And he shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. (Ps:72:8)
Jesus Christ Our Lord should reign over individuals as well as over households. However, this is not all: He must reign also over society at large, for the Father has promised to give him “the nations for His inheritance.” (Ps: 2:8) These, in fact, are the words which the prophet David, when raised on the wings of contemplation even unto the counsels of the Holy Trinity, heard proffered by the eternal Father to the Divine Word made man.
Jesus Christ was therefore constituted and proclaimed King of the Universe by the Father. But if He is a King, regal honors are due to Him; and hence Holy Church desires all Christian nations to offer Him those signs of public honor and worship which befit the King of kings and Lord of lords.
In these last unfortunate years the devil, the sworn adversary of the reign of Jesus over souls, has sought more than ever to banish this Divine King from society. By means of his evil followers, he strives to bring back the world to paganism or at least to naturalism, inspiring men with the spirit of revolt: “We will not have this man to reign over us. (Lk: 19:14) But we Christians, who love the reign of this Divine Sovereign and desire to extend it still further, will answer His adversaries with one voice : “ We will have God for our Father, we will have God for our King.”
It may be asked what sort of honor should be given to Jesus Christ by society. We answer briefly: we should first honor Him in his holy cross; and secondly in public prayer and adoration.
The cross is the glorious banner of our King, Jesus Christ. (1) It should be raised everywhere, because everywhere there are souls subject to Him. As we desire that society should return under the scepter of Our Redeemer, so also do we wish to see this adorable sign everywhere surrounded by love, respect and veneration.
(1) It is called thus in the liturgy of the Church. Hymn at Vespers on Passion Sunday
We wish to see it on the crowns of Kings and Princes, because even royal heads must bow to Jesus; on the facades of Houses of Parliament and Town Halls, so that the most vital interests of the nation may be seen by all to be placed under the protection of that holy symbol under which alone flourish justice and peace. We wish, too, that the cross should be erected in cemeteries, so that it may stretch its loving arms over the bowers of our dear ones. We wish to see it tower on the glittering summits of mountains, as a sign that Jesus rules over the whole world.
This sacred emblem is a profession of our faith and a protest against that lack of supernatural belief which threatens to corrupt the whole of society. With the spread of Christianity, this symbol of peace, love and sacrifice was erected everywhere: our forefathers who grasped its marvelous power and sublime significance wished every public monument to be adorned with it. But now an infernal tempest has arisen which well nigh is driving it out of modern society. Oh, let this holy symbol be put up again, not only on the altars of our churches, as a pledge of the bloodless Sacrifice which is unceasingly offered, but also on the arches of palaces, to recall the great of this world to virtue, and on the humble cottages of the poor, to teach them patience and resignation.
Herein falls an opportunity of mentioning the Confraternity of the Most Holy Cross, founded in the Middle Ages under the influence of that apostle of Jesus crucified, St. Philip Benizi. This Confraternity has produced signal fruits of sanctification in the course of ages. It is desirable that it should spread throughout the world to hasten the social reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
To Jesus, King of society, the homage of public praise and worship should also be offered. For it is not enough that individual Christians should raise their minds to the adorable Sovereign of our hearts in their homes or in church only. It is needful more over that the whole of society, led by its representatives, should bow before Him, and recognize Him as supremely their King and Sovereign. A prayer should be raised to our divine Lord before every social act that He may deign to protect and bless the whole nation and whatsoever is done to promote its welfare. It is not enough that men should be Christians in their private life only. Members of Parliament, heads of Municipalities, the ruler of the nation, must be Christians too, and openly so. For cities, counties and nations are all subject to the jurisdiction of Jesus Christ who has received power to its fullest extent from His divine Father. This power He possesses in all its manifestations, the power to rule and govern; the power to legislate and the power to judge. (Mt: 28:18)
In the first place those appointed to rule over cities or nations should put themselves under the guidance of Jesus Christ in all that concerns their office of governing others. They should order their actions so as to fulfill their obligations according to the maxims of the Gospel. If this is done, Jesus will reign effectively in Christian society. The Gospel, with that light of heavenly wisdom which irradiates its every page, should guide the leaders of this world. From that inspired book they will learn that the end to which society is destined is none other than eternal happiness, in pursuance of that great maxim: “Seek ye there fore first the kingdom of God and His justice and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Mt: 6:33)
Accordingly, the heads of society will behave themselves in all that concerns their offices as good and convinced Christians, seeking not only natural happiness, but above all that which is supernatural. Thus shall they make their people happy even in this life, for it is a law of God that grace does not destroy, but perfects, nature. There are eloquent proofs of this in those countries which are informed by Christian faith and enjoy not only the life of the soul but that of material prosperity as well. And who would not call that people blessed whose ruler, brought up in the school of Jesus Christ, governs his subjects in the spirit of meekness, charity and justice?
Those in power not only must derive inspiration from the rules laid down by Jesus Christ, but they must also see that the laws enacted for the good of society are derived from the commandments of God and the Church; of which there should to-day be a more open and detailed expression.
Nothing should be more sacred and august in a society than the laws by which it is governed. These laws bringing into harmony the mutual rights and duties of all members of the state, help to maintain that balance and right order which guards the liberty and assures the well-being of individuals and the nation. Now legislators must establish justice through Jesus (Prv: 8:15) and so it is natural that the power of enacting laws should fall under the divine authority of this amiable King and be based on the maxims of the Gospel.
Human laws if based on this immovable foundation, will become a pledge of happiness, a shield against foes, a ladder which leads safely to Heaven. A proof of this are those nations which flourished and prospered in the Middle Ages, under the guidance of an entirely Christian legislation drawn up in accordance with the maxims of the Gospel. On the other hand, what is more fickle, what is more inadequate, than a legislation which has no other basis than the will or caprice of men?
For; just as man s will is undependable and his aspirations are changeable, so laws of such a nature are made and unmade with equal facility. While they pretend, though even here they cannot succeed, to provide everything for this life, they end by being execrated by men who see themselves bitterly deluded in their aspirations..
To Jesus also, as King of human society, belongs the power to judge; that power, namely, which He displays in rewarding the good and punishing the evil. This power, properly speaking, belongs to God as supreme Lord and first Principle of all beings: but this same power the Father has delegated to Jesus Christ making Him, according to His Humanity, Judge of the living and the dead. (Acts: 10:42)
Now for judging rightly, three things are required: first, wisdom, which is the soul and form of judgment, for the judge should be as it were a living justice; secondly, zeal for what is right, so that he judge not for hate or envy, but for very love of justice; thirdly, the power of rewarding the good and punishing the wicked. Now Jesus Christ, as Man, first, is full of grace and truth ; besides, in Him all is holiness and righteousness and justice; finally, to Him was given all power in heaven and on earth.(Mt:28:18)
Nor of the judicial power of Jesus Christ can it be said (what is sometimes said of human justice) that it is terrifying to the poor and scorned by the rich. For the power of our divine Judge and Sovereign stretches equally over the whole universe, over men of every age and nation, and even over the angels. Over all men Jesus is appointed Judge because all are directed to eternal bliss and it is in His power to admit or reject them: over the angels, because they also receive through Him either an increase of glory or an accidental penalty.
From this we realize how misguided are they who fear more the false and vain criticism of this perverse world than the terrible judgments of our supreme Judge. At the lightning of His angry countenance, when the fatal sentence will be passed, they will realize, but too late, how baneful was their cowardice in refusing to follow the wise maxims of the Gospel, in not fearing and loving this just Judge, in not having recourse to Him to obtain mercy and pardon before the terrible day of the great account came to pass.
“Juste Judex ultionis, “Who just Judge of vengeance art,
Donum fac remissionis Thy forgiveness now impart,
Ante diem rationis.” Ere the accepted day depart.” (1)
Jesus Christ is therefore the Supreme King, Sovereign Lord of all societies; and as those who stand at the helm of nations have received power from Him to govern the people, to issue laws and to render justice; so there is no true authority or ruling power, legislative or judicial, which is not upheld and inspired by that of Jesus Christ.
It is useful to recall this truth in these our times when modern free-thought has made every effort to blot out this teaching, divesting princes of that halo which is a reflection of divine majesty; (2) and seeing in the origin, transmission and exercise of civil authority nothing but a simple expression of the will of the people. But not for all this has the King of kings, the Lord of lords, Jesus Christ, laid down the power which He received from the Father over the nations of the earth: and the words of St. Paul remain forever: f In the name of Jesus every knee should bow of those that are in heaven, on earth and under the earth. (Phil: 2:10)
(1) Sequence in the Mass of the Dead.
2 In view of the grave errors which have arisen on the origin, nature and exercise of civil authority, it is well to be reminded of the celebrated Encyclical of Leo XIII: Diuturnum illud of June 29, 1881, in which this illustrious Pontiff establishes, against what some modern authors hold, the great principle that the right of governing, even in rulers popularly elected, is bestowed directly by God to whom belongs supreme and universal dominion: “Quo sane delectu (candidate rum) designantur principes, non conferuntur iura principatua.”
A striking instance of how the saints conceived the right of Jesus Christ to reign over society and over all nations is had in the beautiful episode that took place at the court of the king of France in the year 1429 shortly before the Maid of Orleans, Joan of Arc, saved that country from alien dominion and led Charles to Rheims, there to be solemnly crowned.
“Gentle Dauphin,” she asked him one day, in presence of the lords of the realm and of the nations, “will you promise to grant me what I shall ask you?” The king at first hesitated, but at last answered: “Certainly, Joan, ask me what you will.” “Gentle Dauphin,” she then said, “I ask you to give me your kingdom.” The king, stupefied at such a request, for a time remained silent. At last, however, bound by his promise and conquered by the super natural charm of Joan, he took his resolve: “Joan,” he said, “I give you my kingdom.”
But the Maid was not satisfied with these words, though uttered in the presence of many witnesses. She requested that a solemn act should be drawn up and signed by four royal notaries. This done, she looked at the king with a pitiful smile, saying: “There is the poorest of all the knights of France. I pity him.”
Being now herself sovereign and mistress of France, she did not stop here. Turning to the secretaries, “Write,” she said, “Joan gives the kingdom to Jesus Christ. And soon after: “Write again: Jesus gives the kingdom back to Charles.” (1)
Herein surely lies a great lesson. It implies that the kings of this world are but tributaries of Christ and it is their duty to give over to Him the scepter which they received either from their ancestors or by the election of the people. They should consider themselves as but the lieutenants of the King of kings, Jesus Christ. “They have called the people happy, that hath (the goods of this world): but happy is (only) that people whose God is the Lord.” (Ps:144:15)
(1) This particular detail of the life of Joan of Arc is historically founded on the deposition of the Duke of Alencon in the “Proces” III, 19. See L. Delisle. Nouveau temoignage relatif d la Mission de Jeanne d Arc.
