Sunday, June 11, 2017

Wildfires Of Hate And The Benedict Option

Well, hate and lies. My lie, to be precise. In my last Benedict Option post, I kind of promised a payoff, but this isn't quite it. That's coming, just not this time.

Also, I apologize for what I know in advance will be a tl;dr post. I need to get this out, so here it goes.

This is almost, and I really mean it this time, the payoff to the series of posts I've been doing responding to Rod Dreher's The Benedict Option wherein Rod lays out a plan for remaining faithful to orthodoxy in a culture increasingly hostile to religion. So far, we have:
Rod, for whom I have tremendous, if distant, love and respect, has an outstanding article in The American Conservative called The Storm Before The Storm. It discusses the way American society is fracturing along political, racial and sexual lines. Here's the part that I want to discuss.
The rising Left is bound and determined to crush or at least permanently sideline people it deems heretics — in particular, whites, males, orthodox Christians, and skeptics of the LGBT project. It does not want a pluralistic modus vivendi; it wants total domination. The establishment Left lacks the will to stop them. Its members are terrified of appearing un-woke. All a major corporation has to do to buy off the Left is declare itself in favor of Pride, and so forth...

The real glue holding the dynamic Left together is hatred of the Other. You can see this in part from the Dissent editors’ unwillingness to explore any kind of alliance around economic issues with the right-wing dissidents of American Affairs. For them, the culture war is of such paramount importance that it precludes economic-based alliances...

Those orthodox Christians who understand the radical nature of the crisis before us will devote themselves to building up their faith, communities, institutions, and ways of life to be resilient and resolute in the face of American decline. I call this the Benedict Option. The politics of the future may be more left-wing or right-wing, but they will be increasingly anti-Christian. Keeping our heads clear and our hearts stout during this long time of trial will be the most important task facing Christians in this new Dark Age.
The hatred of heretics is the key. It is virulent, violent and growing in power. Like a brush fire, it will consume and destroy much. Also, like a brush fire, it is unsustainable. If you haven't kept up with the progressive tarantism at Evergreen State College in Washington, here's a brief summary.
Since May 23, the 4,089-student public liberal arts college in Olympia, Washington, has been embroiled in what the media euphemistically call "student protests" over perceived racial grievances. At Evergreen State that has actually meant: invading a professor's class to taunt him with charges of racism; occupying the library and the college president's office while the campus police, ordered to stand down, barricade themselves in their headquarters; delivering F-bombs, derision, and assorted demands—firing the police chief, confiscating the guns of the rest of the police, setting up mandatory race-oriented "cultural competency" training for the faculty, excusing the protesters from their end-of-term assignments, and providing free gumbo for a radical potluck—to the cornered president, George Bridges; and creating such a threatening atmosphere for the professor in question, evolutionary biologist Bret Weinstein (another target of the firing demands), that he had to hold his class on May 25 in a public park in downtown Olympia. 
Evergreen may be a relatively extreme case, but it's not unique. Differences between it and the Ivy League schools and other elite universities are one of degree, not kind. The madness is widespread. Want to see what it looks like? Search for the college on YouTube and you'll see plenty of candid videos of the raw hate that motivates the dynamic left described by Rod. Like this one, shot during an occupation of the offices of the president of the university, here seen cravenly surrendering to children.

This is the wildfire at its peak. It's burning trees, shrubs, houses, even offices of university presidents. There's something else that stands out dramatically in the video. Can you spot it?

There's nothing rational. It's not just emotional, it's all emotion. That kind of thing can't go on. You can't base a society on feelings, particularly feelings of rage. Note that the children are going nonlinear at a man who is utterly sympathetic to their underlying, invented grievances. Where do you go after that?

Here's a bonus tidbit from Twitter today. Black Lives Matter disrupting a Gay Pride parade in DC to protest ... I don't know what. As far as I can make out the chanting, it's racism in the police force - a police force that has painted gay rainbow emblems on their cars.
Getting back Rod's "Dark Age" we're facing, I would definitely agree in his diagnosis, but he's missing the dynamics at play. The rage and hate are consuming all of the fuel and it's not hard to imagine a point where the "normals," as Kurt Schlichter calls us, tune it out sufficiently to starve it of attention to the point where it subsides. The blacks are raging at the gays, the students are devouring supportive professors, the media is being eaten by the web, but there's one more piece.

Academia is being consumed by illogic. At the universities where they teach this rubbish, they have surrendered reason, fact and discussion. How far can that go? How long can you teach things that conflict with reality and refuse to consider other opinions? Can a university system survive after it discards debate?

This movement is near its end. This is the last, huge spasm of flames and destruction. The progressive, secular left is exhausted and is spending its energy in incoherent screaming.

Everyone wants meaning in their lives. Where is the meaning here? To me, the situation isn't ripe for retreat, but it's almost ripe for a counter-attack of evangelism. Things look darkest before the dawn and all that.

The loons are noisy and chaotic, but they're still loons. Lunatics can't build or sustain anything, they can only destroy and these are reaching the end of what they can wreck. We absolutely must "devote themselves to building up their faith, communities, institutions, and ways of life," not to hide in bunkers, but to prepare ourselves to spread the Word to a world of spent pagans.

1 comment:

tim eisele said...

When I see "tl/dr", I think of this statement that is attributed to everybody from Winston Churchill to Mark Twain (and maybe Julius Caesar?)

"If you want me to give a five-minute speech, I will need two weeks to prepare. For a twenty-minute speech, I will need three days. To speak for an hour or more, I am ready now."