination is the same: the destruction of Patriarchy. Now to explain all three in a little more depth.

A.

The Anti-Authoritarian Impulse derives from the liberal opposition to authority and the exercise thereof. This is especially true for “imposed authority,” that is, authority that comes down from above where the person below has no say in the matter. One of the driving forces in the creation of what we can call liberalism was a hostility to this kind of situation. It is principally applied to matters of state, and expressed most commonly in the idea that “just government comes from the consent of the governed.” Liberalism believes that authority cannot be imposed unilaterally from above; it is only valid when assented to by the governed.

As one might guess, this particular impulse manifests as a direct rebellion against authority. It is the most forward of the impulses, and the easiest to understand in its effect (subtle it ain’t).

Also, this impulse is nothing new. Its origin is as old as Man himself, for it is born of the spirit of rebellion that lurks in the heart of every man and woman. The story of the Fall in the Book of Genesis contains the perennial example of the rebellion against authority. So its no surprise that liberalism adopted anti-authoritarianism into its official “plank.” The Reformation also had a huge impact on the development of liberalism, as liberalism was strongest and germinated soonest (from what I recall of my history lessons) in those regions/nations that embraced Protestantism. [This post isn’t aimed to fight that particular conflict over again, merely to show the ideological consequences of the Reformation. So lets keep it topical here.]

B.

The Egalitarian or Equality Impulse is a fairly broad one, as it encompasses both the liberal belief that everyone is equal to some degree or another, as well as the belief that everyone should be equal. Some expressions of this include ideas such as “political equality”, “equality of opportunity” and “equality of outcome.” Ultimately it comes down to treating people the same in some form or fashion, and recognizing them as being the same. Each plays off the other. After all, if everyone “is” the same, then they should be treated the same. And if everyone is treated the same, then they will “be” the same.

Its origin in liberalism is interesting. It has ties to classical philosophy, especially the polis of ancient Greece, where in many instances the citizens of a city-state were considered equal brothers (Sparta is an interesting example of this). Another pagan connection would be various Anglo-Saxon and Viking traditions, which hewed to a sort of “band-of-brothers” belief that fellow warriors were equal to one another. The notion of trial by your peers is an example of this, as it has a history tied to this tradition, dating back to when Germanic tribes first invaded what we now call Britain and Ireland.  There was also a Christian connection as well, owing to the thought of some famous Christian theologians who emphasized the equal worth of human beings in the eyes of God. There is more, but it is beyond the scope of this post.

All of these sources flowed together into the thinking of the Enlightenment, where liberalism was born, and emerged as the idea we now call “Equality.” While it has, even now, many flavors, the Egalitarian Impulse carries a lot of weight in the liberal West.

C.

The Freedom or Liberty Impulse is, stated simply enough, the liberal belief that everyone should be free to act how they wish as much as possible. Usually it is explained as the ability of a human being to act in whatsoever manner they wish, so long as they don’t intrude on the rights of a fellow human being. Otherwise, so long as someone else isn’t directly affected, you are free to do whatever you want.

Much of its origin can be traced to the English Enlightenment, which drew heavily on the centuries old tradition of “English Liberty.” That itself drew on even older traditions dating back to the Norman conquest of England, when certain individuals were granted special privileges based on service to the crown, blood ties and the like. Originally (to the best of my musty knowledge of history) it mainly manifested itself as a list of rights to be free of certain obligations. Freedom from certain taxes and duties, for example. A freedom “from,”, if you will. Over time it morphed into a freedom “to” do certain things. As a matter of political philosophy, this was actually a huge shift, and helped lay the groundwork for the impulse as we understand it today.

III.