JESUS CHRIST THE KING OF OUR HEARTS
ELEVATIONS ON THE MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS
Very Rev. Alexis M. Lepicier,O.S.M
It was in the year 1571. St. Pius V. sat in the chair of St. Peter, and with a gentle firmness ruled the Christian world. The aim of his life as Pope had been to promote peace and harmony among Christian princes and to spread the kingdom of God on earth. He well knew the dangers to which the Church was exposed, and hence, like a faithful shepherd, he kept constant watch lest the wolf should enter the fold. And he had good reason to be on the alert. As he stood in the watch tower of the Vatican, his vigilant eye scanning the horizon, he beheld in alarm and almost dismay a dense cloud appearing. As it drew nearer and nearer it grew in density till it well nigh obscured the light of the sun, and threatened to burst and deluge the earth with another flood.
Selim the Second, the conqueror of the unruly Turks, was in the noon-day splendor of a victorious reign. His onward march had suffered no serious check, and the dead lay strewn in his wake like the wheat that the scythe of the reaper has laid low. And now he turned his haughty eye towards Christendom, and he swore a terrible oath. He swore to subjugate the Christian world —dethrone its Christ and place Mohammed in His stead: “The cross shall fall, and in its place the crescent shall proclaim that Christ is dead and Allah is our God.” Onward he rushed with his Moslem host like a cloud that portends a deadly and destructive storm. The Mediterranean Sea was covered with his fleet. Greece and Hungary had capitulated, and he descended upon the Island of Malta. But his first attempt was defeated by the heroism of the Grand Master of the Knights, La Valette. Enraged at this defeat and mad with the desire of revenge, the Turks attacked the Island of Cypress and sated their fiendish rage in torrents of human blood. A Christian legate was sent to treat with their commander. He was spurned and spat upon and taunted with the words: “Where is now your Christ, and why does He not free you from our hands?” They treated him with a cruelty too barbarous to describe, until death came to his relief. The last words on his dying lips were: “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Lu. xxiii, 24).
And now Pius V. sounded the note of alarm. He called upon the princes of the Christian world to rally round the standard of the cross and fight to save their altars and their homes. But, sad to say, there were but few who volunteered to stem the tide of Moslem invasion and save the Christian world. Only the Venetians and the Spaniards came and joined their forces with the little army of the Pope. Don Juan of Austria was placed in chief command. Prayer and fasting were prescribed throughout the world, and the Sovereign Pontiff himself, like another Moses on the mount, stretched out his arms in fervent supplication that God might lend His aid to those who were battling in a righteous cause.
At sunrise, on the 7th of October, 1571, the Turkish fleet was drawn up in battle array in the form of a crescent, the emblem of Mohammed. They numbered in all 254 galleys and 84 ships of every class. At the sight of this terrible array the commander of the Christian forces raised his standard aloft and displayed a picture of the Redeemer of the world. “Christian soldiers,” he cried out, “you are come to fight the battle of the cross, to conquer or to die. But be the issue victory or death, do your duty well and win a glorious immortality.” Then, falling on their knees, they begged the God of armies to assist them and crown their efforts with success. They closed in on the Turks, and the terrible battle began. For six long hours it raged with fury and with dreadful loss. For a time it looked as though the Turks would win. The left wing of the Christians began to yield; eight galleys of Venetians were sunk, and the right wing was in imminent danger. But suddenly the tide of victory turned. In the very heat of the conflict the two flagships were engaged in a fierce encounter. Twice the Christians were driven back, but in a third attempt, the Turkish commander fell. Ali Pasha was slain and his head raised aloft on a Christian galley. The defeat of the Turks was complete and the power of Mohammed broken. Two hundred and ten Turkish galleys were either captured or sunk. Twenty-five thousand infidels were slain and twelve thousand Christian slaves were freed from the Turkish galleys. The Christians had lost fifteen galleys and eight thousand men.
On the very day of the famous battle Pope Pius was holding a council with his advisers in Rome. Suddenly he rose up, went to the window and gazed intently toward the sky. Then closing the window he turned towards the Cardinals and said: “This is no time to talk of business; let us go and give thanks to God in His temple; our arms have just been blest with victory.” And the Holy Pontiff, shedding tears of joy, fell on his knees in his oratory and poured forth the gratitude of his heart to his good and bountiful Lord. A few days later it was learned that at the very same hour the Christians had defeated the Turks and the cross of Christ had triumphed over the crescent of Mohammed in the Gulf of Lepanto. In gratitude for this signal victory Pope Pius decreed that throughout the Christian world the Feast of the Holy Rosary should be solemnized on the first Sunday of October, and to the litany of the Blessed Virgin he added the invocation: “Help of Christians, pray for us.”
Christian reader, this remarkable incident speaks for itself. It were superfluous to point out the lessons it should teach. But while wreathing the garland of roses for the fair brow of the Mother of God, for this we do when we “tell our beads,” remember that “the arm of God is not shortened”; it is as strong to-day as in the days of long ago, and
When clouds of adversity gather,
And hope to all seeming has fled,
Pray God with more earnest pleading,
He will help you, for so He has said.
THE LOYAL CATHOLIC -SOME TOPICS OF INTEREST
TO THE DEVOTED SONS AND DAUGHTERS
OF HOLY MOTHER CHURCH
By the Rev. Cornelius J. Warren, C SS. R.(1912)
1863 was one of the most dramatic years in American history. On January 1 of that year, Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was issued, declaring that persons held in any territory or state in armed insurrection against the United States would be forever free. July 1-3, 1863 saw the bloodiest battle in America’s history, Gettysburg, with deaths ranging upwards of 46,000 to as much as 51,000 troops from the two sides. November 19, 1863 was the scene of the dedication of the national cemetery at Gettysburg, including Lincolns’ famous Gettysburg Address.
Sometimes lost in the historic events of that year is another of Lincoln’s proclamations, this one being his Thanksgiving Proclamation. It is of course true that days of Thanksgiving had long been celebrated in America, beginning with the “first Thanksgiving” celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621. George Washington issued his own Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789 at the end of the long and difficult Revolutionary War.
Since 1861, of course, there had been a terrifying and brutal Civil War fought between the United States and the Confederacy with thousands upon thousands of deaths and a horrifying number of soldiers injured or lost to disease. 1863 at long last saw the tide begin to turn in favor of the Union, climaxing with the Battle of Gettysburg and the Union victory at Vicksburg. There were dark days ahead to be sure, but it was looking more and more like the Union would see final victory.
At the suggestion of a national magazine editor, Lincoln on October 3, 1863 issued his Thanksgiving Proclamation, for the first time setting aside the last Thursday in November as a National Day for giving thanks.
The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.
In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to invite and provoke the aggressions of foreign States, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict; while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.
The needful diversions of wealth and strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship. The axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battlefield; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.
No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people; I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer to our beneficent Father, who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to him that, for such singular deliverances and blessings; they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.
The Pilgrim trip was funded by a group of investors who were hoping to get a return on their money. The Pilgrims were therefore contractually bound to the investor’s plan. That plan stated that the Pilgrims were to hold all things in common and equally share from the proceeds of their labor (socialism).
The early settlers of Jamestown were under the same kind of contract. I heard a great lecture from John Rolfe (okay, it was actually someone dressed up as John Rolfe) who explained it this way:
Basically, when one works hard all day and another simply strolls the grounds and puffs on his pipe, and yet they both get the same amount of food for dinner, eventually the one who works hard decides that tomorrow he will do his own strolling and puffing.
Because of this, the Jamestown settlers were starving. It was only when they apportioned private property and ate the fruit of their own labor that the colony began to thrive.
This was the same story in Plymouth not too many years later. Their leader, William Bradford, wrote of how they had to abandon the investor’s plan in order to survive, for when work and non-work both get the same reward, eventually no one will work.
Isn’t it interesting how we often times fail to learn the lessons from the past.
Socialism experiments continue today, with the same kind of results. They never really succeed.
Why do we continue to try them? For several reasons.
One, the state has a vested interest in this happening. It is the big winner in socialism. It garners great power. So, when the state grows to the point that it can force the people to increasingly give up their rights to private property and fool the others to think that they will be better off sharing equally from the corn crib, guess where the power shifts…to the officials of the state.
Two, we misunderstand the nature of man. We have bought the Maslow lie that man is basically good. If he is good, then he will obviously love to work hard and go to years and years of medical school and specialized training so that he can work 14 hour days and get one ear of corn out of the crib while his friend follows his heart to stroll and puff. And because we are all such inherently good people, after dinner we will sit around the campfire and sing kum bay ya.
Third, we misunderstand the nature of work. We believe there is something cruel and oppressive about work and so we want someone (the state) to come up with a way to allow us not to work, yet circumvent the consequences of non-work. Or, we believe that the solution to someone not working is to give them another ear of corn.
However, the reality is this:
–The state may think that socialism will satisfy its lust for power, but, in the end, it will eventually collapse under a mountain of debt or a corn crib filled with IOUs. As Margaret Thatcher once said, “socialism works until you run out of other people’s money.” Eventually, the colony begins to starve.
–Man will not enjoy working his tail off so that someone else who is not working can reap the fruit of his labor. James Madison wrote in the Federalist Papers that they were establishing a government that had balances of powers because men were NOT angels.
–Work is not oppressive and cruel, but it is exactly what the poor need…not only to be able to produce their own corn, but because we were made by the Original Worker to work. We are happier and healthier when we do.
The Scriptures connect the dots for us regarding work and laziness. Here are a few: Proverbs 10:4, “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.” Proverbs 14:23, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”
In other words, we reap what we sow.
In socialism, we try to reverse those consequences. Reward the lazy, punish the diligent.
You sow, I reap.
That eventually fails.
One solution is found in 2 Thessalonians 3:10, “if anyone will not work, neither shall he eat”. This is a statement that many would view as cruel, but it is actually compassionate…for both the man himself and for the colony as a whole. Hunger is a great motivator to work and therefore produce.
When the Pilgrims returned to a biblical view and threw off the yoke of socialistic bindings, they began to prosper. And when they prospered, they held a day of Thanksgiving.
It saddens me that our nation is slipping so quickly back into this yoke. Though we have the lessons from our past and the lessons from failed experiments all around us, we seem to be asleep or in a fog.
Maybe around your Thanksgiving table this year, you can recount the lessons learned to your children so that they will not be doomed to repeat the failures of the past. Put on a Pilgrim hat or your John Rolfe outfit and tell them the story with great gusto as I heard it in Jamestown.
No people will tamely surrender their liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and virtue is preserved. On the contrary, when people are universally ignorant, and debauched in their manners, they will sink under their own weight without the aid of foreign invaders. -Samuel Adams
Red or blue, have or have not, we all meet today at the crossroads of state and freedom. These roads have not been, and will never be congruent. Will they now tear America apart as they diverge into the horizon? We must take this time to understand and wisely discern which of our prospective leaders accept our natural freedom to prosper and which will legislate our servitude.
One camp peddles an alluring vision that clutches at our need, the other a noble and ageless ideal that fades like a dream under derelict custodians, while it is asserted that traditional principles are but shades and shadows. The truth is that this “alluring vision” is revealed as a political nosferatu, and the purported ghosts of old are as alive as every citizen who believes that the spirit of freedom is the beating heart of the American constitutional republic.
