God is dead

An excellent post by Jonathon Frost.

If it’s traditionalism you seek, you won’t find it under any 21st-century basilica.

The actually existent Christian Church has capitulated to its heretical atheistic spawn, progressivism. And if a few fragments of resistance remain, they are going to go down soon enough.

Among the excellent links provided by Jonathon Frost is this one on Christian Marriage.

The original sin that led to modern Christianity/Progressivism was the Puritans lust for power. The Puritans believed, as their successors the modern progressives believe, that being holier than thou, they were entitled to exercise power over thou:

As I said earlier in the comments: in Cromwell’s England, and in the puritan colonies in the Americas, most of the crimes and punishments concerned not crimes against property and the person, but crimes against the puritan interpretation of scripture, the most infamous such enforcement being the war on Christmas.

The puritans objected to Christmas supposedly because it was impure, being a pagan festival thinly spray painted with Christianity, with the underlying paganism quite visible under the spray coat of Christianity.

But here is what Paul has to say on this topic: Romans 14:

[2] For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
[3] Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
[4] Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
[5] One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
[6] He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
[7] For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
[8] For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.
[9] For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
[10] But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

The puritans believed that being holier than the next person, they were entitled to exercise power over the next person – which attitude is the essential core of leftism, and as gross a violation of scripture as anything their successors did. Had they truly stuck to scripture, they would have known that Christmas can be 99% pagan, and still be 100% Christian if the person celebrating what once were pagan rituals, what would still be pagan rituals if a pagan celebrated them, celebrates Christmas to the Lord, and giveth God thanks.

In the restoration, General Monck reinstalled a King and reinstalled an official Church, in order to put an end to a frightening power struggle, the frightening struggle for political and religious authority within the army.

You were not required to be a member of the official Church, and lots of people were not, but if you were not officially a member of the official Church, you were not allowed anywhere near the levers of power.

The job of a king is to reign, which means that by simply existing and being King, he prevents the negative sum struggle for power from destroying the wealth of the Kingdom and possibly getting lots of people killed. His job is to deny political power to anyone and everyone that wants it.

The job of a king as head of the official Church is to prevent a negative sum theocratic struggle for power, to prevent people from advancing their political ambitions by being holier than thou. By preventing a theocratic struggle for religious authority, he prevents religion from being perverted into an instrument of power, and thus prevents morals from being corrupted by those who most loudly proclaim their greater holiness.

The King is not required to be personally holy, and Charles the Second certainly was not. He is required to go through the motions of believing in the official religion pro forma, but no more than that, and Charles the second just barely went through the motions pro forma. What the King does do is merely by being head of the Church, he quells people from using their real or purported religious beliefs to advance their ambitions.

Which did not stop the Whigs from trying, but it limited how far they got. To the great disgust of the Whigs, King Charles the Second firmly denied and ridiculed claims by the holy whigs that they should get to tell other people what to do in order to be as holy as the Whigs were.

This theocratic order gave you complete religious freedom to believe any nonsense you wanted, unless, of course, you wanted a position near the levers of state power, in which case you had to be Anglican. And, as an Anglican you could still believe almost anything you wanted, including that there was no God, except that you would not get far believing that your superior holiness justified exercising authority over English gentlemen.

The restoration reimposed overt and official theocracy, which lasted from the restoration in 1660 to various acts allowing unofficial religions access to state power in and around 1828-1856. The restoration, and the accompanying purge of puritans from every governmental institution, in particular academia and the church, immediately eradicated the overtly covert and officially unofficial theocracy of the puritans, and immediately and greatly expanded freedom, to just about everyone’s great relief.

People celebrated the introduction of official theocracy with anti theocratic pagan rituals such as the maypole dance, correctly perceiving the introduction of official theocracy as the end of theocracy.

As soon as overt and official theocracy abolished covert and officially unofficial theocracy, we got the greatest freedom seen in recent history – at least greatest for property owning males. If you owned your own home, even if it was a tarpaper shack with a dirt floor, you were more free than Englishmen had ever been before or since. For women, vagabonds, and for people who lived in their master’s household, not so much

And two centuries later, as soon as overt and official theocracy was abolished, everything started to go to hell:

Two centuries later, the dissenting/nonconformist churches, aka puritans, went into politics, from which they had been excluded, and started doing left wing stuff – anti slavery, female emancipation, education for the poor, and so forth, all of which had the convenient side effect of getting their hands on the levers of power. And once their hands were on the levers of power, dissent on an ever growing multitude of this worldly questions became dangerous, as it had never been dangerous under the overt and official theocracy. By 1890, unofficial and covert theocracy was already noticeable, and lot more repressive, a lot more politically correct, than official and overt theocracy had ever been.

The first big move of the new theocrats was imperialism and anti slavery. Imperialism was anti colonialist – a shift of power and wealth from the colonies to London, from the colonists to the theocrats.

The colonialists were a bunch of pirates and brigands, most of whom had become stationary brigands, who mostly produced better and less oppressive government than the native stationary brigands, but they were still more or less openly in the business of robbing people at gunpoint, and those of them that were not slavers had slaver connections.

So it would seem obvious that the well intentioned government in London would do a much better job, that transferring power and wealth from those selfish greedy colonialists to the pious dogooders in London would make everything much nicer for the oppressed natives.

I suppose anti slavery did make things better for the slaves, such of them as were capable of looking after themselves, but imperialism/anti colonialism did not make things better for the colonies, despite, or perhaps because of, the cheerfully piratical character of the colonialists. Rather, imperialism prefigured Zimbabwe. Anti colonialism was the imperialists doubling down on everything that was wrong with imperialism.

The aristocratic values of the well off class were exemplified by the restoration and the Cavalier Parliament and it is clear that the restoration was perceived and experienced as freedom for everyone, even though it was more freedom for the well off. The masses celebrated their freedom by making rude gestures at theocracy, for example by the maypole dances.

The restoration purged all state and quasi state institutions, among them, academia. One might expect that this restricted academic freedom, and in one important sense it did. Academics were prevented from pursuing power by being holier than thou. This led to the rise of science. Before the restoration, people discussed the circulation of the blood primarily in the context of more important questions such as the relationship between God the father and God the son.

The Puritans are responsible for the Petition of Right, and thus for the doctrine that freedoms of wealthy males apply to all men (except for slaves, servants, vagabonds, women and so on and so forth). The puritans are responsible for the doctrine that an Englishman’s home is his castle, yet strangely, somehow, when the Puritans were in power, puritan soldiers would kick down a man’s door to discover if he was roasting a goose to celebrate Christmas, and then destroy his Christmas feast, whereas after the restoration and the puritans were purged, an Englishman’s home actually was his castle.

Before the restoration, science was “the invisible college”. After the restoration, science was “the Royal Society”, whose slogan “Nullius in Verba” (“Don’t take anyone’s word for it”) epitomized the scientific method, and indeed the way that science was practiced from the restoration to the 1940s or so, when peer review was introduced, we started taking the word of secret cabals of peer reviewers, and instead of experimenters telling the scientific community what they observed, the scientific community would tell the experimenter what he observed.

Science lasted three centuries after the restoration, died one century after members of dissenter churches were allowed to get their hands on power.

Theocracy seems like a horrid system, and I suppose we would be better off with true separation of information and state, prohibiting the state from running schools or funding education, art, and science, all of which are apt to turn into religion in disguise if the state purports to be secular.

The restoration system had theocracy kept on a short leash by the King, and the King kept on a long leash by the gentlemen. For this to work, required a strong class of gentlemen, where a gentleman was expected to uphold his honor, and do his own policing, where gentlemen were capable of physical violence and expected to employ it when necessary. There were no police during this period. The puritan army peformed police like functions before the restoration. Police were introduced in England 1850, not long thereafter in the US, California in the early twentieth century being the last to become what Britons before 1850 called “a police state” – one where the power of the state is exercised through the police, rather than by giving expression to the general consensus among important people.

At about the same time that non conformist churches were allowed access to the levers of power, the power connected to those levers started to dramatically increase. It looks to me that the nonconformist churches were kicking down an open door – that the class of gentlemen ceased to be capable of exercising power, that if you had a King and a theocratic church today, there would be no one capable of keeping them in line, nor anyone other than the theocrats and the police to support the King’s power, so the King would become a puppet of police and political ideologues, which is pretty much the shape of modern dictatorships.

So though I agree with Mencius Moldbug that it has been downhill since the restoration, it does not follow that the restoration system can be restored. For it to be restored, we would need a live God, and we don’t have one.

Tags:

87 Responses to “God is dead”

  1. Leonard says:

    Interesting read. I liked your aphorism about the job of a king.

