The 28th of December of this year will mark the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
The Soviet Union was a product of the so-called `Russian October Revolution` which sought to “liberate” workers and establish a communist utopia but in truth resulted in the murdering of the Romanov royal family, government-engineered famines which killed millions in Ukraine, persecution of Christians, a secret police force, and slave labour camps. Inevitably, like most violent political revolutions, the Russian one ended in failure after 75 years.
The Russian Revolution is, however, a product of the nature of revolution itself. According to the Brazilian traditionalist thinker Plinio Correa de Oliveira, revolution is made up of three distinct stages. The first stage consists of a crisis in the tendencies which he describes as “disorderly tendencies [which] by their very nature struggle for realization. No longer conforming to a whole order of things contrary to them, they begin by modifying mentalities, ways of being, artistic expressions, and customs without immediately touching directly – at least habitually – ideas.” The second stage is the revolution of ideas, which means that, from the aforementioned deep tendencies, arise new dogmas. On the revolution of ideas, Plinio states, “they at times seek a modus vivendi with the old doctrines, expressing themselves in such a way as to maintain a semblance of harmony with them. Generally, however, this soon breaks out into open warfare.” Lasty, Plinio mentions the revolution of facts, whereby revolutionary beliefs and ideas are made into physical practice through both violent and non-violent means. It is presented by Plinio as when “the institutions, laws, and customs are transformed both in the religious realm and in temporal society.”
Violent revolutions survive to the extent that they can hold on to the momentum which put them in power in the first place. This attempt at maintaining momentum while in power most of the time means the removal of enemies of the revolution at all costs which, in some cases, also includes the very same people who initiated it in the first place, for the revolution always eats its own children like Saturn devouring his own offspring, and as the Savoyard counter-revolutionary thinker, Joseph de Maistre says, “it is usually the revolution which leads men, not men lead it.”
Even more dangerous, however, than bloody and violent revolutions are those which are cultural and metaphysical, and concerned with popular thought. This is because the consequences of such revolutions are felt more often than not in the long-term and usually start out as mere harmless reforms.
Two such metaphysical values emerge from metaphysical revolutions: absolute equality and absolute liberty. These two values are typically also accompanied by two parallel vices: pride and sensuality.
The proud man yearns for egalitarianism because he hates all authority but that over himself. Because of this, he hates superiority of any kind, and thus contains within his mind-set and heart, hatred for God. It is this pride which creates what Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI calls the “dictatorship of relativism” meaning that man has dethroned God and made himself his own god. This is why we have the issues of, for instance, multiculturalism or gay marriage, which proclaim that we cannot discriminate between different cultures and religions, and that we cannot say that a heterosexual family is the only true family respectively, because in doing so we would be affirming superiority.
Sensuality and absolute liberty, on the other hand, are but mere synonyms for modern liberalism. Man`s intelligence guides his will, and his will ought to guide his sensual appetites. The core dogma of liberalism is to revolutionise this inherent nature and reverse it so that sensual appetites dominate man. As St. Augustine rightfully says, “a man has as many masters as he has vices.” Hence the revolution seeks to justify the worst of passions in the name of individual liberty as a metaphysical value. Because liberalism stands against Christian principles upon which the West was built, such as the maximisation of freedom to do good, and modesty, naturally it becomes the antithesis to Western civilisation itself, for liberalism seeks to maximise freedom for evil and promotes sensuality. Therefore, because of the opposing natures of Christianity and liberalism, they can never coexist.
Both egalitarianism and liberalism produce disordered tendencies or vices. The more these vices are satisfied, the more extreme they become. This is why today we find ourselves in a time of erroneous doctrines and moral crises. These errors tend to lead to new errors and new crises until they succumb to an abysmal disorder. One can say that the West today finds itself at this latter stage of the revolutionary process, id est, in its final death rows.
To sum up, the revolution always has its peak period, the one during which it establishes, on paper, all humans as equal brothers of the world and gives them rights of all kinds. However, once this peak period of the revolution subsides, it spends the rest of its days destroying itself. Therefore the truest enemy of the revolution is not some outside opposing force, but rather the very decadent nature of itself.
