|No Lasting Home|
|The Rise of Utopian Slavery|
Timothy J. Cullen
|REMNANT COLUMNIST, Argentina|
A Liberated Christian in Another 'Tolerant' Society
For, we have not here a lasting city: but we seek one that is to come (Heb. 13:14)
(Posted 2/3/09 www.RemnantNewspaper.com) Old Christendom has long since abandoned the City of God in a vain attempt to build the City of Man, a soulless Potemkin village on a grand scale. Like all the hubristic, grandiose and narcissistic extravaganzas beginning with the Tower of Babel, it was foreordained to failure. We have on this earth no lasting home, in the mournful lyric of Brahms’s A German Requiem.
The towers of the modern day City of Man are beginning to show cracks in their showy but shoddy façades. Their shallow foundations tremble. Cities show increasing signs of strain, and there are those who believe they are soon to come apart at the seams. So it shall always be so long as societies worship themselves.
It is all too easy to fall prey to the propaganda spewed out by the secular state, given that the propagandizing begins in the secular materialist indoctrination centers commonly called “schools” and is reinforced in homes that permit its electronic entry by way of the boob box. If the family is one that reads, an increasingly rare circumstance, the print mass media is available to propagandize as well.
What do the media pundits and secular materialist propagandists have to say about the current crisis? Think of Dr. Pangloss, the incurable optimist of Candide, the 18th century novel by secular materialist cynic Voltaire: “[P]rivate misfortunes make the public good, so that the more private misfortunes there are, the more everything is well.”
In this “best of all possible worlds,” private misfortunes are multiplying exponentially, so things in general must be going very well indeed. There is every reason to be complacent and to trust in your elected leaders and in the good intentions of the globalists who pull their strings. Once everyone and everything is under control, “terrorism” will disappear and everything will be well. Everyone will be safe, secure and enslaved, and they will like it, because they will be entertained. Utopia, the earthly paradise, will at last have arrived. Stay tuned and await further instructions.
Nevertheless, there are those who resist the idea of political control, who dislike the destruction of religion and a sense of the transcendent in humankind, who believe in God and reject the secular materialist consensus. What of these? They above all should by now be well aware that we have on this earth “no lasting home,” and that perhaps the expression should be taken literally as well as figuratively; perhaps it’s time to take a leaf from the book No Lasting Home: A Year in the Paraguayan Wilderness, by Emmy Barth, a fascinating account of resettlement by religious refugees (the Bruderhof, an Anabaptist sect) from Nazi Germany and then England in 1940.
There is a growing number of Traditional Catholics who are actively considering uprooting themselves and their families from the English-speaking secular materialist states to seek better and simpler lives in the increasingly secular materialist but less regulated and less expensive Latin America. No Lasting Home is a “must read” for those who might have such an interest, particularly for those who would like to form Traditional Catholic communities in faraway places.
Not only is such a project fraught with difficulties, but the relative regulatory ease of immigration seventy years ago cannot be compared with the controls exercised today by supposedly free societies. The secular materialist trap has been sprung, and few will escape it; that is the reality that must be faced. The time to take action has come and gone, as bitter a pill as that may be to swallow. Those who believe it might still be possible to go into the wilderness and carve out a Traditional Catholic homestead or create a Bruderhof-style religious community are advised to read Paul Theroux’s 1982 novel The Mosquito Coast, or, second-best, see the 1986 movie of the same name; either is a sobering experience.
Early Christians were often slaves and were encouraged to accept their worldly state because the emphasis was on the afterlife, not on the material discomforts of the earthly life. It is difficult to imagine today’s Catholics―Trads included―, Christians or nearly anyone else in the West renouncing any and all hope of social mobility and meekly accepting their socioeconomic lot in life, though this acceptance grows increasingly moot as the middle class is slowly but surely destroyed. For the poor―or shall we describe them as “economically disadvantaged”?―the solace not provided by religion will instead be derived from hedonism, now clearly in the ascendant. The truly religious will not likely be welcome in such a society.
The religious community of the Bruderhof was formed “in a small village in Germany in 1920. Amid the economic and political rubble left by the nation’s crushing defeat in World War I, they had turned their backs on middle-class life and sought to take literally Jesus’ demands in the Sermon on the Mount. Within months, they had been joined by other like-minded seekers from across Europe and from many walks of life. Seventeen years later, in 1937, the community had been forced out of Germany. As Nazi records explain, the community’s very existence was a threat, since ‘it represents a world view totally opposed to National Socialism’.”