  2. Samson J. says:

    An excellent post by Jonathon Frost.

    If it’s traditionalism you seek, you won’t find it under any 21st-century basilica.

    The actually existent Christian Church has capitulated to its heretical atheistic spawn, progressivism. And if a few fragments of resistance remain, they are going to go down soon enough.

    I can’t figure out what you guys see in this kind of thing, Jim. As I said at Frost’s, that we are having this discussion proves that God is not dead.

    • red says:

      Samson, is the church resisting progressivism on any level? It’s seemed to embraced it bit by bit, year after year. My own fundamentalist mother is a Christan feminist these days blandly repeating feminist talking points when we discus the world. She’s gone to the same fundamentalist church for the last 20 years. Light to the world my ass.

    • jim says:

      As I said at Frost’s, that we are having this discussion proves that God is not dead.

      Progressives believe in whatever bring them power, which in due course resulted in them believing in everything and nothing at all, mostly nothing at all.

      Even the bible belt churches are now progressive, lagging only few years, at most a couple of decades, behind mainstream progressives.

      If they are progressive, they believe in nothing at all, or soon enough will.

      Consider, for example, the issue of women speaking in Church. The New Testament flatly forbids it, forbids women taking any leadership activities over men in the church.

      Now suppose the Church youth group is run by a woman, as it usually is. The boys mostly drop out. All the high testosterone boys drop out, perhaps because pretty soon the youth group only does girly activities. So perhaps the New Testament prohibition on female leadership was not as silly as it sounds. More importantly than the boys dropping out, the Church is ignoring the New Testament where it deviates from progressivism, and continuing to ignore it despite bad consequences happening.

      So if the Church does not believe in the New Testament, where the New Testament deviates from progressivism, as it so frequently does, then it believes in nothing.

      • Matthew says:

        This is but molting. It’s a deeply clawed molting, and it hurts like billy-oh, but when it’s done, there’s a dragon skin on the ground, and you’re a boy again.

  3. Bill says:

    Yes, this is a very good post. Humans live about as well without hierarchy as they do without water. Humans live about as well without authority as they do without air. Thus, they always have hierarchy and authority. Banishing overt hierarchy and authority creates covert hierarchy and authority.

    But covert authority and hierarchy are not merely overt hierarchy and authority meaninglessly renamed. They have different internal dynamics, because the former is an empire of lies and the latter an empire of truths.

    For example, you can’t have science and modernity. Modernity replaces authority with “science.” But science is not a person or even a group of people, so it cannot have authority. To serve as an authority, it must become a person or a group of people. Whereupon is ceases to be science. You can’t have science and modernity exactly because modernity lionizes science. And science dressed up as a lion is a shitty lion and not science at all.

  4. Bill says:

    Oh, but the linked post is the usual Nazi nonsense. Comments, especially Koanic’s are quite good, though. Frost comes across as a complete lightweight in comments, which should not be surprising given how stupid his post was.

    • jim says:

      I often link to Nazis, since they are apt to discuss unmentionable truths, but I had not noticed that Jonathon Frost was a Nazi. What makes you say that he is Nazi and that this post of his was Nazi?

      • Bill says:

        “Christianity killed the Roman Empire and spoiled everything good about the West” is a characteristic line spewed by internet nazis. The subset of commenters over at alt right who are nazis are fond of it.

        • red says:

          There’s actually some decent historical analysis behind this. The christian church did a bunch of stupid things once in power including talking the Roman government to allow barbarians to settle. They celebrated that these barbarians turned their swords into plow sears. We all know how that worked out. The Christianity that emerged after the fall of the empire is a very different beast(and a much better beast) than the one that reigned supreme under the empire. Just because a Nazi say it doesn’t make a it a lie.

        • jim says:

          Reading the Christian writings shortly before the fall, I would say the Nazis are right about that.

          Christians, shortly before the fall of the Roman Empire in the west, were self destructively pacific, and alarmingly welcoming to hostile foreign immigrants. They correctly believed they could convert the barbarians to Christianity, while incorrectly believing that this would make the barbarians Romans and pacifists. Or perhaps they suspected that the immigrants would not become Romans and pacifists, but did not much care provided that they became Christians.

          Because someone is a Nazi, does not mean they are wrong about everything. In a world dominated by progressives, they are apt to be wrong only in those views they hold in common with progressives – which is to say, wrong in seeing the state as the redeemer of mankind.

      • Bill says:

        Oh, and I didn’t say he was a Nazi.

  5. spandrell says:

    Good stuff.

    Frost’s post also was kinda shallow but somebody had to say it That’s what most smart kids think today. How are we supposed to believe in something when the very institutions don’t?

    On information and state, we are perhaps in the harsh situation where information has conquered the state.

    • Bill says:

      That’s what most smart kids think today.

      Indeed. What most smart kids get from their education is 1) Rebels good, 2) Modernity good, 3) Christianity bad. If one is “smart” enough to actually believe all three, it’s not hard to see that the live choices, politically, are Communism and Naziism. The smart kids who only want to pretend to be rebels become Commies (since that’s the popular way to satisfy 1-3). The smart kids who want to be rebels but don’t know how become Nazis.

      • red says:

        Bill,
        I don’t think you’d find people like frost arguing that modernity is good. Almost no one on the right believes that. And if you’re not a rebel then you’re not paying attention. Our system is corrupt, made of lies, and becomes more evil every day. Why shouldn’t we reject or rebel against it?

        The church’s response to the evils of progressivesism has been to become more progressive over time. If progressivesism is evil then progressivesism delayed by 20-30 years (the Christan church) is also evil.

        • jim says:

          I don’t think Bill, or anyone here, disagrees with that.

        • Bill says:

          Saying that nobody on the right believes modernity is good is a tautology (and dances on the edge of the “no true Scotsman” fallacy). The right is anti-modernity. You know, “vive le roi” and all that. There is and can be no anti-Christian right in Christendom, however. Nazis who claim to want to go back to Paganism are leftists. Goofballs retailing new and improved utopian visions (cough, libertarians, cough) are leftists.

          You can have various flavors of modernism or you can have Christian theocracy or you can move to China.

          Have no problem with the claims about the Church, other than the claim that She won’t recover. The modernists are sterile and inherently powerless in the way determined vandals are. Once they have debased a denomination, the left loses interest in them and Christians lose interest in them. Katharine Jefferts-Schori.

          As I said, I’m reacting to the claim that Christianity is somehow the problem with Christendom, which is nuts.

          • jim says:

            There is and can be no anti-Christian right in Christendom,

            When every Christian denomination has become a progressive muppet, seems to me that the right is automatically anti actually existent Christianity. They may oppose it in the name of a now extinct Christianity, but that is, in practice, no different from opposing it in the name of Norse paganism.

            The number one issue relating to religion is marriage. Progressivism has abolished marriage, and all of organized Christianity in the west has accepted the abolition of marriage, as it was traditionally understood for thousands of years to the late twentieth century.

            however. Nazis who claim to want to go back to Paganism are leftists. Goofballs retailing new and improved utopian visions (cough, libertarians, cough) are leftists.

            Leftism has a thousand points of doctrine. Whosoever deviates in a major way on any one of these thousand points is not a leftist.

            You can have various flavors of modernism or you can have Christian theocracy or you can move to China.

            You can’t have Christian theocracy, because it would in practice be Environmental Protection Agency theocracy, Global Climate Treaty theocracy, and the bishops would be gay or female in order to promote self esteem.

            Even back when Christians actually took Christianity seriously, theocracy only worked when you had a King, not an archbishop on top. When the priests were actually in charge, you got competition to be holier than thou, which is to say, leftism. Theocracy only worked as a branch of monarchy, so before you can restore theocracy, have to restore monarchy.

            But monarchy really rests on the view of political power as personal property, which is to say feudalism or tribalism. I don’t think you can get there from military dictatorship. So monarchy is as dead as Christianity.

            As I said, I’m reacting to the claim that Christianity is somehow the problem with Christendom, which is nuts.

            Pagan Rome did not die because Christianity killed it. Paganism died, then Christianity was one of the many replacement religions. When Julian the apostate attempted to restore paganism to Rome, it became apparent that what he had created was a re-animated corpse. Similarly, Christianity has died, and we wait to see what will replace it.

          • Bill says:

            Jim,

            Come on. I don’t want an Archbishop on top. That’s not how it works. I want an endless game of chess among the bishops, the dukes, the earls, etc with the King as local referee, at least on temporal matters, and the Pope as distant referee on the rare occasions where a distant referee is needed.

