Continued from Part 1
The German Reformation
The complete rejection of Papal authority by the German rebels had serious consequences. First came the emergence all over Europe of dissident “Christian churches” planted in opposition to Rome that keep proliferating to this day as they divide over and over. The second consequence was the introduction of an idea that would change the destiny of the Western World sowing the seeds of the future destruction of Christendom. This is the time when the dark flower of the mystery of iniquity opened its petals, spreading its inebriating perfume everywhere. That idea was as new as it was poisonous and it proclaimed that there could be order without authority since the rioters now considered it a right to create their own religion after a quick and not very scholarly read of the Holy Scriptures.
Up to that moment the vast majority of Christians considered the Pope as the Vicar of Christ among men. That man, the Bishop of Rome, had the God given right to keep Christian kings in the straight and narrow path according with the truth of the Gospel. It is true that not everyone obeyed the Pope’s bulls and edicts but no one up to that time had questioned the Pope’s authority. It was a widely accepted fact that the Chair of Peter had spiritual authority over every Christian. When the Protestants set sail to the seas of history without the compass of the Roman Magisterium, the logical consequence was that the kings – whose authority did not have as much a divine pedigree as the Pope’s – began to expect a possible rebellion. In fact it did not take long for the authority of the nobility to be questioned. From the days of the French Revolution to the Bolshevik Revolution and beyond, there are still many who look upon the crowned heads of Europe with contempt; seeing them as odd, obsolete, and very expensive junk living precariously on borrowed time.
One could arguably trace the origin of many of the modern ills of the world to that defiant act of Luther, to the idea that there could be order without authority. The political consequences of the German Reformation paved the way of many revolutions to come. Eventually thinkers like John Locke began to negate the Christian conception of history and presented us with the idea of constant “progress” that leads mankind from the “primordial swamp” to a future golden age. Karl Marx proposed the creation of a political and social order according to dialectic materialism and class struggle. Sigmund Freud peered into the human mind seeking the traumatic origins of all human afflictions, and Charles Darwin presented us with the idea that all life is nothing more than the result of a brutal struggle for survival where only the most cunning and the best equipped win only to pass the torch to the next generation and … perish anyway.
The plan is clearly before our eyes now: the paternity of God was the target, it had to be eliminated and it was. Darwin killed the idea of a fatherly Creator, Freud killed the moral conscience, and Marx replaced redemption with bitter social struggle. A monstrous world without hope or love was hatching before our eyes. Man was the monster’s creator and also its food. The barque of Peter, armed with the grace of God and “the faith once given to the saints” began to face a storm more and more menacing. The Christian ideas that had once saved the world were being replaced by a counterfeit version of the Gospel. The demonic contraption was beginning a race against time to destroy the world before the advent of the Second Coming. History was being redirected again and it was heading away from life and into a sure death.
Types of economic organization
Before going any further I must clarify some concepts. It is necessary to distinguish Liberal Capitalism from its common variety that we will call the “organic economy” or “natural capitalism” for lack of a better name. That is the form of natural economic order that exists since the foundation of the world. Man, armed with his own abilities, strength, and ingenuity uses the resources available to him – the capital that God has given him – working at first to eek a living in a hostile world and later trying to produce some surplus to improve his condition and that of his family or tribe. In his fascinating book Knowledge and Power, George Gilder explains: “The war between the centrifugal forces of knowledge and the centripetal forces of power continues to be the primary conflict in all economies.”
The origin of wealth is knowledge: things that each one of us knows better than other people. Back in 1971 Thomas Sowell wrote: “All economic transactions are exchanges of differential knowledge, which is dispersed in human minds around the globe.” In fact, Sowell adds that primitive man in his cave possessed the same material resources that we possess today but he did not know yet how to use them. There are no new raw materials; there is no new real capital. The difference before prehistoric societies and the present age is one of accumulation of knowledge. There is no doubt that we are living in a knowledge economy and yet knowledge is not something “like” wealth, knowledge “is” in a real sense, wealth. That is what we exchange in commerce. When I go to Wal-Mart and buy something, the storeowners possess the necessary knowledge to acquire, distribute, store, and sell that thing that I need to buy. Without the store I would have to learn how to obtain that product in a different fashion, generally at a higher cost and investing more time and effort. When I buy that product in a way I exchange my knowledge with the storeowner.
