Glory be to the Father and The Son and The Holy Spirit.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners
There are knots within knots, pilgrim. Every little section of the rope seems like it should be here, but the whole rope seems to be the problem. We all know that something in the machine is broken, but there just seems to be far too many mechanics who keep tinkering with this, or adjusting that, and then charge us ludicrous amounts of money for a still broken machine. When did Rome fall? Do you know why pilgrim? It was the Christians’ fault. Actually, it was the gays. But really it was a web of socio-economic strains on a people who had a hard time figuring out who was Roman and who was not because of a massive settling of Germanic peoples on Roman lands for immediate political advantage by the landed aristocracy. But really, Rome fell when Caesar took power. Rome should have been more democratic. Rome should have just allowed more of a free exchange of goods. The People of Rome should have thrown off the Senate and wealthy patrician class and seized the means of production. Wait, never mind, Rome never fell at all.
Do you see the problem? Most human societies enjoyed the pleasure of one, single, fundamental cosmic framework corresponding to each of their political bodies. This is such an alien concept to us and our time that we have great difficulty understanding it. Rome couldn’t bear a monarchy not because they were Committed to Every Man’s Sacred Right to Participate in The Ruling Legislative Body. The Latins hated kings because it was un-Roman. They didn’t care at all if the Germans had kings. They didn’t invade Egypt in operation “Alexandrian-Storm” to bring down the oppressive Pharoah and set up a new government run by The Senate and The People of Egypt. When the Persians conquered the earth, it wasn’t because they disagreed with everybody else’s method of paying their workers, or how they allocated their resources. They fought to subdue the world because it was in rebellion against the cosmic order of Ahura-Mazda, and if the world was not brought under the yoke of order, the existential lie of chaos would swallow all things. But now, in our more enlightened age, it doesn’t matter who your gods are, it doesn’t matter from what land you hail. Your tribe? Your tradition? Bro who cares. Have you seen the new Marvel movie? I have a radical feminist communist who keeps up on video game releases arguing with an ancap with blue hair and an eyebrow piercing in the backroom of my local Target. I’m just trying to buy a new flatscreen so I can watch the next amazon original and talk to all of my friends about it. You go to an orthodox presbyterian church? What is that? I didn’t know there were different kinds of Christianity. But if you think about it man, isn’t all religion just boiling down to the same thing? Me, religious? Nah, but I guess you could call me spiritual.
It is a profoundly interesting historical circumstance in which we have found ourselves. What is a “people” to do when one door down Jerry can worship a completely different God, the door down from him denies that there are any gods, and the door down from him thinks that human beings have no intrinsic value. What kind of people is that? Oh but I can still watch the Super Bowl with Jerry. I can respect Ken the abortion advocate in HR even though our politics don’t exactly line up. Ken in HR thinks murdering millions of our own babies each year is an essential component to the public well-being. The bedrock of human culture has been undermined in an attempt to create a more harmonious world, but we’re not allowed to define harmony of course, because then it would exclude discord. So, we’ll keep scrolling Instagram and Twitter and going on coffee dates with people who could not possibly raise children until the cows come home. Ahura Mazda is dead, and we have killed him. What shall we do with ourselves? The murders of all murders? Tweet about the new McDonald’s menu item after I make my obligatory comment on the latest political cycle.
Our societies have become the most brilliant lights of human accomplishment in the history of our race. But so was the tower of Babel. We have our spaceships, we have our supermarkets, we have our transportation systems, and our internet, and our shipping lanes, and our deluxe flux capacitors, but once you look under the hood the only thing that’s there is smoke and a few dead rats. We have no consensus on the definition of a human being, and you’re trying to have a dialogue about “race?”. What’s the role of women in society after we’ve voted on abolishing women? Marriage is a sacred institution, that’s why we have no-fault divorce. Freedom of speech is an inherent right of every human being, that’s why Facebook’s algorithm has to be allowed to send your 6th grade boy Instagram videos on how to transition to a woman. But Google and the FBI are working around the clock scanning through all your digital information so that they can protect little kids.
Our rulers hate you, pilgrim. And they don’t usually use “politics” to do you harm. We’ve been so occupied looking for stormtroopers and gulags and “Big gov” that your daughter is now trying to be emancipated because you’re not completely on board with Black Lives Matter, and none of us saw it coming. Is electing Donny going to help? Maybe if we were just a bit more libertarian with our domestic legislation. What we really need to do is just keep interpreting the constitution the right way. We have been tying knots looking for a solution for a long time, pilgrim, and we are running out of rope.
What I am trying to write isn’t just a list of problems and cultural commentary. Most media, especially Christian media, is exactly that. I think there is a great need to take a step back and do a hard philosophical investigation of how politics, culture, and society, really operate. And how they ought to. We’re just working with too many assumptions, and it’s killing any hope of language, let alone conversation. You can only start talking to someone if you speak their dialect, and the barbarians over the fence look like they’re talking about something dangerous. Some of the guys on our side are itching for a preemptive strike. There gets a point pilgrim, where the knot is just too big. There gets a point where Alexander decides to give up and just cut the rope with his sword, and that is what I’m afraid of. We might go Weimar republic, we might go French revolution, we might go the way of the Balkans, we’ll probably be an unprecedented occurrence in the human timeline. I’m trying to save the rope from the knot and the sword, and that means whichever knot and whichever sword. I don’t care about capitalism or communism or feminism or monarchism or any other ideology on its face. I care about real-lifeism, to borrow a term from a friend. I care about what was written on Delphi so many years ago: “Know Thyself”.
What is a human being, pilgrim? What constitutes a human being? How ought we to live with one another? What does it mean to be a Christian? Are there any implications that Christianity has for how we work? How we vote? If we ought to vote? We cannot continue to be slavish inheritors to the ideas and cultural mindsets that have been passed down from our forebearers, who might have not cared about Christianity or Humanity at all. There are knots, pilgrim. And I am afraid I hear Alex sharpening his sword. So let us proceed with our investigation, and hope we can do so before it is all cut apart.