            And we don’t have to speculate about whether this can work. This, literally, worked for 1000 years. Modern versions of this, under Franco and Salazar, worked as recently as 40 odd years ago. Austria-Hungary still existed only 100 years ago. Now, Franco failed to re-empower the Monarchy (though, that was his goal), but he was operating in a world run by the insane US. The US is going to lose its ability to run the world, and probably soon.

            That something like monarchy can arise from a military dictatorship is proved by the Soviet Union and China. They had/have a relatively clearly defined aristocracy, a state religion, and a king chosen from among the aristocrats. The monarchy was/is not hereditary, which is a problem, but not all European monarchies were strictly hereditary, either. In China’s case, they are even having, right now, an old-fashioned struggle with the Pope over who will be allowed to appoint Chinese bishops. As you have pointed out, France wandered back to monarchy repeatedly, though under different names. Monarchy is normal and natural. People want it, even if they think they don’t.

            Monarchy does not rest on the idea political power as personal property. It rests on the idea of political power as a trusteeship from God. A state religion provides legitimacy to the monarchy by teaching this. To serve the role of legitimizing, the religion has to be at least somewhat independent (and, of course, it has to believe what it teaches, at least mostly). To prevent its functionaries trying to take over, it has to be restrained in some way.

            In its efforts at evangelization, one of the things the Church did was sell, to rulers, its utility as legitimizer. Also its utility as a storehouse of knowledge and knowledgeable experts.

            The reformers lacked both the function of legitimizer and the restraint, in both cases because they lacked a hierarchy with mandate from God. Fear of excommunication restrains clergy from saying “fuck you” to the Pope or their local bishop. Fear of losing some of their privileges prevents Popes and bishops from fucking with the King too much. Fear of losing legitimacy prevents the King from fucking with the Pope or the bishops too much.

            Henry VIII set off the modern disaster by smashing this system. For whatever reason, Henry VIII’s aristocracy forgot to kill him when he went insane, from syphilis or whatever it was.

          • jim says:

            Henry VIII set off the modern disaster by smashing this system. For whatever reason, Henry VIII’s aristocracy forgot to kill him when he went insane, from syphilis or whatever it was.

            There was something very badly wrong with a system that locked up Roger Bacon and put him on bread and water for writing a book in which he advocated the scientific method. That he was locked up in a monastery suggests that the monasteries needed to be dissolved.

            There was something very right about the system that produced Newton, Maxwell, and the Industrial Revolution.

            We see political correctness, people guarding their speech for fear of offending a this worldly religion, around the middle of the eighteenth century, not long after members of the nonconformist and dissenting religions were allowed to be members of parliament and such

            The modern disaster first starts to bite with Marie Curie, when science was given second place to progressivism, as before the restoration it took second place to religion. Thirty years after Marie Curie we started taking the word of secret cabals of peer reviewers, and instead of experimenters telling the scientific community what they observed, the scientific community would tell the experimenter what he observed. So I would say that the period of science began with the restoration, when scientists could be openly scientific, rather than furtive about it, and ended with peer review, when scientists could once again only practice science furtively.

            Marie Curie did not herself damage science by being given a Nobel prize for doing science while in possession of a pussy, but the supremacy of progressive politics over science that that Nobel prize signified soon did damage science.

          • Bill says:

            If you’ve found evidence that any such thing happened to Bacon since our last go-round, I’d be happy to look at it.

  6. Bruce G Charlton says:

    As you probably already know, I think it is a mistake to trace modernity to the Reformation – it must be traced to The Great Schism – the division of eastern and Western catholicism in the years leading up to about 1000AD.

    The Reformation/ Puritans etc follow from, are a reaction to, distinctive features of Western Catholic Christianity.

    More importantly, your analysis needs to take into account the difference between the ‘mystical’ (true) Church, and the institutions of the church in its various denominations.

    I certainly agree that all church institutions are mostly corrupted, especially in their leadership, by Leftism.

    But there is also a mystical Church, which is the real Church, which is not corrupted. However this may be small, it may be very small – however this mystical Church is the one which (according to prophecy) will survive to the end times.

    According to many traditional Orthodox such as Fr Seraphim Rose and his spiritual fathers, we are living in the end times (althugh we have no idea how long they will continue)

    http://startingontheroyalpath.blogspot.co.uk/2009/08/signs-of-times_04.html

    (There are more essays on this theme in the left sidebar – eg some of those about Russia)

    And the pattern of apostasy you describe for our times is *exactly* what was foreseen by Biblical prophecies (and other prophecies by Saints) for the end times.

    If this continues, at some point the Antichrist will arrive, as a pseudo-Christian and faux-Good leader who will fool almost-everybody, including most real Christians, while pursuing a demonic strategy.

    There is of course still the possibility (and therefore for hope – and this hope is mandatory) of widespread repentance and therefore partial reversal and delay of the actual end; but this gets harder and harder, and less and less likely, as matters proceed.

    • red says:

      Well let us know when you find one of these real churches. I’ve look and all I can see is a sea of decay.

      • jim says:

        The real Church, like the holy spirit, exists mystically. One primarily observes it with one’s inner eye. Sightings with one’s exterior eyes resemble sightings of angels, demons, UFOs, and so forth.

        • Bruce G Charlton says:

          Not sure if I follow this – but presumably you mean that the obvious aspects of the main Christian churches – those aspects projected by the leadership – are all Leftist. Certainly I agree. Same as for all other powerful institutions without any exceptions. We are in deep trouble, and according to any probablistic calculation we are finished.

          Aside from all that, there are some real Christians, here and there, without worldly power – and they are the mystical church even if they don’t know anything about each other.

          • jim says:

            they are the mystical church even if they don’t know anything about each other.

            Fair enough, but if they don’t know anything about each other, then the mystical church lacks certain vital elements.

            We are in deep trouble, and according to any probablistic calculation we are finished.

            Our rulers lack internal cohesion. They are more fragile than they seem.

    • spandrell says:

      Can you elaborate on how the Great Schism was an omen for progressivism?

      A link will suffice.

  7. valerie says:

    ‘real christians’ & ‘real church’
    man i wish i could get both those phrases trademarked.

  8. RS says:

    > The original sin that led to modern Christianity/Progressivism was the Puritans lust for power. The Puritans believed, as their successors the modern progressives believe, that being holier than thou, they were entitled to exercise power over thou:

    Don’t the Islamic, Catholic, and Hindu worlds also feature a generous amount of this? Ergo, how much does it really mean? I admit, it may be less prominent in classical S-Europe. I can’t speak to E-Asia.

    I once had a conversation with josh, where I pointed out that effeminacy (universalism and selflessness) were as prominent in Buddhism and Jainism as in Christianity — so what was the big deal about Christianity in particular? He pointed out that the Reformation idea of every man interpreting scripture for himself, was particularly harmful. That I had to agree with.

    • jim says:

      Don’t the Islamic, Catholic, and Hindu worlds also feature a generous amount of this?

      Obviously. However, I address only anglosphere leftism, since I can read old books in English, but cannot read old books in French, let alone Arabic.

      Also, anglosphere leftism rules most of the the world, while Islamism merely aspires to rule the world.

      The anglosphere left likes to trace its roots to the French revolution, but this is pure bunkum, like pretending that Mugabe was installed in power by the masses of black Rhodesians revolting against white rule, for the French left repeatedly dead ended in Bonapartism, and was repeatedly resurrected as a zombie or muppet of the anglosphere left.

  9. RS says:

    MM once opined that the left was, ‘roughly’, all those who seek power through the mind (I think that on another occasion he said ‘scholars’) ; your conception of the left as essentially priestly reminds me of that. I would say that both of you, but yourself more especially, are treading close to Nietzsche — as exemplified most of all by Genealogie-I, Twighlight, and Der Antichrist.

    You might also find Stirner interesting… I am reading him for the first time, I wish Nietzsche had dropped a hint about him at some point, as I wish I’d picked him up years ago ; he’s well worthwhile per se and greatly clarifies my grasp of N. There is very little evidence that N read Stirner at all, but I see no reason to doubt the assertions of Frau Overbeck, especially when the influence on N appears to have been quite major.

    • RS says:

      Stirner is free on g.bookz for whoever’s interested, in a translation that seems pleasing. I don’t know what post-1920s translations there might be.

    • spandrell says:

      Priestly ruling classes have happened before in history. But they didn’t push fag lib or feminism or negro worship. That’s the real problem. And that’s unique to western progressivism.

  10. RS says:

    > Police were introduced in England 1850, not long thereafter in the US, California in the early twentieth century being the last to become what Britons before 1850 called “a police state” – one where the power of the state is exercised through the police, rather than by giving expression to the general consensus among important people.

