Comment Of The Day: “Memorial Day Weekend Ethics Warm-Up, 5/25/2019: Julian, Conan, Naomi, and Ousamequin”

The Myles Standish Monument

Regular readers  know that there are many superb comments here that I don’t re-publish as Comments of the Day.  One category of comment that is often neglected is the jeremiad, and dire predictions of the dystopian, Orwellian future that the current all-out assault on American values, traditions and institutions will eventually produce. 

I don’t like fearmongering as a tactic; if I ever did, the disgusting resort to it by Democrats as a way to sabotage President Trump would have been sufficient to reverse my approval forever. Nor am I a pessimist regarding this remarkable nation and the strength of its unique culture and the citizens who maintain it. 

That does not mean, however, that I think we should ignore the dangers to democracy that are now building in intensity. In this Memorial Day themed Comment of the Day, Steve-O-in NJ raises legitimate concerns. Remember that MSNBC host Chris Hayes once said that he was uncomfortable calling fallen soldiers heroes.

This is the predominant ethos of today’s American Left, an anti-patriotic, anti-exceptionalism, anti-American, anti-nationalist mindset that really has absorbed John Lennon’s infantile vision of utopia—no borders, no nations, nothing to live or die for—as a driving philosophy.

Here is Steve-O’s Comment of the Day on the post,Memorial Day Weekend Ethics Warm-Up,5/25/2019: Julian, Conan, Naomi, and Ousamequin:

This holiday itself might come under attack.

The origins of Memorial Day aren’t as clear as you might think. The idea of decorating the graves of the fallen with flowers dates back to before the founding of this country, but here it was largely confined to families or, occasionally communities until the time of the Civil War. In 1861 Southern women organized to clean up and decorate the graves of the South’s fallen in Warrenton, VA and Savannah, GA, which leads to the concept that the holiday has Confederate roots. On May 1, 1865, the freedmen of Charleston, SC, led a parade of 10,000 to honor 257 Union soldiers who they had rescued from a mass grave and reburied. The earliest record of Decoration Day in the North was in 1868, proclaimed by General John Logan, Commander in Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic (Union veterans’ organization). Only in 1967 does Federal statute make it the holiday we know today.

The holiday is not a Confederate invention, nor was that first observance, in Charleston, even about the dead of the South.

Why do I throw this out there? In the current climate of statue-toppling and honor-withdrawing, I believe it’s only a matter of time before this holiday comes under attack. The link might sound precarious now, and the idea sounds preposterous now, but maybe only for now. Bad scholarship, factual cherry-picking, the very profitable grievance industry, and the emerging idea that anything that offends even one person has got to go make for a toxic brew. That toxic brew has already slimed many historical figures’ reputations and attacked other holidays. Don’t think it can happen to this one? Don’t be so sure. Get the straight stick now so you can lay it down next to the crooked one that’s coming.

This rabble-rouser is just more of the same – he says he wants to replace the sword with a tree or some other symbol of peace and change the motto to some modern PC thing about true peace and equality. Mmhmm, you’re offended, so you just get to rewrite everything to suit your views. BTW, not too far from the grave of Miles Standish in Duxbury, MA, there’s a monument to his memory in the form of a tower that rises 116 feet into the air, topped by his statue. How long before THAT comes under attack, I wonder?

34 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “Memorial Day Weekend Ethics Warm-Up, 5/25/2019: Julian, Conan, Naomi, and Ousamequin”

  1. I don’t think Memorial Day will topple like Confederate statues and Wilson having his name removed from Princeton. First, the Achilles Heel of the left was the atrocious behavior exhibited by them during the Vietnam War and Veterans and their children have long memories. Also, an attack on those currently serving in the military by trying to erase this national holiday would backfire on the left big time. Statues may tumble but the left will have to be content with skipping the celebration and shopping at their hipster boutiques..

    • Don’t be too sure. The left realized it made a mistake by attacking Christmas, which was too well-liked and too strong to take down…for now. Those currently serving are technically supposed to be honored in November on Veterans’ Day. Of course there’s an angle there too. Veterans’ Day was once called Armistice Day and was created to honor the end of WWI. Pacifists still beat the drum for restoring Armistice Day, and who’s to say that won’t gain traction?