The United States in particular is a product of all three liberal impulses. One can look through American history and be bombarded by different ideas and beliefs that all had their origin in one or more of these impulses. Perhaps no document is a better example of liberalism’s core tenets than the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

You can see all three impulses at work here-

  • “all men are created equal” is the Egalitarian impulse
  • “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” is the Freedom impulse
  • “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” is the anti-authoritarian impulse
  • “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government” is also the anti-authoritarian impulse

You will find similar influences in pretty much every major American political document or speech. The three impulses pervade everything; they are so commonplace we pretty much take them for granted at this point. An interesting question would be if they are more prominent in the US than they are elsewhere. My personal belief is that the Anti-Authoritarian and Freedom impulses are more pronounced in the US, whereas in the rest of the West the Egalitarian impulse is dominant. That is not to say that the US lacks the Egalitarian impulse, it clearly doesn’t. But it isn’t as strong, and takes a somewhat different form than it does in, say, Europe.

The reason for this is that liberalism has had several different variants over the years. The US has long been a haven for what political philosophers call “classical liberalism”, which is the form of liberalism that developed during the Enlightenment. It is marked by a strong resistance to authority, a preference for Equality of Opportunity over Equality of Outcome, and a strong believe in “individual rights, i.e., “freedom.” Europe, on the other hand, has been influenced far more by “socialist liberalism”, which is a post-Enlightenment variant of liberalism which was a product of the Romantic era. It is marked by a strong preference for Equality of Outcome, which drowns out to some degree the other impulses. However, despite the different flavors they represent, both expressions of liberalism lead to the same place, as the next section will explain.

IV.

This leads me back to the original point of this post- how the rise of “feminism” in the West was inevitable. Liberalism, as the dominant ideology in the West, made sure that all three impulses exerted a great deal of influence on Western culture and thought. They are everywhere. Their influence and effect is inescapable. And each was capable by itself of encouraging female rebellion. How did they do it? Let us examine each in turn.

A.

The Anti-Authoritarian impulse

This is easy enough to understand. This impulse has, over time, encouraged all segments of society to rebel against any form of authority, and it has weakened the authority that can be exercised. Male authority over women is treated like any other kind of authority- it is opposed on principle and tolerated only when those over whom it is exercised consent (stated another way, consent must be had for authority to be exercised). Naturally enough, most women don’t consent to men exercising authority over them. And why shouldn’t they? Individually they often benefit from rebelling, even though society as a whole will suffer.

Left unchecked, this impulse will expand its scope and reach.  And there is no checking it, as it is a core belief of the ideology of liberalism. To check the anti-authoritarian impulse would be to renounce a part of liberalism itself, which it would not, could not do. No form of authority can escape its grasp accordingly.

The authority that a husband  can exercise over his wife in marriage would be one such authority. It was always scheduled to be on the chopping block, no matter what. After all, if the authority of the state and the church has been rejected, why not the authority of the husband over his wife? Compared to the first two, the authority of the last is trivial. Christianity, as we have learned, does not provide an immunity to this. The same thought processes which affect secular thinking affect religious thinking. An example- “so what if the Bible says that wives are to submit to their husbands… there is no reason you have to follow it anyways.”

What has happened in the West over the last many centuries is that the authority of the state and the church has been reduced and limited to an incredible degree (although it should be noted that the rise of socialist type policies and practices runs counter to this- the subject of the impulses competing with one another is a matter for another post, however). The authority of the husband over his wife, and of men over women, would always be targeted because any authority would eventually find itself a target. And no defense could be raised against it, because those elements of society which could mount it had already been neutered.

 

B.

The Egalitarian Impulse

Again, this has two components, one that stresses that everyone is equal, and a second which emphasizes that everyone should be treated equally. Both work together towards the same end.

If women are equal to men, then it follows that men cannot exercise authority over them. After all, authority is exercised by a superior over an inferior, not by one equal over an another. Also, if women are equal to men, than they should be treated the same. It isn’t logical or consistent to treat those who are the same any differently, hence women and men must be treated the same. And if women and men are to be treated the same, then there is no room for male authority over women.