    Wasn’t it MM who claimed Elizabeth’s England had a lot of popo, in fact _secret_ popo? However I’m guessing they were policing politics and politickers, not the streets.

    • jim says:

      Yes, Elizabethan England had secret police crawling in the walls and hiding under the bed to watch for papists, papists being, like communists in the cold war, the hostile servants of a foreign power.

      But observe that Shakespeare in almost every play was unkind to the official Elizabethan religion. He could and did endorse papism, or paganism, or materialism, or all of the above, and get away with it, whereas a modern Hollywood movie must be strictly politically correct. So the Elizabethan secret police were less of an intrusion on liberty than today’s PC police. The Elizabethan secret police were more like the cold war CIA than today’s Dean of Diversity Studies or todays’s Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion.

  11. RS says:

    > Priestly ruling classes have happened before in history. But they didn’t push fag lib or feminism or negro worship. That’s the real problem. And that’s unique to western progressivism.

    Mulling it over more, I think that in Nietzsche’s own view one has to go deeper. Priest power / scholar power isn’t itself the problem. For instance, he praised Brahman rule profusely because it institutionalized a stark recognition of human inequality, and provided for rule by superior persons (aristocrats) and obedience by inferior ones. So these are good priests ; their elaborate metaphysical claims along with their holiness and holier-ness, though these are all ‘a lie’, are the type of good, clean falsification N considered necessary. It’s not exactly the truth, but it subserves the elevation of superior men to power. Islam is also accepted by N in Der Antichrist as a good example overall for Europeans, though it’s easy to see how he would have certain pointed disagreements with it.

    The ‘priests’ or ‘ascetic priests’ N constantly attacks are basically community organizers who want to leverage the energy of the weak/sick/inadequate/freakish, to the detriment of the strong. ‘Sick energy’ so to speak is vastly important in N’s outlook, being more creative, refined, and subtle than healthy energy (jocks vs drama fags) — only, the subordination of sick energy to aristocrats (mostly healthy) and their robust, egoistic values is totally crucial. Sickly forces, placed in a sovereign position, simply spread degeneration and suffer downward-spiraling self-injury. Much of this sick/healthy dialectic was involved with N’s own lifelong experience of serious illness.

    So the scheme of N is based on the ideas I mentioned last week re left/right… the ‘struggle’ of life (‘self-overcoming’) and the exercise of strength/virtu is good in itself. This is epitomized by heroism — but also found in everyday life, as N very very occasionally acknowledged. It very much includes the struggle for knowledge, beauty, harmony etc even though battlefield courage is to some extent archetypal. The right is characterized by honoring strength/courage and the other virtues, both in oneself and in others who have them more abundantly than oneself does — whereas the left shows, on the one hand, some level of genuine pity for the weak/suffering, and on the other hand, seething envy/ressentiment of the adequate.

    These then are the real, irreducible psycho-ethical atoms for N (and his inheritor Mencken), not priestliness, holiness, or learnedness. The value of the heroic act, such as landing on the moon, cannot really be justified logico-propositionally, which is one main reason why N spent plenty of energy on stuff other than logico-propositional argument. There’s a tradeoff between heroic values and pity values as priorities. Lots of people will say we should never have conquered the moon until the last seven or eight obscure derelicts in America were repletely state-provisioned with (food | basic health care | gastric bypass surgery | sex changes at will | XYZ) ; this is a question that really cuts to the pith. According to them, the Taj Mahal shouldn’t have been built because this came at the expense of some inferior persons, likewise the verse of Emily Dickinson, so I guess we should have no culture or individual self-development at all. We should all be off serving the weak.

    N isn’t an inequalitarian, fundamentally ; men are unequal only because of their unequal virtues. Virtue, heroism, vitality are prior, and inequality is posterior.

    • Alrenous says:

      Where Joseph Fouche schooled me on scholarly ruling classes.

      I begin to suspect that the source of their uh, interesting ideas is that proggies won’t admit they rule. Far as I’m aware other scholar classes claimed it was their right to rule, whereas proggies are utterly mired in lies, as per Moldbug. Often about being the underdog.

      • jim says:

        Immediately that members of non conformist churches where given equal access to the levers of power with Anglicans, they promptly started operating in the style of that we are familiar with in their descendent, Acorn and the Fabians, where one had one hundred nominally separate organizations all of which mysteriously happened to have the same postal address – Exeter Hall. So they were conspiratorial and furtive from Day One.

        Since Anglican theocracy, the Restoration of the Monarch, and the Puritans two century long exile from English politics was in substantial part a defensive reaction to oppressive Puritan theocracy, they may have been furtive in order to avoid triggering that reaction all over again.

  12. RS says:

    > For it to be restored, we would need a live God, and we don’t have one.

    I think that for Nietzsche and Nazism alike, that god is progress toward superior civilizations and individuals. It’s the Darwinian mythos. There used to be a pretty fair infusion of this in the NATOsphere too — hey, where did that shit go?

    I teach you the overman. Man is something that shall be overcome. What have you done to overcome him?

    All beings so far have created something beyond themselves; and do you want to be the ebb of this great flood and even go back to the beasts rather than overcome man? What is the ape to man? A laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. And man shall be just that for the overman: a laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. You have made your way from worm to man, and much in you is still worm. Once you were apes, and even now, too, man is more ape than any ape.

    Whoever is the wisest among you is also a mere conflict and cross between plant and ghost [h/t Stirner]. But do I bid you become ghosts or plants?

    Behold, I teach you the overman! The overman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the overman shall be the meaning of the earth! I beseech you, my brothers, remain faithful to the earth, and do not believe those who speak to you of otherworldly hopes! Poison-mixers are they, whether they know it or not. Despisers of life are they, decaying and poisoned themselves, of whom the earth is weary: so let them go!

    • jim says:

      I think that for Nietzsche and Nazism alike, that god is progress toward superior civilizations and individuals. It’s the Darwinian mythos.

      Darwinism is true, while God is dead. So the Darwinian mythos is our only option. (Bruce proposes to wait for the second coming, but before the second coming there is supposed to rule by The Antichrist, not to mention a “time of tribulation such as never was”, so that sounds like a long and unpleasant wait.)

      The superior must rule the inferior. However the Nazi program for accomplishing this worthy goal tended in practice to be the state ruling everyone. While the nazis killed fewer nazis than the commies killed commies, they still killed a lot of nazis. Darwinism requires more open and extensive competition and conflict than the nazis permitted. Presumably that competition and conflict between the superior should be conducted according to rules and should be mostly non lethal, or at any rate less lethal, unbridled free market capitalism with a substantial role for private violence, while more drastic forms of competition are applied to the inferior, since they will not follow the rules, and frequently will be unable to follow the rules.

      One theoretical social order that approximates this is anarcho capitalism with a touch of anarcho piratism.

      Another social order that approximates this was British colonialism in Asia from the restoration of 1660, to the proclamation of the British empire in 1870.

      • Alrenous says:

        Coerced obedience is always bad. If they’re truly superior, they should be able to achieve obedience by persuasion.

        The ones that refuse to be persuaded should be allowed to destroy themselves. Or not, in case they’re right.

        • jim says:

          Doubtless so, but suppose the inferior try to coerce us?

          The solution you propose (no coercion) corresponds to anarcho capitalism with no crime and no war. Clearly that is the morally right solution.

          In an anarcho capitalist society with moderate levels of crime, it might well be practical and convenient to only coerce the guilty. But in the process of getting there from here, a fair bit of unpleasantness is likely.

          In the face of substantial levels of crime and war, less highly principled measures are necessary. In war, it is often necessary to destroy the innocent.

          It looks to me that to the extent that we have, or recently had, levels of freedom that were high by the standards of history as a whole and the world as a whole, our freedom can be traced to The Restoration, General Monck, and the Cavalier parliament, which applied a whole lot of coercion in, for example, purging the puritans from academia, church, and government. And they had no regard for the rights of women or servants or anyone who did not live in his own home.

          And back before The Restoration, we can trace our freedom to the Magna Carta, which reaffirmed and put in writing the traditional rights of the nobility, who unhesitatingly applied a whole lot of coercion to those that were not noble.

          When the non conformists in Exeter Hall started gathering power into their own hands, they did so in the name of the natives oppressed by the colonialists, those enslaved, the English poor, and so on and so forth, but you would not find anyone like that in Exeter Hall.

          Suppose you say that men are equal to women. But of course, men are not equal to women, since equal means same and interchangeable, and in many matters, in particular matters connected to sex, marriage, and reproduction, men and women are not the same and interchangeable.