      Less than a decade ago most of the country would have laughed at the idea of swapping Indigenous People’s Day for Columbus Day, outside of hopelessly liberal Berkeley, heavily Indian South Dakota, and Hawaii, which has no connection to Columbus and very few Italian Americans. Now the idea is catching on in dozens of cities and more than five states. At the same time the idea of toppling statues or dishonoring the Founding Fathers was a fringe idea. Now statues have come down all over the place and are still coming down, with plenty of favorable coverage every time, and there’s talk of expanding the idea to more than Confederates. The Massachusetts flag and the Mississippi flag are next. It’s partly a matter of the offended getting a little intoxicated with the power to destroy with a pointed finger, partly a matter of the non-offended not stiffening their spines.

      The fact is too many times the non-offended act like weenie parents who just give demanding kids what they want in the hopes of keeping them quiet. On the national level that used to be called appeasement. Churchill said that’s the equivalent of feeding a crocodile in the hopes it will eat you last. Just like parents need to be able to say no and have that be the final answer, those not offended by this or that need to say it, and have that be it. No, you can’t rewrite the calendar, no, you can’t redesign the flag, no, you can’t take down the statue or the cross or the monument or whatever. If those not offended capitulate in the hopes of shutting grievance-mongers up, they’re just giving the grievance-mongers a monopoly on honor, which I talked about almost 2 year ago. Suddenly it’s the easily offended who are telling us who we and what we can honor, when we can honor them, where we can honor them, and how we can honor them. If we deviate, they’ll scream, make noise, disrupt good order, and make it hard to conduct business. I ask, how’s that any different than giving a screaming child the bear or the candy, or whatever, just to temporarily keep them quiet, until they decide they want something else?

  2. In the current climate of statue-toppling and honor-withdrawing, I believe it’s only a matter of time before this holiday comes under attack. The link might sound precarious now, and the idea sounds preposterous now, but maybe only for now.

    Wow. I hadn’t thought of this, but your comment rings frighteningly prescient.

    When making plowshares from swords becomes a religion, this all makes sense. And a religion it is becoming, with the Green New Deal is its founding document.

    • It’s been a religion since Karl Marx wrote his anti-state screed calling traditional religion the opiate of the masses. John Reed and Eugene V. Debs were its first apostles here and there’s always been someone or several someones preaching it. It’s no mistake that the day after 9/11 the internet was flooded with let’s-not-retaliate, let’s-not-be-hasty, let’s-beware-islamophobia kumbaya pieces from the usual suspects. People like Philip Berrigan, like Lee Hays, like Lynne Stewart, like Jeanette Rankin, like Bernie Sanders never met a leftist tyrant they didn’t like. Once the Cold War ended (although Lee Hays and Jeanette Rankin were long dead by then) they never met a Muslim who wasn’t a poor, downtrodden victim of the west and Zionism who used terror because it was the only way he could make himself heard. The Green New Deal is just the latest gospel of many.

      • Hwere, Steve clearly expresses the typical, if crass, American jingoism. It is emotional, non-reasoned, does not address the real issues, and will lead to disaster (is leading to disaster).

        Now, let’s see all of you chime in together in support. And while at it, be sure to make some sharp statement against me, who is criticizing this entire bogus-conservative attitude.

          • Of course not, Steve. This is what *you* do best: shut your ears and accuse anyone of trying to bring different information to your attention of anti-patriotism or any number of different defects.

            It becomes a *group project* when, together, you chime in to attack (as is inevitable) the one bringing a contrary message.

            To understand what is really going on, why, and how it has come about, is complex, and to decipher it is a moral endeavor. And you fail in this endeavor . . .

            . . . because you shut your ears.

            You are in a closed loop. And *you-plural* need to break out of it.

            It is not really a radical message. But getting through your defense-structures, that is difficult indeed!

            • As E. Michael Jones puts it:

              “Two parties that represent the oligarchs, and no party that represents the people.”

              The orientation of American pseudo-conservatism needs to rediscover its roots. Its roots are in conservative social values associated with people, their communities and their values.

              All my studies have led me to the same: it is imperative for Conservatism to renew republican values by actually holding to them.