First, let’s look the state, or more specifically, the socialist state.
In 1848, Alexis de Tocqueville described the enduring traits of the socialist bête noir that has again awakened in our time to feed on our faltering republic.
He asked his fellow French citizens 162 years ago, “I must know, the National Assembly must know, all of France must know — is the February Revolution a socialist revolution or is it not?” He continues, “It is not my intention to examine here the different systems which can all be categorized as socialist. I want only to attempt to uncover those characteristics which are common to all of them and to see if the February Revolution can be said to have exhibited those traits.”
Now, the first characteristic of all socialist ideologies is, I believe, an incessant, vigorous, and extreme appeal to the material passions of man. Thus, some have said, “… man must be paid, not according to his merit, but according to his need,” while, finally, they have told us here that the object of the February Revolution — of socialism — is to procure unlimited wealth for all.
A second trait, always present, is an attack, either direct or indirect, on the principle of private property. From the first socialist who said, fifty years ago, that “property is the origin of all the ills of the world” to the socialist who spoke from this podium and who, less charitable than the first, passing from property to the property-holder, exclaimed that “property is theft,” all socialists — all, I insist — attack, either in a direct or indirect manner, private property.
A third and final trait — one which, in my eyes, best describes socialists of all schools and shades — is a profound opposition to personal liberty and a scorn for individual reason, a complete contempt for the individual. They unceasingly attempt to mutilate, to curtail, to obstruct personal freedom in any and all ways. They hold that not only must the State act as the director of society, but further, it must be master of each man, and not only master, but keeper and trainer. For fear of allowing him to err, the State must place itself forever by his side, above him, around him, better to guide him, to maintain him — in a word, to confine him. They call, in fact, for the forfeiture, to a greater or lesser degree, of human liberty, to the point where, were I to attempt to sum up what socialism is, I would say that it is simply a new system of serfdom.
There is nothing in the Revolution which forces the State to substitute itself in the place of the individual’s foresight and caution, in the place of the market, of individual integrity. There is nothing in it which authorizes the State to meddle in the affairs of industry or to impose its rules on it, to tyrannize over the individual in order to better govern him, or, as it is insolently claimed, to “save him from himself.”
We must now ask ourselves the same questions and make the same observations regarding the American Revolution. Was it ever supposed to be the socialist one now looming over us?
For the observant, it is clear that our government is now defined by these same attributes — wealth for all, state ownership and regulation of business (aka “state capitalism”), scorn for individual liberty and property — the fruits of our labor, particularly for those deemed “rich” — in a bureaucratic nanny-state where czar after czar is lined up to save us from ourselves through authoritarian and unconstitutional regulation.
Despite many historical examples and current news of failed socialist states, this generation of “progressive” elite believe that they are finally the chosen ones who will invoke the success of their cause, oblivious that they are chasing a will o’ the wisp that has lured them (and America) deep into a quagmire of economic decay, cultural dissolution, and possibly to their stated plan for liquidating those Americans who bitterly cling to the ideals in the U.S. Constitution.
And now the answer, the crux of freedom — the individual.
In her illuminating book, The Discovery of Freedom, Rose Wilder Lane writes, “The American Revolution had no leader. Hundreds of thousands of men and women who lived and died unknown to anyone but their neighbors, and now are completely forgotten, began the third attempt to create conditions in which human beings can use their natural freedom.
This fact is the hope of the world. For only unknown individuals can create and maintain conditions in which men can act freely, conditions in which human energy can operate to improve the human world. Only an individual who recognizes that his self-controlling responsibility is a condition of human life, and fully accepts the responsibility of a creator of the human world, can protect human rights in the infinite complexity of men’s relationships with each other. Only this individual protection of all men’s rights can keep their natural freedom operating on this earth.
Living men and women create the human world. Every man is responsible for the stupidity, the cruelty, the injustice, the wrongs of which he complains. Let him take the beam from his own eye. Have I never been stupid, have I never committed a cruelty, an injustice, a wrong against another person?
If we can understand and live this idea, the pack of charlatan saviors who have led us astray will fade in influence, to be replaced not by more authorities, experts, or elites, but by citizens who will step forward, do their duty, and then be strong enough to surrender power’s corrupting addiction. It is these we must choose.
“Appeasement is throwing someone else to the crocodiles in the hopes of being eaten last.”
Suppose there were a worldwide movement which openly proclaimed its goal of taking over in your country and every country with the purpose of imposing its system on every human being on earth. Also suppose that this movement had carried out murders and terrorist attacks in your own country, that members of this group promoted violence while gaining political influence. Suppose also that is was highly unfashionable and politically incorrect to speak out against them.
I am not speaking of Islam here, but of Communism. The current wave of censorship and denial toward Islam is not a new development. It is rather a very old one. Islamophobia, like Red-Baiting, is a political term that serves the function of cutting off any discussion of the subject. It precludes any listing of the facts or debates on the issue, by declaring it to be off-limits. To raise the issue is to expose yourself as a bad person whose ideas are unacceptable for public distribution.
When George Orwell was struggling to find a publisher for Animal Farm, he was repeatedly turned down on the grounds that the book would offend the Soviet Union. One publisher wrote to Orwell that he had been dissuaded from publishing the book by an important official in the Ministry of Information (an agency that would become the Ministry of Truth in his novel, 1984) who had told him that publishing such a book would be ill-advised at this time. That official was, incidentally, a Soviet spy.
The publisher went on to say that the book might be acceptable if it applied generally to dictators, but not specifically to the USSR. Finally the publisher added, “It would be less offensive if the predominant caste in the fable were not pigs. I think the choice of pigs as the ruling caste will no doubt give offence to many people, and particularly to anyone who is a bit touchy, as undoubtedly the Russians are.”
Change around a few names and this is exactly the rejection letters that courageous books critical of Islam have received. It’s fine to make general criticisms of religious fanaticism, so long as those criticisms are universally applied, and do not offend those touchy people who religious fanaticism occasionally expresses itself in dangerous ways.
In a generally deleted preface to Animal Farm, Orwell wrote, “The sinister fact about literary censorship in England is that it is largely voluntary. Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark, without the need for any official ban. Anyone who has lived long in a foreign country will know of instances of sensational items of news — being kept right out of the British press, not because the Government intervened but because of a general tacit agreement that ‘it wouldn’t do’ to mention that particular fact.”
There are quite a few sensational facts and news items that are kept out or minimized in our own media because it would not do to mention them. There are rarely any government officials dictating this censorship, certainly in the United States there are no legal codes that make it mandatory, but this censorship is voluntary. It consists of people censoring themselves, of publications censoring people out of fear of violence, of publishers who feel that this is an ill-advised time to stir up tensions and of a larger body of liberal thinkers who feel that we should sympathize with Islam and ignore any of its violent and supremacist activities.
“At this moment what is demanded by the prevailing orthodoxy is an uncritical admiration of Soviet Russia. Everyone knows this, nearly everyone acts on it. Any serious criticism of the Soviet régime, any disclosure of facts which the Soviet government would prefer to keep hidden, is next door to unprintable,” Orwell wrote in his Animal Farm preface titled, Freedom of the Press.
“Hardly anyone will print an attack on Stalin, but it is quite safe to attack Churchill… throughout five years of war, during two or three of which we were fighting for national survival, countless books, pamphlets and articles advocating a compromise peace have been published without interference… So long as the prestige of the USSR is not involved, the principle of free speech has been reasonably well upheld.”
So too we still have freedom of the speech. We are encouraged to attack our own government, though not the liberal wings of it, but it is still a safer thing to do, so long as the prestige of Islam is not involved. Only when Islam is offended, does the principle of free speech come apart.
It was always safe to attack Bush, but an attack, even on Bin Laden, was considered tacky at best. And an attack on more “moderate” figures, like Tariq Ramadan, was borderline unprintable. While it was ridiculously easy to publish an essay depicting Bush as a war-crazed chimp invading Iraq for oil, Haliburton and Christian fundamentalism, the cultural elites insisted that doing so was an act of great political courage. Meanwhile publishing an essay critical of Islamic figures was next to impossible and dangerously perilous. And those same elites treated it as a despicable abuse of freedom of speech.
The poisonous vein here goes deeper. With the rise of the Bolsheviks there was a vigorous debate over whether or not to recognize the Soviet Union. Two administrations, Wilson and Hoover, chose not to do so. Their reasoning was fairly straightforward and is best expressed in the words of Bainbridge Colby, the Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson.
Colby was a liberal who had co-founded Roosevelt’s Progressive Party and befriended Mark Twain, nevertheless he laid out a clear rationale for extending no diplomatic recognition to the Bolshevik terrorists. “We cannot recognize, hold official relations with or give friendly reception to the agents of a government which is determined and bound to conspire against our institutions, whose diplomats will be agitators of dangerous revolt, whose spokesmen say they sign agreements with no intention of keeping them.”
That policy persisted under two administrations, including that of President Hoover, who had personal experience with the Soviet Union during the Russian relief effort which bailed out the Communists at a crucial time. It was the FDR Administration which was stuffed full of Communists that abrogated it. FDR became the first American president to directly communicate with a Soviet leader and in his first year of office he invited the Soviet Foreign Minister to Washington D.C. and recognized the Soviet Union.
To achieve that recognition, the Soviet Union pledged not to promote or harbor any groups with the aim of “the overthrow or the preparation for the overthrow of, or bringing about by force of, a change in the political or social order of the whole or any part of the United States, its territories or possessions.” This agreement was never honored in any way, shape or form.
Colby went on defending his policy until his death in 1950 as the right thing to do. And the pace of events only proved him right. The USSR used diplomatic recognition to extract aid, plant saboteurs and conduct espionage. It kept agreements only for so long as they suited it.
The pro-recognition lobby backed of diplomats, businessmen and politicians exploiting argued that only engagement would reform the Soviet Union. That same argument was still being made during the Reagan Administration which was berated for its warmongering obstructionism every time it refused to give in to Soviet demands.
We are back to that same debate today between engaging our enemies or accepting their hostility as a fact. The modern diplomatic corps is full of advocates of engagement with the Muslim Brotherhood, with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. There isn’t anyone they won’t engage with so long as they hate the United States and seek to destroy it.
Four years of Obama has shown once again that engagement does not work. Not only doesn’t it work, it actually emboldens the enemy and allows the enemy to infiltrate deep within our societies and to corrupt our institutions. That very engagement leads to censorship in the name of friendship. It leads to news articles and books that cannot be printed because they might sabotage the chances for peace.
The hope for peace is the greatest force of censorship there is. Once engagement is passed off as a fairy that you must believe in lest she will die, then censorship becomes absolutely mandatory to keep peace alive. If a book critical of Communism might offend the USSR then it is best not to print it or to water it down. If Muslims riot over cartoons of Mohammed, then it is a civic duty not to print them in the name of peace and understanding.
When we marvel at the Dhimmism in modern cultural life, at the extent to which Islamic viewpoints are presented unchallenged as the establishment devotes its fullest efforts to inveighing against any opposing views, this too has its red precedents.