          Then any difference becomes a wrong that must be righted, and so one gets VAWA, the Violence Against Women Act, which in the name of equality treats men as completely and absolutely different from women, with only women having rights, and men having obligations, and only obligations. In particular, no right to a fair trial etc. VAWA treats men not as the same and interchangeable with women, but as absolutely and fundamentally different. To accomplish equality, it seems one must have inequality

          Now suppose, however, we do not have VAWA. Then it would frequently happen that if a man is supporting a woman, he would tell her to do a bit of picking up and wash the clothes, and if she did not do so, he might well smack her a bit. Oh the horror. That is inequality. He must be made to support her without making any demands on her, sexual or otherwise.

          But that, of course, is also inequality, and an inequality far more severe.

          The successors of the Puritans exercise power in the name of the powerless, and in practice, if one wants to empower the powerless, someone else has to exercise power on their behalf, since they are too hopeless to do it themselves. So at some point, to deny the progressives power, we are going to have to say “Screw the powerless!”

          • Alrenous says:

            “Doubtless so, but suppose the inferior try to coerce us?”

            1. Recognize as such.
            2. Win.

            If winning isn’t easy, something is wrong with the theory.

            “The solution you propose (no coercion) corresponds to anarcho capitalism with no crime and no war.”

            Physical violence used on criminals isn’t wrong.

            You say that harming innocents in war is sometimes necessary, and yet the examples you show are either not innocent or not necessary.

            -

            Exeter hall won because they defended the coerced. Coercing the innocent is a vulnerability, not a necessity. Exeter hall won because they violated property right, and nobody called them on it. This is now their vulnerability, if only the attacker doesn’t advocate returning to already-defeated forms of coercion.

            God is dead. So is overt oppression.

            -

            Men are morally equal to women. If indeed men and women are not equal in other ways, it will show up in property titles without anyone having to pre-encode it in law. Oh wait, that’s already happened.

            So, you say,
            VAWA treats men and women as morally different.
            If we didn’t have VAWA, men and women would be morally condoned for different actions.

            Apparently completely skipping over the middle ground. Moral equality is dead simple. Courts enforce contracts. Courts ignore whether the signature at the bottom is a man’s name or a woman’s.

            If a woman doesn’t want to be smacked around, she requires a contract to that effect from the man, and then the man can’t. Full stop, end of discussion. If the man finds this unacceptable, he doesn’t sign and she doesn’t move in.

            -

            Screw the powerless? Not exactly.

            Proggies deny that the powerless are powerless. They’re crypto-patrons.

            Patronizing the powerless can be profitable, because they’re never exactly powerless, just significantly less powerful. Instead, do it openly.

            When I said, let those who can’t be persuaded destroy themselves, I mean the powerless who refuse to follow should be allowed to screw themselves.

            Which means attacking the proggies who coercively support them in secret. I suggest attacking the control nexus – the support is to gain control of the powerless. The control cannot survive openness, or it would already be in the open.

          • jim says:

            To win, or even for our civilization to survive, have to disenfranchise women and those who are funded by the state. Do you have a better proposal?

            This could be done by limiting the franchise, as in the South after reconstruction and before civil rights, or by ending voting altogether, for example anarcho capitalism or Carlyle’s monarchy of true Kings.

            Also have to purge academia in the style of The Restoration, or abolish it altogether in the style of The Dissolution of the Monasteries.

            Now since the franchise is coercive, obviously so when tax consumers outvote tax producers, restricting or abolishing the franchise is in principle not coercive, but in practice, apt to involve a great deal of coercion. Similarly, to the extent that Academia survives on state funding and a legally privileged role for academic credentials, purging or dissolution is in principle not coercive, but I doubt that academics will see it like that.

            The crack up is going to involve war, or something very like war, and in war, it is mostly the innocent who are the victims.

          • jim says:

            Moral equality is dead simple. Courts enforce contracts. Courts ignore whether the signature at the bottom is a man’s name or a woman’s.

            When marriage was actually functional, it was not the state and courts than enforced it, but family and community. When the state elbowed its way in, it proceeded to profoundly disrupt and damage marriage.

            Women and men are not morally equal. Men are more violent and confrontational, women more selfish, illogical, unreliable, changeable, and irresponsible. Men are polygamous, women hypergamous. Thus, when a man and a woman decide to make their lives together, they have certain expectations that are not symmetric, nor easy to define in writing. In coming together, they sacrifice different things, and different kinds of things. This is not really all that amenable to a judge interpreting a signature on a contract, and I much doubt it ever can be fair, since our extremely powerful instincts concerning sex predate our development of contract by a very long time.

          • jim says:

            You say that harming innocents in war is sometimes necessary, and yet the examples you show are either not innocent or not necessary.

            Doubtless “The Dissolution of the Monasteries” could have and should have been done better, but how would you have done “The Restoration” better than it was in fact done?

          • jim says:

            Courts enforce contracts. Courts ignore whether the signature at the bottom is a man’s name or a woman’s.

            Since the marriage contract was changed to disfavor the man, it became noticeable that women shacking up with men with no contract generally did so on less favorable terms. So the state jumped in to assert an implied contract, highly unfavorable to males, whenever a male allows a woman in his house.

          • jim says:

            God is dead. So is overt oppression.

            If you read the MRA blogs, you will read of plenty of overt oppression of white males. In Martin Trayvon killing, there is a clear subtext that blacks should be treated with special respect that white people are not entitled to, that Zimmerman deserved to be attacked for failing to show this respect. The progressive reaction to the numerous genocides by the Hutus was that the Hutus were entitled to kill anyone that the evil colonialists designated as superior to Hutus. (And the evil colonialists designated pretty much everyone in the entire world as superior to Hutus.) Similarly with the overt oppression of religous minorities in Turkey, Indonesia, Egypt, and so on and so forth.

            So it looks to me that overt oppression is alive and well, just the approved targets have changed. If they have changed, can be changed back.

          • Alrenous says:

            The Restoration had an issue in that the population would have resisted consistently arranged morality more than they did either Roundhead or Cavalier morality. Moreover the Cavaliers didn’t have the necessary philosophers to work out a consistent morality.

            Both those things are different now. Answering morality properly was nearly impossible; now it is impossible for sincere effort to fail.

            -

            I don’t know if what I believe is anarcho-capitalist anymore, but it is what I get from reasoning forward from AC until the logic converges.

            The coercion in the restoration is simple: proggies identified it exactly and correctly. The lords had subjects, and the subjects had no say in the matter.

            The proggies then twisted the analysis for their own agenda. The correct solution is that lords have subjects, except they opt in. The lords rule anyone who thinks the benefits of having a lord outweigh the costs.

            A non-corrupt AC situation would most likely have, at least for a time, feudal lords rubbing shoulders with democratic regions. Neither lords or democracies nor even communism is inherently coercive, only choosing for the subject is coercive.

            This would be particularly humorous as the proggies would all be forced to put up or shut up about communism, and I guarantee it would be ‘shut up.’

          • jim says:

            I think what you are saying is that if most people accepted the truth of something like natural law morality, such as Rand’s morality, we would wind up with an anarcho capitalist society or a minimal state which is minimally coercive, except towards criminals and such,

            No doubt, but where we are now is that we have a majority of voters sucking on the tit of the state, and large chunk of the elite, who delusively believe themselves to be the smart fraction, managing the state supposedly on behalf of those voters, and benefiting from that management, and neither group is likely to accept a moral theory that says they should not suck on the tit of the state, and are acting coercively by so doing.

            Thus, any remedy for this problem is likely to involve a fair bit of coercion, probably more than the restoration did. It is likely to more resemble the dissolution of the monasteries, a fairly nasty business.

          • Alrenous says:

            “minimally coercive, except towards criminals”

            “neither group is likely to accept a moral theory that says they should not suck on the tit of the state”

            They already accept such a morality, based on what they say. The implication is inevitable from their stated premises. They simply refuse to reason forward, and attempt (so far successfully) to shout down anyone who points out these implications.

            Partly they succeed because folk morality has advanced, and when someone tries to take the moral high ground from the proggies, it is recognized as self-serving, as the proggies ancestors were not recognized. To take the moral high ground requires an actual higher morality.

            Moreover, assuming I got the logic correct, this morality is in no way contradicts your desired outcomes – indeed, it only contradicts coercive outcomes. It contradicts only the methods of getting there.

          • jim says:

            neither group is likely to accept a moral theory that says they should not suck on the tit of the state”

            They already accept such a morality, based on what they say.

            What they say is that morality is the greatest good for the greatest number, or the greatest good for the worst off and most oppressed, that all losers and criminals are oppressed, and that the state should give the oppressed stuff to make them feel better.