              Here, here is G. Washington:

              I dwell on this prospect with every satisfaction which an ardent love for my country can inspire, since there is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity; since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained; and since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered, perhaps, as deeply, as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.

        • American jingoism

          You say that as if it’s a bad thing. Maybe you’re more inclined to something like American showing pacifism when confronted by multiple regimes that threaten the United States? Diplomacy from a position of military and national strength is always better than appearing to be weak.

          …this entire bogus-conservative attitude.

          Do you think any attitude that reflects something different than your own attitude is bogus?

          In general it sounds to me like you’re intentionally trying to stir the pot with your language, are you trolling?

          • You are certainly not the first one to make the *trolling* insinuation!

            A troll, for some, is anyone who doesn’t accept their position, and also someone who challenges them to examine their *cherished notions*.

            This is a blog where ethics are discussed. I hope that you will agree with me that there is little in our lives of greater importance than our ethics and our moral position. What we think connects to how we act. Therefore, talking about what we think is imperative.

            I have determined that American Conservatism has taken a road that has led it into ‘bogus’ territory, and I will express my ideas and defend them anywhere, and at anytime, against anyone.

            The purpose of saying this, the purpose of taking this stance, is the induce a greater focus on both ethics and morality. If you understand this, you will understand my motives. If I am wrong in my critique of American Conservatism, I invite you to correct me.

            I am definitely, and beyond any doubt, “intentionally trying to stir the pot”. The “pot” is American intellectuals and an important on-going conversation (though I also communicate with people in Europe and elsewhere, and there are numerous foreigners who participate in this Blog.)

            If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to ask! 🙂

            • You are certainly not the first one to make the *trolling* insinuation!

              I wonder why that is? Maybe you should self-reflect and consider that the insinuation is accurate especially when you openly state “I am definitely, and beyond any doubt, “intentionally trying to stir the pot”.” and doing so in a what that seems to be a off on a rhetorical tangent; or, do you just reject the trolling insinuation like you reject opinions that you disagree and immediately flag them as bogus?

              A troll, for some, is anyone who doesn’t accept their position, and also someone who challenges them to examine their *cherished notions*.

              I think you might be using hyperbole; who defines a troll like that?

              What we think connects to how we act. Therefore, talking about what we think is imperative.

              I suspect you really like hearing yourself talk, rereading your comments over and over again and patting yourself on the back.

              I have determined that American Conservatism has taken a road that has led it into ‘bogus’ territory…

              That’s your opinion. I have determined that you have taken a road that has lead into bogus territory. There, that’s the stance I have taken.

              If I am wrong in my critique of American Conservatism, I invite you to correct me.

              I’m pretty sure you’re goading me and any critique of your opinion would meet with a tediously long essay that not-so-clearly explains how you’re the only one that’s right, so I think I’ll just respectfully say no thanks to your invitation.

              • Had you been around here longer, you’d understand what I mean: you-plural take the exact same tack, every time, with so little deviation, that it seems to come from a cookie-cutter.

                Have it your way. Every idea I expressed to days stands uncontested.

                • Had you been around here longer, you’d understand what I mean

                  You have no idea how long I’ve been here.

                  Every idea I expressed to days stands uncontested.

                  Do you think that means everyone agrees with you or do you think it means that no one want’s to engage you because they know that they’ll get “the exact same tack, every time, with so little deviation, that it seems to come from a cookie-cutter”? Isn’t that self-reflecting mirror turned towards you annoying?

                    • No, but like a lot of us have discovered, the broken record gets boring. Steve W is discovering that Alizia is the ONLY holder of truth, and everyone else are uneducated rubes who should be sitting at her feet and hanging on to every word.

                      How can you claim to wish to change minds when (I suspect) most of us skip your diatribes, having read them enough to know the gist mentioned above?

                      Steve W may have a point. In all seriousness, I cannot think of a better explanation for your narratives:

                      …you really like hearing yourself talk, rereading your comments over and over again and patting yourself on the back.

                    • We’ve already been over this, Slick. If I am a ‘broken record’ then really everyone is, more or less. Anyone who has certain ideas they are working with, or values they hold and feel important, will inevitably become the ‘broken record’ you resent. Except when one repeats what others, or some other, desires to hear. Then one ‘sings’.