You Might also like
By Lucas Short — 6 months ago
Merkel, a behemoth of European politics for the last sixteen years, will soon retire from office leaving big shoes to fill – shoes that Olaf Scholz, leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), will find spacious. With the SPD gaining the most electoral votes, it is likely they will be the principal partner in a ‘traffic-light’ coalition that sees Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) out of the federal government for the first time since 2005.
With the SPD historically being the party of Turkish-Germans, this critical voter constituency is one that will attract even greater attention. Will Olaf Scholz be able to force himself into the chasm left by Merkel, or will the ‘New Sultan’ Recep Tayyip Erdogan aim to fill the vacuum left in her wake instead? History suggests that Erdogan is seen as the chief political authority for many Turkish-origin people in Germany and other European nations.
Erdogan has consistently exploited a lack of social cohesion in Germany and Western Europe at large. Aiming to place Turkish-Europeans against their governments; the Nationalist-Islamist rhetoric he purports is incompatible with liberal democratic norms. Indeed, he has managed to foster a Turkish-German identity with himself at the fore. Although there is a great deal of importance attached to Turkish cultural maintenance, it is Erdogan’s leverage of faith that ultimately holds the key. Much has been noted of the Turkish-state efforts to consolidate a robust Turkish identity within Germany. This strategy is implemented through entities such as the ‘Diyanet İsleri Türk İslam Birligi’, an Islamic Turkish Muslim identity organisation that is prevalent in mosques across Germany and espouses Turkish Islamist nationalism. Another organisation of this sort is ‘Milli Gorus’, which has over 30,000 members in Germany.
It is through these behind-the-scenes organisations that Erdogan further instils his ideological preferences into the Germans he views as his subjects. Erdogan’s posturing and denunciation of ‘Eurofascism’ and ‘Nazi’ German social policy that he perceives as anti-Turkish, has irked European leaders and riled up Turkish-origin people in the EU alike. He has found most success through deeming European liberal-democratic custom as incompatible with – and often directly inflammatory towards – the Muslim faith. Perceived rampant secularism and a lack of state assistance when it comes to Muslim immigrant integration has led to Erdogan labelling Germany as an ‘enemy of Turkey’. He has willed on Turkish-Germans to not vote for German political parties, have more children, and crucially, not to culturally assimilate. Through this interference he has succeeded in setting Turkish-Germans against the German state – placing himself as the foremost political figure for many of them.
Erdogan’s posturing, along with his work behind the scenes, has had a palpable effect. Polling and statistics have shown ever increasing disillusionment with Germany. Brookings data has shown that Turkish-German attachment to Turkey rose from 40 percent in 2010 to 49 percent in 2015. During this period, attachment to Germany fell from 26 percent to 19 percent. 2018 data from the University of Duisberg-Essen also showed a lack of interest in German politics compared to Turkish politics, among Turkish-origin Germans. This is further echoed by DATA4U survey data from 2020. On a scale of 1-10, ‘Turkishness’ ranked 8.10 in importance among Turkish-heritage Germans – as opposed to a German identity importance score of just 5.37. It is clear as day that there is an uncomfortable degree of disillusionment amongst Turkish Germans – a form of national detachment that should worry those in Germany who prioritise social cohesion and migrant political incorporation.
2016 Münster University data also shows that 47 percent of Turkish-Germans believe that following the core tenets of Islam are more important than the laws of Germany. This is striking considering the role Islamist rhetoric plays in Erdogan’s appeal. Further compounding this, the same 2020 DATA4U survey also showed German political figure favourability. Merkel averaged a rating of 5.32 out of 10, overshadowing the likely incoming Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s dismal rating 3.65.
Scholz’s low rating indicates a lack of respect for him among Turkish-Germans. With Merkel’s exit, the data suggests that more Turkish-Germans will soon pledge their political loyalty to Ankara than Berlin. Unfortunately for Scholz, with the SPD’s current coalition plans, his grasp on power is minimal. He will have no choice but to rely on Turkish-German votes. Given this, if Erdogan were to term Scholz an enemy of his diaspora – as he has with other European political leaders – Scholz could find votes swinging against him, with Erdogan seeing the balance of power swinging towards him.