The problem with the Egalitarian impulse is that it could never be easily limited. Once the concept of Equality was acknowledged as an ideal, there was no stopping it. Anyone and everyone would claim the mantle of its power for themselves. How do you distinguish one group as worthy of equality, and not another? As long as it held value in the minds of the populace, people would be hesitant to argue against its further application to another “worthy” group. In holding up Equality as an ideal, liberalism provided a ready made tool to hammer male authority with. The two are incompatible, something had to give. With liberalism being the dominant ideology, the loser was inevitably going to be male authority.

C.

The Freedom Impulse

Male authority over women necessarily entails restrictions on female liberty. That is the nature of authority- it’s exercise limits what you can do. Here we had another inevitable conflict in the making. Again, the idea behind this particular liberal belief is that you should be able to do what you want to do. Support of any kind of restriction on liberty, of anyone, carries with it the charge of hypocrisy (again, with some exceptions based on the other impulses interacting). Whether or not it is true, people don’t like to be called hypocrites. Defending against that charge would require showing that restricting female liberty was of greater social value than promoting greater liberty. The problem with that defense is the fact that liberalism never had as a core component of its ideology the belief that men needed to exercise authority over women. Rather, it was inherited from previous ideological systems as a kind of “leftover”, a tradition that was preserved because it made sense. Some philosophers made stronger arguments in favor of it, but those ideas were never part of the core ideology of liberalism. They were dressing, in other words.

All of this means that when push came to shove, the liberty impulse was destined to win. People in the West have been conditioned to believe that more liberty is inherently a good thing. Indeed, liberty itself is seen as a good of the highest order, so of course the more of it, the better. If you oppose greater liberty for, say, women, why then… the question is raised about what kind of person are you? Only someone opposed to liberty, such as a fascist/national socialist, would oppose liberty. After all, that is what liberalism has essentially taught people in the West. Because liberty was more highly valued by liberalism than any exercise of authority by men over women, it was inevitable that women would seek and be granted the freedom they so desired.

V.

In conclusion, this was always going to happen. The seeds of female disobedience and rebellion were planted centuries ago. Men, in their desire to acquire more liberty for themselves, to level the playing field, and to escape the church and the state exercising any authority over them (without their say so) created an ideology to suit their ends. But in their individualistic pursuit of greater self-actualization and power, they failed to appreciate that they were paving the road for women to follow right behind them. And follow they did.

Churchianity is the natural result of these liberal tendencies allowed to run their course. Notions of Equality, Freedom and a hostility to Authority are so deeply engrained in our minds by the surrounding culture  they incline us to undermine core tenets of the faith. Despite clear teaching to the contrary, wives are not submitting to their husbands, women are preaching and exercising authority over men, and marriage and divorce are treated flippantly. Those are just a small sample of what Churchianity offers. And it is only going to get worse.

In their haste to get what they wanted, our forefathers blindly tore down the barriers that kept our inner demons at bay, and undermined the foundation of Western Civilization. As many around these parts have argued for some time, that foundation was Patriarchy and Patriarchal marriage (for a good explanation of how that is the case, see here). When the present system collapses, and it most certainly will, it will not be because people the people running it were incompetent. Or because they didn’t try it hard enough or long enough. No, everything will fall apart because there could be no other outcome. The liberal order was destined to collapse.

So the next time you hear a woman complain that there are no good men left, the next time you hear a father bragging about his careerist daughter, the next time you hear a man lamenting how his wife blew up his marriage and ruined the lives of their children, the next time a preacher tells the men of the church to “man up”, the next time you hear a story on the news about more and more children being born out of wedlock, know well that you are hearing:

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33 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Churchianity, Femininity, Feminism, Neo-Reaction, Temptation, The Church, Women

33 responses to “The Sound Of Inevitability

  1. Marx, machiavelle, and neitzsche.

    They’re the source for most of the issues wrong in western culture, and the ones responsible for dissemination of the ideologies you describe here in the post.

