Winter Fundraiser 2016, Day Six
All our quarterly fundraisers are invigorating for the Baron and me. By the last day we’re tired, but it’s the kind of fatigue that comes with, say, the adrenaline aftermath accompanying a successful race. Those endorphins kick in and we sail on, invigorated.
Having done so many of these week-long blegs, by now I know the patterns well enough to be — as they say in Anthropology 101 — a good participant observer. By Day Six, I’m long past worrying about finding something not-too-boring to say about whatever theme we choose. In fact, I’d love to be more succinct, but it’s my Celtic DNA. After all these years we’ve been at it the ability to stick to the chosen theme has become much easier, though. Yes, I still wander through the thickets but they’re thematic thickets, see?
By this point I can look back with great cheerfulness at all our new donors, some of them without doubt Matt Bracken fans. This pleases the Baron no end since he’s admired Mr. Bracken’s work for some time. And I’m heartened that many small donations came through this time. Yes, I sure do enjoy the excitement of a large gift, but we depend on our many small donors. since they tend to be the most enduring. Some people have been giving to this project every single quarter since we first started our Funders. You’d be amazed at how that adds up over the years… many of them never comment, never email us, but every quarter, there they are.
That goes double for our subscribers. Those who choose to subscribe are in a special category: a monthly subscription is an act of faith, a demonstrated belief in this project called Gates of Vienna. They say with their actions that they still believe — despite all the corruption higher up — that the West is worth fighting for, as indeed it is. We, all of us, have faith that unlike Islam, the West is capable of another large scale Reformation; we just don’t know what form it will take. It is impossible to believe otherwise when we see people who are deeply committed not only to their own nation or culture but to the concept of sovereign borders for all states, however they choose to define themselves. For example, the Armenians will never, ever give up in their quest for justice, for an admission by all the countries who stood by while Turkey tried to annihilate them. Nor will the Kurds — divided into Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria — ever cease striving for their own sovereign state. Not Turkey’s annual spring forays into northern Iraq, nor Saddam Hussein’s genocidal use of WMD to horribly murder 60,000 Iraqi Kurds — none of the attempts to reduce them to tatters will ever succeed. If they get their wish, unification of a long-separated ‘family’ is bound to create more turmoil. But it will be Kurdish turmoil and that makes all the difference.
I took immediately to the idea of using Al Stewart’s “A Man For All Seasons” as the source of our theme. Yes, I know: Thomas More was a man of his time: he persecuted/killed dissenters. But — as has now become part of America’s lexicon — “what difference, at this point, does it make?” Henry executed Thomas More because the latter would not put the power of the monarch above the power of the Church. This is why the Reformation in England had a more administrative basis, unlike those on the Continent. Henry would have stuck with the Church if the Church had stuck with Henry and accepted his not-too-unreasonable justifications for an annulment. But the Church was an insular, behind-the-curve-of-history southern Mediterranean and ROMAN institution. This would be proved elsewhere, beginning with Germany. Luther was dissenting, but the Church and the Augustinians wouldn’t accept his laundry list.
Those of us in this war — for a war it certainly is — fight against several leftist dogmas. For the purposes of this essay I’ll limit their errors to the ones mentioned below. By all means, add the ones you’ve noticed:
- that globalism is good and nationalism is evil.
- that large central governments far removed from the lives it seeks to regulate are a preferable form of governance;
- that newer and ever-more detailed regulations will make us safer;
- that governmental intrusion into the private domains of business, medicine, small family farms or even individual family lives are all positive and to be desired by right-thinking people.
“Right” here meaning, of course, left — or as they prefer to deem these schemes, “progressive”, even though their track record is abysmal. In America, from the creation of the Federal Reserve to the whim theory of ObamaCare’s cynicism, we have regressed for a hundred years. We are increasingly less free, more ignorant, and chronically sicker than we were at the beginning of the 20th century.
Our progress has come not from government but via individuals. In America — Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, the Wright Brothers, George Washington Carver — all improved our lives via private endeavors driven by personal passion.
And while progressives don’t mind labeling us “extremists”, they pursue massive lawlessness with their flagrantly unconstitutional establishment of so-called “sanctuary cities” that openly violate our immigration laws. When the pushback on this mass criminality comes into play — and those days are certainly in our future — the sanctimonious sanctuary founders and their captive media will be shocked at the widespread refusal to bend to their massive ignorance of geopolitical history. In la-la land, unicorns abound and everyone has learned to happily “just get along”. Don’t believe me? Just look at those utopias like Chicago and Detroit. Or the turmoil at our southwest border: Mexico’s Revenge.
And all those European “sanctuaries” offer a nightmare version of America’s future.
