Mining the Benedict Option for Practical Advice – Part 1

As I mentioned I’m seriously interested in starting some kind of local organization to allow me to impact the community around me. But other than hot air of, which I possess an abundance, I was short on practical know-how.   I started re-reading Rod Dreher’s,”The Benedict Option,” and I think it will be useful.  I previously reviewed it last year.

A Short Book Review of Rod Dreher’s – The Benedict Option – Part 2

But now I’m looking at it more as a handbook, so it will take a good deal more time to weigh the information to decide what is helpful to me.   At this point, at the very least it has given me a number of resources for researching directions to go.  If anyone else is looking for ways to build alternative social platforms I recommend that you take a look at Dreher’s book. There are definitely some useful starting points at the very least.  And even if your position is non-religious there are things to think about in this book.



Rebuilding from the Ground Up – Part 2

Rebuilding from the Ground Up – Part 1


As the results of one of my recent website polls reminded me, opinions differ about what the future will bring for our country and world.  Some people think that we are irrevocably moving down the path that will put an end to the things that made the United States a great nation.  They say that our culture and the freedoms that are built into our Constitution will be swept aside and we will end up in a banana republic that resembles the condition of Brazil.  Other people contend that a revolution either more or less violent will achieve a division of the country into a Red State model and a Blue State one.  And some believe that we will be able to regroup from our differences and patch things together.

Honestly, I don’t know which, if any, of these scenarios will occur.  I’m not even sure anybody actually knows.  What I am sure is that the old way of life and the things it stood for are under continual attack from the Progressives.  And they are succeeding to a great extent in destroying the culture that has existed in this country and made it great.  They are eliminating all the concepts and behaviors from American life.  The three biggest weapons in this effort are the entertainment industry, the schools and the corporate America.  They are using these forces to shape the images that children and young adults see all around them and convince them that it is the only acceptable choice.  By subtle and not so subtle imagery they are showing children how they must think about sex roles and even the definition of men and women.  They are preaching the globalist doctrine that says that national identity and patriotism are social constructs that have no place in the modern world and thinking otherwise is a hate crime.

The first thing that needs to be done is locating and preserving all the remnants from the earlier time.  Books, movies, pictures and study aids that can be used to show the younger people what used to be the normal world need to be identified and made available to families to allow them to undo some of the damage.  I’m making it a point to review and recommend any books or movies that have value.  At some point I intend to put together a curriculum for different age groups that will both inform and entertain.

The next effort will be to organize into local groups to provide support and fellowship for people on the right.  These can be anything from hobbies to social events to sports to political activities.  It can even extend to religious and educational organizations that provide resources for families who don’t feel they can utilize the existing local groups.  Over time it is hoped that these groups can replace the existing institutions that have become debased by the culture at large.  I guess it could be hoped that some of these organizations could be reformed but I seriously doubt that will ever happen.

But as I said above, preserving the knowledge of the better times is first.  If anyone has a recommendation about a book, music or a movie or some other thing like a website or an on-line course, or even a business that deals in things that need to be preserved then, pass it along.

Rebuilding from the Ground Up – Part 1

When every church and social organization from the Roman Catholic Church to the Boy Scouts has been compromised you have to rebuild from the ground up.  I know it has to be done but how do you start?  Do you emphasize the religious aspect of the effort or do you concentrate on the family and cultural concerns?  I guess eventually all of these facets come into play if you’re trying to reclaim your world but it is without a doubt a daunting task.  Even the idea seems ridiculously ambitious.  But from my point of view there doesn’t seem to be any other way forward.  All the existing institutions and groups have surrendered completely.  No other way forward exists except starting from scratch and creating something that hasn’t been deformed by the madness of the modern world.  It’s going to involve selecting members one by one.  Everyone will have to be vouched for ahead of time.  Writing a charter will be important but what does it require?  What does it forbid?  It has to support activities that are important to families.  It has to include activities that include different age groups.  Children sports is a natural part.  A women’s auxiliary would be an idea.  But the leadership has to be adult men.  Fathers and especially grandfathers have to step up and start contributing to keeping the culture alive.  And eventually we’ll need a curriculum for after school teaching, sort of a Sunday School for traditionalists.

