Charles A. Coulombe
Puritan’s Empire by Charles A. Coulombe is a unique tour de force of American history from a Catholic high traditionalist perspective, spanning the colonial period to the modern day. Although some sections are dry, the colorful and controversial personal analysis undergirding the volume’s rationale will keep the reader intellectually engaged, regardless of whether or not he agrees with the author’s conclusions.
Mr. Coulombe conveys the notion of sacramental kingship within a Catholic society and the nuances of the class system from days of yore. He emphasizes the nature of noblesse oblige as both a privilege and a responsibility, with each layer of the system integrally bound together through a trickle-down of interconnected duties. This is refreshing, given how modern historical dramas often mangle the social structures of past eras by burdening the past with present perspectives and behavioral norms.
As a royalist sympathizer, Mr. Coulombe sheds light on the plight of monarchists from across the historical timeline. He gives a detailed overview of the Loyalists during the American Revolution, not only covering the individual conditions of the Tories in each of the thirteen colonies, but also highlighting the Catholic support for King George III, as exemplified by the Catholic Scottish settlers in the Mohawk River Valley and the Irish Volunteers from Philadelphia.
Another part of the book worthy of appreciation is the author’s marked enthusiasm for the world of literary achievement. He delves into the major names and artistic movements and explains the natures of the different literary inspirations and how they relate to the historical periods in which they sprang up. His description of the differences between the Age of Reason and the Age of Romanticism in art and culture is particularly intriguing.
Mr. Coulombe covers the many complex motives behind the movers and shakers on both sides of the American Civil War. He portrays Abraham Lincoln as being more concerned about preserving the union than liberating the slaves and highlights the fact that many Southerners who fought in the war never owned slaves. However, his glorification of the agrarian life and Southern aristocracy may strike many mainstream readers the wrong way, given that that society was built upon slave labor and impoverished tenant farmers.
Furthermore, Mr. Coulombe refers to the scorched earth policy of Sherman’s March to the Sea as being “unequaled by anything in the annals of Christian armies.” Readers may have cause to cite the many territorial, dynastic, and religious conflicts carried out in the Old World and the New World to show that Sherman was following a long tradition of making war hell for the rebellious populace.
Another area of note is the way the author covered Queen Isabella of Spain. He puts forward a substantial overview of her achievements and how her legacy affected the history of Christendom and the Age of Discovery. He also defends Isabella’s expulsion of the Jews from Spain. While he does offer analysis appealing to a wider historical context, he then makes a theologically driven argument about non-Catholics being “outside salvation,” which, he indicates, justified Isabella casting them out of their homes in favor of ruling over a purely Catholic kingdom.
He applauds Isabella for not unleashing a Jewish genocide: “[s]he did not desire the death of sinners, but that they should live.” This equates the practice of Judaism with sinful living and insinuates that religious persecution of this type is more acceptable, providing no one is executed. Other references to Christian-Jewish relations raised in the book include the injunction that Christians should send Christmas cards to Jewish acquaintances in an effort to bring about their conversion.
Following this trend, Mr. Coulombe makes reference to Protestants featured in his text as “heretics” and tends to negatively portray most major interreligious dialogue efforts. This includes the efforts of Archbishop John Carroll to assimilate the Catholic community into American life and his failure to do more to convert Benjamin Franklin. Other names to be brought up disparagingly include Cardinal Gibbons and Cardinal Spellman, both pillars of the Church in America. Mr. Coulombe also expresses his view that Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen’s popular TV program Life Is Worth Living did not concentrate enough on converting the nation. The Baltimore Catechism comes under fire as being too “modernist.”
In the last section of the book, Mr. Coulombe inserts Paul Blanshard’s “Catholic Master Plan,” which was originally meant to paint a mocking portrait of Catholic teaching for the benefit of xenophobic Protestant Americans. It was intended to make the Church out to be a theocratic tyranny, bent on suppressing religious freedom, banning secular schooling, forbidding civil divorce and marriages with non-Catholics, etc. However, the author seems to support most of the program outlined by Blanshard, albeit in satire, for Catholicizing America. The author states: “It is precisely the sort of measures Blanshard describes which are required to save the nation from the twin threats of dystopia and bloody anarchy which appear to await us. Obviously, they are the bare minimum; but think on the benefits which could accrue!”
Mr. Coulombe emphasizes the necessity of rejuvenating Catholic culture in America by maintaining liturgical traditions and telling the most treasured stories of the faith. He advocates bringing back the traditional prayers, songs, and customs associated with individual feast days and liturgical seasons. He says Catholics should “keep Advent until Christmas, and Christmas till Epiphany, feast at Carnival and fast during Lent” – all this to enkindle a sense of community with fellow believers celebrating together the glories of the redemption story.
All things considered, Puritan’s Empire proves to be far from dull, and it is certainly capable of sparking up some intriguing debate on the role of faith in American society and beyond. It should be recommended to anyone interested in getting a better understanding of a Catholic Traditionalist worldview, even to outsiders looking in. It is available for purchase at Tumblar House, as are other books by the same author.
Avellina Balestri (aka Rosaria Marie) is a Catholic freelance writer who resides in the scenic and historic Penn-Mar borderlands. She is Editor-in-Chief of The Fellowship of The King, a Catholic literary magazine exploring the arts through a spiritual lens. She draws her inspiration from the Ultimate Love and Source of Creativity, and hopes to share that love and creativity with others. To stay updated on her other freelance writing endeavors, please visit her page on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/avellinambalestri"Facebook.