“The servility with which the greater part of the English intelligentsia have swallowed and repeated Russian propaganda from 1941 onwards would be quite astounding,” Orwell wrote. “On one controversial issue after another the Russian viewpoint has been accepted without examination and then publicised with complete disregard to historical truth or intellectual decency.”
Modern day examples of this surround us on all sides and as a doctor of totalitarianism, Orwell aptly diagnosed the corruption of the elites and their descent into totalitarian expediency.
“If the intellectual liberty which without a doubt has been one of the distinguishing marks of western civilisation means anything at all, it means that everyone shall have the right to say and to print what he believes to be the truth… It is only, or at any rate it is chiefly, the literary and scientific intelligentsia, the very people who ought to be the guardians of liberty, who are beginning to despise it, in theory as well as in practice.
“The word ancient emphasises the fact that intellectual freedom is a deep-rooted tradition without which our characteristic western culture could only doubtfully exist. From that tradition many of our intellectuals arc visibly turning away. They have accepted the principle that a book should be published or suppressed, praised or damned, not on its merits but according to political expediency.”
That principle is now the primary one on the left. This totalitarian cowardice that Orwell inveighed against has been elevated to an unchallenged moral standard. Animal Farm is widely reprinted, but without Orwell’s preface. Like 1984, a book whose composition effectively killed him, it has been treated according to the original plan of that publisher, stripping away most acknowledgements that it is a vicious satire of Soviet Communism, rather than a generic commentary on tyranny.
Orwell’s preface, so rarely published, concludes with his motivation for writing it, “It is the liberals who fear liberty and the intellectuals who want to do dirt on the intellect.”
Wherever they are in the world on Sept. 8, the members of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word sing an old French hymn, “Queen of the Waves.”
Whether in their ministry in rural Kenya, East Africa or one of the hospitals of the Sisters of Charity Health Care System, which they sponsor, the Sisters of Charity sing the same hymn that has been sung on that date every year since 1900.The song provides the sisters and all those who co-minister with them an opportunity to pause and remember all who lost their lives in a devastating hurricane more than a century ago.
Striking Galveston on Sept. 8, 1900, the Great Storm is considered the worst natural disaster in the nation’s history. More than 6,000 men, women and children lost their lives. Among the dead were 10 sisters and 90 children from the St. Mary’s Orphans Asylum, operated by the Sisters of Charity. The sisters also operated St. Mary’s Infirmary in Galveston. It was the first Catholic hospital in the state, established in 1867.
The sisters were called to Galveston by Catholic Bishop Claude M. Dubuis in 1866 to care for the many sick and infirm in what was the major port of entry for Texas. They were also charged with caring for orphaned children, most of whom had lost parents during yellow fever epidemics. At first the Sisters of Charity opened an orphanage within the hospital, but later moved it three miles to the west on beach-front property on the former estate of Captain Farnifalia Green.
The location seemed ideal as it was far from town and the threat of yellow fever. As Galveston entered the new millennium, it was one of the wealthiest cities per capita in the United States and one of the largest in the state. It was a prosperous community with a bustling port. With a population of 36,000, Galveston appeared to be poised for greatness.
And then one weekend in September in 1900, the same proximity to the sea that had made the community grow and prosper as a port city, was to change Galveston Island forever. On Sept. 8, Galveston became the victim of a powerful hurricane of such destructive force that whole blocks of homes were completely swept away and one sixth of population was killed. Beginning early on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 8, 1900, the winds began coming in strongly from the north. Despite the opposing winds, the tides of the southern gulf waters also rose sending large crashing waves upon the beach front.
Sister Elizabeth Ryan, one of 10 sisters at St. Mary’s Orphanage, had come into town that morning to collect food. Despite pleas from Mother Gabriel, the assistant superior at St. Mary’s Infirmary, for her to stay at the hospital until the storm passed, Sister Elizabeth said she had to return to the orphanage. Sister Elizabeth said that she had the provisions in the wagon and if she did not return the children would have no supper. She didn’t know that whether she returned or not there would be no more suppers at the orphanage.
During the afternoon the winds and rain continued to increase. The tides of the gulf rose higher and higher with fierce waves crashing on the beach sending flood waters into the residential areas. St. Mary’s Orphanage consisted of two large two-story dormitories just off the beach behind a row of tall sand dunes that were supported by salt cedar trees. The buildings had balconies facing the gulf.
According to one of the boys at the orphanage, the rising tides began eroding the sand dunes “as though they were made of flour.” Soon the waters of the gulf reached the dormitories. The Sisters at the orphanage brought all of the children into the girls’ dormitory because it was the newer and stronger of the two. In the first floor chapel, they tried to calm the children by having them sing “Queen of the Waves.” The waters continued to rise.
Taking the children to the second story of the dormitory, the Sisters had Henry Esquior, a worker, collect clothesline rope. Again they had the boys and girls sing “Queen of the Waves.” One of the boys later said that the children were very frightened and the Sisters were very brave.
By 6 p.m. the wind was gusting past 100 miles per hour and the waters of the gulf and bay had met, completely flooding the city. Residents climbed to the second stories, attics and even roofs of their homes. Flying debris struck many who dared venture outside their homes.
Around 7:30 p.m. the main tidal surge struck the south shore.
Houses along the beach front were lifted from their foundations and sent like battering rams into other houses. Houses fell upon houses. At St. Mary’s Infirmary the flood waters filled the first floor. From the second story balcony, the sisters pulled refugees in as they floated by and brought them into the over-crowded hospital. Almost every window in the facility was broken out sending the wind and rain whipping through the building.
At the orphanage, the children and sisters heard the crash of the boys dormitory as it collapsed and was carried away by the flood waters. The sisters cut the clothesline rope into sections and used it to tie the children to the cinctures which they wore around their waists. Each Sister tied to herself between six to eight children. It was a valiant, yet sacrificial effort to save the children. Some of the older children climbed onto the roof of the orphanage.
Eventually the dormitory building that had been the sanctuary for the children and sisters was lifted from its foundation. The bottom fell out and the roof came crashing down trapping those inside. Only three boys from the orphanage survived: William Murney, Frank Madera and Albert Campbell. Miraculously all three ended up together in a tree in the water. After floating for more than a day, they were eventually able to make their way into town where they told the sisters what had happened at the orphanage.
One of the boys remembered a sister tightly holding two small children in her arms, promising not to let go. The sisters were buried wherever they were found, with the children still attached to them. Two of the sisters were found together across the bay on the Mainland. One of them was tightly holding two small children in her arms. Even in death she had kept her promise not to let go.
The death and destruction in Galveston was unbelievable. More than 6,000 were dead and their bodies were littered throughout the city. It would be months before some would be uncovered. A complete list of the dead was never made.It is estimated that the winds reached 150 mph or maybe even 200. The tidal surge has been estimated at from 15 to 20 feet. Whole blocks of homes had been completely destroyed leaving little more than a brick or two. In all more than 3,600 homes had been destroyed.
A great wall of debris wrapped itself around St. Mary’s Infirmary on the eastern end of the city and then zigzagged through the city to the beach. At places the wall was two stories tall. Inside this great wall were destroyed houses, pieces of furniture, pots, pans, cats, dogs and people. Those who were dead and those who were dying. At St. Mary’s Infirmary, there was no food or water. While the main hospital building was still standing, the adjacent structures, had been destroyed.
The hospital was packed with those who were injured and those who had no where else to go. Two of the Sisters walked about the area until they found crackers and cookies that had been soaked in the water. They brought them back to the hospital and over a fire they built in the street they dried the food and served it to those in need at the infirmary. Firmly committed to the ministry of Jesus Christ, the Sisters repaired St. Mary’s Infirmary and, one year later, opened a new orphanage. Today the sisters have extended their ministry to other states and foreign countries.
On Sept. 8, 1994, a Texas Historical Marker was placed at 69th Street and Seawall Boulevard, marking the site of the former orphanage. The descendants of two of the survivors, Will Murny and Frank Madera, returned to participate in the marker dedication. As part of the ceremony, “Queen of the Waves” was again sung at the same time and place as it was during the Great 1900 Storm. And, as it continues to be each Sept. 8 by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word.
Queen of the Waves
from a Latin French hymn, author unknown
Queen of the Waves, look forth across the ocean
From north to south, from east to stormy west,
See how the waters with tumultuous motion
Rise up and foam without a pause or rest.
But fear we not, tho’ storm clouds round us gather,
Thou art our Mother and thy little Child
Is the All Merciful, our loving Brother
God of the sea and of the tempest wild.
Help, then sweet Queen, in our exceeding danger,
By thy seven griefs, in pity Lady save;
Think of the Babe that slept within the manger
And help us now, dear Lady of the Wave.
Up to the shrine we look and see the glimmer
Thy votive lamp sheds down on us afar;
Light of our eyes, oh let it ne’er grow dimmer,
Till in the sky we hail the morning star.
Then joyful hearts shall kneel around thine altar
And grateful psalms reecho down the nave;
Never our faith in thy sweet power can falter,
Mother of God, our Lady of the Wave.
“They are the most disagreeable of people…Their insincerity? Can you not feel a sense of disgust at the arrogant presumption of superiority of these people? Superiority of intellect! Then, when it comes to practice, down they fall with a wallop not only to the level of ordinary human beings but to a level which is even far below the average.” -Winston Churchill
In the 1960s, the left experienced a resurgence, financed mostly by Moscow through a variety of front groups, and focused on American college campuses. Ever-so-intellectual, they dubbed themselves the New Left, suggesting that they had taken a quantum leap beyond the monolithic bureaucracy of Stalin, and even transcending the moral incentives of Mao. They identified with the dashing, romantic Cuban revolutionaries Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. Oddly, somewhere along the way, they missed the fact that these people were mass murderers who made Hitler look like an amateur.
The neo-Marxist philosophy they concocted had no specific goals, other than full adoption of Third World Anti-colonialism, and destroying the existing capitalist state. It was taken on faith that socialist institutions would naturally be created by the freed proletariat, with no previous planning, as if by miracle or magic. Saul Alinsky was one of the New Left’s prophets, and had numerous followers in Academia, such as Cloward and Piven at Columbia, where Barack Obama claims to have been a student. In any case, this is the milieu the current occupant of the White House was raised in, and what he clearly still believes today.
The Left has always been a haven for misfits, ne’er-do-wells, and people with a myriad of psychological disorders. Boozers and dopers like Barry Soetoro found a place where they didn’t feel out of step with the rest of the world — it was the rest of the world that was out of step with them. They could don the mantle of a Revolutionary and immediately become 10 feet tall, bullet-proof, and invincible. Looking at the makeup of the current administration, especially in it’s upper echelon, the policies and legislation they have produced makes it eminently clear that many of these people have never gotten beyond this ideology.
For reasons that are not clear, far too many conservatives adamantly refuse to admit that Barack Hussein Obama is, by his own admissions and open associations, a New Left Marxist. His destruction of the economy, his looting of the Treasury and redistribution of trillions to his backers in the international banking community; his nationalizing of health care, the financial markets and the auto industry; his ratcheting up of more regulations, especially environmental ones, aimed at shutting down our ability to produce energy; his total lack of effort to bring down unemployment are not the result of incompetence. On the contrary. From a New Left point of view, this has been the intention all along: do the greatest harm to the capitalist state in the shortest period of time, and they’ve been very successful.