            As I have elsewhere argued, utilitarian morality logically and necessarily leads to a totalitarian terror state based on mass murder, slave labor and artificial famine, because to provide the greatest good for the greatest number, you have to have the wise and good in charge deciding what is good for other people, and if the last umpteen tries of systems where the rulers decided what was good for Joe worked out mighty badly for Joe, well that just means they were not sufficiently wise and good, and this time around, the rulers, being the cognitive elite and all that, will do it right, unlike all the previous times – because if you accept utilitarian morality, there really is no alternative.

            This was Ayn Rand’s critique of Milton Friedman. When Milton Friedman assumed that the wise and the good wanted to benefit the masses, and all he needed to do was explain to them how best to benefit the masses, he had already lost the argument.

            And of course, they don’t always say the greatest good for the greatest number, or the greatest good for the worst off, or the greatest good for the most oppressed. These days they often say the greatest good for the earth.

            And the greatest good for the earth is that 99% of the human population be die horribly for their sins against Gaia, reducing the population to “sustainable levels”, while 99% of the remainder work under the lash for their carbon overlords as agricultural serfs scraping at the ground with digging sticks.

        • Bill says:

          Coerced obedience is excellent. Persuaded obedience is disastrous. These are corollaries of the theorem that most people are retards.

          • Alrenous says:

            Okay.

            I won’t bother trying to persuade you then.

            Bill, you have to believe me, because I’m an Authority. I’m an Authority because I’ve spent something like one hundred times as much effort studying philosophy than you have.

            As an example for the peanut gallery, you were unable to see the implications of what you just said. You’re a retard with respect to philosophy.

          • jim says:

            Bill, you have to believe me, because I’m an Authority. I’m an Authority because I’ve spent something like one hundred times as much effort studying philosophy than you have.

            Considering the performance of most people who spend time studying philosophy, this is unlikely to persuade Bill.

            Minimizing or eliminating coercion is sound libertarian philosophy for relationships between rational beings who respect each other’s property rights, but a lot of people are not very rational, despise other people’s property rights, and consider that if someone else has something they want, they are being coerced.

            Indeed, progressive morality is that envy is good, that if you covet what your neighbor has, your neighbor is oppressing and coercing you, and deserves to be punished – that by owning nice stuff, or accomplishing impressive feats, or being more talented than you, your neighbor is oppressing and coercing you.

            People who think like this, which is to say the majority, do need to be coerced. Now as a good libertarian, one can say that self defense is not coercion, and that wage labor is not coercion. However, it does seem that a substantial majority feel that they are morally entitled to stuff, have a right to stuff, without the inconvenient burden of needing to create it or work for it, and persuading them otherwise is going to look mighty like coercion and not at all like persuasion.

            In truth, self defense is coercion, and defense of property is coercion. It is just that such coercion is justified and right. That is why they call it “the non aggression principle”, not “the no coercion principle”. We really do need to coerce bad people, and we also need to coerce people that are too stupid to refrain from doing bad things.

          • Bill says:

            As an example for the peanut gallery, you were unable to see the implications of what you just said.

            For example? Your gibberish about how I have to believe you because you say you are an authority doesn’t follow in any way from what I said. You seem to have access to the intertubes. And I will tell you the big secret of the intertubes right here and now: there are dictionaries available, for free, on them.

          • Bill says:

            Indeed, progressive morality is that envy is good, that if you covet what your neighbor has, your neighbor is oppressing and coercing you, and deserves to be punished – that by owning nice stuff, or accomplishing impressive feats, or being more talented than you, your neighbor is oppressing and coercing you.

            Even more than this. Bright people, especially in our post-big-sort world, don’t get how dumb dumb people are. Dummies largely don’t even know about all this creating wealth, working hard, restraining impulses, and so on. They just straightforwardly believe that if you have more than them that you stole it. The worst sort don’t even worry about it. You have, I want, gimme. It does not even have to be envy. Envy is more a high-IQ/low-wealth thing.

            I would go much further than this, of course. I think it is absolutely unconscionable that morons be allowed to make their own decisions. This has been a disaster for them, and the disaster cannot be prevented from metastasizing and hurting everyone, as it has. I don’t let small children make their own decisions when I am responsible for them. Why should we let morons do so?

          • jim says:

            Dummies largely don’t even know about all this creating wealth, working hard, restraining impulses, and so on. They just straightforwardly believe that if you have more than them that you stole it.

            That is what they were taught in school, schools run by our supposedly high IQ elites. If they were taught in school that God ordained it and that envy is a sin, they would probably believe that instead.

          • Alrenous says:

            “Considering the performance of most people who spend time studying philosophy, this is unlikely to persuade Bill.”

            Err, didn’t I already cover this?

            “Persuaded obedience is disastrous.”

            “Okay.

            I won’t bother trying to persuade you then.”

    • Alrenous says:

      Did Nietzsche believed he achieved overman status, or was that all blueprints and such?

      • jim says:

        Overman is where we should be headed. Overman is intentionally a goal that is out of reach, or within reach but out of grasp.

        • RS says:

          Let’s just say Nietzsche enjoyed high self-esteem throughout his career — high and increasing. I don’t recall when it was that he declared he had “broken world history in two” — fairly early perhaps.

          He arguably got pretty manic and weird by ’87. I forget when it was that he reported to a friend seeing hallucinations with his eyes closed, I think ’87 or ’88. The recent publications denying that his disease was syphilis seem tight and convincing. I think he was seriously wacky by mid-’88 or so, but many disagree. In any case the books of that period are still awesome. It was very early in ’89 when he directed nutty letters to assorted correspondents and was taken to the hospital by a close friend. Apparently his landlady’d had a problem for some weeks with him singing all the time and dancing barbarous dances.

  13. Mike in Boston says:

    As clearminded as our editor/host usually is, there are several problems with his assertions here. In my view, they stem at least in part from him supposing that what is left of the Western churches somehow corresponds to the totality of the Christian Church. In another hundred or three hundred years, when Reformation and Counter-Reformation have finally burned themselves out, the fallacy of this will be more clear. For now, I would submit the following as a small piece of contrary evidence.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/10/09/worth09.xml&sSheet=/news/2003/10/09/ixworld.html

    Same-sex marriage chapel demolished
    By Julius Strauss in Moscow
    (Filed: 09/10/2003)

    The Russian Orthodox Church has demolished a chapel where a priest conducted a marriage ceremony between two men.

    The Chapel of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God was apparently knocked down after local churchmen decided it had been defiled.

    The “marriage” of Denis Gogolyev and Mikhail Morozev in Nizhny Novgorod scandalised the Orthodox Church and created outrage among ordinary Russians. The priest, Fr Vladimir Enert, was unfrocked after the men said they paid him a £300 bribe to ignore a ban on same-sex marriages.

    A spokesman for the Orthodox Church said the chapel had to go as it had been desecrated.

    • spandrell says:

      This is pretty awesome.

    • jim says:

      Wow!

      But does this mean they are resisting progressivism, or merely that they are permitted to lag ten years behind the curve as a concession to religious sensibilities, and an additional ten years for the fall of communism. (Commies are “right wingers” because since the fall, they are supposed to assimilate to progressivism, and some of them, most notoriously the Chinese, are failing to do so)

      Checking the orthodox position on marriage and divorce they somehow neglect to mention that Jesus and the old testament ordained it as a fundamentally asymmetric relationship between a man and a woman.

      Since Christ, according to the Matthaean account, allowed an exception to His general ruling about the indissolubility of marriage, the Orthodox Church also is willing to allow an exception.

      And, you guessed it, a way bigger exception. “breakdown of marriage” (“abandonment” has somehow morphed into “breakdown”, meaning that the husband has abandoned his wife despite continuing to be present and continuing to perform all his husbandly duties, if the wife does not feel like sleeping with him any more.

      Further, Christ only allowed an exception for men. No exceptions for women. Men could divorce their wives for cause, but women could not divorce their husbands, even for cause, and women, having been divorced for cause by their husbands were not permitted to remarry. Needless to say the Russian Orthodox not only allows an exception for women, but an exception that, though theoretically equivalent to the male exception (abandonment), is in practice a much bigger exception. Basically the woman can divorce her husband if she does not feel like sleeping with him any more, and can then marry the alpha male that inclined her to not feel like sleeping with husband any more – at least the Church will marry her to him if she can persuade him to show up, though to her great surprise, he probably won’t.

      The Church neglects to mention any wifely obligation to be sexually available to her husband.

      The Church also condemns arranged marriages, which is to say, patriarchy – a novel, heretical, and entirely progressive doctrine.

      So all up, looks like a 99% capitulation to progressivism, with the remaining 1% to follow on schedule as directed.

