This past week was a tough one. It started with a small dental disaster: a recently implanted tooth malfunctioned and ended impacting a good tooth that cracked neatly in two pieces. My right foot is still swelling from a size 9 to almost a size 11. My 1954 model physical body is beginning to show signs of decay. As a consequence of my three month stay in the hospital I find it hard to breathe. In the words of Pink Floyd “shorter of breath and one day closer to death” plus:  several lawsuits, dealing with lawyers of dubious honor and even more dubious loyalty, crooks and corrupt state officials everywhere, and the sense that entire world is now the Third World. Things are bad when one is running alone and only manages to arrive Third.

Decadence and dissolution all around us and yet we are encouraged to “raise our heads and rejoice” because our liberation, our redemption is near. The last 500 years or so have seen the emergence of Liberalism which consists basically of Liberal Capitalism, Socialism, Communism. The first tends to the second and the second to the third. Meditate a few minutes on the following:

“The essence of democratic capitalism is theft; the essence of revolutionary socialism is murder; and then there is democratic socialism which is approximately halfway between theft and murder. Given the choice, I am partial to being robbed.” David Warren, Consequence of voting (March 29, 2023)

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.”  Alexander Fraser Tytler (1747-1813)  The Daily Oklahoman, Sunday December 9th, 1951.

Yes, you guessed right. We have arrived to that point. My sense is that perhaps by the late 1950’s a number of people reached the conclusion that they could live large off the riches accumulated in the Central Banks of the world. I do not blame them. Bankers have been doing the same for centuries but that is not my point. I am at present residing in a country where there is absolutely no practical reason for any able bodied person not to prosper. The country has been blessed with riches so easy to extract, fertile soil, cattle, timber, and a a wide portion of the South Atlantic, a sea teaming with life.

I was feeling miserable because of my cracked tooth when the radio dragged me back into reality. A homeless couple addicted to drugs passed the night on the sidewalk a short distance from the Presidential Palace. With them was their tiny baby just a few months old sleeping in her baby stroller. In the wee hours her mom found her dead, presumably of hypothermia. It was the first cold night of the year and they chose to rest in an area near the river where the temperature is usually lower than in other parts of the city. The incident has been commented in the media for a few days now. Baby is now with Jesus. The rest of the country remains under the protection of the usual incompetents.

The story of Argentina can be roughly divided in four parts. These are facts, not historical revisionism mind you. The first part begins with the arrival of the Spaniards that imposed a different form of life to the natives. Very few know or even imagine that the majority of the natives were cool with the arrival of the Spanish imperial order. The Americas were ravaged by pestilence beginning in 1492 when a Spanish sailor sick with smallpox began a pandemic of continental proportions. By 1530 smallpox had reached Peru to the south and Alaska to the north. Some isolated portions of Patagonia were spared for a while but the populations there eventually succumbed to the same thing. Way up north in Massachusetts, a castaway French mariner was rescued by the natives. He carried viral hepatitis. He was also the cause why the English Pilgrims found empty villages with buried food supplies intact. When they arrived the former inhabitants were long dead.

I was told a story by a traveler that spent some time with natives in an island off the Pacific coast of Chile.  In the house of his host he found a small portrait of the Spanish King Fernando VII adorned with fresh flowers. The portrait was in a place of honor in the humble abode. He asked who that person was, perhaps an ancestor? “No”—said his host—”That was our last king. Now you see us mere serfs reduced to poverty and squalor but we were prosperous and free long ago when we had our King. Our disgrace came when the Republic was declared.” This dialogue took place not long ago, I must clarify.

The Spanish colonial time was a time of prosperity. Mexico City was the largest and most prosperous city in the Spanish Empire while Madrid was a small town and the Capital where the King resided. There was a common currency from Guam and Manila, to California and all the way to Madrid. No occupation army was needed. Lima had a fully developed University by the time Harvard was founded (Harvard was a mere seminary in those days). Those were the days of the Spanish Christian world order just before the sun began to set on Christendom.

All things must pass. The Independence Wars began and before you can learn to spell “Popocatepetl” the former Empire dissolved gradually. The last pieces, Cuba and Puerto Rico were yanked from the Motherland by the end of the 19th century, Guam and the Philippines also had to go.

In Argentina what followed was a period of anarchy that lasted four or five decades until 1853 when finally a country began to take shape under the auspices of the Bank of England who needed raw materials for Britain’s blooming Industrial Revolution. A period of unprecedented prosperity followed when Argentina went from backwater of the world to rub elbows with the great economic powers of the West. By 1888 the workers of Argentina were the best paid in the world and the country imported poor people from Germany, Italy, England, Spain, Ireland and Central Europe who arrived in droves and helped the country grow. Did I mention that all things must pass?

By 1916 all the ideas that came inside the heads of the previous wave of immigration produced their fruit. Argentina was the second country to have a Communist Party. It was led by an Italian man called Vittorio Codovilla  (1894–1970, his mortal remains currently buried in the Kremlin). The people elected Hipólito Yrigoyen, head of the Radical Party. Thus was inaugurated the era of “democratic populism” peppered by about a dozen military coups d’état that eventually brought about that strange phenomenon of Argentine politics: Peronism. The decline intensified after 1946 and now Peronism reigns over a country where the most productive sectors of the economy (cattle ranchers and farmers) carry a heavy load of 82% taxes, there is an estimated 50% of the population living under the poverty line with many living in abject poverty. Remember the parents of that baby who died on the streets of Buenos Aires a few days ago?

All of those disgraces began long ago when Spain began to forget her Christian roots and turned her gaze to Revolutionary France. And for us most recently, it began when the siren song of collectivism began. Our dear leaders began tossing the Central Bank Reserves over the balcony of the Presidential Palace, so to speak. Far from acquiring the virtues of more orderly countries, Argentines have copied their vices. Other countries like Canada and the United States seem to have contracted the Argentine disease as well. One can see from here that a festival of spending is wallpapering the world with fiat money just like our leaders did from 1946 onward. I wish I was wrong but I think most of us know in our hearts how this is going to end.

We have arrived to a moment when man is about to be thrown in the crucible of history. A baby, dead after a night of mild cold weather in the streets of Buenos Aires is condemning this whole planet to a punishing time of misery and death. Call me anything you want. Like most of you, I was sleeping comfortably in my bed while that baby was dying a mere 20 minutes car ride from my home. Mine is a sin of omission.

At home I see lawyers and others working hard to raid the pension, savings and home of a poor woman mired in the depths of schizophrenia. She happens to be my sister. At the same time, a new oligarch class is growing of men and women that are nothing but State apparatchiks living large on the backs of 20 million poor. It is a crying shame.

 “Now you see us mere serfs reduced to poverty and squalor but we were prosperous and free when we had a King. Our disgrace came when the Republic was declared.”

One glimmer of hope: we have a King that made Himself our brother. He gave us a Mother who was once poor and despised like us. This Holy Week please meditate deeply in the mystery and power of the Cross. Men are now thrown into the crucible of history. We are being crucified like Him so we can reign like Him one day. Think of the sufferings of Our Mother who lost her baby to that vile machine, the Roman Cross.

This year the entire world is Calvary, the oppressive State is everyone’s cross, a new and vilest machine. In this final stage, as we fall into the crucible, no one is a citizen anymore, no one.

A blessed Triduum and a joyous Easter to all.