                      Jeremiah was also a ‘broken record’! And so are the people — in your Church for example — who bring forth critiques that are resisted and opposed.

                      . . . and everyone else are uneducated rubes . . .

                      Noun INFORMAL • NORTH AMERICAN
                      Rube; plural noun: rubes: a country bumpkin.
                      Late 19th century: abbreviation of the given name Reuben

                      I am not interested, as I have said 3-4 times, in ‘convincing’. The only thing I think we can do is state our case. I believe in the power of intelligence.

                      Americans are known to be ‘anti-intellectual’. They are said to have contempt for ‘ideas’ and to become aggressive and irritated by those who ‘talk over their heads’. I would imagine that some ‘rubes’ would react in that way.

                      My position is different. I say that *you* are a criminal people insofar as you will not face the doings, in the present and in the recent past, of your country and its policies. So, not ‘rubes’ but criminals.

                      And we are all implicated in this criminality.

                      People get roped into the criminal enterprises through ideological (and also patriotic) manipulation. And I am interested in confronting that.

                      Sorry, my friend, that it rubs you the wrong way. But look at it differently and — perhaps — you might see it more charitably.

                    • You were ‘done’ when you never engaged.

                      There is nothing wrong nor objectionable in what I wrote, Slick.

                      Just making the effort to tell the truth.

  3. Steve-O-in-NJ,
    Great Comment of the Day!

    I believe it’s only a matter of time before this holiday comes under attack.

    Everything that our culture has ever held dear WILL come under attack from the totalitarian fascists in the extreme political left. Their goal is to destroy our culture from within because they been brainwashed into truly believing that our culture is evil. The only way they can destroy our culture is from within is to smear everything that makes up our culture as evil and intimidate the masses into submission.

    I agree with others; the evidence is all around us, the left’s totalitarian fascists are winning the battle of the minds.

    • Today’s horoscope! 🙂

      “The idea of newness is going to be very exciting for you today, and your exploration of the unknown will give you all the newness you crave. Seek out unfamiliar topics and feed your brain new input. Your curiosity about meta-politics or critical social philosophy is on the rise, and if you have the chance to read thoughtful exposition while you’re in this phase, you should definitely do it! Thinking the same way about the same things over and over again is bound to get boring, so go learn something new!”
      _________________________________

      Steve Witherspoon wrote: “Everything that our culture has ever held dear WILL come under attack from the totalitarian fascists in the extreme political left. Their goal is to destroy our culture from within because they been brainwashed into truly believing that our culture is evil. The only way they can destroy our culture is from within is to smear everything that makes up our culture as evil and intimidate the masses into submission.

      “I agree with others; the evidence is all around us, the left’s totalitarian fascists are winning the battle of the minds.”

      First, and sort of in *answer* to your previous ‘questions’: I am an unlikely candidate for this Blog and I have, and everyone else has, long known this. Though I am certain of my relationship to ethics as a vital concern, the categories that are important to me are philosophical and metaphysical. I know those are *big words* for many Americans who operate under the hyper-New World pragmatism that only asks ‘Does the dog hunt?’ But, in the larger and surrounding intellectual world, the world that defines the Occident and *our traditions*, philosophy and metaphysics are essential areas of concern.

      When I read what you have written — your contribution to the Ethics Conversation — the thing I first note is the excruciating shallowness of your observation. What you do here is nothing more than ‘chiming in’ to a general condemnation of what The Left (you and many here have ascribed to them the misleading label of ‘totalitarian fascists’, an emotional term of very little usefulness to arrive at clarity about what is going on in our day, but the sort of reductionism which defines your intellectual level: reductionist and, if I may say so, ridiculous). I regards reductionisms of this sort as ethical failings in and of themselves. More — much more — is required. And much more will be demanded.

      One of the problems with the simplistic statements that you make about the ‘totalitarian fascists’, and I mean the paragraph taken as a whole, is that though it seems simple — the assertion — it is not. And breaking it down is time-consuming. It necessitates intellectual endeavor. For one example, you say that “the left’s totalitarian fascists are winning the battle of the minds” as if this is a sufficient statement. You also say that

      “Everything that our culture has ever held dear WILL come under attack from the totalitarian fascists in the extreme political left.”