In addition, they have taken great strides toward undermining the Constitution, and laying the statutory groundwork for transferring virtually unlimited power to the executive branch, making Congress an irrelevant footnote to history. They have ignored the courts, lowest to highest, selectively enforced the laws that are supposed to be applied equally, refused to prosecute blatant violations when it didn’t suit their political agenda, and have been allowed to get away with it. Even Eric Holder’s contempt of Congress is being allowed to get brushed aside as a “distraction.”
And lest we forget, Barack Obama promised his buddy Vladimir Putin that “After my election, I have more flexibility”. He will be in a position to have Leon Panetta over at the Defense Department, unilaterally destroy our nuclear arsenal.
Half of the Cabinet and their second and third rank appointees, and the president and much of his staff and “czars” should be under indictment, There has never been such rampant, unbridled, unabashed corruption in the history of American government. As the Ministry of Propaganda, aka, the “mainstream” media likes to say, “unprecedented, historic!” And nearly as guilty are the Rinos who daily turn into the see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, speak-no-evil monkeys, allowing our country to be dismantled and turned into an impoverished, Third World has-been dictatorship, right before our eyes.
We, the People, by all real indicators, should win the November elections in a historic landslide of epic proportions. If we do, we have a long, hard road ahead of us, repealing and repairing the damage done by the looters, the misfits, and the lunatics who have been controlling the Democrat party and Washington for the past 50 years. But it must be done, for we are teetering on a dangerous brink, and if we go over, there’s no way back.
In the meantime, remember this truth and apply it: The price of Liberty is eternal vigilance.
Too many people think that freedom, opportunity and a variety of choices are ever-present features of life in the U.S. — that fundamental transformation of America will not affect accustomed standards.
When we lived in the U.S.S.R., locked away from the world, kept from traveling abroad and surrounded by government-controlled sources of information, we couldn’t imagine what kind of life people had on the outside. Simple things, like tomatoes in stores in winter, seemed improbable.
When we immigrated to the U.S., I realized that most of what we were taught about capitalism was false. I was surprised how uninformed and downright clueless Americans were regarding communist ideology and history.
The platitudes of communist propaganda that were all around me in the Soviet Union were accepted as something new and wonderful by well-meaning people in the U.S. While Soviet citizens were excluded from the external world by their government, liberal/progressives in the “free world” were insulated from reality.
In the 1930s, when communists were starving the Russian people with regulations on farmers, New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty reported, “Any report of a famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda.” For his stories, Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize.
Through the late 1950s, liberal newspapers in America ignored stories about work prison camps in the Soviet Union. But more than 20 million people accused of opposition to centralized government perished.
In 1956, Soviets brutally suppressed a revolt against the Soviet-imposed socialist government in Hungary. More than 2,500 Hungarians were killed. In 1968, Czechoslovakia lived through a similar uprising and suppression.
From late 1960s, Soviet dissidents raised their voices against the oppressive, inhumane rule of the communist government in the U.S.S.R. Dissidents were imprisoned, condemned to psychiatric facilities and expelled from work. Their families were persecuted.
Meantime, enjoying the freedoms of the U.S., Weather Underground radicals were calling forces to unite for “the destruction of U.S. imperialism and achieve … world communism.” By 1980, the centrally planned economy of the U.S.S.R. was in shambles. By American standards the population lived below poverty level.
It’s stunning for an immigrant from a socialist country to hear in the speeches of Democratic Party leaders platitudes taught in socialist countries. Even more stunning is how they resonate with people born in the free world.
At the end of 19th century and the beginning of 20th calls for “equality,” “fairness,” “sacrifices for collective good” and “social justice” aroused communist revolutionaries in Russia and ushered in the U.S.S.R. They demonized and obliterated any religion that interfered with government authority. They erased individualism and entrepreneurship from society. Animosity among ethnic groups was insidiously cultivated.
In the U.S., fascism and socialism are classified at the opposite ends of the political spectrum; in reality, these two ideologies have a lot in common.
Fascism is “a political philosophy, movement or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition” (Merriam Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary).
That definition of fascism can easily be applied to the socialism I experienced. The only difference is that to organize communities of fateful followers, German fascists used an ideal of racial purity, and communists used class warfare. Fascists confiscated properties of non-Aryans, and communists confiscated all private properties.
Free market capitalism, which created a large, prosperous middle class in America, and government-centered ideologies have nothing in common.
For more than 100 years, old and tired socialist propaganda brought out the worst in societies: envy, hate, intolerance and disrespect for human life, just as these traits have increased in the last four years in the U.S.
The U.S. is not 19th century tsarist Russia, but it is being transformed into something far different from the “land of the free.” The softer-styled European welfare societies are falling apart, leaving future generations broke. Is there a chance Barack Obama’s vision of centralized government, surrounded by a web of sclerotic bureaucracies, will create a fair society?
The same reader who commented on my July article continued: “Or is the grim description of life in the former Soviet Union meant to paint Obama and his party as communists/socialists/fellow travelers bent on destroying America and all it stands for?”
Yes, that’s exactly what I mean — and Obama’s rhetoric, actions and results confirm this point.
In the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, I was taught to believe individual pursuits are selfish and sacrificing for the collective good is noble.
In kindergarten we sang songs about Lenin, the leader of the Socialist Revolution. In school we learned about the beautiful socialist system, where everybody is equal and everything is fair; about ugly capitalism, where people are exploited and treat each other like wolves in the wilderness.
Life in the USSR modeled the socialist ideal. God-based religion was suppressed and replaced with cultlike adoration for political figures.
The government-assigned salary of the proletariat (blue-collar worker) was 30%-50% higher than any professional. Without incentive to improve their life, professionals drank themselves to oblivion. They — engineers, lawyers, doctors, teachers — earned a government-determined salary that barely covered the necessities, mainly food.
Raising children was a hardship. It took four to six adults (parents and grandparents) to support a child. The usual size of the postwar family was one or two children. Every woman had the right to have an abortion and most of them did, often without anesthesia.
There is a comparative historical reality that plays out the consequences of two competing ideologies: life in the USSR and in America.
When the march to the worker’s paradise — the Socialist Revolution — began in 1917, many people emigrated from Russia to the U.S.
In the USSR, economic equality was achieved by redistributing wealth, ensuring that everyone remained poor, with the exception of those doing the redistributing. Only the ruling class of communist leaders had access to special stores, medicine and accommodations that could compare to those in the West.
The rest of the citizenry had to deal with permanent shortages of food and other necessities, and had access to free but inferior, unsanitary and low-tech medical care. The egalitarian utopia of equality, achieved by the sacrifice of individual self-interest for the collective good, led to corruption, black markets, anger and envy.
Government-controlled health care destroyed human dignity.
Chairman Nikita Khrushchev released facts about Stalin and his purges. People learned of the horrific purge of more than 20 million citizens, murdered as enemies of the state.
Those who left Russia found a different set of values in America: freedom of religion, speech, individual pursuits, the right to private property and free enterprise. The majority of those immigrants achieved a better life for themselves and their children in this capitalist land.
These opportunities let the average immigrant live a better life than many elites in the Soviet Communist Party. The freedom to pursue personal self-interest led to prosperity. Prosperity generated charity, benefiting the collective good.
The descendants of those immigrants are now supporting policies that move America away from the values that gave so many immigrants the chance of a better life. Policies such as nationalized medicine, high tax rates and government intrusion into free enterprise are being sold to us under the socialistic motto of collective salvation.
Socialism has bankrupted and failed every society, while capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty than any other system.
There is no perfect society. There are no perfect people. Critics say that greed is the driving force of capitalism. My answer is that envy is the driving force of socialism. Change to socialism is not an improvement on the imperfections of the current system.
The slogans of “fairness and equality” sound better than the slogans of capitalism. But unlike at the beginning of the 20th century, when these slogans and ideas were yet to be tested, we have accumulated history and reality.
Today we can define the better system not by slogans, but by looking at the accumulated facts. We can compare which ideology leads to the most oppression and which brings the most opportunity.
When I came to America in 1980 and experienced life in this country, I thought it was fortunate that those living in the USSR did not know how unfortunate they were.
Now, I realize how unfortunate it is that many Americans do not understand how fortunate they are. They vote to give government more and more power without understanding the consequences.
Two hundred and twenty-three years ago the French Revolution began when a Parisian mob stormed and looted the Bastille, which at the time housed only seven non-political prisoners.
Many of the revolutionary agitators – Robespierre, Danton, Saint-Just, Marat, and Couthon – were determined to eliminate the Catholic Church and to replace it with a secular sacred society based on truth, reason, and liberty.
Because God and his holy Catholic Church were, in their view, antithetical to reason and freedom, these radicals, in the name of the people, snatched absolute power and set no limits on the changes their new faith could impose to create the secularized morality that would lead to a perfect society.
A catechism of morality, “in which no use would be made of religious principles,” they proclaimed, “is the first requirement of the nation. . . .The wise await it, the religious fanatics fear it; the government made it necessary.”
Jacobin Clubs were the churches of the new civic religion, which demanded blind obedience, the worship of human power, and unlimited faith in progress. Rousseau was the spiritual father, Robespierre the high priest who preached the gospel of terror.
The Liberty Tree (L’arbre de la liberté) replaced the cross. Nicolas Bonneville, leader of the Friends of Truth, called for a naturalistic version of Holy Communion: “Friends, this is the body of the sun which ripens the harvest. This is the body OF THE BREAD which the rich owe the poor!”
To eliminate Catholic culture that had held France together for over a thousand years, Church property was confiscated, hundreds of priests were murdered, and 30,000 were deported. The state stripped away from the Church the responsibility for education, charity, marriage, and the recording of births and deaths.
Revolutionaries placed ladders against the Cathedral of Notre Dame and attached nooses around the necks of the statues of over two-dozen French kings and yanked them to the ground. The roaring crowds decapitated the statues and tossed them into the River Seine.
Inside, statues and religious symbols were removed and the cathedral was rededicated to the goddess of reason. The altar was turned into a stage on which an actress tended by a corps de ballet danced to the song: “Thou, holy liberty, come dwell in the Temple, be the goddess of the French.”
Apostles of truth and reason were sent to towns and villages to preach the good news of the Republic. There were secular hymns sung, readings from the sacred texts of Rousseau, civic baptisms, and government holy water fonts. Over two thousand Catholic Churches were turned into temples of reason.
One witness, a British subject, wrote this description of a Festival of Reason held in the French countryside:
A delegate arrives some days in advance, accompanied by a goddess, if the town itself cannot supply a suitable one. She is attired in a Roman tunic of white satin, usually taken from a theatrical wardrobe, and wears a red cap trimmed with oak leaves. Her left arm rests on a plough, in her right hand she holds a lance.. . . .Installed on an altar. . .she addresses the people who in return pay her homage. . . .Wherever possible a priest is procured to abjure his Faith in public and to declare that Christianity is nothing but a fraud. The festival ends with a bonfire in which prayer-books, saints’ images, confessionals, and other pieces of church furniture are burnt. Most of those present stand looking on in silence, struck dumb with horror and amazement; others, either drunk or paid. . .dance around. . .