The neo-Ottoman aspirations of the ‘New Sultan’ could be the solution to economic and political stagnation at home. Just as the Sultans of old looked westward with glee, Erdogan could look to re-establish his hegemony over Anatolia with a push west. Erdogan knows he can threaten social cohesion in European countries such as Germany through his Islamist-nationalist rhetoric which resonates with Turkish-origin people in Europe who feel disconnected from their domestic political institutions. Erdogan has a veritable toolbox of political mischief ready to unpack to exert further influence in Europe and to catalyse anti-authority sentiments in Turkish-origin communities in major European countries.
As the sun sets on Merkel’s Germany, Erdogan will see Scholz’s accession as a new dawn for pan-Turkish aspirations.
Post Views: 282
By themallard — 9 months ago
When faced with the utter treachery of progressive intellectuals, there are times when one is tempted to go back to the old ways. Show up to their threshold, give them a slap with your glove and then hopefully grant them eternal peace from their nightmarish debility in a duel at the next daybreak. Peace would then return and one would tread home with the gratifying thought of having served mankind. But alas, the time of blood feuds is spent, and the resting lion who could once easily crush the hyenas troubling his sleep is now constrained to articulate his maw into words; explaining to them why it is uncourteous and inappropriate to come to his dwelling and trouble his sleep.
So be it. Let us contend defamation with apology, caricature with truth, and cede the arma to the togae; after all, we have no army at our disposal to cross the Rubicon.
An anglophile, and an admirer of Anglo-Saxon famed freedom of speech and liberalism, I must say I have been rather disappointed by how sententious the analysis of British and American newspapers of Mr Zemmour’s political position has been. After having observed now for two months or so the unceasing manhunt of the candidate by mainstream British media, I thought that one should not let this monochord blabber follow its course without a single objection. For example, let us take a look at this stereotypical leftist hit piece from The Guardian.
Written by what many would call an academic demigod, Didier Fassin, professor in anthropology at the Collège de France, one could have expected this article to be a dense synthesis of a profound analysis of French society and politics. How mighty was my astonishment when I found that the author’s main source regarding Zemmour’s ideas was one pamphlet from the junk information website Slate. I can easily guess that Professor Fassin never thought it worthy of his rank to listen to Mr Zemmour with his ears once in the past decade. Here is the only grounded and meaningful paragraph extractable from Professor Fassin’s article about Mr Zemmour:
“Indeed, he [Mr Zemmour] has said that parents should only be allowed to give their children ‘traditional’ French names, approvingly referred to people comparing Nazism with Islam, propagated the so-called ‘great replacement’ theory and argued that employers have a right to turn down black or Arab candidates. He believes that political power should belong to men and that women’s role should be to have and raise children. He has claimed to be on the side of General Bugeaud, who massacred Muslims during the colonisation of Algeria, has contended that Marshal Petain saved Jews during the second world war, and would like the death penalty to be reinstated. His overarching narrative is reversing France’s supposed national decline, which featured again in the video announcing his candidacy.”
Let us dissect these eight claims, in which the author restitutes eight of Zemmour views that he thinks should be problematic and let us try to display to the reasonable and discerning Anglo-Saxon reader how Zemmour’s real positions are not as grossly fascistic and vulgar as Professor Fassin wishes to make it seem.
1. “He has said that parents should only be allowed to give their children ‘traditional’ French names.”
Zemmour argues that the civility under which French citizens are recognised in the public space should be a French traditional first name. That is either from the calendar of Saints or prior traditions such as Greco-Latin history. Let us be clear, he does not speak of the use of a foreign name in private life. He does say that one’s ID and passport are not of the private but of the public domain, which is true.
Indeed, the elites of the now frighteningly multicultural city of London might be revolted by this proposal. These “enlightened divines”, as Burke would call them, would also be edified to know that this was a French law, passed by Napoleon. It was only repelled in 1993 when it was stated that parents had the right to freely choose their children’s names. Still to this date judges may forbid names that are judged disadvantageous to one’s future, such as: ‘Borat Miller’ or ‘Mr Bean Smith’. Anglo-American progressives are prompt to project their multicultural conceptions on France, but our histories differ.