      I say that *you* (I use a plural *you* in the sense that ideologically you participate in a kind of ‘choir of opinion’) have very little idea what has undermined ‘what our culture has held dear’ and that your statements are grotesque characterizations that are hardly useful in serious ethical and moral conversation about what is going on in our present. Not only is it merely a *complaint*, it has no relationship to causal analysis of the Postwar Era. If I were to push further to get you to clarify, you’d no doubt resort to a litany of shallow statements about the ‘goodness of America’ and you’d use these as a shield to keep yourself from any depth analysis. This is done time and time again here.

      I would argue, and I do argue, that the roots of the moral and ethical destruction we clearly notice and lament in our present have complex roots in the general system, and the general system must be examined free from the artificial imposition of crass, and misleading, party designations. If one is interested in causation, and if one is a ‘serious person’, and if one has some part of one’s brain intact and some remnant of one’s moral self left, one could turn one’s lens of analysis to the extreme damage that right-leaning and neoconservative administrations have wrought upon ‘the culture’. Now, you say that it is the ‘totalitarian fascists of the extreme political left’ that are doing the damage. That is shallow and also tendentious analysis.

      “What is doing damage” must be turned into a question, and then one must proceed to attempt investigate, and to converse, the question. If ‘bias makes us stupid’ then we must choose to exit the constraining limits of facile opinion about what the problems are. Analysis needs to become far more trenchant. And in addition (this is my personal emphasis) we need to recognize our own *complicity* within the ‘general system’. It is then not a ‘them’ that I need to focus on but more of an ‘us’ and a ‘we’.

      Jack began this thread with a reference to Jeremiah. What ‘Jeremiah’ means — what Jeremiah must mean — is a level of self-analysis that is driven by moral concerns and imperatives. By framing the issues within this context — let us say of *profound ethical analysis* — I do not think I have made any mistake at all. I think rather that I am getting to the core.

      Other questions revolve around What is ‘dear’? And what should be ‘held dear’? And what is not being ‘held dear’ when, for example, our Nation has become less of a republic and much more of an imperialism and an elaborate political control system. I recognize that your mind, based on your simple declarative reductions, might have difficulty going into this analytical territory. And please excuse me if it seems that I am dragging you along . . .

      “Their goal is to destroy our culture from within because they been brainwashed into truly believing that our culture is evil.”

      You do not know what is ‘evil’ nor what is ‘good’. Or, perhaps, you never took the conversation seriously. I would ask you questions of course about this. So, I am left with ‘intuited senses’ of your ignorance. Because you reveal that you deal in shallow declarations about the ‘other’ you have identified as the source of ‘evil’.

      If something is there ‘within’ — what is that? How is it that a culture that perhaps once had a solid moral or ethical ground in commonly appreciated values, how is it that it slides away from that? It is simply obvious to even a somewhat bright cucaracha that these are demanding and complex questions. I would suggest to you — and any of my beloved readers! — that it is imperative to frame the question What Is Destroying Our Culture(s) as a starting point. Then, apply the St John’s method of dialectical conversation.

      “The only way they can destroy our culture is from within is to smear everything that makes up our culture as evil and intimidate the masses into submission.”

      Facile statement. Not without elements of truth however. But that is its problem, or one of them. I can only suggest — my time is running out and there is a man with a hook off-stage who is gesticulating furiously at me! — that this statement is horrifyingly misleading; that it must be broken down into parts and turned into questions; and the questions then approached with an open mind. (Not with a biased mind that will produce stupidity).

      [Finally, as a bonus comment for which I will not charge you even a penny, we do not live in a Nation of one culture; we live in a Nation of many different cultures, and they are different and even non-commensurate cultures.]

      My analysis — our analysis (that is of Traditionalists) — takes into consideration perspectives that are non-typical, but interesting and I think very helpful. This is from an essay by Julius Evola dated 1950 in which he expostulates on the ruinous postwar conditions:

      The only thing that counts today is this: that we find ourselves in the midst of a world in ruins. The problem to pose is, do men on their own still exist in the must of these ruins? And what must they do, what can they still do?

