At sea

Can a society function within a surge of violent crime? Of course it can; even the societies within Auschwitz or the Gulag were “functioning,” from day to day. Indeed, the destruction of their members was part of the functioning. But were they “functioning well”? Under the dictatorship of relativism that Pope Benedict spoke of, who are we to say how “well” is to be interpreted?

Many are the progressive media hacks and politicians who now argue that our civilization is functioning quite well, by violently destroying itself; or as they would say, by encouraging “peaceful protests” where only a few policemen happen to be maimed or killed, and the looting and arson have nothing to do with it. And where “free speech” may be offered against the premisses of these “protesters,” at the speaker’s personal risk.

At one level, we have begun to cede ownership of that old “Civ” to a new generation, whom we call “millennials.” Some of us oldies remember what a mess we made of what was inherited from our own fathers, but we did continue to observe some ancient customs, such as the recognition of free speech. Only now do we notice that it is passing away, among our own children.

To us oldies, this idea of free, unpunished speech, came naturally, because we heard it being exercised all around us. Some of the millennials still carry this from their homes; especially those who had fathers in them. But for the contemporary college kid, whom I think of as an orphan, there are just two points of view — an “objective” one, taught by their postmodern professors; and “Nazis.”

We might dispute what is “objective.” But the children of our social revolution don’t disagree with anything we say. They tune us out, and can’t hear a thing, until suddenly they get triggered, and form a numerous punishment mob on Twitter. That is their equivalent to a “debate.”

How long will it last?


Father Hunwicke has a post especially worth reading today (here), that asks the question, “How long does ‘now’ last?” He is asking it in the light and obscurity of Gaudium et Spes, the grand Vatican II document, which itself spoke, in its own words, de Ecclesia in mundo huius temporis. Was it projecting beyond the Beatles generation? And if so, how long, O Lord?

My thought has heretofore been that “temporal conditioning” is in itself an anti-Catholic concept; which the Council of Trent was trying to resist, but which that of Vatican II embraced “in its spirit,” and by default. It causes the Church to float free of her Foundation, so that phenomena like Bergoglio become inevitable. He tries to “steer” her, as it were, while she drags at her anchor. I’ve thought of her recently as the “Houseboat Church,” the loyalty of all her passengers disturbed by the waves. A mere typhoon or “batflu” becomes extremely disruptive.

Here in Parkdale, after having been set ashore “for our safety,” we will now be allowed back on board in small groups, clutching numbered fairground tickets, following ropes to keep our social distancing, and being asked politely to leave if we stay too long. This new regime starts locally, today.