At any rate, for most great societies until the twentieth century, the adaptation of foreign names or their outright changing, especially between Western nations, was the rule. In particular, virtually all French Jews between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries, adopted French names as they were finally integrated into French society after centuries of rejection.
“We must give the Jews everything as individuals, but nothing as a nation” is a quote from the revolutionary nobleman Clermont-Tonnerre, often uttered by Zemmour, for it matches entirely his own family’s choices and trajectory, that of Jewish France. This cultural assimilation was the way of integrating migrants in France for the past 200 years, since the founding of the Republic and before.
2. “[Zemmour] approvingly referred to people comparing Nazism with Islam.”
Muslim people do not share this tradition of adapting names and they never have. After all, Muslims seldom moved to a country outside of the context of invasion and this wasn’t to change until the 20th century when Muslims immigrated to countries for other reasons. Like Judaism, Islam is a religion of law but even more so. Islam requires not only material compliance of its followers but sets a legal and political order of which they are a part. Thus, the historical distinctions of Muslim countries (Caliph, Sultan, Emir, Sheik) are both religious and feudal titles.
Islam also took from Christianity its universal purpose. Islam sought to establish a universal caliphate. But the lector knows of this, as recent history does not cease to recall us that fundamental difference.
In that aspect, Islam is of all religions the closest one to modern totalitarian ideologies, because it seeks to change every detail of private life in a codified manner, and seeks to bring about these changes universally, willingly or by legitimate force. In short, Islam seeks to transform the individual and the world in their totality.
Hitler himself was an admirer of Islamic values, and said, quoted by Albert Speer:
“Theirs [mahomedans] was a religion that believed in spreading the faith by the sword and subjugating all nations to their faith. The Germanic people would have become heirs to that religion. Such a creed was perfectly suited to the Germanic temperament.”
The comparison of Islam and Nazism has at least this much relevance but, of course, it does not aim at saying that Muslims are Nazis, nor that Imams are Gestapo officers.
3. “[Zemmour] propagated the so-called ‘Great Replacement’ theory”
Here, there is no need even for discussion, let alone debate, but just for a brief word.
The ‘Great Replacement’ is but the junction of two simple facts. Firstly, contrary to America, which is based upon no ethnicity, France, as most nations or peoples in the Old World, is very much based upon ethnicity, although not limited by it. France emerged as a nation of people who had shared the same land, history, culture and even religion for 2000 years. In terms of ethnology, France is much closer to the Iroquoian confederation than to the USA. As General Charles De Gaulle famously said to an American diplomat telling him “I know France well, I have lived here for 10 years”, De Gaulle answered, “Well, we have for 2000 years!”
Now, the second idea is even more genuine: The fact that several hundred thousand migrants enter France each year, mainly from African and/or Muslim countries, and that the birthrate of women from these countries is on average twice that of white French women, mathematical law implies that there is a demographic landslide, or “Grand Remplacement” of “European” descendants. Whether it is desirable or not, whether it is even worth discussing, is a question begging to be answered.
So there isn’t anything for Mr Zemmour to propagate but a trivial collection of facts. Most of the people who are willing to vote for him would consider this a major issue independently of his candidacy. Someone ignorant of the ethnic change that France is going through was either in hibernation and has only just woken up, or a very biased leftist who would rather point out the risk of alien invasion than the risk of Islamisation.
4. “[He] argued that employers have a right to turn down black or Arab candidates.”
Zemmour indeed argues that it is an employer’s right to refuse or grant someone a position for any reason he should see fit, whether it is competence, character or skin colour. To discriminate is to choose. It is a most rational and simple argument: an employer is not a public service and refusing to give someone a job, lease him a car or a property cannot be earnestly considered as harm done to this person.
