Historical background related to current issues and/or events.

Optimism may be extinguished, pessimism may oppress, but hope will survive.

Submitted by frlarry on Fri, 10/21/2016 - 08:26

Three years ago, I was stunned by the level of corruption in the state of Kansas. (See "Kansas Court Indefinitely Suspends Former Attorney General Kline’s Law License Over Abortion Investigations.") I didn't realize then that it was the canary in the mineshaft.

Food for thought...

Submitted by frlarry on Mon, 08/10/2015 - 08:30
Topics
When even our Presidential contests become absorbed into the entertainment culture, and people focus on the tabloid (which we cynically refer to as a "circus") rather than trying to determine the common good; when people's votes are purchased by pecuniary interest rather than principle (and even our term for money is "bread"); then we have returned to the politics of the Roman Empire. As Anthony Esolen points out in this piece, even our college students are clueless about the nature of democracy.

Whither goest, thou, Humanity?

Submitted by frlarry on Wed, 07/15/2015 - 16:17

Pope St. Pius X recognized that the growing craze he called Modernism was a significant threat to civilization. People use the term Post-modernism to describe what's happening, today. They also call it the New Age, the New World Order, and even The Age of Aquarius. In short, it's a kind of paganized and radically nominalized version of Modernism.

The language boa constrictor

Submitted by frlarry on Wed, 05/27/2015 - 14:53

You think, I dare say, that our chief job is inventing new words. But not a bit of it! We’re destroying words — scores of them, hundreds of them, every day. We’re cutting the language down to the bone. ... Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.

George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-four

Hat tip... "The Gradual Abolition of Language".

Nineteen Eightyfour: Orwell's dystopian novel and its relationship to today

Submitted by frlarry on Thu, 08/07/2014 - 21:46

When I read George Orwell's dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty Four, over 40 years ago, I hoped that knowledge of the possible abuses of government would be a sufficient warning to prevent it. I hoped that the dystopia it described would never come to birth. George Orwell was way ahead of his time, yet he had already seen the possibility of the deluded polity that would enable the creation of this system.

Secularism vs. Sectarianism in Domestic and International Power Politics

Submitted by frlarry on Tue, 07/01/2014 - 17:41

Secularism began as a philosophical reaction against Christianity in the 18th century in Europe. Like the religious rebellion of the 16th century, it had its roots in outrage at the vices of religious and royal officials. And, like its earlier religious counterpart, it began to invent and to live by its own rules. As a movement, therefore, it exhibited all of the tendencies of moral and cultural drift that all major cultural movements and even civilizations have displayed throughout human history.

The Age of Moral Confusion (Part II): moral drift

Submitted by frlarry on Fri, 06/06/2014 - 16:34

I have offered simple orbital mechanics, and the earth/sun "system", as a metaphor for the importance of the connection between the unitive and procreative aspects of the marital act. I would like to suggest another metaphor to help us understand and appreciate the notion of "moral drift" in the absence of divine replenishment. In analogy with the thermodynamic law of entropy (the second law of thermodynamics), I would like to suggest that there is a kind of moral and spiritual equivalent.