In a way, though (even if a very limited one), Europe is fortunate in the longer term to have had this deliberately massive intrusion forced upon it. The reality is so very large, so in-your-face, that it has caused reactive phenomena like a continent-wide PEGIDA, an outpouring of citizen outrage, and the rise of moderate nationalists in France, the Netherlands, and even Sweden. A year ago, could you have predicted (a) Mutti Merkel’s insanity, or (b) the rapid increase/spread of PEGIDA? How about (c): the decisions by Norway and then Sweden to begin deporting some members of the Criminal Class they invited in?
It’s not just that our readers take the time to share their resources with us, though that’s always heartening — and life-saving for Gates of Vienna. Even more memorable and enriching are the personal stories donors and commenters share with us. I never fail to be amazed at the breadth of experience y’all bring to the conversation. I can never thank enough those who’ve contacted me to talk about their own lives — both their sorrows and triumphs.
This first began when I wrote a post that took the form of an Open Letter to Cindy Sheehan. Remember that poor woman? I could understand how her grief over her soldier-son’s death might make her unhinged but the chase for media attention (nothing the Progressive Press likes better than all the opportunities she provided for them to play anti-war, just as they did in Vietnam) was a circus of opportunistic loons. At the time, Cindy Sheehan was the epitome of Drama Queen with a Captive Audience.
I will have to admit It’s a good thing I don’t mind being wrong or I wouldn’t have lasted long here. But turning out to be wrong doesn’t mean I’m ever in doubt about my beliefs or attitudes. The thing is, I have no problem changing them (or some aspect of them) when shown my mistake. I know that sounds contradictory — to say that even though I’m not always right, I’m never in doubt — but that’s the reality… drives the Baron crazy. Unlike Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “lost childhood’s faith”, I didn’t let mine go. It’s more accurate to say that as I matured, so did my beliefs. Thus the content of belief was altered by experience, but the process of faith itself remained whole and intact. Gabriel Marcel said somewhere or other that as soon as one reduces faith to mere doctrine, one ceases to be a person of faith; all too often the next step is to pick up the cudgels of dogma instead. In that case, whatever authenticity of faith experience was present is annihilated by a fear of living with ambiguity. A sign of gravitas and maturity is a willingness to live with uncertainty. When one learns to do that, it’s not as though suddenly you have all the answers. Instead, you find that your questions change.
A good example is the experience of becoming an Islamophobe, a Counterjihadist. No one starts there. Instead it’s the last stage, the point at which you realize you’re not objecting to a religion, nor are you protesting against a race. Instead you reach the awful realization that Evil does indeed exist, and in many cases it has assumed human form. By then we’re long past pointing to individuals who are Muslims and “good” people. We know they’re ‘good’ but their benignity is in spite of the sadistic juridical basis of Islam, not because of it. We recognize Islam as Churchill described it in the second volume of his The River War:
How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die: but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.
Ah well, so much for Christianity being sheltered in the strong arms of science. Instead we have witnessed the spread of dogmatic Scientism, with a few brave scientists keeping their religious faith intact. If you’re interested in the unexpurgated version — i.e., both volumes — see the References section, here.
In typical Wikipedia fashion, Churchill is criticized for his “unenlightened” views in comparison to that worthy, FDR [somebody tell that one to Diana West]. Meanwhile, Snopes, the famous repository of Truthiness on the web, has a section on this “obscure” quotation. Just search for Snopes Churchill quote. It would be amusing if it weren’t so deliberately ignorant. Progressives have acquired many Marxist-Soviet habits regarding historical chronicles.
It is sad to realize that Churchill’s subsequent political ambitions caused him to have the original two-volume account reduced to one book with this passage, along with inconvenient truths about his English contemporaries, excised. No wonder Tommy Robinson runs screaming from the room when political office is mentioned. TR is indeed charismatic, but his charism is better utilized as a cultural gadfly, much in the way Socrates was. I hope he doesn’t meet Socrates’ fate, but in modern times has there ever been a man more hounded and bounded by the chattering classes in Britain? It shows how rapidly things are changing that The Telegraph broke the rules and published a review of his book. Tommy obviously doesn’t care; he’s learned that any moderately not-awful attention is good for the cause.
None of our heroes is perfect. God forbid. But in the terms of historical importance, it only matters that they were courageous enough to strive:
We measure our gains out in luck and coincidence
Lanterns to turn back the night
And it is largely luck and coincidence. Tommy Robinson didn’t set out to become a beloved/hated icon. But the Karma Dude decided to fit him up for fame anyway. It does the heart good to see him out of gaol, for however long the corrupt UK soviet decides to let him be.
And now for Day Five’s Donors. Some of the states had more than one donor. I do wonder if we’ll ever hear from Kentucky, though:
Stateside: California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington
Near Abroad: Canada
Far Abroad: Australia, Israel, New Zealand, and the UK
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