To complete their hold over the nation, the Jacobins eliminated elections and established the first modern dictatorship; the first police state. “The Republic,” Danton said, “was established fifty years before opinion was ready for it. . .free elections would be incompatible with its maintenance.”
They commenced a reign of terror that they believed was the only way to eliminate with lightning speed the forces of selfishness and corruption, i.e., the Church (among others). The Jacobin’s guiding principle was expressed by Saint-Just: “Until the will of the sovereign people represses the monarchist minority and reigns by the right of conquest. . . .You have to punish not only the traitors but also the indifferent; you have to punish whoever is passive in the Republic and does nothing for it. . . .Those who cannot be ruled by justice must be ruled by the sword.”
Tens of thousands were arrested on mere suspicion. The accused were found guilty in groups. Presenting defense arguments was not permitted and prisoners were forbidden to speak in their own behalf. At least 30,000, most of whom were innocent, lost their lives at the guillotine.
In an infamous episode in the Vendée, the executioners decided the guillotine was too slow (though they managed to kill tens of thousands) and over 2,000 victims – Catholic counter-revolutionaries – were summarily drowned. The ex-Oratorian student Joseph Fouché massacred thousands at Lyons. Historian R.R. Palmer observes, “Those men inflicted death with a holy glee!”
The result of their reconstruction of society based on ideological abstractions: two-hundred years of political and social instability and unrest. Ten years after the storming of the Bastille, France had been ruled by six different governments. Since 1799, a dictator, two emperors, two kings, a rump Vichy government, and five republics have governed the nation.
In the 1790s, totalitarian terrorists created, in the name of the sovereign people, a tyranny of virtue. The great myth of such people’s republics, historian Eli Sagan, has concluded “is the rotten fruit of Modernity. As in so many other perversions of Modernity, the French Terror was the first regime to perform this ideological acrobatic trick, wherein the sovereignty of the people ends up destroying le peuple.”
Every American high school student knows, or should know, that President Ronald Reagan went to the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin on this date in 1987. The president said: “If you seek liberalization, open this gate … Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”
American journalists were enchanted by Mikhail Gorbachev in those days. The young and charismatic Kremlin boss was “the human face of Communism” that they’d been seeking. The leader of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, this dynamic man spoke of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (re-structuring). His words were all the rage.
But when the Brandenburg Gate did finally open, in 1989, and when the Berlin Wall was re-structured, as in, torn down, the people in the Communist East German puppet state ran only one way. They ran as far and as fast from Gorbachev and his “workers’ paradise” as they could. When Gorby ran for president of Russia in an open election, he won just 12% of the vote.
As important as Reagan’s dramatic call to “tear down this wall” was, we should not forget what else he said that memorable day 25 years ago. His speech contained the most eloquent paean to religious freedom we have heard.
Reagan was not afraid to point to what he called “the most fundamental distinction of all between East and West”:
The totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to enjoy, to worship. The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love and of worship an affront. Years ago, before the East Germans began rebuilding their churches, they erected a secular structure: the television tower at Alexander Platz. Virtually ever since, the authorities have been working to correct what they view as the tower’s one major flaw, treating the glass sphere at the top with paints and chemicals of every kind. Yet even today when the sun strikes that sphere — that sphere that towers over all Berlin — the light makes the sign of the cross. There in Berlin, like the city itself, symbols of love, symbols of worship, cannot be suppressed.
Reagan’s speech that day is known — if it is taught at all — as his “Tear Down This Wall Speech.” But it could as well be known as his “Sign of the Cross Speech.” That’s because Reagan was the first president of the United States to invoke the Sign of the Cross in a public address.
Reagan knew how strong those words would echo in the captive nations, especially in Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary, with their large Catholic populations. That Reagan, an Evangelical Christian, would be so attuned to the religious vocabulary of millions of Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians is itself a tribute to his open mind.
Winston Churchill was certainly no churchgoer. But he, too, recognized evil when he saw it. He knew that Nazi Germany was evil because it sought to murder the Jews. Churchill had the courage to stand up against the Nazis and their Judenhass (Jew hatred.) “Fear God,” he said, “and dread nought.”
President Reagan carried to every summit meeting with Gorbachev a list of Jewish refuseniks unjustly imprisoned in the Evil Empire. He pressed Gorbachev to free those Jews from the Gulag and let them immigrate to Israel.
Today, the Obama administration works with regimes that threaten Jews with extinction and that persecute their Christian minorities. This administration makes little effort to protect religious freedom.
We have seen Coptic churches in Egypt torched and Christian cemeteries in Libya desecrated. Assyrian, Chaldean, and Maronite Christians are huddling in Syria, awaiting Assad’s fall.
We should remember this day. Twenty-five years ago, Ronald Reagan had the courage to overrule his own State Department, his own Pentagon, his own advisers. None of them wanted him to “provoke” the Soviets with blunt talk about good and evil. No one wanted him to threaten what they took to be stability. These advocates of realpolitik, however, were proven to be politically unrealistic.
Ronald Reagan had a strong grasp of history and power. What’s the good of having power if you don’t wield power for good? Like Churchill, he would fear God and dread nought. Under the Sign of the Cross that day a quarter century ago, Ronald Reagan took a bold stand for freedom.
“After I got in the boat, which was the last one to leave, and we were slowly going further away from the ship, I could hear distinctly the voice of the priest (Byles) and the responses to his prayers. Then they became fainter and fainter, until I could only hear the strains of ‘Nearer My God, to Thee’ and the screams of the people left behind.” – Ellen Mary Mockler
Amidst all the tales of chivalry from the Titanic disaster there is one that’s not often told.
It is that of Fr. Thomas Byles, the Catholic priest who gave up two spots on a lifeboat in favor of offering spiritual aid to the other victims as they all went down with the “unsinkable” vessel.
A 42-year-old English convert, Fr. Byles was on his way to New York to offer the wedding Mass for his brother William. Reports suggest that he was reciting his breviary on the upper deck when the Titanic struck the iceberg in the twilight hours of Sunday, April 14th, 1912.
According to witnesses, as the ship went down the priest helped women and children get into the lifeboats, then heard confessions, gave absolution, and led passengers in reciting the Rosary.
Agnes McCoy, one of the survivors, says that as the great ship sank, Fr. Byles “stood on the deck with Catholics, Protestants and Jews kneeling around him.”
“Father Byles was saying the rosary and praying for the repose of the souls of those about to perish,” she told the New York Telegram on April 22, 1912, according to the website devoted to his memory, FatherByles.com.
In the words of the priest’s friend Fr. Patrick McKenna, “He twice refused the offer of a place in a boat, saying his duty was to stay on the ship while one soul wanted his ministrations.”
Father Thomas Roussel Davids Byles was lost in the sinking of the Titanic, and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
Nearly two weeks after the disaster, The Church Progress in St. Louis, Missouri wrote this moving tribute to the heroic priest:
In almost every line that has been written, and in every sentence that has been spoken, there stands boldly out above every other expression a picture of sublime heroism that will be copied into the pages of history. And well it may, for it is deserving of that honor.
But when it is, mention should be made of one whom pens and tongues have almost forgotten in their accounts of this awful sea tragedy. Among those who safely reached the land again no one seems to have been aware of his presence on the ship, but we may hope that many who meet him in a blissful eternity will praise God that Father Thomas Byles was there to administer absolution unto them.
At the end of the Battle of Gettysburg, more than 51,000 Confederate and Union soldiers were wounded, missing, or dead. Many of those who died were laid in makeshift graves along the battlefield. Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin commissioned David Wills, an attorney, to purchase land for a proper burial site for the deceased Union soldiers. Wills acquired 17 acres for the cemetery, which was planned and designed by landscape architect William Saunders.
The cemetery was dedicated on November 19, 1863. The main speaker for the event was Edward Everett, one of the nation’s foremost orators. At the ceremony, Everett spoke for more than 2 hours; Lincoln spoke for 2 minutes.
President Lincoln had given his brief speech a lot of thought. He saw meaning in the fact that the Union victory at Gettysburg coincided with the nation’s birthday; but rather than focus on the specific battle in his remarks, he wanted to present a broad statement about the larger significance of the war. He invoked the Declaration of Independence, and its principles of liberty and equality, and he spoke of “a new birth of freedom” for the nation. In his brief address, he continued to reshape the aims of the war for the American people—transforming it from a war for Union to a war for Union and freedom. Although Lincoln expressed disappointment in the speech initially, it has come to be regarded as one of the most elegant and eloquent speeches in U.S. history.
According to today’s government run educational institutions, Christopher Columbus was a brutal rapist, killing innocent natives and an atheist. Fortunately we have his original records to refer to so as to debunk all of these liberal lies.
Russell Means, a Native American activist wrote, “Columbus makes Hitler look like a juvenile delinquent. He was a racist, a mass murderer, a slave trader, a rapist and a plunderer.” Too bad he has all his facts made up rather than lean on true historical documents.
Dr. D. James Kennedy writes, “In the past hundred years, we have seen the rise of atheism, skepticism, communism, fascism, socialism and every other kind of ‘ism’ opposed to the Word of God — whose proponents hate God and Christ and Christianity. These people are determined to refashion America in their image — in their unbelieving, ungodly or pagan image. But to do so, they have to move this nation off its Christian foundations.”
This is the ultimate task of everyone from Obama to public educational institutions, including congress and the judicial system with the aid of Communist organizations like the ACLU, Americans United For The Separation Of Church And State, NOW, GLSEN. etc. etc. etc. These are folks who hate the very idea of the God of the Bible and are willing to sell their own souls and professional reputations for a LIE.
Fact is, Columbus NEVER killed any native American, he was actually kind to the natives he encountered since his main goal was to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to them and wanted to do nothing that would alienate them from his message of salvation. Don’t believe it? Note the following quote.
“I, in order that they (the natives) might develop a very friendly disposition toward us, because I knew that they were a people who could better be freed and converted to our Holy Faith by love than by force, gave to some of them red caps and to others glass beads, which they hung on their necks, and many others things…”
His very first words upon stepping on the shore of America were: “Blessed be the light of day, and the Holy Cross we say; and the Lord of Veritie and the Holy Trinity.
At the beginning of each day a hymn was sung on board ship during the voyage. The captain of the Nina drew a map of the new world with a picture of Columbus at the top carrying the Christ child across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World.