Let’s be clear, a crime committed for any reason related to race, sex, sexual orientation, colour, religion or even competence, regardless of the reason, is a crime and should be punished as such. But rejecting an application is not a crime. How could an act that is not a crime in itself, be called a crime once the intention underlying it is known? In the end, this is nothing but an impugnation of motives. Undoubtedly, society should in any way possible facilitate the life of those who suffer from objective physical and mental handicaps. I ask Professor Fassin and his Londoner friends: Is Muslim religion a mental illness? Is dark skin a physical handicap? Is sexual orientation an objective deficiency?
No, will they will inevitably answer, but it is perceived as such, and this law should be in effect until all prejudice has been removed from society. Should law have a curative purpose? Justice is absolute, and so are good and evil. Crime is a crime, regardless of the time and context. The circumstance may affect the gravity of it, but not the nature of the act. Therefore, by mindlessly stuffing everything they find disagreeable into the criminal category, the left yields to the reproach made to it by conservatives for two centuries: the progressive idea of justice a contingent one, they ultimately subscribe to sophism, that is believe in nothing except themselves.
The proof that recruitment discrimination cannot be called a crime or an offence, is that it is in practice undetectable. How do you prove that someone was hired or rejected based on their ethnicity rather than on their competence? In most cases, you cannot. How do you prove an organisation has a hiring bias? You have to organise tests, which is akin to pursuing a fly with a sledgehammer.
5. “He believes that political power should belong to men and that women’s role should be to have and raise children.’’
The French candidate says some qualities are more closely related to one or the other gender. He states that political power belongs by default to manhood. A clear example of this is the traditional virtue of virilitas so cherished by Republican Rome. For biological reasons, the functions of power, war, and political decision making were, for dozens of millennia, by default masculine functions. Those of education, housekeeping, cooking and, even I dare say, finance were by default feminine ones.
He is right. Of all the folks and communities of mankind ever known on this planet, there was never a single matriarchal society. Some societies are more matriarchal than others, but it is only relative and never absolute. Processor Fassin knows this perfectly well, for he is himself an anthropologist, and in order to disagree with Mr Zemmour, he would have to go against the scientific consensus in his own field.
This again should not be an inspiration for fixed laws in a Republic founded upon the principle of equality between individuals regardless of their sex, and it would be absurd for a patriot of the nation of Joan of Arc to try and relegate women to the household. But that it is not in any way part of Zemmour’s agenda, even by extrapolation.
6. “He has claimed to be on the side of General Bugeaud, who massacred Muslims during the colonisation of Algeria.”
None will disagree that the massacre of innocents can be excused or even explained. But then again, this is not what Zemmour did: Zemmour lauded a military man’s uncompromising patriotism. He did not excuse this particular command of Bugeaud to suffocate an entire tribe into the cave where they had taken refuge.
Being coherent with my own words, I believe that statues of General Lee should not be taken down in the US, because despite fighting for an evil cause, he was still a great military leader, a patriot, and even freed slaves that he should have received has inheritance, before the war. Alas, few heroes of American, French or British history were saints, and fewer even by modern standards of sanctity. If Lee is taken down, how long before Nelson, Napoleon, Churchill and De Gaulle receive the same fate?
To remind Anglo-Saxon readers of the historical context, one of the casuum belli of the French conquest of Algeria from 1830 onwards was to put an end to slave raids that had plagued the Mediterranean for a millennium. And this was far from being a pretext, as some historians like to put it. When the French expedition took Algiers it immediately freed several hundreds of French slaves – thousands of European slaves altogether. This excuses nothing but explains how the struggle between the Western and Muslim worlds is not a recent, superficial or arbitrary one, and how the situation cannot be naively diagnosed in all abstraction of history.
7. “[Zemmour] has contended that Marshal Pétain saved Jews.”
Marshal Pétain and the regime of Vichy generally speaking – despite being regimes founded upon the treason of the French nation, forsaking the alliance with Britain, and collaboration with Nazi Germany – spared France from total defeat. Fighting to the end would have meant that the whole of France would have been conquered and placed under direct German governance, like Poland, Czechia or Greece. One knows that in the latter countries, the proportion of Jews who died in the Holocaust reached 90%, in the case of Greece or the Netherlands. In France, it was around 10%. Vichy leaders still instinctively rejected Nazi racist axioms. In France, in Italy, in Spain, Jews undeniably found a better shelter from hatred and deportation than under direct German rule.