That “organic capitalism” or “natural economy” has always existed. It does not contain any ideological charge not it acquires any political connotations. It does not intend to enslave man, or modify human traditions or mores but rather serves man organically. The deformations that such type of economy may suffer are the same deformations that may affect any other aspect of the human condition, included religion, art, politics, etc.
This kind of economy has to be distinguished from Liberal Capitalism responding to a series of rules and abstractions seeking to reduce a sector of mankind to a certain degree of servitude, selfishly decreasing the freedom that man received from God.
Three contenders aspiring to dominate the world appear towards the end of the 19th century:
- Liberal Capitalism
There are many good definitions of these terms. For the purposes of this article the only important quality that these three systems have in common is that they propose a world without God, the abolition of human freedom, and the destruction of the natural economy that has sustained mankind since the beginning. These three contenders to world domination propose the regulation of economic activity in different ways but their objectives are the same: to use the economy like a weapon to submit mankind to a common project with some degree of collectivization. For them the individual is a mere cogwheel in the production machinery designed to benefit a privileged minority: the masters of the markets (Liberal Capitalism), the cronies of the government elite (Fascism) or the nomenklatura, the leaders and bureaucrats of the party (Socialism/Communism).
The Christian order is the natural enemy of these three. Going back in history, the forces unleashed by the Great War of 1914-1917 end up dethroning or neutralizing the crowned families of Europe. Diverse movements grab political power around the world. By 1939 in North America, Liberal Capitalism was in charge while in the recently created Soviet Union the Socialist-Communist ruled with an iron fist. Meanwhile Germany, Italy, Spain and many countries in Asia and South America were ruled by Fascist elites. The three systems fought World War II (1939-1945) each seeking to impose their will over the other two. There were no clear winners but Fascism appeared to be the clear loser. Towards the end of the 20th century the three systems ended up mixing, with China and Russia becoming more like Liberal Capitalistic countries while the United States, Canada, and Europe seemed to incorporate more and more elements of their Socialist competitors. The old adversaries gradually become old pals.
It is necessary to dedicate a paragraph to define the word “Fascism” because it is currently losing its original meaning. Often those pushing Cultural Marxism use the word “Fascist” as a derogatory term applied equally to real Fascists (rare or practically disappearing these days) or to any other political position that they dislike. Among those attacked more fiercely by the hordes of Cultural Marxism are those who believe that their religious faith, their country, family, property, traditions, profession, etc. are things worthy to be defended and preserved. Those individuals are natural nationalists in the best sense of the word because they are not a chauvinist mob inflamed by the rhetoric of a leader that want to use them for political purposes. They do not respond to one ideology designed by those bent on reducing their individual freedom for political gain. Nationalists are citizens that love their faith, their country, and their family because they reasonably understand the nobility of the world as ordered by God and they desire to keep it that way. When the Cultural Marxist mob insult decent people calling them “Fascists” they are abusing and misrepresenting what those people are. They are also projecting (in the Freudian sense) their own bad qualities onto innocent individuals because many of the systems generated by Cultural Marxism can be easily and clearly defined within the confines of the classic definition of Fascism.
The corruption of the world
We have gone over very rapidly from the early days of Christianity to the German Reformation and then to the appearance of the three major Liberal currents in the world scene: Liberal Capitalism, Fascism, and Socialism-Communism. The purpose of this article is to show the path in history of the mystery of iniquity, leaving for a future article the analysis of each step. Our main premise is that the German Reformation created the necessary conditions for further rebellions, religious, social, moral, and political among many others.
Allow me to repeat here that the Christian conquest of the Roman Empire was firstly a moral, then cultural, and finally intellectual and physical one. During those long centuries the Church fought a battle in two fronts: one was against the pagan world, and the other was the interior combat against all kinds of seditious forces, sects, dissidents, and other enemies. The internal enemies created the greatest challenge, a coldly coordinated attack designed from the beginning to destroy the Church and all the good things that she had given to mankind.
2 Peter 2: 17-22 – “These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm; for them the deepest darkness has been reserved. For they speak bombastic nonsense, and with licentious desires of the flesh they entice people who have just escaped from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for people are slaves to whatever masters them. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overpowered, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment that was passed on to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, ‘The dog turns back to its own vomit’ and, ‘The sow is washed only to wallow in the mud.’”