      Such a problem, in truth, goes far beyond yesterday’s coalitions, because it is clear that both victors and defeated now find themselves on the same level, and the only result of the Second World War has been to reduce Europe to the object of extra-European powers and interests. We have to recognize that the devastation we have around us is primarily of a moral character. We are in a climate of general moral amnesia and of profound disorientation, despite all the accepted ways of speaking in common use in a society of consumers and democracy: the surrender of character and every true dignity, an ideological wasting away, the supremacy of the lowest interests, and living day by day, in general characterize post-war man.

      Recognizing this means also recognizing that the first problem, the foundation of every other one, is of an internal character: getting up on your feet, standing up inside, giving oneself a form, and creating in oneself an order and uprightness. People who delude themselves today about the possibility of a purely political struggle and about the power of one or another formula or system, who do not possess a new human quality as a precise opposing vision, have learned none of the lessons of the recent past.Here is a principle that ought to be absolutely clear today more than ever: if a state were to possess a political or social system that, in theory, would count as the most perfect one, but the human substance of which it is comprised were tainted, well then, that state would sooner or later descend to the level of the lowest societies, while a people, a race capable of producing real men, men of just feeling and secure instinct, would reach a high level of civilization and would stay on its feet before the most calamitous tests even if its political system were faulty and imperfect.

      We should therefore take a firm stand against that false political realism that thinks only in terms of programs, partisan political issues, and social and economic recipes. All this belongs to the contingent, not the essential. The measure of what can still be saved rather depends on the existence, or absence, of men who stand before us not to recite talking points, but to be models: not yielding to the demagogy or materialism of the masses, but to revive different forms of sensibilities and interests. Beginning with what can still survive among the ruins, and slowly to construct a new man to be animated by means of a determined spirit and an adequate vision of life, and fortified by means of an iron adherence to given principles — this is the real problem.

      • …any critique of [Alizia’s] opinion would meet with a tediously long essay that not-so-clearly explains how [Alizia is] the only one that’s right…

        It appears that I was slightly off with that assessment.

        It appears that one need not post a critique of Alizia’s opinion to be faced with a “tediously long essay…” in reply, one need only to have posted a critique of Alizia at some point in time which she will rationalize in her mind to justify trolling the comments of the mean old person that once critiqued her. “Vengeance is mine” sayeth Alizia the all knowing and the never ending wrath will forever rain down upon dissenters.

        I agree with slickwilly above, “the broken record gets boring”.

        Sorry everyone for disturbing the relative slumber of the Alizia monster.

  4. “I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth”.

    The Prophecy Of Jeremiah, one of the major prophetical writings of the Old Testament. Jeremiah, a Judaean prophet whose activity spanned four of the most tumultuous decades in his country’s history.

    An unusual feature of this book is the “confessions” of Jeremiah, a group of individual laments reflecting the personal struggles precipitated by the prophet’s role as the spokesman of a message so unpopular that it evoked imprisonments and threats to his life.

    Jeremiah was commanded by God to “run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now and know, and seek in the broad places thereof if ye can find a man, if there be any that executed judgment, that seeks the truth, and I will pardon it”

    Jack wrote: “One category of comment that is often neglected is the jeremiad, and dire predictions of the dystopian, Orwellian future that the current all-out assault on American values, traditions and institutions will eventually produce.”

    I don’t like fear-mongering as a tactic; if I ever did, the disgusting resort to it by Democrats as a way to sabotage President Trump would have been sufficient to reverse my approval forever. Nor am I a pessimist regarding this remarkable nation and the strength of its unique culture and the citizens who maintain it.

    I realize that your analysis has nothing to do, and cannot take into consideration at any level, the notion of ‘divine punishment’ (or ‘blessing’). I also realize that in your system of ethics there is no notion of God. And I also realize that the term ‘jeremiad’ is used in a looser sense of of ‘devastating critique’ at best or ‘rhetorical bluster’ at worse.

