Three quotes: two on the problem, the third on the solution. For fixing things is better than inebreiation.
Years ago while confronting a friend who was fast descending into alcoholism, I came up with an analogy I knew would force him to see the light. Every reason he was giving me to justify his drinking, I told him, could be used to justify him weighing 600 pounds. His arguments would be the same: I like it this way, it’s just my personal preference, I don’t care what society says about how I live my life, health isn’t everything, anybody who stops associating with me because of this I wouldn’t want as a friend anyway, etc. My comparison was correct, but I had no comeback when he said, “But being fat isn’t fun. Drinking is.”
He was, and is still, right. Inebriation is a great deal more fun than morbid obesity. Importantly, nothing can change that. It did not stop being true the first time my friend wet himself in public he was so drunk, and it is still true now that he has taken to smoking crack cocaine. Though perhaps his earlier statement should be revised to: “Being fat isn’t fun. Crack is.”
I am unsure if he knew it at the time, but his retort was very insightful. Fun sits near the top of our society’s priorities, and the hunt for fun can explain quite a bit about the world around us. While atheism, the Frankfurt School, postmodernism, Marxism, feminism, and the eternally amorphous “liberalism” are all interrogated endlessly by the right to try and explain what landed our civilization in this rot—it might be more simple than all that. The trouble might just be fun.
Hubert Collins, Social Matter
And analysis though useful, is not action.
Pope Leo XII :
There are three influences which appear to Us to have the chief place in effecting this downgrade movement of society. These are–first, the distaste for a simple and laborious life; secondly, repugnance to suffering of any kind; thirdly, the forgetfulness of the future life.
Problem 1 – The distaste for a simple and laborious life – We deplore….the growing contempt of those homely duties and virtues which make up the beauty of humble life. To this cause we may trace in the home, the readiness of children to withdraw themselves from the natural obligation of obedience to the parents, and their impatience of any form of treatment which is not of the indulgent and effeminate kind. In the workman, it evinces itself in a tendency to desert his trade, to shrink from toil, to become discontented with his lot, to fix his gaze on things that are above him, and to look forward with unthinking hopefulness to some future equalization of property. We may observe the same temper permeating the masses in the eagerness to exchange the life of the rural districts for the excitements and pleasures of the town….
Problem 2 – Repugnance to suffering of any kind – A second evil…. is to be found in repugnance to suffering and eagerness to escape whatever is hard or painful to endure. The greater number are thus robbed of that peace and freedom of mind which remains the reward of those who do what is right undismayed by the perils or troubles to be met with in doing so….By this passionate and unbridled desire of living a life of pleasure, the minds of men are weakened, and if they do not entirely succumb, they become demoralized and miserably cower and sink under the hardships of the battle of life.
Problem 3- Forgetfulness of the future life – The third evil for which a remedy is needed is one which is chiefly characteristic of the times in which we live. Men in former ages, although they loved the world, and loved it far too well, did not usually aggravate their sinful attachment to the things of earth by a contempt of the things of heaven. Even the right-thinking portion of the pagan world recognized that this life was not a home but a dwelling-place, not our destination, but a stage in the journey. But men of our day, albeit they have had the advantages of Christian instruction, pursue the false goods of this world in such wise that the thought of their true Fatherland of enduring happiness is not only set aside, but, to their shame be it said, banished and entirely erased from their memory, notwithstanding the warning of St. Paul, “We have not here a lasting city, but we seek one which is to come” (Heb. xiii., 4).
Having the confidence to act is now needed. It matters little if your actions — cleaning the streets and graffiti, fixing windows, raising children — have approval. Society is builded on such, and our elite hate society.
And if the problem is always the same, the solution is the same, too. If a building gets too high, smash it. If a man becomes too rich, impoverish him. Egalitarianism, the great cudgel of the Left, is ever-present to break up good order and harmony.
The liberal longs for pacifism. But he’ll never campaign to disarm your enemies; he just wants to disarm you. The liberal longs for racial justice. But he’ll bend every law in the book on behalf of his preferred color. The liberal longs for worker’s rights. But he’ll trample the employer’s property rights for a few pennies’ worth of compensation. The liberal longs for gender equality. But he’ll never admit that women are miserable without families.
The liberal agenda is the cold kiss of the void. His pacifism leaves you vulnerable to invaders. His sense of justice overturns law. His economics is the economics of robbery. His gender equality is the death knell of the family. If you think this is hyperbole, if you think I’m being unreasonable or unfair to the left, just look at Detroit. Or any major American city today.
It’s the same illness, the same medicine, and the same quack doctor rushing there to treat it. What chance does America stand when this is the same disease that leveled Rome, carved up the British Empire, and murdered the Romanovs?
I can’t answer that question. But I can begin to see a solution, dimly, somewhere out there in the misty regions of history.
Maybe it’s time to set aside our apologies and guilt. Maybe it’s time to start cleaning up our streets again.
Fritz Pendleton, Social Matter
Guilt and analysis are for those who have no family or friends or neighbours. Who are atomized, converged, defeated. We need to fix broken things. Today.