In a letter to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabelle he said, “At this time I have seen and put in study to look into all Scriptures, cosmography, histories, chronicles and philosophy and other arts, which our Lord opened to my understanding (I could sense his hand upon me), so that it became clear to me that it was feasible to navigate from here to the Indies; and he unlocked within me the determination to execute the idea. And I came to your Highnesses with this ardor. All those who heard about my enterprise rejected it with laughter, scoffing at me. Neither the sciences which I mentioned above, nor the authoritative citations from them, were of any avail. In only your Highnesses remained faith and constancy. Who doubts that this illumination was from the Holy Spirit? I attest that he (the Spirit), with marvelous rays of light consoled me through the holy and sacred Scriptures, a strong and clear testimony with forty-four books of the Old Testament, and four Gospels with twenty-three Epistles of those blessed Apostles encouraging me to proceed, and, continually, without ceasing for a moment, they inflame me with a great sense of urgency.” Columbus, Book of Prophesies, 178-179
Many more such statements are available to all honest seekers of the truth. Only those who want to falsify history will ignore the clear evidence.
“Man … must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator.. This will of his Maker is called the law of nature…. This law of nature…is of course superior to any other…. No human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this: and such of them as are valid derive all their force…from this original.” – Sir William Blackstone (Eminent English Jurist)
The Founders DID NOT establish the Constitution for the purpose of granting rights. Rather, they established this government of laws (not a government of men) in order to secure each person’s Creator endowed rights to life, liberty, and property.
Only in America, did a nation’s founders recognize that rights, though endowed by the Creator as unalienable prerogatives, would not be sustained in society unless they were protected under a code of law which was itself in harmony with a higher law. They called it “natural law,” or “Nature’s law.” Such law is the ultimate source and established limit for all of man’s laws and is intended to protect each of these natural rights for all of mankind. The Declaration of Independence of 1776 established the premise that in America a people might assume the station “to which the laws of Nature and Nature’s God entitle them..”
Herein lay the security for men’s individual rights – an immutable code of law, sanctioned by the Creator of man’s rights, and designed to promote, preserve, and protect him and his fellows in the enjoyment of their rights. They believed that such natural law, revealed to man through his reason, was capable of being understood by both the ploughman and the professor. Sir William Blackstone, whose writings trained American’s lawyers for its first century, capsulized such reasoning:
“For as God, when he created matter, and endued it with a principle of mobility, established certain rules for the…direction of that motion; so, when he created man, and endued him with freewill to conduct himself in all parts of life, he laid down certain immutable laws of human nature, whereby that freewill is in some degree regulated and restrained, and gave him also the faculty of reason to discover the purport of those laws.”
What are those natural laws? Blackstone continued:
“Such among others are these principles: that we should live honestly, should hurt nobody, and should render to every one his due..”
The Founders saw these as moral duties between individuals. Thomas Jefferson wrote:
“Man has been subjected by his Creator to the moral law, of which his feelings, or conscience as it is sometimes called, are the evidence with which his Creator has furnished him …. The moral duties which exist between individual and individual in a state of nature, accompany them into a state of society . their Maker not having released them from those duties on their forming themselves into a nation.”
Americas leaders of 1787 had studied Cicero, Polybius, Coke, Locke, Montesquieu, and Blackstone, among others, as well as the history of the rise and fall of governments, and they recognized these underlying principles of law as those of the Decalogue, the Golden Rule, and the deepest thought of the ages.
An example of the harmony of natural law and natural rights is Blackstone’s “that we should live honestly” – otherwise known as “thou shalt not steal” – whose corresponding natural right is that of individual freedom to acquire and own, through honest initiative, private property. In the Founders’ view, this law and this right were inalterable and of a higher order than any written law of man. Thus, the Constitution confirmed the law and secured the right and bound both individuals and their representatives in government to a moral code which did not permit either to take the earnings of another without his consent. Under this code, individuals could not band together and do, through government’s coercive power, that which was not lawful between individuals.
America’s Constitution is the culmination of the best reasoning of men of all time and is based on the most profound and beneficial values mankind has been able to fathom. It is, as William E. Gladstone observed, “The Most Wonderful Work Ever Struck Off at a Given Time By the Brain And Purpose Of Man.”
We should dedicate ourselves to rediscovering and preserving an understanding of our Constitution’s basis in natural law for the protection of natural rights – principles which have provided American citizens with more protection for individual rights, while guaranteeing more freedom, than any people on earth.
“The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom.” -John Locke
The warrior’s tale is a simple enough thing. Strong as steel, but fragile as chance. It is the wind in his soul and the wall we build around ourselves to tell us who we are.
Before there were cities or nations, and railways and airports, computers and telephones– the tale was told around campfires. Acted out in pantomime, dressed up in animal furs and cave paintings. But the tale was the same. The people were confronted with a threat and they called upon the best and strongest of their men to go out and fight it. These were their warriors. What they did in the face of that threat is the tale.
The tale has many variations. Sometimes there are many warriors, sometimes only a handful. They march into the village of the enemy in triumph, or they make a last stand on a rocky outcropping, spending the last of their heart’s blood to buy time they will never know. There is the weak man who becomes strong, the strong man who becomes weak, the woman who mourns the man who will never return, and the man who goes off to battle with nothing to lose. These tales have been told countless times in the ages of men, and they will be told again for as long as men endure.
It is not only the warriors who need the tale, or those left behind. Future generation learn who they are from this tale. “We are the people who died for this land,” is the unseen moral of each tale. “We bled for it. We died for it. Now it is yours to bleed and die for.”
The warrior’s tale tells each generation that they stand on the wall against a hostile world. And that the wall is made not of stones, but of their virtues. Their courage, their integrity and their craft. Theirs is the wall and they are the wall– and if they should fail, then it will fail. And the land and the people will be swept away.
What happens to a people who forget the warrior’s tale and stop telling it around their campfires? Worse , what of a people who are taught to despise the figure of the warrior and what he represents? They will not lose their courage, not all of it. But they will lose the direction of that courage. It will become a sudden unexplained virtue that rises to them out of the depths of danger. And their wall will fail.
It is the warrior’s tale that makes walls. That says this is the land that we have fought for, and we will go on fighting for it. It is sacrifice that makes mere possession sacrosanct. It is blood that turns right to duty. It is the seal that is above law, deeper still to heritage. Anyone can hold a thing, but it is sacrifice that elevates it beyond possessiveness. And it is that tale which elevates a people from possessors of a land, to the people of the land.
Universalism discards the warrior’s tale as abomination. A division in the family of man. Their tale is of an unselfish world where there are no more divisions or distinctions. Where everyone is the same in their own way. But this tale is a myth, a religious idea perverted into totalitarian politics. It is a promise that cannot be kept and a poison disguised with dollops of sugar. It lures the people into tearing down their wall and driving out their warriors. And what follows is what always does when there is no wall. The invaders come, the women scream, the children are taken captive and the men sit with folded hands and drugged smiles dreaming of a better world.
The warrior’s tale explains why we fight in terms of our own history. The Great Swamp Fight. The Shot Heard Round the World. The Battle of New Orleans. Gettysburg, San Juan Hill, Belleau Wood, Pearl Harbor, Heartbreak Ridge, the Tet Offensive, Kandahar, and Fallujah. Generations of sacrifices must be defended. And those who wage war on us must be made to pay.
Universalism demands that war must answer to universal aims and objectives. That there is a universal law higher than war. But this is a children’s story. The laws of men derive from their own interests. Those who can rule by force or coalition make their laws to serve their own ends. This is the way of the world.
Those who pretend to live by universalism will still fall to the law of steel. Rhetoric is no defense against fire and lead, and international codes have no defense against those who will break them. The talk may go on, but it is the warriors who will end it. It is still the warrior’s tale to tell, even if all others have forgotten it.
The warrior’s tale is no happy thing. It is bitter as bile and dark as death. But it is also a grand and glorious thing. For even in its full naked truth, it is the story of perseverance in the face of every agony and betrayal. It is the tale of how we live and why we die.
Even when all others forget their tale, the warriors remember. Even when they are called peacekeepers and turned into an army of clowns for the satisfaction of their political masters. The armies may decay, but warriors still remain in their cracks, on their edges– men who are not wanted, but are needed because they are the only ones who can do the grim work and do it well. They may only be a hundredth of an army, or a thousandth. A fraction of a fraction. But without them there is no army, only empty uniforms.
When the warrior’s tale is forgotten, then they become shadows. Dangerous men despised and feared. Thought of as killers, dismissed as monsters and stared at like beasts in a cage. But the society cannot deny them. It cannot deny that part of them. When the warrior diminishes, the energy is directed elsewhere. Sport becomes an obsession and matches end in bloody violence. Crime increases. Prisons fill up. So do police forces.
As the external war fades, the internal one begins. Barbarians come from without. Buildings burn, mobs rage and there is a savagery in the air.
No law can protect a society that has forgotten the warrior’s tale. It will turn outward, and adopt the warriors tales of outsiders. The samurai will replace the cowboy. The sports star will be an outsider. Its heroes will become foreigners. Men who will understand the virtue of violence and will do what their own have been forbidden. Men who have the vital energy that a society without a warrior’s tale lacks.
When a people give up their own warrior’s tale for that of others, they lose the ability to resist them. For each people’s warrior’s tale says that we are people, and they are enemies. We are warriors and they are murderers. When a people have no other warrior’s tale but that of their enemies, they will come to believe that they are monsters. And that their enemies are brave warriors.
The day will come when they are asked who they are, and they will not know. They will point to their possessions and the names of their streets and cities. They will speak of higher ideals and cringe for not living up to them. They will be asked why they fight, and they will say that they do not want to fight. That all they want is peace at any price.
Even the most powerful of civilizations with the mightiest of cities becomes prey when it forgets the warrior’s tale. It takes more than weapons to defend a city, it demands the knowledge of the rightness of their use. It is no use dressing men in uniforms and arming them, if they are not taught the warrior’s tale. And it is nearly as little use, sending them off to watch and keep, if the men above them discard the warrior’s tale as violent and primitive gibberish.
An army of millions is worth little, without the warrior’s tale. Strategy is technique, firepower is capacity, both begin and end with the human mind. “Why do we fight,” is the question that the warrior’s tale answers far better than any politician could. “We fight because this is ours. It is our honor, our duty and our war. We have been fighting for hundreds and thousands of years. This is what makes us who we are.”
We are the people, says the warrior’s tale. But we are every people, says the universalist’s tale. All is one. There is no difference between us and them. And we will prove it by bringing them here. Then the walls fall and it falls to the warriors to make their last stand. To tell another warrior’s tale with their lives.
This is the quiet war between the philosopher merchants who want trade and empire, and the warriors who know that they will be called upon to secure the empire, and then die fighting the enemy at home. It is how the long tale that begins with campfires and ends with burning cities goes. The story that begins with cave paintings and ends with YouTube videos. Whose pen is iron, lead and steel. And whose ink is always blood.
We have been here before. Told and retold the old stories. The forest, the swamp, the hill and the valley. And behind them the lie, the maneuver and the betrayal. The war that becomes unreasoning and the people who forget why they fight. And one by one the warriors slip away. Some to the long sleep in the desert. Others to secluded green places. And still others into the forgetfulness of a people’s memory. The hole in the heart of a people who forget themselves and become nothing.