    I do often see men act as the comments inspiring this post describe – many buck authority or do everything they can to avoid authority figures. No one wants to be obedient, and then complain when others follow in step

    People would do better to discern what belongs to God, what to Caesar, and give each their due out of love. We can prepare for an inevitable downfall, but rebellion against what is currently there should be approached with extreme trepidation

  2. femininebutnotfeminist

    This is fascinating, I must say. Basically, in order to reverse feminism, the entire foundation of western culture would have to be reversed first. Considering how much people in general love their freedoms, I don’t see that happening anytime soon. All we can really do is to try to save as many individual people as we can.

    It kindof mirrors sin and Salvation in a way, if you think about it. As Christians, we aren’t called to try to reverse sin itself (because let’s face it… we can’t), we are called to repent and tell other people the Truth so they can hopefully repent too. It’s a narrow gate that few people will want to find (both Salvation from sin, and living differently than the West’s ideologies).

  3. @ Chad

    Marx, machiavelle, and neitzsche.

    They’re the source for most of the issues wrong in western culture, and the ones responsible for dissemination of the ideologies you describe here in the post.

    Machiavelli may belong in that list, but the other two don’t. This began long before their times. We are talking people like Locke, Rousseau, and others even further back (Hobbes, perhaps). Marx and Nietzche were merely some of the first fruits of what liberalism had sowed a century or two before. Those two caused tragedy, but they merely continued what others had started.

    Rest of your comment is good though.

  4. @ FBNF

    Basically, in order to reverse feminism, the entire foundation of western culture would have to be reversed first.

    In the long term, probably. Not necessarily in the short term. I can see a number of situations where feminism is reversed without uprooting the foundation of Western Civilization. However, if you don’t do that, then it will eventually come back, like the poisonous weed that it is. You have to remove the whole thing to truly get rid of it.

  5. femininebutnotfeminist

    @ Donal,

    Yep, you’re right. It would just come back. From the looks of it, trying to reverse femimism alone would be about as effective as putting a small finger-sized band-aid on a gaping battle wound. Unfortunately. I wish it weren’t so complicated.

  6. @ FBNF

    The image I have in mind is from those cartoons where someone spots a leak in a Dike in Holland, and sticks their finger on it. And then another leak starts. And so they use their other hand. And then another leak develops….

  7. @donal

    I don’t know as much about the others as I could – my theatre and liberal arts background was more interested in the three I named. Seems reasonable from what I know of them though.

    I think I disagree that all of western civilization has to be reversed to correct the problem. The utmost problem is that the ideologies you list are perversions of truth put forward to worship men as gods. Yet the ideologies do tell truths – truths about power and how to attain it. The power to know good and evil in their soul, as they embrace sins and become intimate with their knowledge of evil.

    But, while those are truths, The Truth is that such powers are flickering candles of vanity to be snuffed out by the wind of God’s Word bringing life to the world and the soul. All (“all,” hah!) that needs to be done is to worship God instead of power and man. Stop trying to be little gods, turning ourselves into devils in the process. Start acting as angels and kneeling, “Thy will be done.”

    God shows us how to do this. Blood and bread.

    If we’re lucky, we’ll be able to offer them peacefully. If not…

    Well, most revolutions are for bread, and involved lots of blood.

    Its certainly one way to find a knee

  8. I realized my comment could be boiled down to:

    I think western civilization will wreck itself, but it wouldn’t have too if people would stop being prideful, vain little things.

    But then I remembered we’re talking about people.

    God, send us saints

  9. Taylor

    I think the proper understanding of these impulses leaves way too much intertwining to call them bases. Consider again the tale of the Serpent. It was rebellion in the anti-authoritative sense, but the deceiver overtly made an equality play. “You will be like God” was the desire then and now. I simply cannot think of a better start to the utilitarian impulse than that event. You will be like God, the knowledge and elevation to know only equals (authority & equality in one blow).