This does not mean that Mr Zemmour ignores the existence of the Vel d’Hiv deportation, of the Lois Juives, or of the militia’s massacres, and general servility of Vichy towards Germany. He acknowledged it and maintained his position all the same.
Be that as it may, this historical thesis was not at all invented by him. It was generally accepted in France, even defended by Jewish and Israeli historians, until the publication of Robert Paxton’s book Vichy France which condemned Vichy as altogether evil. Recently, an Israeli historian has published sources that demonstrate the active role of Vichy in attempting to protect French citizens, regardless of their religion, from the Gestapo and the SS.
I think that Pétain was a traitor to France, but history is complex. This matter is still an area of academic debate, and I believe it will forever remain a matter of opinion. Only the party that wants to censor the other one will truly be wrong.
8. “[He] would like the death penalty to be reinstated.”
One can reasonably disagree with Mr Zemmour, and join the liberals who believe, like Victor Hugo, that “Vengeance is human, Justice is divine. The State is in between, its role is to heal, to better the men.”
Nevertheless, support for the re-establishment of capital punishment is widespread among French people. Some months ago, the Rwandese refugee who burned the cathedral of Nantes, that had been left to roam about by the police because “He was not subject to detention under European laws of asylum” said the French interior Minister Darmanin, eventually found the primary target of his arson, the vicar of the cathedral, and stabbed him to death, in the Vendée. Most of the perpetrators of the past ten years were known to be dangerous by the intelligence services but were still left free because of lack of space in prisons or EU legal restrictions.
But there again, Mr Zemmour’s support for the death penalty is anecdotical in the greater picture of his battles and it is certainly not something he would have the leisure and popularity margin to reinstate if he managed to beat Le Pen and Macron.
As a way of conclusion, I will say that it matters greatly for foreign conservatives or reactionaries to understand their French comrades and comprehend the hope we put in Mr Zemmour. For every new decay brought by progressivism in any one of our nations inevitably ends up plaguing the other ones, and we have a common interest in vanquishing deconstructivism in the West as a whole. One could not forget how the French theory (it is a shame in itself that such devilry should be characterised as French) crept from the intellectual boroughs of Paris, insidiously wrecking itself on the shores of New England, and eventually mutated into the notorious, dreadful and destructive cancel culture that scourges our time.
The fact that a member of the Collège de France, pretty much the equivalent of Cambridge Trinity College in England, should write a derogatory article about a French presidential candidate in the British media demonstrates what is wrong with France’s establishment. The establishment of my country lives in an enclosed penthouse, more concerned about what foreign elites think of them than about what their own people think about them. Sound familiar?
Where their fate might be worse than that of Britain’s establishment, is that their minds and their logos are colonised by Anglo-Saxon structures, and they play the role of New-England progressives more readily than that of French scholars. Professor Fassin is probably eminent in his field, but in this particular case, he blatantly used his position and network at The Guardian to cast a stone at My Zemmour, because of political enmity. Even in the case that The Guardian did ask him for his contribution, he could have passed, quite obviously not being an expert in the matter.
I will also indulge in begging The Guardian, or any British media outlet, that if they should wonder about Mr Zemmour’s views they should simply ask him directly and let Professor Fassin return to his studies, by which he is certainly much beguiled so that he has no spare time to come down from Mount St Genevieve and seek quarrel in the political arena.
One last sting: The Guardian seems to gather and spread information about France only through those with whom they are in ideological communion; the same way that the American or Soviets informed themselves about the countries they invaded or ‘freed’, only with the local communists, pro-West or Shia Muslims. I think I am fair to call this a colonial method.
Post Views: 286
By Daniel French — 8 months ago
The King has allegedly asked the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby to mediate in the current royal drama with a view to repairing things before the Coronation. Reading extracts of Prince Harry’s ‘Spare’ I can’t but help think that though this is intervention is to be welcomed there is a sense in which Harry is typical of a lot of modern men who have been let down by the one spiritual organisation that is meant to guide them over the pitfalls and perils of this mortal coil.
