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 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.
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.
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.
Fifty years into this egregious bout of cultural devolution it is probably worth analyzing what we’ve learned. What seems clear is that the leaders of the supposed pillars of the old regime have proven themselves almost completely useless at withstanding the onslaught of the forces of dissolution. A closer examination of how this conflict proceeds demonstrates that these supposed leaders don’t actually care about the values of their institutions. Their primary motivation is maintaining their positions and prestige. They are completely comfortable with compromising their morals and even the legitimacy of their organizations if doing so will extend their places in the hierarchy. This has allowed almost unlimited damage to be done to the structure of human culture. It has been responsible for plummeting birth rates, widespread divorce and the crumbling of families. It also has contributed to an enormous increase in mental illness and depression. It is hard to imagine that the continuation of this trend for even a very short time won’t prove fatal to our people and way of life.
Looking around I see that several groups and individuals have begun to produce strategies and tactics to allow both offensive and defensive activities.
- Right wing blogs provide articles and discussion on who the enemy is and what tactics work best against them. A good example is Vox Day’s excellent book “SJWs Always Lie.”
- These same websites also act as news sources that allow you to bypass the mainstream media.
- On the religious side Rod Dreher wrote his book “The Benedict Option” to awaken orthodox believers to the severity of the problem and provide information on support organizations and tactics to protect families and educate kids on what it means to be a conservative Christian.
- Donald Trump provided us with a concrete example of what it means to expose the sell-outs in the republican party and call out the liars in the main stream media and get your message out there by social media and your own websites.
- Grassroots activism coordinated by some of the right-wing pundits and more prominent individuals can push back against thugs paid for by Soros and other progressive bankrollers.
- And finally, it becomes important to start building alternate structures to bypass the ones completely infested with progressives. Once again Vox Day has taken the lead with a publishing company that seeks out non-progressive authors. In addition to the science fiction and fantasy books that are the staple of Castalia House his company also produces books of interest to people on the right wing. He started up Infogalactic as an alternative to Wikipedia. And other individuals are building non-progressive structures too. Gab was started as an alternative to Twitter and Brave is an alternative browser that isn’t slanted to the left like Google.
Looking at this situation gives a mixed impression. Something like Trump winning the presidency and possessing majorities in the House, Senate and Supreme Court should be a reason for great hope and enthusiasm. But progress is sporadic and push back from the Deep State and the press is insanely vicious. The contrast in strength between the rich and powerful progressive institutions like the colleges and other schools, Hollywood and the Media against the tiny fledgling conservative websites and other businesses is staggering. And yet, being able to read free thoughts and express your own opinion is intoxicating.
What seems apparent is that the odds are daunting. But what also seems true is that the news black-out against our side is no longer as effective as before. Word is starting to get out. When Steve Bannon goes from Breitbart News to the White House change is definitely happening.
So, what I think can be said is that the road is a very long one. But the first few steps have been taken and the direction is known. My advice is link up with the others out there who are against the progressives. Remember that the enemy of your enemy is your ally. Don’t get into battles over our differences. Look to form ties to like-minded folks. But beware those in the republican party who attack Trump and say we must be “fair.” What they mean is kowtow to the politically correct nonsense that gives the progressives the whip hand.
And support any of these alternative structures that are formed. They need your help, patronage and encouragement. And if you can build anything of your own do it. If you have a talent or a knowledge base use it. And don’t get discouraged. It took half a century to get us in this mess. We won’t clean it up in a year or even a few but we can start to build a new foundation for a better world. And we can annoy the hell out of a lot of snowflakes, so there is that.
Two weeks ago I was watching Andrew Klavan’s podcast on the Daily Wire and he had an interview with Rod Dreher who has a book called “The Benedict Option.” I had heard the title before but thought it had something to do with Pope Benedict abdicating. But the Benedict of the title is Saint Benedict who founded the Benedictine Monastic Order. The sub-title of the book is “A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation.” The thesis, as he explained it, is that America is no longer a Christian nation and in fact is now a place inimical to Christians trying to live their faith and raise their children in it. He drew the analogy of Benedict coming from an Italian town to the city of Rome about twenty five years after the last emperor was deposed by a Germanic King. Benedict found it a hollowed out and corrupt place. He decided that the only way to live a Christian life was to separate from the dominant culture and set up a separate society. According to Dreher this was the basis of the survival of Christianity and the remnants of roman culture in the Middle Ages.
Needless to say, I ordered the book. I’ve only started it but the introduction basically states that the majority of Americans are not Christians and do not support the traditional concepts as illuminated in the Bible. He believes that there is no chance that the culture will return to where it was even twenty five years ago but will instead continue down the progressive slope to Gomorrah. And in fact traditionalist beliefs will be criminalized.
Sounds pretty depressing. But instead, he says it’s an opportunity. He thinks this will be the start of a revival. And we should, like Benedict, gather the faithful and build a New Jerusalem.
When I finish the book, I’ll give you my opinion on his idea. For now, let’s just say I’m intrigued and I think this idea has relevance for even those who are not Christians but feel that all traditional values are disappearing from the Western world. After all it’s not that hard finding analogies between the present era and the Late Roman Empire. Perhaps this time instead of Attila the Hun being the Scourge of God it will be Lady Gaga.