    Maybe that’s only a minor gripe, since the biggest hair-raiser of the post (an otherwise great read, I’m just a critic) was the examination of the Declaration of Independence. It was the colonist’s last, best, and greatest attempt to put the liberties in the great frame. Far from anti-authoritarian, it acknowledged that the Creator is the only one endowing anybody and anything with Rights. That God has put us here enjoying quite a bit of ordained liberty is the first call afterwards … a liberty from an authoritative giver. The great struggle present in the text, that is was only after a Government became “destructive of these ends” that the rending needed to take place … that’s a great emphasis placed on continuity and a just order of things, not another anti-authoritarian impulse. Simply contrast this with a French Revolution and Declaration of the RIghts of Man to see that the quote is not an impulse but a great nod to the need for restraint in revolt … only tyranny should necessitate it (Governments are for the securing of rights and ONLY when it proves destructive). You see how this is quite an unprovoked reframe of the message present to suit the argument, Donal?

    I mostly liked the rest in all honesty. I’ll even add my own two cents. “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16). Can it be any more succinctly put the state of affairs of conflict? Desire meets authority. Its adversarial and only needs the state of sin and rebellion to resent the rule and want to keep the desire. Live-in boyfriend, frivolous divorce, family court/child custody, and the rest can all similarly be argued to stem from there.

  10. @ Taylor

    I will reply later today if I get a chance.

  11. Novaseeker

    I think Escoffier makes the argument that the issue isn’t Western civilization, per se, but the modernity phase of it, in intellectual terms. In other words, the problem doesn’t lie in the classical sources of Western civilization, but rather in what has happened since the dawn of the modern era (roughly around the time of Machiavelli).

    Still, even with that caveat, excising this in a surgical way seems impossible. There are many benefits to modernity, which almost no-one wants to revoke. What is ultimately needed is more balance, and less epistemological totalitarianism on the part of the scientism/empiricism/materialism community – but that also seems unlikely because much of that community sees itself as the vanguard of a jihad against “superstition”, and really this idea is what lies at the core of modernity, going back centuries – to squeeze the supernaturalists out of the sphere, as it were.

  12. femininebutnotfeminist

    @ Donal,

    LOL I remember seeing that in cartoons! 🙂 That image pretty well lines up with this (except it’s a whole lot funnier in cartoons…)

  13. mdavid

    I agree with most of your points I-IV, and think the post pretty well thought out for such a broad topic. What I think is lacking:

    1) Seems a tad ethnocentric. Christianity is no longer driven by the individualistic, liberal, and feminist West, but by the more obedient and tribal East. The big three factors in declining birth rates are women’s education, loss of religion, and wealth; cultures with these traits are simply unfit in a Darwinian sense and are passing. For example, Vatican II was the first Council where Western bishops were a minority, and they’ve shrunk every day since. Gay rights is not on the African agenda, feminism is a joke in Russia, China, and Japan. It’s easy envision the progressive agenda has legs, but it really doesn’t because it’s infertile and headed for the dustbin of history.

    2) Western men are cursed with the ghost of chivalry and romance. This was a fine thing as long as women had no authority in the culture and could not own property. Otherwise these things are lethal to fertility and family. The Jane Austen era got that ball really rolling, and it hasn’t slowed down since.

    3) Wealth. It’s not a coincidence that wealth, feminism, and individualism all travel together. Feminism and individualism are luxuries; can you imagine these ideologies lasting during a serious war or hard poverty? No way. And it ain’t like Jesus didn’t warn us about the dangers of wealth to our souls. Play with fire, expect to get burned.