Harry’s complaint is that he is ‘spare heir’ and therefore a marginalised victim of the system, or what the royals dub ‘the Firm’. This is a difficult premise to swallow in the light of a life of opulent privilege. Anyone who takes up the daily recitation of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer will soon be confronted with a different of ‘spare’ that might as well come from another planet because it is so in-modern. “Spare thou them, O God, who confess their faults, restore thou them that are penitent.” If only Harry had been shown how to orientate his life on this concept of ‘spare’ things might have turned out differently.
Tragically Harry’s nuggets in ‘Spare’ betray an arid post-faith intellectual landscape where the classic virtues are absent. Humility, forgiveness, duty, sacrifice are sidelined whereas woke truisms and Californians therapy gobbledigook are at the fore. Did no one at Eton or in his confirmation classes drill in the Mosaic Ten commandments hanging up in many school chapels, least of all “Honour thy father and mother?” (Exodus 20.12) As he plotted with his ghost writer to disclose every petty family squabble did he not stop to weigh up the terrible dishonour it would bring to his father, the now present king? Perhaps those charged with his spiritual upbringing gave up too early? All indications from ‘Spare’ is that the teenage happy-go-lucky cheeky-chappy Harry was early on inhaling the wrong incense and needed a more bespoke approach to his religious instruction. As it is he now declares himself predictably as “spiritual but not religious.” Yawn!
To borrow from the gospel of Mark, for what shall it profit a man, if he shall gaineth the biggest deals with Netflix, Spotify and Random House, and lose his own soul? It’s easy to dismiss religion and then tune out the meatier questions because they do not suit or harmonize with the confectionary lite buffet that presents itself as DIY “spirituality”. What do I know anyway, I’m just a vicar? To Christ’s haunting question “What can he give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8.37) Harry’s industrious accountants have “done the maths” and monetized this to a balance sheet of around a quarter of a billion pounds, give or take.
If only Harry had embraced the manly faith of his late grandmother, Her Majesty the Queen, then he wouldn’t be sinking in a quagmire of seances, quack therapists, and crystal healers. They saw you coming, Harry! And, to add comedy to tragedy he is stupendously oblivious to the singular truth that is apparent to everyone else on the planet, ie, that this is not going to end well for him. The ton of cash from the books and TV series will not save his soul from disintegration. It will add to the mental inferno. He now stands at the event horizon of an implosion, a galactic supernova which is the all consuming black hole of his fragile ego. And yet who cannot forget that when his grandmother deployed ‘spare’ it was always in the context of the misfortune of others. “Let us this Christmas spare a thought for those in the world who are less fortunate than us.” Spare indeed.
I feel sorry for Harry because he is a victim. He is a victim not of any antics at Buckingham Palace but a victim of himself and his ego. He is his own worst oppressor. The pathetic thing is that we the plebs are all rather enjoying it. Hands up, I confess this has brightened things up from the rainy normal January blues along with the prospect of paying half my stipend on an exorbitant heating bill. That’s why Spare is flying off the shelves. It’s an Easterenderseque tittle-tattle of royal soap opera that makes our bored and wayward souls horny.
Could the Church have helped to prevent this? My worry is that the current Anglican iteration is so panicked about appealing to wokism that Harry probably wouldn’t have been able to distinguish it from his wife’s current expensive appetite for tree hugging West Coast workshops. “Commandments? Oh, don’t concern yourself too much, they are merely ‘suggestions’ Your Highness for lifestyle enhancements. ” Here is a man displaying a profound lack of Christian catechesis. He thinks he can have God on his own terms.
Maybe as Anglicans we should take the blame, as a religion we have failed him? Biblical fluency would have slammed the brakes on this kind of misadventure years ago. Regular and proper prayer would have constructed a spiritual fortress with a moat and a high vantage point that laughs off the psychological hobgoblins and foul fiends. In Spare Harry talks of an RE teacher at Eton walloping him with a heavy Bible. Clearly not hard enough.