The West is now in the final stages of a cultural, moral, and religious revolution. A secularist and aggressively anti-religious movement emerged from the very ranks of our intellectuals, politicians, statesmen, and clergy. That movement has conquered the halls of our academic institutions and seminaries first, and then the intellectual elites all around the world. In the 1960’s that movement captured our universities and quickly extended its influence to the mind and imagination of our youth, especially those who were going to be the political and intellectual leaders of the next generation. Thus began the Kulturkampf the cultural war that still rages in many parts of the world. Secularism is winning that war among the intellectuals, the academics, in the arts, and in a growing portion of the political community. The movement is much stronger now than it was in the 1960’s.
We are facing a force that is anti-God, anti-tradition, and anti-Christian. This force is resolved to fundamentally change the world. We must consider more carefully the so-called “Sexual Revolution” that has been used like a battering ram to divide and debilitate our society and even the Church! Today we have two worlds that are different from each other intellectually, morally, and theologically. These two worlds cannot exist side by side; one of them must prevail over the other.
In the years that followed the Great War and more so since the end of World War II many of us were under the impression that Liberal Capitalism could win barely resting on some watered-down Christian principles, and a Christian world vision. That did not last long. Although in the post-war years the strong economies of the West were able to keep at bay the most virulent forms of Fascism and Socialism-Communism both in the military and the economic fronts, Cultural Marxism was able to win the culture wars. Today the many variants of Marxism are dominating the cultural landscape. In less than one century the world was turned topsy-turvy and now traditionalists are the counterculture. That is not something that happened suddenly with no warning; the process that brought those changes was lurking underground for a long time.
End of Part 2 – Continues on Part 3
 Quoted from Thomas Sowell’s book: Knowledge and Decisions in Surprise and Creativity. Notes toward a new economics; by George Gilder; The Weekly Standard; August 5, 2013.
 Fascism is an ideology appearing in Europe between 1918 and 1939. Its principles are the ideas and political practice of the Italian politician Benito Mussolini. The name comes from the Italian word fascio (‘truss, bundle’) originated in the Latin fasces (plural of fascis). Its political objectives are the establishment of a totalitarian state corporativism paired with a planned economy. Fascism proposes the total submission of reason to will and action. It bends the classical concept of nationalism towards chauvinism, polluting it with elements of social victimism or revenge within a frame of social intimidation against the enemies of the State. Said enemies become the target of an efficient propaganda apparatus combined with violent police-state style repression. Fascism denies being part of the political spectrum although it is generally considered to be in the extreme right, associated with plutocracy and identified sometimes with State Capitalism, or like a variant of State Socialism. It often presents itself as a “third option” opposite to Liberal Capitalism and also to Soviet style Socialism-Communism.
Cultural Marxism (The Corruption of America) a film by James Jaeger.
Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left, by Roger Scruton.
Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism; by George Gilder.
Wealth, Poverty, and Politics; by Thomas Sowell.
Liberalism: Sin, Inquity, Abomination; by Fr Horacio Bojorge, SJ.
Liberalism Is A Sin; by Fr Felix Sarda y Salvany.
Looking forward to the next installment, Carlos. (even though this is kind of depressing!) Of course, we know who wins in the end!
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Of course this is not cheery, Cathy but we have to know it because sooner or later we will have to face a decision. The message is: they’re coming for us but Jesus is with us. Don’t fret!
Have to assert that Franco was not a Fascist. He was a reactionary. Note that he kept out of WWII.