    4) Western culture does not equal civilization and is no great loss to humanity. India and Pakistan have atomic bombs. Japan is not feminist at all and they are more civilized than the West. The West began to give up God about 400 years ago (yes, the Reformation was the vanguard toward the secular) and for this pride will fade from genetic history. This is no big deal. Nobody will miss us. God, as always, will head out to the alleys and byways to collect his loyal sheep, just as He did with the Gentiles post-Jerusalem, the Celts and Germanic tribes post-Rome, the Hispanics post-Reformation. And now with the Africans and Asians:

    His mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, he has put down the mighty from their thrones,
    and exalted those of low degree; he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and the rich he has sent empty away.

  14. I really appreciate #4 in mdavid’s comment. The Church is going nowhere. People were confessing the creeds long before Western colonialism and will do so long after the last Pledge of Allegiance has been recited and Marseillaise has been sung.

    I think that what this post brings out is the fact that the American philosophical tradition was not hijacked by liberals, it was founded by them. Yes, liberals who themselves had been brought up in a different way of thinking, but like donal said, it was kind of a leftover and not the real fruit of their beliefs. This has interesting implications for “rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.” We can’t necessarily assume that what this country (US) stands for is of God.

  15. Happyhen

    If you have not read Father Stephen Freeman’s writings/book on this topic, I highly recommend them. His blog and an on point post can be found here : http://glory2godforallthings.com/2014/05/16/again-the-sin-of-democracy/ Father Stephen is an Orthodox priest in Tennessee.

  16. mdavid

    Happyhen, your mention of Fr. Freeman reminds me of something he wrote on individualism: I consider it both a strange mystery and a settled matter of the faith that God prefers not to do things alone. Repeatedly, He acts in a manner that involves the actions of others when, it would seem, He could have acted alone…Why did the Incarnation involve Mary? Could He not have simply become man, whole, complete, adult, in a single moment? In the same way, man (in general) was not meant to live alone, and women were not meant to live apart from male headship, having been made for each other. Just as man was not meant to live apart from God, being made in His image. It’s a sad thing, the current state of affairs. I think people miss the deeper meaning of the Trinity in this regard: one God, fully unified, but still individual persons acting in full agreement. In the same way, man and woman, one flesh, two persons, acting in full agreement. It’s no wonder happiness is so elusive to individualistic modern man.

  17. Pilgrim of the East

    regarding anti-authoritarianism – some people are idealizing form of governments imposed from above (kings ordained supposedly by God) and look negatively on democracy…
    It’s interesting though, that according the Bible (first Book of Samuel) it seems that earthly authorities should in ideal case be submitted voluntarily and best government is no government with society obeying the tradition and voluntarily accepted authorities (judges).

  18. @ Taylor

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough in my post that they do intertwine a lot. Often-times it will be difficult to distinguish between them. But I do think that they are three separate forces at work.

    Far from anti-authoritarian, it acknowledged that the Creator is the only one endowing anybody and anything with Rights. That God has put us here enjoying quite a bit of ordained liberty is the first call afterwards … a liberty from an authoritative giver. The great struggle present in the text, that is was only after a Government became “destructive of these ends” that the rending needed to take place … that’s a great emphasis placed on continuity and a just order of things, not another anti-authoritarian impulse. Simply contrast this with a French Revolution and Declaration of the RIghts of Man to see that the quote is not an impulse but a great nod to the need for restraint in revolt … only tyranny should necessitate it (Governments are for the securing of rights and ONLY when it proves destructive). You see how this is quite an unprovoked reframe of the message present to suit the argument, Donal?

    The interpretation that you have provided is exactly what the founders, at least those aware of what they were doing, hoped to achieve. However, it isn’t entirely accurate. The founders were plainly rebelling against the authority of England. Citing a higher authority to rebel against a lower authority is still rebellion. They were still motivated by the notion that “just government comes from the consent of the governed”, which is in itself an anti-authoritarian idea. You are correct that the impulse was much stronger in the French Revolution, but don’t pretend it wasn’t present in the American one. Just look at Common Sense, for instance.

