The author of this short essay is one of the men who turned me into 'your average reactionary, anti-communist, anti-socialist, anti-fascist, anti-capitalist, distributist, monarchist, integrist,Traditional Catholic' one night almost 30 years ago over a couple of bottles of wine. Chevalier Charles Coulombe and Mr Roy F. Moore share responsibility.
By Gary Potter
The twentieth century was dominated by three political systems,
communism, fascism and liberal democracy. There had been a fourth,
monarchy, at the century’s beginning, but it was undone by World War I,
at least as a form of government in which monarchs ruled as well as
merely reigned. That its undoing was engineered by ambitious politicians
and short-sighted generals is its own story but does not concern us
here. However, it must be noted that the fall of monarchy also marked
the end of most government of a Christian character, most notably the
government of the last Catholic world power, the Austro-Hungarian
Empire, whose last ruler is a beatus of the Church, Karl I of the House of Austria.
the three systems that went on to dominate the century communism
formally denied the existence of God, fascism sought to replace Him with
a Leader, and liberal democracy, asserting that it acts according to
“the will of the people” (instead of His Will as would Christian
government) simply operates as if He does not exist. It amounts to
After the collapse of communism thirty years
ago, liberal democracy became the only one of the last century’s
dominant systems to survive into the twenty-first. The sway of it and
its congruent capitalism also became global. There were those at the
time who described this development as “the end of history.” Progress
had reached its apogee, they said.
They were wrong because as
practical atheists the liberals had a distorted view of reality. It was
grounded in the scientific rationalism of the Enlightenment according to
which nothing is real that cannot be quantified — measured and weighed.
The trouble with this view is that it is limited to the material
dimension of Creation. It does not see (or denies) that human beings
have souls as well as bodies. We are spiritual as well as physical
beings. We all know this from times when the beauty of poetry, the sound
of music, the sight of a sunset, or smile of a beloved moves us so
deeply we approach the threshold of pain. This is why art and the
religion were at the heart of Christian political and social order, the
religion because it knows about the soul, art because it manifests its
movements. Now we have economics at the heart of the life of society,
put there by secular liberals who are directly descended from the
original revolutionaries, the Frenchmen of 1789, who ceremonially
enthroned a Goddess of Reason in the person of a prostitute on the altar
of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris even as they cut off the head
of Louis XVI for the crime of being a Christian ruler.
three generations from now, when memories of our era will have dimmed,
the entire past couple of centuries since 1789 will be seen for what the
time was: a historical aberration, a temporary departure from the
Christian millennia that began to unfold when the Second Person of the
Holy Trinity came into the world as a man, Jesus of Nazareth. The
remaining memory of our era will chiefly be as the time when fallen
humanity began to reawaken to the reality of His advent. The reawakening
is happening now with a Western Hemispheric and Europe-wide revolt
against liberal democracy manifested by the rise of nationalist populism
— Christian peoples repudiating modernity.
It doesn’t mean the
end of problems, strife, war, selfishness, sin in all its forms. That
end would be utopia and utopia can never exist because our humanity is
fallen. It does mean men reawakening to that very truth and, in doing
so, to the truth that our humanity was redeemed two thousand years ago.
It makes this a wonderful time to be alive.