    Yet it is impossible to examine and consider America absent the notion of God, simply because America came into being through the life-choices of highly religious people. It is impossible to separate America, or to abstract America in the present, from its previous religious ground. Religion and religious idealism still lives in America, though those who are religious lament (along with Jeremiah!) that the nation not only seems to have, but has, literally gone off the tracks.

    Along with the European shift to the Right — a reaction against forms of liberalism which are directly ties to America as an entity ‘gone off the rails’ (thus the terms Americanism and Americanopolis in their negative connotation) — there is a general movement in popular culture, as distinct from ‘socially engineered’ elite culture, to redefine religious commitment. What this means is that tens of thousands, and perhaps hundreds of thousands, of concerned people are turning their attention to those intellects who are addressing the issue of a ‘destructive and perverting cultural liberalism’ and what it has done and what it is doing. And many are trying to define defensive measures against the sickness of American culture as a product that is exported against the will of concerned people, and which does harm to people.

    Here, on this blog, among so-called ‘American patriots’ who have a very difficult time seeing their own selves and their own country for what it is now, and what it does now, a critical posture is IMPOSSIBLE. And this position — rigid, closed-minded, jingoists really — is part of the problem, and not part of a solution.

    The term ‘current assault on American values’ is a patriotic statement that has to be unpacked. By saying ‘patriotic’ I mean non-philosophical and not thoroughly considered. Patriotism, as everyone knows or should know, has problematic elements. There is a history of popular opposition to the elite (war) projects of American planners, and those who oppose war and embroilment are not anti-patriots. But this is what is said on this blog, and this is (in essence) Jack’s position. There is zero critical exposition about America’s recent wars and the horrifyingly negative effect they had and are having. The idea cannot even be considered. The original America First Movement could be brought out and considered. As an intellectual undertaking (to consider popular opposition to the social engineering and national manipulation of elite planners) that would be impossible anywhere in the MSM as well as in academia, and the question to ask is Why is that? I have made the effort dozens of times to broach that topic and received ‘patriotic silence’.

    All I can do is to repeat what I have said many times already: there is a movement that has begun that is examining the foundations of ‘liberalism’ in our present, and it is revisionist (in a positive sense) because it reexamines cherished historical narratives that are the base of a questionable patriotism: a patriotism that is employed to manipulate people to surrender to ‘elite’ projects that are not for their benefit.

    There is no guarantee — of any sort! — that “God favors America” at this juncture, just as God did not favor Judea at the juncture that Jeremiah brought out those powerful critiques. It is very very hard to understand the machinations of history from any perspective, and certainly problematic to attempt a Biblically-based critique, but it was G. Washington himself who spoke of “the propitious smiles of Heaven”, and this is not, or should not, be considered an essentially meaningless poetical phrase. But what ‘Heaven’ refers to must certainly be revisited and reconsidered.

    • Some background on America First, and one example of how ‘concerned and thoughtful people’ are a) opposing standardized American ‘conservatism, and b) forging new and different understandings. There are numerous currents of ideas that are flowing into these new understandings, but I would call attention to the European conservative critique that developed in reaction to May 1968.

      • See, this is an area upon which we agree: America without a moral, Christian compass is a rudderless barge, drifting where the winds blow it, crushing things it bumps against.

        There is no guarantee — of any sort! — that “God favors America” at this juncture, just as God did not favor Judea at the juncture that Jeremiah brought out those powerful critiques.

        Indeed.

        That is why we rely upon this:
        “If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chron 7:14

        You are seeing that promise act out today, as progressives are rolled back, as their lies are exposed, and as every plan to destroy Trump rebounds on them, returning void.

        • “If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chron 7:14

          You are seeing that promise act out today, as progressives are rolled back, as their lies are exposed, and as every plan to destroy Trump rebounds on them, returning void.

          If this has meaning, its meaning has to be understood and acted upon at profound levels. If a person or a people go astray, that can be talked about and understood. And rectified. Most people understand what ‘personal rectification’ is. I know that I do. But if a nation goes ‘astray’, and if one can say or would say that ‘America has gone astray’, that requires serious and concerted effort of description. How? Why has this happened? There are lots and lots of questions that have to be asked.

          You project onto these ‘progressives’, and it is possible that ‘the progressives’ do embody some kind of wrong or ‘evil’ that requires correction. But you fail to define — it would seem — what are the errors and misdeeds of the nation.

