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“the usually subterranean core of the liberal project”

24 May 2022

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The pandemic brought liberalism’s deeper contradictions into plain view. On the one hand, it accelerated what had previously been a slow-motion desertion of liberal principles of government. On the other hand, Covid culture has brought to the surface the usually subterranean core of the liberal project, which is not merely political but anthropological: to remake man. That project can come to fruition, it seems, only with a highly illiberal form of government, paradoxically enough. If we can understand this, it might explain why our embrace of illiberal politics has met with so little resistance. It seems the anthropological project is a more powerful commitment for us than allegiance to the forms and procedures of liberal government.”

Matthew Crawford, Covid was liberalism’s endgame

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John of the Ladder: “Fearfulness is the daughter of unbelief”

24 May 2022

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“Whoever has become a servant of the Lord fears only his Master. But whoever is without the fear of God is often afraid of his own shadow. Fearfulness is the daughter of unbelief. A proud soul is the slave of fear; hoping in itself, in comes to such a state that it is startled by a small noise, and is afraid of the dark.”

St. John of the Ladder, The Ladder of Divine Ascent

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Solzhenitsyn: “socialism defies logic”

23 May 2022

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“The decline of contemporary thought has been hastened by the misty phantom of socialism. Socialism has created the illusion of quenching people’s thirst for justice: Socialism has lulled their conscience into thinking that the steamroller which is about to flatten them is a blessing in disguise, a salvation. And socialism, more than anything else, has caused public hypocrisy to thrive; it has enabled Europe to ignore the annihilation of 66 million people on its very borders.

“There is not even a single precise definition of socialism that is generally recognized: all we have is a sort of hazy shimmering concept of something good, something noble, so that two socialists talking to each other about socialism might just as well be talking about completely different things. And of course, any new-style African dictator can call himself a socialist without fear of contradiction.

“But socialism defies logic….”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Warning to the West

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G.K. Chesterton: “knowing what you really trust”

22 May 2022

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“The man of the true religious tradition understands two things: liberty and obedience. The first means knowing what you really want. The second means knowing what you really trust.”

G.K. Chesterton

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Seraphim Rose: “it is clearly pointed in the direction of Anarchy”

21 May 2022

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“Now a government is secure insofar as it has God for its foundation and His Will for its guide; but this, surely, is not a description of Liberal government. It is, in the Liberal view, the people who rule, and not God; God Himself is a “constitutional monarch” Whose authority has been totally delegated to the people, and Whose function is entirely ceremonial. The Liberal believes in God with the same rhetorical fervor with which he believes in Heaven. The government erected upon such a faith is very little different, in principle, from a government erected upon total disbelief, and whatever its present residue of stability, it is clearly pointed in the direction of Anarchy.”

Hieromonk Seraphim Rose

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Isaac the Syrian: “those who possess humility”

20 May 2022

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“Draw nigh to the righteous, and through them you will draw nigh to God. Communicate with those who possess humility, and you will learn morals from them. A man who follows one who loves God becomes rich in the mysteries of God; but he who follows an unrighteous and proud man gets far away from God, and will be hated by his friends.”

St. Isaac the Syrian

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Smedley Butler: “a racket, pure and simple”

20 May 2022

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“There are only two reasons why you should ever be asked to give your youngsters. One is defense of our homes. The other is the defense of our Bill of Rights and particularly the right to worship God as we see fit. Every other reason advanced for the murder of young men is a racket, pure and simple.”

Major General Smedley D. Butler (USMC), War is a Racket

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“Not works, but humility inclines the Lord to mercy”

19 May 2022

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Success in the spiritual life is not measured by spiritual consolations, which could come from the evil one, but by the depth of humility.

Not works, but humility inclines the Lord to mercy.”

Abbot Nikon Vorobiev

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Patriarch Kirill: “the destruction of trust between countries and nations”

19 May 2022

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“Back in the 18th century, Russia opened up to the West, which became a source of knowledge for us, an example for the transformation of society. Thousands of foreigners came to our country, and for many of them Russia became a second home.

“At that time, cultural communication was built largely on shared Christian values. However, in modern times in the West, ideas which I believe are quite dangerous, based on the denial of Christian heritage and the acceptance of moral relativism, emerged and became widespread. Moral relativism was accepted as a basic principle in human relations. 

“Unfortunately, over the past centuries these ideas have only developed and have led to a revision of immutable Christian values in European society, which has led to the assertion of arrogance and pride, as well as to the destruction of trust between countries and nations.

“And today Russia is not closing the “window to Europe” that Peter the Great cut through, nor is it self-isolating; but this window remains open only for mutually respectful dialogue, not for ideological dictate and bossy shouts from the outside. Participation in this dialogue must not affect our self-conscience and rob us of our legitimate pride in our country, in our history, and in our culture.”

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, Speaking to the Russian Senate, May 17, 2022

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Smedley Butler: “I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism”

19 May 2022

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“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

Major General Smedley D. Butler (USMC), War is a Racket

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