  14. Mike in Boston says:

    You have made some good and substantive critiques, Jim, though you toss in a couple of red herrings based no doubt on hasty or incomplete reading.

    I would be surprised to hear of an Orthodox church condemning arranged marriages. Perhaps terminology is at issue. While an Orthodox marriage must be freely entered into by both parties, an arranged marriage can be entered into as freely as one with someone you met on eHarmony.

    And matters like sexual availability are certainly the sort of thing that would be addressed in the context of a particular couple and their pastor. Very few blanket statements on married life would apply equally to a teen-aged couple and an elderly one, therefore the churches tend not to make them. I would refer you to http://www.roca.org/OA/121/121k.htm for an example of the pastoral approach.

    Similarly, I think I could take at least partial individual exception to most of your claims. But getting to the meat of the matter, I will not deny that the Orthodox churches have made accommodations to the reigning progressivism, just as they have over the centuries made accommodations to reigning iconoclasts, occupying Ottoman Turks, communists, etc.

    Taking the long view, none of these accommodations has been a capitulation, nor infected the core mindset of the Church– which, in keeping a Faith once and for all delivered to the saints, is inherently the opposite of the “living Constitution”, blowin’-in-the-wind, Progressive “theology”.

    I acknowledge that this fact may not be visible in position papers like the one you cited, but it is visible in life if one looks for it, and– to me, at least, serves as a reminder of the living God, “ever-existing and eternally the same.”

    • jim says:

      I will not deny that the Orthodox churches have made accommodations to the reigning progressivism, just as they have over the centuries made accommodations to reigning iconoclasts, occupying Ottoman Turks, communists, etc.

      Taking the long view, none of these accommodations has been a capitulation, nor infected the core mindset of the Church

      The Church should submit to Caesar in worldly matters, for otherwise it will pursue political power, with the disastrous results that we see. Such accommodation is not capitulation, nor will it infect the core mindset of the Church. But progressives deny being Caesar, and as Caesar, command all to pretend they are not Caesar.

      Iconoclasm was a mere detail of ritual, and Paul tells us that the details of ritual do not matter, rather the inward mindset and the outward appearance of the inward mindset matters.

      The Ottomans did not expect or intend that the Church should morph into Islam, rather than individual Christians should individually convert into Muslims, so accommodation to the Ottomans was harmless.

      The accommodation with the communists was of a more alarming and fundamental kind than the accommodation with the Ottomans, but the Church outlasted the communists. Still, while it lasted, it was very wrong, it was a capitulation, albeit one from which the Church was able to recover.

      Accommodation with the progressives is more alarming than any, because the progressives do intend that all religions should morph into progressivism, in particular and especially all Christian religions, and this tactic is simply working. I say this, not as a Christian, for I am not a Christian, but rather as one who looks for an alternative to rule by progressives. Christianity is not such an alternative, for there is no Christianity.

      To accommodate progressivism, the Church has to repudiate the New Testament, for the New Testament is by today’s progressive standards extravagantly reactionary on many matters, in particular and especially marriage, which is the major remaining connection that most people have with the Church. This cuts the Church off from its ancient roots, and like a cut flower, without its roots it will die.

      It therefore looks like the answer to progressivism is Darwinism, which lacks emotional appeal, not withstanding Nietzsche’s efforts to give emotional appeal, and which has an entirely well deserved reputation for promoting bloodshed. While I believe in Darwinism, and do not believe in Christianity, I would much prefer that Christianity was still a viable alternative. Unfortunately it simply is not.

      If you accept the progressive view on marriage and sex roles you reject the New Testament view on marriage and sex roles. If you reject the New Testament view on marriage and sex roles you reject the New Testament. If you reject the New Testament you deny Jesus is Lord. If you deny Jesus is Lord, you are not a Christian.

      Thus no, or very few Christians, no organized Christian communities, no countervailing force to progressivism. Progressivism has won, Christianity has lost, with not so much as mustard seed remaining. Doubtless Bruce’s mystical church remains, but no actually observable church remains.

    • jim says:

      I would refer you to http://www.roca.org/OA/121/121k.htm for an example of the pastoral approach.

      That approach is that if the wife does not feel like sex with the husband any more, it is a problem for both partners, and both partners have to do something about it.

      But the number one cause of a pre menopausal wife not feeling like sex with her husband is that she feels like sleeping with someone else, and consciously or subconsciously intends to do so. If a wife fails to have sex with her husband merely because she is not in the mood, she is violating the contract, she is doing wrong. Marriage is supposed to be an irrevocable agreement. If the wife can at any time stop having sex with her husband just because she feels that way, it is a fully revocable agreement. The link you supplied is to the progressive position, which abolishes marriage, abolishes the New Testament requirement of submission.

      An irrevocable agreement requires that one grin and bear it when things go wrong. The link you supplied places no obligation on the woman to grin and bear it.

      From the secular point of view (and of course there is nothing secular about progressivism, which though entirely Godless, is nonetheless highly religious) marriage is a long term contract. A contract is value for value. The deal, typically, is that the husband is guaranteed sex, and the wife is guaranteed a father for her children. If the wife is not obligated to put out, then there is, for most men, no value in it. From the secular point of view, it is a contract violation. From the religious point of view, a violation of her duty to God.

  15. [...] – More on the death of god [...]

  16. I agree with your picture of Puritanism, but I don’t think the Reformation was the origin of our current troubles. More or less, I think the birth of Christianity itself was, though it was somewhat briefly calmed by its union with Rome.

    With the arrival of Christianity (actually somewhat before, since you had several Prophets during that period, many of which required much more drastic measures to suppress than Jesus), you see massive sectionalization in the Jewish community, civil wars, and pontificating about being holier than the next guy, all while trying to tear down established authority.

    So I’d put the birth of the Puritan line at sometime before Christ, but after 63 BCE.

    • jim says:

      Very likely, but I cannot read the books of that time, except in translation, whereas I can read the books of the Puritans.

  17. RS says:

    > If you reject the New Testament view on marriage and sex roles you reject the New Testament. If you reject the New Testament you deny Jesus is Lord.

    What about sola scriptura versus, well, not-so-sola scriptura? Is there any history (I wouldn’t know) of these other two fonts of authority, in certain instances, rather disagreeing with scripture, such that there is an agreement to ‘just sort of be pragmatic’ – ?

    By contrast, the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox Churches teach that the Scriptures are not the only infallible source of Christian doctrine. For them Scripture is but one of three equal authorities; the other two being Sacred Tradition and the episcopacy.[citation needed]

    But perhaps in Jim’s mind, if we don’t have a sort of implicit sola scriptura we are liable to wind up all too ‘dizzy with success’? But what if there is an implicit, agreed-on standard and method for controlling and minimizing the total level of ‘pragmatism’ – examples (from the secular world) would be starkly unconstitutional acts by Lincoln, unconstitutional limits on speech during WWI, and the Alien & Sedition Acts — which I believe had something to do with a fear of Napoleonic power. Even Thomas Jefferson as I recall was afflicted with attacks of conscience over the constitutionality of the Lousiana Purchase, but he was basically like ‘well…’. Of course a very stern person might maintain that some or all of these deeds did in fact erode and harm the Constitution, which we now agree does not in fact exist anymore. (We still sort of have a right to firearms and speech, but this is much more ‘common law’ than it is a function of some Constitution honored mostly in the breach.)

    But this invites the question as to what real, existing, useful and potent body of norms there has ever been, that was never ‘pragmatically’ diverged from at all, not even once.

    • RS says:

      > But what if there is an implicit, agreed-on standard and method for controlling and minimizing the total level of ‘pragmatism’

      I didn’t quite get to the ‘controlling’ part.

      As I recall Lincoln went before Congress to seek their acceptance — after acting, of course — and in every way, in word and gesture, comported himself not just non-imperiously but anti-imperiously.

      As for the Jefferson thing, one means of the ‘controlling’ might have been just him moaning about it to his friends — about the poor position he was placed in. At which point they all would have said, well, the hell with it old boy, $0.03 the acre and all — sometimes you just have to play ball. Meaning, we have an extremely limited number of special dispensations (a truth which shall never be mentioned aloud), and obviously it’s for stuff exactly like this.

    • jim says:

      Scripture is but one of three equal authorities; the other two being Sacred Tradition and the episcopacy

      Sacred tradition is at least as reactionary as holy scripture on those topics where the scriptures deviate seriously from progressivism. If the episcopate decides to go living constitution on Holy Scripture and Sacred Tradition, they are cut off from their roots, and pretty soon are ordaining gay bishops in empty churches.