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Franco proclaimed himself Head of State and Government and Caudillo, a term similar to Il Duce (Italian for “leader”) for Benito Mussolini and Der Führer (German) for Adolf Hitler. Under Franco, Spain became a one-party Fascist state, as the various conservative and royalist factions were merged into the Fascist Party and other political parties were outlawed. If you read the economic definition of Fascism provided in one of the footnotes, Franco’s government fitted it to a tee. Fascism origins in Spain – as far as dirigismo the economy directed to serve the purposes of the State – go back to Primo de Rivera now considered along with Franco one of the pillars of Spanish Fascism. May be you are referring to Franco’s character; he was a reactionary in the sense that he was very opposed to any social reform, and definitely he was not a “Progressive”. Or to his late social policies from the 1960’s onward but certainly both from the economic and political point of view, Franco was a quintessential Fascist besides being the founder of the Fascist Party of Spain: the Falange. As for the entering of Spain in WW2, Franco was very uncomfortable with Hitler’s rabid anti-Catholic sentiments because first and foremost Franco considered himself a Catholic. Spain was in shambles in 1939 and it would have been suicidal to enter the war on the side of the Axis powers more so considering that Portugal remained neutral but leaning towards Britain. Spain’s African colonial territories and the presence of Britain in Gibraltar further complicated Spain’s participation in the War. In a very wise move, Franco excused himself and stayed out of the conflict, secretly favoring the Allies.
Here is an interesting book, a good portion can be read online: http://preview.tinyurl.com/jv6dg9h Falange: A History of Spanish Fascism, by Stanley G. Payne. Also this brief news reel from 1936:
I doubt if his ‘fascism’, if that was what it really was, was ideological in the manner of Mussolini. Perhaps it was the form of government most amenable to the circumstances in which he found himself and his country. I also think he was ‘reactionary’ in the sense that he responded to the ruthless Stalinisation of his country. Were it not for the communists, we probably would never have heard of him. His regime seems to have been far more compatible with Catholicism than many modern democracies. Of course, this was dependent on his own sincere adherence to the Faith. A similar regime led by an atheist could be monstrous.
Thank you for such a detailed explanation, and I must concede to your comprehensive knowledge of Spanish history.
Thank you, also, for this edifying series of articles. It represents a very accurate summary of the difficult times in which we have come to find ourselves.
I suspect we will need much Divine aid to extricate ourselves. Much prayer is needed.
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Now I understand your use of the term “reactionary”. Yes, Franco was a man of arms. He would have never gone into politics but he was a man well formed in the Roman Catholic faith. He is very much maligned these days but I believe he saved Spain from sure destruction. Spain would have been another Yugoslavia if it was not for his intervention. He saved the day.
P.S. Meditating on your comment I think I understood your objection to calling Franco a “Fascist”. Today that word is used by the political left in a pejorative sense. That is not my case and I can’t care less what the left does with the language or the meaning of words, I am not listening to them. Franco chose to be a Fascist because the only other option was to be a Communist. He had before him the very difficult task of rebuilding Spain while the rest of the world was at war, and he did not have time to create his own ideology. I think he became a Fascist out of political expediency; he had always been a pragmatist. His Fascism lacks one of the major classic elements: the calls for revenge, the victimization and self pity that Hitler and Mussolini used so adroitly. Even as he called himself a Fascist I dare to say Franco was not guided by any kind of ideology. He did not adhere to Fascism after the 1960’s like Juan Perón and his followers that are still trying to make Fascism work in Argentina. With Franco Fascism and the Falange Nacionalista simply faded into oblivion. Fascism was the clear loser after the war. Franco gravitated gradually towards the Liberal Capitalist Western powers, saving Spain from more unnecessary bloodshed. In Spain his name is mud now but that will change once the red fever is over. He was the last Catholic Crusader, the only one ever to cross over from Africa to re-Christianize a European country. Like a good Catholic man, he did what he had to do.
Reading part 2 – it’s great. It reminded me that a common thread through Marx, Darwin, Freud et al is a substitution of process for God. Whether it is operation of the dialectic, or natural selection or modern schooling, there is no God, only process. The environment makes it, in a deterministic world, not a Creator. Shape the environment and one shapes the organism living in the environment. There is no morality, only environmental dissonance. The protties with their pre-destination and sola-scriptura opened the door to process uber alles. Process drives progress and thus history. Free will doesn’t enter into it except to impede process, and therefore must be suppressed. The avant guard, the elite, the gnostic masters, the Party, Center, are more closely aligned with process and must be the suppressers.
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I have been thinking about this process of ‘deconstruction’ and how it was applied to the Church gradually in the last 100 years or so. The first attack went for the seminaries, just as the first attack of the Marxists went for academia. This thought of mine has some implications because if that is true then we are not only in the end times but in the very end of the end times. The abomination causing desolation has reached the head of the Church. The battle continues but there is no center. All is increasingly confusing like in a dream.
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