The fat chance chronicles

In the course of my arguments with Herr Zeitgeist over the years, I have tended to compromise less and less. The Gentleman (cap for the German noun; they don’t have their own word for it) has of course tried to exploit this. Why won’t I be reasonable? Why must I refer to “democracy” and “the people” with contempt? Why publicly defend what is ludicrously “mediaeval”? Why, especially, do I not try harder to make common cause with potential allies, to form a “united front” against Herr Zeitgeist hisself? Why this “stand or fall” on Catholic Christianity? He accuses me of making his task too easy. Whether or not Western Civ was “created by the Catholic Church” as I insist, he says there is no way the old Catholic order is going to be restored.

“Please,” he pleads, “be a little reasonable. Make our dispute a little more interesting: give yourself an outside chance. After all, your own Pope tells you to stop proselytizing, and that your traditionalism is just an ideology. The days of Catholic obstinacy are over.”

He sends me emails from all over the United States; sometimes from Europe, too. (Unlike me these days, the guy gets around.) From everywhere he reports, that the chance of a Catholic rising is nil, and that the chance of installing my “mediaeval utopia” is nil to the minus forty-third.

As for English-speaking North America: “This place was never Catholic in the first place, and the mainstream Protestants have all come over to me. Aside from the maybe one-in-twenty nominal Catholics who could honestly recite the Nicene Creed, all you have is a few Evangelicals, weird immigrants from the Middle East, some Orthodox Jews, and what? God-crazed libertarian Tea Party types who share your gift for self-evisceration. At least get your act together on the Right, and link these people up. We’re getting bored smooshing you, even within the Republican Party.”

His latest ping came with links to a few blog items on fundraising. The joke is that all these desperately sincere, hard-working, self-sacrificing, single-income, rabbitlike-breeding, home-schooling, overtaxed, rightwing lunatic types, are sending their miserable little contributions to these grand Republican PACs, in the belief that will help swing the next election, and protect them from the satanic liberal tyranny that is pushing them around. The PACs have names on them like “Sarah Palin” and “Dr Ben Carson.” They collect millions and millions in these small donations. A tiny proportion of that money goes to candidates’ campaigns (not always the ones the donors were expecting); often nothing. The rest goes as costs and fees into the pockets of the PAC organizers. Some PACs are legitimate, according to some sources, but there is terrible confusion about which they are. Campaign finance laws, themselves sold on false pretenses, favour the owls. And as I keep reminding on the subject of democracy, the little people are easy marks: picked off like fieldmice.

To which Herr Zeitgeist replies: “There you go again.”

And there I go, with my motto for the day: “As well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb.” For when the progressive gestapo come for me, I want it on the record that I went down not for the Conservative Party, but for Jesus Christ.

But leave that until it happens. For this Friday, it is enough to consider the odds on Western Civ. In my judgement (and every human being makes his own calculations), the odds for recovery are currently about zero in one hundred. But given what that Civilization has been, for all its wonted sins — an institutional and societal reflection of the teaching of that same Christ Jesus by which we embraced both God and our neighbour — there are only two options. One is to fight with every dying breath to preserve whatever can be preserved, restore whatever can be restored. The other is to write ourselves off.

It is true, for instance, that abstract arguments can be constructed in Natural Law for the defence of human life and soul against contraception, abortion, pornography, unmarriage, eugenics, euthanasia, and every other form of human genetic engineering and filth that Herr Zeitgeist has brought progressively into play. It would thus be theoretically possible to form a grand coalition, among all those intellectuals trained in classical moral reasoning, quite apart from their religious affiliations — which is to say, perhaps one person in every hundred thousand or so. And I haven’t the slightest objection to people trying to do this, on their own time.

They cannot succeed. The kind of pluralism for which they hope, or merely take to be inevitable, itself cannot last under the same Natural Law: because the truth is indivisible. The argument of e.g. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa contra Gentes is irresistible: natural reason will lead us eventually back to the same God. The roads of reason lead paradoxically through Rome, and to the feet of Christ, Crucified and Resurrected. All the others lead to mud holes.

Now, Herr Zeitgeist says, “What if you are wrong? What if, as your admirably progressive Pope is now frequently suggesting, salvation is not only through his Catholic Church? Or what if all men perish anyway?”

I note that by both arguments, Christ was a fraud. For centuries upon centuries He let a Church, which He clearly founded, put a quick one over on countless Christian souls — while providing alternatives that would invariably evaporate. Thus: Christ was not Christ. In the second, He was just another merchandizing guru, who lucked upon the biggest sales gimmick of all time — the scientology to beat all scientologies.

There is, to my mind (the one which rules this Idlesite with iron pixels), what amounts to a Pascal’s wager. Either Christ was, and is, and will be what He claims, and “thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against her.” In which case it don’t make no sense to play ’possum.

Or, there was some silly mistake, and we are dead men one and all.

I’m in for the fat chance.