I’ll have to reread Rod Dreher’s “The Benedict Option” to see what practical information he includes for organizing a reclamation.  I don’t know if anything will come of this or not but it feels like the only really important thing I can do to help this degraded culture we are embedded in.  If anyone knows of information that would be useful pass it along.  To be continued.


For better or worse, the word matrix is now inextricably tied to The Wachowski (Brothers?!) ground-breaking motion picture of the same name.  The idea that the world is a computer-generated illusion used to keep human electric storage cells quiescent has become a metaphor for all the illusions that society fabricates to control human behavior.

I need to use the word for one of its other meanings.  Merriam Webster lists definition 3a for matrix as:

the natural material (such as soil or rock) in which something (such as a fossil or crystal) is embedded.

This is akin to what I intend to use it for.


The world we live in and the United States of America more specifically is the matrix in which we find ourselves embedded.  It’s as if we had been fish swimming around happily in a lake and all of a sudden, the lake begins to freeze.  What formerly was our medium of movement and breathing and where all the good things of life were found suddenly begins to contract and become cold, viscous, difficult to move in and eventually becomes our prison and our grave.

Or here’s another analogy.  Living in the present progressive plagued world can be compared to pollution.  When it first begins it’s hardly noticeable and is ignored because the source of the pollution is a luxury that we enjoy and the pollution doesn’t seem to be worth the trouble of addressing it yet.  Most of the time the air would be fine and only around sources of the pollution would it be noticeable.  But as these sources become more common, eventually the poison begins to degrade the quality of life and finally becomes deadly.  Taken to its awful conclusion the only way to survive extremely high concentrations of air pollutants would be to breath only filtered and purified air.  People would be forced to live in pressure vessels that could exclude the poisonous exterior atmosphere.  And even if the people come to their senses and take steps to eliminate the sources of the pollution it would take a very long time for conditions to return to normal.

So, we are embedded in this hostile environment.  We can think about how we can restore the former condition and even begin to put them into practice but the situation on the ground is that for the foreseeable future it is necessary to take drastic measures just to survive in the present environment.  In the analogy of air pollution, it is necessary to artificially separate people from the toxic environment in order to survive.  For us that means separating all the absolutely critical life functions (religion, child rearing, family life and time with friends) from the toxic environment.  So be it.

What that means to me is that depending on the Republicans or Donald Trump or the Supreme Court to rescue us from the worsening situation is misguided.  When confronted with a potentially lethal environment the only reasonable course of action is to build a shelter to survive it.  You have to protect your children from the toxic culture.  Home-schooling or a religious school (as long as it’s actually religious), restrictions on television and other entertainment, healthy activities, screening friends and their parents for unhealthy individuals, spending time with your children and talking to them about the things in the world that aren’t good for them.  All these things play a part.  An enormous part of your life has to be separated from the matrix in which you find yourself and this outside world has to be duplicated as a healthy version.  All of these things are complicated and expensive both in time and money.  And each one could be the subject of a post (or a hundred books).  Rod Dreher’s book “The Benedict Option” is a good source book for ideas.  But first of all come to terms with the fact that it has to be done.  So be it.  Make the best of it.


Peak Civilization

Hat tip to Vox Day as he links to and quotes a very interesting article about the decline and fall of the Roman Empire by one of its modern descendants, an Italian chemist named Ugo Bardi.  Vox is referencing in his title the science fiction story “A Canticle for Leibowitz” where a future world forms monasteries to preserve knowledge through a new fictional Dark Age as the analogy of us recognizing the coming Dark Ages after ours.  Which also hearkens to Rod Dreher’s book “The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation,” where he compares the present societal decay with the post Roman age that sparked the monastic age.  Bardi in his article goes into the extant texts of Romans from the beginning of the Roman crisis under Marcus Aurelius all the way to end of the Empire in the Fifth Century to argue that the Romans never figured out either what was happening to them or that the Empire could end.

I’ve been fascinated by the spectacle of the Roman Empire since I was a schoolboy hearing about Rome from my Catholic grammar school nuns.  Thinking that we are in an analogous situation is equally fascinating and depressing.  But maybe there is still time to avert such a collapse.  Vox thinks it’s probably too late for the US.  I try to be more optimistic.  If you find the current societal situation at all analogous to that other example of civilizational collapse then you might be interested in looking at both posts.