    Genesis 3 does explain most of what is happening. It is our base nature, manifesting itself once again. And yet we like to pretend that we have “advanced” or “evolved” as a species. If there is anything to be learned from the present age, it is that the notion human has become “better” is a lie.

  19. @ Novaseeker

    Escoffier and I agree on a lot, but not everything. Western Civilization can mean many things, depending on who you ask. Its current iteration, however, has at its core the liberal ideology which this post spoke off. Modernism is perhaps another name for it, or merely just the name that best fits the present version of it.

    What is ultimately needed is more balance, and less epistemological totalitarianism on the part of the scientism/empiricism/materialism community – but that also seems unlikely because much of that community sees itself as the vanguard of a jihad against “superstition”, and really this idea is what lies at the core of modernity, going back centuries – to squeeze the supernaturalists out of the sphere, as it were.

    One component of the liberal ideology which I haven’t addressed is the opposition of the idea of the “supernatural.” Liberalism, as a product of the Enlightenment, is very much rationalistic and materialistic. The kind of balance you talk about goes against those strains, and is thus incompatible.

  20. @ mdavid

    1) This post is “ethnocentric” because it was meant to be. It was focused on “Western Civilization.” I wasn’t trying to cover Christianity, although it is important to note that Christendom and Western Civilization used to be synonymous. No longer. The former will outlast the latter, which really shouldn’t surprise us as we think on it.

    2) Chivalry, as it is commonly understood, was one of the first manifestations of feminism in the West.

    3) Our wealth makes feminism feasible, for the time being at least. If we were to lose that wealth, it would diminish, maybe even “disappear”. But unless the root of it is removed, it will re-emerge one day in the future.

    4) Western Civilization is not humanity, yes, but its loss will be felt. Some of the ways will be good, and some bad. Japan is a dead country walking. It is imploding before our eyes, so I wouldn’t tout it as some great alternative. It may not be feminist as we understand it, but it has a whole other slew of problems. But if you think the West won’t be missed, well, lets just say expect to be proven wrong. There will be serious, lasting consequences resulting from the fall of the West, and they will be felt for generations. In the long run it may be for the best, but the short term result will be traumatic.

  21. @ Denise

    The Church is going nowhere. People were confessing the creeds long before Western colonialism and will do so long after the last Pledge of Allegiance has been recited and Marseillaise has been sung.

    Very true. The Church will survive as it always has over the centuries. I just hope that the Western Civ influences in it are purged sooner rather than later. Otherwise it will be handicapped in its mission for some time.

    I think that what this post brings out is the fact that the American philosophical tradition was not hijacked by liberals, it was founded by them.

    Exactly. They were classical liberals. What we understand as modern liberals, especially Liberals, are an outgrowth of what came before. Again, those three forces or impulses all pointed in this direction.

  22. @ Happyhen

    I have not read it, thanks for the link. When I get a chance I will give it a look.

  23. @ Pilgrim

    One purpose of my post it is to show that the form of government, any government, is less important than the values which are behind it. Ultimately, they will have far more effect on the culture and the people.

  24. Gunner Q

    Are you suggesting that America has always been a lawless country because we rebelled against a cruel and unjust king? That is not backed up by our history. The Church, both Protestant and Catholic, was clearly a trusted, powerful and welcome authority in daily life. If the movies and fiction of the 1950’s are any indication, Americans had a great deal of trust in secular government, too… lasting up to the Vietnam war in general and the Watergate scandal in particular, so far as I can tell.

    When you look at how sharply America changed direction in the 1960s it’s clear that there is nothing inevitable about our collapse. It is being orchestrated by our political and social leaders. They insist on no-fault divorce even as it mutilates marriage and family beyond recognition. They run up unpayably massive debts in our names. They take oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution and then spend their careers trampling it. They hate Christianity and love sodomy. We are not the rebels. They are.

    The right of one man to rule another is never absolute. Christ taught the people to obey the Pharisees “because they sit in Moses’ seat”; later, his own disciples said to those Pharisees “we must obey God rather than men”.

