Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Civilization of the Lie

From Return to Order:
The Ancien Régime , the period of French history before the French Revolution, was one of them. While not perfect, many historians today admit to its cultural and social refinement and general well-being. If popular opinion is any guide, the three million tourists who flock to the Palace of Versailles every year – not to mention the many books, plays, and films that romanticize the period – reveal a widespread sympathy for a time that had, in the words of Talleyrand, much douceur de vivre or “sweetness of life.”

On the other hand, the name “Roaring Twenties” describes well the degenerate spirit of post-World War I Western society. Les années folles, or “the crazy years” as the French call them, saw unprecedented materialism, cultural change, and sexual immorality. Nineteen-twenty’s philosophy, art, music, literature and the newly invented medium of the motion picture were saturated with an enthusiasm for all things “modern” and a rejection of tradition.

Every era, of course, is judged by future generations. What name will our great-great-great-grandchildren give to ours? Long after the NFL, Wall Street, Hollywood, and Silicon Valley have disappeared in the sands of time, these characteristics will remain, as it were, like the ruins of Pompeii, without there to make excuses. What will our bones reveal about us?

They won’t have many good things to say. Twenty-first century Western society has mostly apostatized from the Catholic Faith that built it. Pagan religions such as Wicca, Buddhism and even Satanism have become mainstream, filling the void. Apostasy from the Faith goes hand in hand with rejection of Christian morals. Beginning with divorce and contraception, the sexual revolution steadily advanced until abortion, pornography, homosexuality, and now transgenderism – unthinkable a few decades ago – were imposed on conventional society.

Socialism, once considered beyond the pale in American politics, is making inroads. On the one-hundredth anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution research by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation showed that more millennials would prefer to live in a socialist country (44%) than a capitalist one (42%), and 7% even preferred a communist one.1 If not explicitly socialist, large numbers of millennials favor socialist policies such as gun control, the government takeover of health care, homosexual “marriage,” and confiscatory wealth redistribution. (Read more.)