      But this invites the question as to what real, existing, useful and potent body of norms there has ever been, that was never ‘pragmatically’ diverged from at all, not even once.

      After the Roman Empire in the West fell, actually existent Christianity made short work of scriptural pacifism, and was all the better for it. With new variants of Christianity reasonably successful, the new versions eventually became Sacred Tradition.

      Analysing religion as a memetic disease (which is of course what I think it is):

      If it changes sacred doctrine too easily, it dies out from mutational overload. If it never changes at all, it fails to adapt to new environments and changes in its environment, and dies out from failure to evolve. So sacred tradition is sacred so that a religion is not stuck with the scriptures, but also sacred so that the religion does not mutate too fast for selective processes to act.

      When, for example, a church, contrary to scripture, puts a woman in charge of its youth group, that woman is going to teach the children what the schools teach, progressivism, because like the teachers in the government schools, progressivism gave her the job. This, of course, renders the youth group redundant, since she is teaching what the government already funds people to teach. This is pretty much a 100% mutation rate, corresponding to total failure of memetic reproduction. Indeed, it is not a 100% mutation rate, but rather is more like a pair of warblers raising a cuckoo.

      • RS says:

        Man, feminization is snowballing. I had no exposure to new pop/rock for several years — my grocery played classics. I was lately re-exposed, to my total horror. We’re going critical here in 5… 4…

        I recall how the mainstream rock of the early 00s sucked vs the 90s, but now it’s hugely gay to boot.

        Ban women.

        • jim says:

          That was Paul’s solution: He banned women from speaking in Church.

          Because men are overeager to protect women, women are apt to be profoundly disruptive and destructive in male institutions, irresponsibly exercising power while denying they are doing so.

          On the other hand, because women tend to reflexively defer to men (compare what happens when you interrupt a woman and abruptly change the subject, with what would happen if you were to interrupt a man and abruptly change the subject) men are also apt to be profoundly disruptive in female institutions.

          A common solution among apes and pre modern societies, is separate female only and male only hierarchies. Abraham tells Sarah he has no authority over Hagar.

  18. RS says:

    > Bill, you have to believe me, because I’m an Authority. I’m an Authority because I’ve spent something like one hundred times as much effort studying philosophy than you have.

    Ho ho. Your (actual) response to Bill would be somewhat interesting.

    As a largely-Nietzschean person, I don’t necessarily accept your ethics. You seem not to take account of (or anyway have not mentioned) the synchronic question of what conditions yield the most superior (greatest) individuals and civilizations. According to Nietzsche these conditions largely consist in rather ‘barbarous’ levels of conflict and egoism, and a free hand for coercion by biologically-superior individuals (aristocrats). I don’t know, maybe he was wrong, but the Renaissance — with its political turmoil, partial rejection of anti-egoistic or self-abnegating idealisms such as Christianity, and harsh machiavellian realism — was a golden age for him as the Restoration is for Jim. On the other hand, Hellas and the Roman Empire were also golden ages for him, so one has to work out what made it thus — Hellas savors a lot like the Renaissance to my palate, whereas Rome is a little different.

    There is also the diachronic question of what will create the greatest men and civilizations in the long-term future — hopefully ones even greater than those seen thus far.

    Also, as a student of Machiavelli, your setup strikes me as . . . something that lords or sovereigns are not very apt to heed, unless it is in their interest. Why should they always honor their contracts with individuals, particularly in the event of war, if no force can compel them? In the Restoration, high elites were able to see to their own interest pretty well by their policy of “general lassaiz-faire for blokes with their own houses, and even religious lassaiz-faire for those not wanting to approach the levers of power”. However, it seems to me that this was largely based on an ethical consensus which has an ‘organic’ savor whereas your system seems more artificial and abstract. To wit, Restoration rulers could leverage ethnicity and race — because their England had an ethnicity — in their quest to safeguard social amity and mobilize power for wars/hostilities hot and cold. This is really a key point. Under different circumstances — suppose we bring back Restoration rulers using time travel — the same rulers might not act the same way. If they find English raciality in a state of having been deconstructed, they won’t necessarily act the same, won’t necessarily permit the free emigration/exit (subject to contract) which is a key part of your noncoercionist outlook (I’m assuming they did suffer people to leave England). If they don’t have ethnic genetic interests to leverage in a time of war, their hand may be weakened and their behavior could change.

    All that is a subset of the general idea that libertarians want to deconstruct organic communities, but this doesn’t always work out well. Another example would be Imperial Rome, it seems like any higher, organic ideal of the good of Roman civilization became attenuated. Hence anyone who had a realistic shot at seizing the throne, generally did so, even though the cost of this was constant internecine warfare that probably damaged matters seriously over the course of centuries, and may have been the prime driver of increased reliance on Germanic mercenaries — not the first or last time that mercenaries proved problematic. As a trad or reacto is always trying to convince a libertarian, the world can often become hellish when these organic ideals, identities, get attenuated.

    Your reason for wanting to think that ethical philosophy has strikingly advanced in our time, may well be, in large part, the fact that the mode of human life you propose is not very well exampled in the history of man’s experience. Not that unexampled modes of human life can’t possibly be good, but their ability to be good is more in doubt.

  19. Zalu says:

    “This was Ayn Rand’s critique of Milton Friedman. When Milton Friedman assumed that the wise and the good wanted to benefit the masses, and all he needed to do was explain to them how best to benefit the masses, he had already lost the argument.”

    What?!

    I never got that impression. Got any licks on offer?

    Admittedly I’m not even close to a rigorous ideological academic, but I’ve read and seen most of Milton’s stuff. Maybe when I retire I can dedicate lifetimes to that which won’t make me money. But not now. So I’m asking..

    • Zach says:

      The username I intended to use was “Zach”.

      Oh, and I meant “links” not “licks”. Holy hanna!

    • jim says:

      I refer to Ayn Rand flaming Milton Friedman over his pamphlet “Roofs or Ceilings”.

      Compare and contrast Milton Friedman making the argument on rent price control, with Ronald Reagan making the same argument on fuel price control. They both made the same economic argument and used equivalent examples, indeed it looks to me that Reagan was heavily influenced by Friedman, but Ronald Reagan, the great communicator, perhaps mindful of Ayn Rand’s critique, made a vastly more compelling argument because he declined to concede to the planners good intentions, legitimate authority, or competence. As far as Reagan was concerned, they were screwing around with other people’s fuel just for the hell of it, out of arrogance and indifference to the rights, plans and concerns of others.

      • Zach says:

        Wow Jim, I haven’t read nearly as much as you have. So where is this Rand critique? If it’s linked, please supply the said link.

        As far as Friedman is concerned, he was an incredible human being, but he is most easily misunderstood. Why? Because he put himself in environments which required the lowest common denominator. I painlessly watched his entire “Free to Choose” program on PBS.

        Liberty was his God, so to speak. He admitted that even if his theories did not stand up to the present facts – it didn’t matter. Why? Liberty was his God, period. And I can offer a link that says just that (although that would take quite a bit of time…).

        • jim says:

          Letters of Ayn Rand, edited by Michael S. Berliner (Dutton, 1995), p. 326

          She called Roofs or Ceilings “collectivist propaganda”. That was a little too harsh, but she has a point. In that pamphlet Milton Friedman conceded everything that mattered. Later, Ronald Reagan, the great communicator, made that argument as it should have been made: that price control violates the rights of both the buyer and the seller, without conceding that the planners were benevolent people who had the intention and rightful authority to benefit the buyer. Reagan addressed the buyer in the queue. Milton Friedman addressed the wise and good planner (bad idea). Ayn Rand addressed the seller, also a bad idea, for a deal involves two parties, and the state intervening in a deal harms both parties.

  20. red says:

    Jim,
    Isn’t India ruled under a similar system? The Brahmans sure seem like a holier than though group.

    • jim says:

      And India was in decline until conquered by the British. Note that the Rajputs were not Brahmins.

      The high point of Rajput rule was the eleventh and twelfth centuries, which was arguably also the high point of Indian civilization.

      I would argue that with Rajputs in charge, Hinduism was analogous to the Church of England after the restoration, where the King was head of the Church and the firm hand of the King and the gentry prevented the clergy from getting out of hand.

      When Brahmins obtained, or got close to obtaining, the upper hand over rajputs, then indeed they became a holier than thou group, with the result that India became decadent and was conquered by outsiders.

      The high point of Indian civilization was mathematics and Wootz steel, which became known as Damascus steel because the Muslims stole it.

  21. Bibliocup says:

    Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m inspired! Extremely helpful info specially the last part :) I handle such info a lot. I was looking for this particular info for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

Leave a Reply