“National Socialism,” like “Communism,” is an atheistic, secular materialist social system, which is now also true of “representative democracy,” save that in the latter a decreasing degree of religious “freedom” is tolerated; but for how long? How long before nominal “representative democracy” is de facto dictatorship by a managerial elite controlled by amoral financiers? How long before what happened to the 18th century Catholic Irish (and 19th century French, and 1920s Mexicans, and 1930s Spaniards, etc.) happens in all of what once was Christendom? Will “your country” then be your lasting home? Or is your first loyalty to your faith? Best to ponder and answer these questions now, before an answer is forced upon you.
Expatriation is an unlikely option for most families, save for those with verifiable fixed incomes. For all intents and purposes, citizens of supposedly “free” societies are in fact economic hostages of them. The debt-based monetary system and the willingness of the citizenry to enslave itself to the system have created societies in which comfort, convenience and so-called “security” outweigh freedom in importance, while secular materialist legal systems have made immigration a difficult matter even in countries that could greatly benefit from it.
The believing Catholic is in one sense at an advantage in such a society, because the believer’s focus is not on this world, but rather of a transcendent nature. As the late Colombian writer Nicolas Gómez Dávila (1913-1994) put it in one of his many pithy aphorisms: “He who takes refuge in the immanent to escape the vertigo of nihilism will soon feel the reality beneath his feet slowly dissolve into nothingness. Transcendence is the foundation of the consistency of things.”
This is all too true, as is another of Gómez Dávila’s acute observations: “To heal the patient it wounded in the 19th century, industrial society had to degrade [n.b. the Spanish word also translates as “brutalize”] him in the 20th. It is spiritual poverty that pays for industrial prosperity.”
The first decade of the 21st century finds the “patient” nearly brain dead, his spirituality on life support, but he who holds to the transcendent need not fear: he has the solid ground of transcendence upon which to stand, though he be spurned and ridiculed by his fellow citizens as they stubbornly cling to the secular materialist utopian dream even as it is visibly slipping through their fingers to “dissolve into nothingness.”
There are those who believe the current crisis is the result of the stupidity and incompetence of those who run the world, but this writer is not among them; this writer believes that the powers of this earth are, as the saying goes, laughing all the way to the bank, a bank, what’s more, that they own; they know full well who is stupid, who is ignorant, who is gullible, at least in worldly terms. And they are busily ensuring that the dumbing-down of the already spiritually impoverished will continue apace.
Those who wish to remain true to their faith will slowly but surely be forced into exile from their societies, not through emigration but rather by way of an internal process of detachment from the City of Man. The status of exile has never been a particularly desirable one, but to quote Gómez Dávila once more: “Dying in exile guarantees that one has not been an utter mediocrity.”
Doom and gloom is increasingly popular in the media these days, perhaps not without reason, but earthly travails are transient, and so long as that is kept in mind, they are bearable. The expression “wage slavery” will become more literal for those who hope to avoid the financiers’ puppet government dole, while non-professional and even many professional jobs will grow scarcer in the “developed” countries, given that wage-slaves in the poorer countries will work for lower wages so that Wal-Mart, destroyer of unsold clothes, can continue to stock its shelves full of shoddy seconds and imperfects for those who can afford nothing else.
The Catholic would be well-advised to withdraw to the extent possible from the secular materialist society in which he and his family find themselves trapped. The political system in the once Christian countries is now structured in a way that little or nothing can be done to change it, given that there is no spiritual foundation underlying it. The economic “deck” is thoroughly stacked against the middle-class family whose material hopes have proven ephemeral. Holy Mother Church has abandoned her children to their fate as she thrashes about in her death throes. Yet all of this, while profoundly troubling, passes, while the Truth abides.
Saint Teresa of Ávila understood this, but it could be that even the great mystic, a Doctor of the Church, believed it was wise to keep a reminder on hand. Found after her death in 1582 on a prayer card used for a bookmark for her breviary, was written this:
We have on this earth no lasting city, no lasting home. We do, however, have God.
What more do we need?
 Voltaire (Arouet, Francois-Marie, 1694-1778), Candide, Modern Library Edition, Random House, NY, 1956, p. 118.
 Barth, Emmy, No Lasting Home, The Plough Publishing House of Church Communities Foundation, Rifton, NY, 2009, pp. 7-8.
 Gómez Dávila, Nicolas, Nuevos escolios a un texto implícito, Tomo I, (my translation), Bogotá, Colombia, 1986, available online in Spanish, hat tip to my friends at the excellent http://casadesarto.blogspot.com/.
 Ibid, my translation.