          Therefore, your analysis is shallow because your base-position is shallow.

          I accept that the admonition in the Biblical quote is relevant and needs to be paid attention to. I accept that ‘a land’ can suffer the result of its sin and transgression (and become sick or even plagued). And I often believe that I can see that the nation of America, and the people of America, are suffering under the weight of ‘transgressions’.

          But when it comes to seeing, describing, and rectifying national transgressions, that is a much larger, and much harder, area. As you know, I locate an area of huge transgression and frightening evil in the unjustifiable wars engineered be ‘nefarious groups’. Are those groups ‘progressives’? Hardly. More properly, you could refer to those interests as ‘structural America’. And we are all complicit, in various ways and degrees, in that. If that is one ’cause’ of transgression, I am aware that I could locate others.

          So, instruct me about the ‘healing of the nation’.

          It is non-intelligent to see the source of America’s ills (if we consider the issue from religious or perhaps from ‘metaphysical’ angles) as caused by ‘progressives’. If one is going to speak of a ‘national transgression’ one is going to have to spell it out in concrete and precise terms.

          Many different people have made this effort. Many different people are concerned about the questions. Some have been progressives (and some still are). To blame the progressives lets everyone else off the hook.

          You will never succeed in getting me to shut up. Nor should such ever be asked.

        • Slick wrote: “You are seeing that promise act out today, as progressives are rolled back, as their lies are exposed, and as every plan to destroy Trump rebounds on them, returning void.”

          From Paul Gottfried’s introduction to some of his essays titled War & Democracy:

          Although I was not opposed to the existence of a Jewish state in the Middle East, it also became annoying how thoroughly the conservative movement and the Republican Party, to which it was joined at the hip, became predictable vehicles for a certain Zionist view. I am certainly not saying that conservatives should not be entitled to take any position they want on Arab-Israeli disputes. The problem is that a very zealous Zionism became foundational for American conservatism with the neoconservative takeover of the movement; and almost any leftist position is now forgivable in the conservative press as long as the politician or journalist in question is “sound on Israel”. Later support for Middle Eastern wars, which neoconservatives were instrumental in getting off the ground, has provided a further litmus test for political acceptability by the neoconservative-controlled Right.

          This may serve as a lead-in to those opinions and interpretations that my readers will discover in my work since the 1990s. First off, I have become more skeptical about the use of American power than I was during the height of the Cold War. I have also grown critical of “value talk,” which in the context of American politics means placing a rhetorical veil over one’s political intentions. I no longer find a critical difference between the American Right and the American Left; and except for a certain disparity in power and economic resources, I believe the U.S. is moving along the same trajectory as Western and Central Europe, away from a bourgeois or older Western civilization, toward some form of post-Christian, postmodern culture presided
          over by a vast administrative apparatus.

          Rather than being a counterweight to this trend, the U.S.has abetted it both culturally and politically. Whether through the export of our cultural industry or through our political opposition to anything resembling a nationalist or rightist alternative to Western Europe’s politically correct, anti-fascist governments, we have had a huge hand in what has gone on across the Atlantic. This can be seen from our “re-education” of the post-war Germans down to the expressions of comfort among our journalists across the permissible political spectrum with a morally decaying, “progressive” Europe, based on international agencies and something vaguely resembling the “free market.” It is a Europe of satellites that we have tried to create, one lacking national
          traditions and any identity distinct from our made-in-America
          homogenizing ideology. This fits perfectly into what neoconservative
          publicist Francis Fukuyama celebrated in the 1990s as the liberal democratic “end of history” under the American aegis. Although pulled along by the same forces, American political elites are delighted by the powerlessness and servility of the Old World. The best they can offer as a remedy to the flood of often hostile Muslims settling in European countries is a campaign to teach the incoming population “human rights” and feminist values.

          Gottfried: “I believe the U.S. is moving along the same trajectory as Western and Central Europe, away from a bourgeois or older Western civilization, toward some form of post-Christian, postmodern culture presided
          over by a vast administrative apparatus.”

          It seems wise to take all of what he writes, and this in particular, into consideration when one meditates on America in its present state or condition.

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