In Washington, D.C., across from St. Matthew’s Cathedral (the site of President John F. Kennedy’s funeral Mass), a monument stands to the women religious who ministered to wounded and dying soldiers, North and South, during the American Civil War. Unveiled on September 20, 1924, the inscription reads:
They comforted the dying, nursed the wounded, carried hope to the imprisoned, gave in his name a drink of water to the thirsty –
To the memory and in honor of the various orders of Sisters who gave their services as nurses on battlefields and in hospitals during the Civil War.
Between 1861 and 1865, approximately 640 women from twenty-one different religious communities volunteered their nursing services. Mary Livermore, a future women’s rights leader who worked with the U.S. Sanitary Commission, said:
I am neither a Catholic, nor an advocate of the monastic institutions of that church . . . But I can never forget my experience during the War of the Rebellion . . . Never did I meet these Catholic sisters in hospitals, on transports, or hospital steamers, without observing their devotion, faithfulness, and unobtrusiveness. They gave themselves no airs of superiority or holiness, shirked no duty, sought no easy place, bred no mischiefs. Sick and wounded men watched for their entrance into the wards at morning, and looked a regretful farewell when they departed at night.
This was quite a change. Before the Civil War, nuns often didn’t wear habits in public or when traveling, because of anti-Catholic hostility. In Indiana, children threw rocks at them. In New England, anti-Catholic mobs threatened to burn down their convents (and sometimes actually did). And in New York, a man walked up to a Sister in habit, called her a “damned papist bitch,” and slapped her face.
But when the war came, they were desperately needed. In general, nursing wasn’t considered a respectable profession for women. Nor were there many hospitals; most people were cared for at home. The exceptions here were the Sisters, who operated twenty-eight hospitals nationwide as of 1861. While other churches had women nurses, including the Lutherans and Episcopalians, Catholic nuns constituted the single largest pool of experienced nurses in America on the eve of the Civil War.
Altogether on both sides, over 4,000 women served as nurses; more served as nurses’ assistants, cooks, and laundresses. What did the nurses do? They cleaned wounds and bandaged them, helped doctors in surgery, and cleaned the wound. It wasn’t easy work, and the turnover rate was high. All in all, it was hard, ugly work.
The turnover rate may have been less for the Sisters. For centuries, historian George Stewart writes, nursing was a “religious ministry rather than a profession.” One Sister, asked how she gathered strength to do her work, said: “I thought of the cruel wound in the side of our dear Lord, and my strength was restored.” And they asked little remuneration beyond necessities.
They were there on the war’s bloodiest battlefields. At Shiloh, where some 25,000 fell, Sister Anthony O’ Connell, a Cincinnati-based Sister of Charity, said she was unable to bear the terrific stench from the bodies on the battlefield. This was bad enough, but what we endured on the field of battle while gathering up the wounded is beyond description . . . Day often dawned on us only to renew the work of the preceding day without a moment’s rest.
One soldier said of Sister Anthony:
Amid this sea of blood she performed the most revolting duties for these poor soldiers. She seemed like a ministering angel, and many a young soldier owes his life to her care and charity. Happy was the soldier who, wounded and bleeding, had her near him to whisper words of consolation and courage. She was reverenced by Blue and Gray, Protestant and Catholic alike; and we conferred on her the title of the ‘Florence Nightingale of America.’ Her name became a household word in every section of the North and South.
When surgeons wanted to amputate a soldier’s limb, she would say: “Wait and let me see what I can do for him.” And she often saved it. In 1897, she was buried with a full military honor guard.
In some quarters, however, particularly among Protestant nurses, prejudice still lingered. One woman, describing the Sisters’ habit, said: “What looking objects to wait upon our sick and dying boys!” Dorothea Dix, the Superintendent of U.S. Army nurses, was said to be particularly hostile to Catholics. Part of the reason for this hostility may have been just plain jealousy.
The Sisters evangelized by their example. In many places, they were the first nuns, let alone Catholics, that some soldiers had ever seen. A Confederate Chaplain recalled one incident where they unwittingly won over non-Catholics. One soldier, raised on anti-Catholicism, didn’t realize the Sisters were Catholic:
“Sister, is it true that you belong to the Catholic Church?”
“Yes, sir, it’s true. And that’s the source of the greatest happiness I have in this life.”
“Well, I declare. I’d never have suspected it. I’ve heard so many things . . . I thought Catholics were the worst people on earth.”
“I hope you don’t think so now.”
“Well, Sister . . . I’ll tell you. If you say you’re a Catholic, I’ll certainly have a better opinion of Catholics from now on.”
Having recently celebrated Memorial Day, it’s important to remember the women as well as the men who have sacrificed for their country. Through their healing ministry, the Catholic Sisters helped dissolve prejudice, preached by quiet example, and helped make nursing a respectable profession for women from all walks of life. Theirs is an inspiring story that deserves to be remembered and cherished by all Americans.
An explanation of why the Founders chose to design America as a republic, not a democracy and the compelling reasons why a republic must be maintained if individual liberty is to be preserved.
Last week, I explored the notion that perhaps — just perhaps — Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal was part of a larger plan to detour the United States into socialism.
It seems absurd, of course. We all grew up admiring FDR for his wisdom and courage and were taught that he had saved the country from the Great Depression through his government-funded stimulus programs.
But nowadays, with the benefit of hindsight, and with our generation holding the bill for 75 years of “stimulus,” “welfare” and “entitlement” programs, it is appropriate to study President Roosevelt’s policies with the same intense scrutiny that we apply to President Obama’s. They are at root, after all, the very same policies.
Author John Franklin Carter, a friend and admirer of Roosevelt, wrote in his 1934 book “The New Dealers” that the New Deal “was caused by one very simple fact: that we can produce more than enough for everybody in this country.”
This is the myth of “permanent plenty” that Carter sets out as fact in his book, and it explains why he thinks the New Deal would have been necessary with or without a Great Depression. But, of course, the Depression made it so much easier.
In the words of President Obama’s first chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” Emanuel, of course, engineered the passage of the 2009 stimulus bill and the 2010 health-care bill by channeling the American public’s fear of the Great Recession into an opportunity to create a second New Deal.
So this is not just a history lesson. These are lessons that must be learned sooner or later by the American public if they don’t wish to be turned into a permanent underclass dependent on the “moral aristocracy” (educated at Yale, Harvard and Princeton) that John Franklin Carter proposed as the new overlords of America.
Carter laid the whole plan out in the first few pages of his book.
“[FDR] invented nothing in the New Deal. This is his greatest achievement. He combined … familiar elements so calmly and with so friendly a smile, that even after a year of the New Deal there are still people who do not realize that a revolution has taken place.”
I can trump that. Even 75 years after the New Deal, there are millions of people who do not realize that a revolution took place — silently, bloodlessly, and dangerously. But Carter went a step further. Just one year into the New Deal, he warned that it could not be stopped. Even if Roosevelt were assassinated or defeated in re-election, the revolution would continue.
“Whatever happens, the New Deal will go on — as either a peaceful revolution or a bloody one — for ten, twenty or fifty more years, until it has achieved its purpose.”
That is a bold statement — and a scary one for those who pledge their allegiance to the Constitution. But clearly, Carter felt that the New Deal was more important than the Constitution. Now here is a scary question: Has that revolution yet achieved its purpose? Or is it still under way? Is that the real explanation for the agenda of stimulus and bailouts of the last two years?
Each of you must judge for yourself, but after 75 years of life under the FDR progressive revolution, should we be surprised that Congress has declared health care to be a right? Should we be surprised that Congress and the president want to give away American citizenship to illegal immigrants? Should we be surprised that Obama signed into law the greatest overhaul of the banking industry since the New Deal?
Certainly not if you listen to John Franklin Carter: “Slow or fast, the New Deal is moving to establish a better distribution of American abundance, and Roosevelt is simply a symptom of that process and not its cause.”
There again, we have the language of socialism — “a better distribution of American abundance.” Or you can call it “redistribution of wealth” if you want. Or as President Obama said, “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”
Or as Karl Marx, the father of communism, put it: “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.”
Should we be surprised to see American presidents lining up with Karl Marx in their efforts to create a “welfare state” that will redistribute “American abundance” in an effort to create a more just society?
It was surprising to me — because I had never bothered to study the history of the New Deal before. It just seemed like one of those things that the government did because it had to do it. Desperate times, after all, call for desperate measures.
But what if Carter was right, and Franklin Roosevelt was just the “master-of-ceremonies” in the New Deal, and not the “manager” who was behind it. What if he was instituting a program of redistribution of wealth not because of exigent circumstances, but because that was the goal all along? What if the goal was really to expand the powers of the federal government in order to concentrate power in the hands of the few — the “moral aristocracy” who thought they knew better than the rest of us how to apply economic and social justice.
Carter assures us that FDR used the methods of his predecessors such as Grover Cleveland, Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson and “the methods of the World War” to promulgate the New Deal reforms. In particular, he saw the usefulness of “spawning … emergency inter-Departmental Committees, Board and Administrations” and the “wholesale use of publicity and propaganda to win and hold popular support for a prolonged national effort.”
It is certainly apropos to note that the New Deal was essentially the start of the massive federal bureaucracy that we have today. The “committees, board and administrations” in their turn spawned endless regulations, rules and loopholes that turned the American citizenry into trained monkeys who learned to jump through hoops for their paltry rewards and a pat on the head.
Yep, with enough “publicity and propaganda” you can convince the majority of people that CO2, the gas that leaves your mouth when you exhale, is a dangerous pollutant, but that doesn’t make it so. And just who are those people? Who are the forces that envision their task as “moving to establish a better distribution of American abundance”?
We get some frightening clues in John Carter’s 1934 book.
“Roosevelt had the benefit of several other great national experiments as useful points of reference for the American New Deal,” Carter forthrightly opines. “He had before him the spectacle of the Soviet Union with its recent dramatization of economic reorganization through the Five-Year Plan. He had before him the example of Fascist Italy with its regimentation of business, labor and banking in the ‘Corporative State.’ He had before him the instances of Kemal, Mussolini and Hitler in restoring national pride and self-confidence to beaten or dispirited peoples.”
So there you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth. John Franklin Carter, an ally and advocate of the New Deal, a close confidante of FDR — without the benefit of political correctness — told the unvarnished truth. The New Deal was modeled after the examples and policies of Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini — the poster boys for communism, national socialism and fascism.
Carter even goes so far as to compare the National Recovery Administration created by Roosevelt to the Soviet “GPU,” the State Political Directorate which was the precursor of the more infamous KGB and which created the infamous Gulag system for political prisoners in the Soviet Union.
Remember, these associations between the New Deal and fascism or communism are not my idea, or even Carter’s idea — it’s in the historical record, and the admiration society went both ways. Hitler told the American ambassador that the New Deal represented “the quintessence of the German state philosophy.” Mussolini said admiringly of FDR that “America has a dictator” and wrote in a review of Roosevelt’s book, “Looking Forward,” that FDR’s rhetoric and proposals were “reminiscent of the ways and means by which fascism awakened the Italian people.”
Looking backward, the question is what will awaken the American people out of the slumber into which they have fallen? After 75 years of “revolution” and “redistribution of American abundance,” we don’t need a New Deal any longer — we need a fresh deck.