  25. mdavid

    DG, This post is “ethnocentric” because it was meant to be.
    Fair enough. I merely thought your thesis is weakened by it.

    Western Civilization is not humanity, yes, but its loss will be felt.
    Much like we mourn the Roman Empire today :-).

    Japan is a dead country…I wouldn’t tout it as some great alternative
    Oh, I’m not touting Japan as good, let alone “great”…merely that they are an example of a civilized, organized, peaceful, technological non-Western culture. My point: the West is unneeded for civilization.

    Gunner, When you look at how sharply America changed direction in the 1960s it’s clear that there is nothing inevitable about our collapse…
    I’m afraid I don’t get this part. How does 1960’s cultural change demonstrate there is nothing inevitable about our collapse?

    …our political and social leaders…insist on no-fault divorce…
    I wish it wasn’t true, but our leaders are merely getting out in front of the crowd on this popular issue. They know what the people want; as per Donal’s list of impulses above.

  26. Pingback: Jesus and the Church is husbands and wives | Reflections on Christianity and the manosphere

  27. @ Gunner

    The hyperbole doesn’t suit you sir. One can be motivated by anti-authoritarian sentiment without being an anarchist. And trust in government is not the same thing as disliking authority being exercised over you.

    When you look at how sharply America changed direction in the 1960s it’s clear that there is nothing inevitable about our collapse. It is being orchestrated by our political and social leaders. They insist on no-fault divorce even as it mutilates marriage and family beyond recognition. They run up unpayably massive debts in our names. They take oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution and then spend their careers trampling it. They hate Christianity and love sodomy. We are not the rebels. They are.

    And do you think that this “sudden” shift in our elites came out of nowhere? It was a logical, natural development of ideas that had been around for centuries. Yes, they took it in new and awful ways. But an understanding of human nature, and where those ideas could go, would tell you that inevitably there would be advocates of what is going on now. And our reaction would also be inevitable as well- eventually some generation would accept these “new” ideas. It was only a matter of time. I suggest re-reading Judges, Samuel and Kings again. What is going on here is nothing new.

  28. I wish it wasn’t true, but our leaders are merely getting out in front of the crowd on this popular issue. They know what the people want; as per Donal’s list of impulses above.

    Quite so. In most instances a people gets the leaders it deserves.

  29. femininebutnotfeminist

    From the OP: “Naturally enough, most women don’t consent to men exercising authority over them. And why shouldn’t they? Individually they often benefit from rebelling, even though society as a whole will suffer.”

    I don’t think individual women actually benefit from rebelling, they just *think* they do. Women these days are a lot more miserable than before the feminism outbreak. Case in point: at least 1 in 4 women today are on antidepressant meds, and twice as many women take fast acting antianxiety meds than men. And I guarantee most of them don’t even have a clue that they’re reaping the “benefits” of their own poor decisions. It’s their own fault that they aren’t haaaaappy precisely because of their rebellion. Though most won’t believe it if they’re told. The best way to be haaaaappy is to live out your God-given roles and then have the correct attitude about it.

  30. Pingback: Lightning Round – 2014/06/04 | Free Northerner

  31. Pingback: Ashamed Of The Faith | Donal Graeme

  32. I think your tracing of the false ideas is accurate, and could only be improved by going to the sources – Rousseau and Locke anticipated much, worked out many absurd implications which would cause a sane man to discard his premises, and some of which are only now becoming mainstream.

    I think you’re right to incriminate the Reformation as you do; in fact I think it is difficult to blame it too much. Watching Protestant and Catholic commentary on these issues, it strikes me that given the huge Protestant errors on Mary and the nature of the church (esp. concerning authority), there should be comparable errors in their sexual anthropology, both generally and in application to our present crisis. Do you have any insight into that?

  33. Pingback: Power To The People | Donal Graeme

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