Harry is typical of a lost generation of men starved of meaning and direction. He and those on the other end of the spectrum who drool over the ridiculous Andrew Tate, are like pelicans wandering a neon wilderness tapping at leftovers and carcasses. Whereas Harry has an army of sycophants and celebs to tell him what he wants to hear, these men and boys scuttle around the cyberspace of Tik-Tok, Instagram and Youtube to collect morsels of ready made prejudices. Some of the more intellectually inquiring find solace in New Atheism, but increasingly the gleeful nihilism of Dawkins adds up to little succor these days.
Most youngish men dropping into their Anglican parish church will soon realise that they are misfits in a club that struggles to connect with their concerns or knows what to do with them. Politically correct sermons are also a big turn off. The average vicar it seems has yet to learn from the Jordan Peterson rockstar phenomenon which points to younger generations (men and women) lining up in their thousands for a psychologically full-on wrestling of a demanding meaning to life. This is why he packs auditoriums whereas many of us have half empty churches. Key to this is inverting the victimhood narrative and saying instead “Get your house in order and be a positive force in the world, by the grace of God, you can do it.”
Tragically the Anglican existential need to cosy up to the culture zeitgeist can put it on the wrong side of history, repeatedly. Just over a hundred years ago vicars and bishops casually deployed eye watering jingoistic rhetoric from their pulpits to rally this same constituency of young men to the trenches. The most infamous being the manipulative monster that was Arthur Winnington-Ingram, the bishop of London. He gleefully toured the country and packed churches where he signed up sixteen year olds to the Front. His crazed sermons including rants of “Kill the Hun!” Thank God we can’t imagine Sarah Mullaly or Justin Welby doing this. But, it does at least highlight there was a period in history where young men and princes like Harry Windsor were seen as the saviours of our civilisation even if the salvific work they were asked to shoulder was in reality a big con, an industrial scale slaughterhouse.
Having dipped my toe in the media world I now find myself at the receiving end of a mailbag of letters and emails mostly from Millennials, men (but not exclusively) around Harry’s age and lower who have found Christianity afresh. For various reasons lockdown prompted a considerable number to reevaluate the old faith. Typically they are rebels and misfits who find that the best way to dissent from the woke globalist revolution is to grasp Christianity. The gospel is for them the new anti-globalist movement. I see in them a hunger for demanding gospel which is both generous and orthodox, intellectual and spiritual stretching. They do not want to be fobbed off with social justice platitudes and are prepared to suffer well for their faith, even job loss is necessary. This is an energized constituency that for some reason the Church is apathetic to. Please, please bishops wake up!
So, what urgent spiritual advice could be given to the Duke of Sussex? Clergy, if the prince happens to trip into your confessional let’s not pander with the gushing words of “there, there!” He requires a direct approach. This is because he is like the earnest rich young man in the gospels who is strangulated by his possessions, privilege, and status and ends up walking away from Christ? Doesn’t he see that raking in millions and millions while surrounding himself with the Hollywood luvvies is the proverbial camel that he will never never never squeeze through the eye of the needle? No amount of Elizabeth Arden cream can help either. He needs to give it all up for a radically simpler quieter life.
Is any of this feasible for a royal like Harry let alone all those lost men the churches fail to inspire? Harry doesn’t need to go back to Edward the Confessor to find a role model. He could look no further than his quirky yet saintly great grandmother, the forthright Princess Alice of Battenberg, the Duke of Edinburgh’s mother. She had her troubles with mental health and ended up in and out of sanitariums. Opinion was divided over whether she was a mystic or a nut. Yet, unlike all the made up woke gongs that Harry and Meghan have received, Alice had a real award for her work in saving Jews from Nazis. Israel recognises and honours her as a righteous gentile. She also sold everything and became an Orthodox nun. As a no nonsense woman, she would be the last person on the planet to ever describe herself as a “victim”. She rolled up her sleeves and got on with life doing endless good without fanfare or neediness. I suspect history will ‘spare’ her a bigger and more godly footnote than Harry Windsor unless he seriously and radically changes his ways. And for bishops and archbishops maybe the lesson is that a church that preached and presented an Alice Battenberg Christianity, might not only reach out to guys like Harry but also find a remedy for its own seemingly terminal decline.
Post Views: 389