I don’t think the fact that Southerners who didn’t own slaves fought in the Civil War is necessarily evidence the Civil War wasn’t about slavery. Free men on the lowest economic strata would not want to face the prospect of economic competition from freed slaves. Also, some Southerners opposed secession and fought on the side of the Union.
The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere. Where hostility to the United States in any interior locality shall be so great and universal as to prevent competent resident citizens from holding the Federal offices, there will be no attempt to force obnoxious strangers among the people for that object. While the strict legal right may exist in the Government to enforce the exercise of these offices, the attempt to do so would be so irritating and so nearly impracticable withal that I deem it better to forego for the time the uses of such offices.
Abraham “Honest Abe” Lincoln’s first inaugural address shows it was about the money, not slavery. Read it, he cared not a whit about slaves.
There was no civil war for the Confederacy wanted to leave the union legally, and it did. The Confederacy did not want to rule the crummy states in the north which had more slaves than did the south (see 1860 census).
O, and “Honest Abe” got his nickname for the same reason a 400 lb. mobster gets the nickname “Tiny.”
I always thought the right to leave the Union was the civic equivalent to the “dissonance of dissent” referred to by Newman. If a senator can become an ambassador when disagreement reaches a certain point, then republican government is a fail. No? (Apologies for sounding like someone in Rome.)
Michael. If secession was illegal or immoral, then how does one defend our seceding from England?
Abraham Lincoln in 1847 on the floor of the United States House of Representatives:
Any people, anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right, a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world.
Lincoln anticipated Sen John Kerry in that he was for secession before he was against it 🙂
That is a good question. Not sure how to answer it. I’m not well read in this period, but I suspect it has something to do with the definition of revolution (btw, I’m not saying this sarcastically).
Ah, Kerry. He’s in the same basket as Gore, to me, so insufferably arrogant!
Americans have always defended “our”* secession from England not on a legal basis but on a moral basis, one mentioned by the very young and inexperienced Lincoln above.
But the two cases are so different that to conflate them is to look or sound very foolish.
American colonists rebelled in 1776 in the belief that their traditional rights as Englishmen were being steadily and surely destroyed beyond repair by the acts of the British government.
The seven (later eleven) states of the future Confederate States government seceded and rebelled in 1860-61 because they believed that their traditional rights were being steadily and surely destroyed beyond repair by the action or inaction of the federal government.
But, in addition to studying the facts of each case (as in, what the British government and what the federal government actually did and did not do), I suggest you study what these “rights” were in the minds of both parties in each case. Unless you read only hack historians, you will find that the rights were very different. The American Revolution of 1776 is at least somewhat defensible from a normal moral perspective. The Fireeating Slaveholder panic of 1860-61 is, well, not. William Lowndes Yancey is no Adams.
* – Since Traditionalist Catholics, of which I consider myself, feel themselves so alienated from America, to the point that they cite the decidedly un-Catholic and non-historian Murray Rothbard as an authoritative American historical source, I find it curious indeed that they still talk of American acts as “our.” After all, John Carroll was the only notable Catholic American “Revolutionary”, and we don’t seem to like him very much.
Aaron. I have studied what the Crown did vs what the secessionist later did and the Crown, bt comparison, was o’better.
You are prickly prissy and petulant pedant and the worst part of all of that is you are wrong.
You end with a genetic fallacy that has nothing to do with what I wrote.
Try searching some other sources-
Try “Chronicles of Culture”
Try Professor Livingston.
Try Secession University.
Try Professor Clyde Wilson.
Try, o, to hell with it.
Just begin here for it describes you to a T.
You are a Yankee.
A POTUS, much smarter than thee, defended secession
You have very little idea about the background of secession and your claims about it are as shallow as they are laughable.
So your mind is trapped in the Catholic ghetto and you read nothing else but what Catholics have written. I believe not. Maybe you just don’t like Jews. Try reading them sometime. Their average IQ is much higher than a gentile’s (113 versus 98).
“When a man hears himself somewhat misrepresented, it provokes him – at least, I find it so with myself; but when the misrepresentation becomes very gross and palpable, it is more apt to amuse him.” – Lincoln, first debate with Douglas, 8/21/58
It is with great regret that my first post on this site will be one that begins this way, but I will be blunt: if I were your professor, and you submitted what you just wrote as part of an academic essay, I would give you a rousing F. Your misrepresentation of Lincoln’s words in his Inaugural Address is truly appalling. You have utterly ignored the context of the words.
What Lincoln, in his Inaugural, says is pretty simple. After he was elected, but before he was inaugurated – that is, before he had any actual legal power as executive in chief – seven states, beginning with South Carolina, had seceded from the Union. They had, furthermore, in defiance of accepted laws of the nation, seized federal mails, seized federal military positions, and seized federal military weapons. What Lincoln says here is that he will hold what remains – most importantly, Fort Sumter in South Carolina and Fort Pickens off Pensacola –but do nothing to take back what has been taken illegally from the federal government. This paragraph has absolutely jack squat – nothing – to do with the WHY or HOW of the Civil War. For that, we must turn to other sources.
I mean, for one thing, Fort Sumter is on a desolate island in the middle of a bay. Fort Pickens is on a desolate island in the middle of a mosquito-covered island. Those forts were worth nothing, monetarily. Their value, before and during the secession crisis, was purely strategic. You have quoted Lincoln’s words with absolutely no proof of how they connect to your base assertion that Lincoln’s meaning was money.
You contend further that the “Confederacy wanted to leave the union legally, and it did.” First of all, the Confederate States of America did not leave the Union. The eleven states that later joined to form the Confederate States government separately left the Union, then formed a provisional government. South Carolina, and six other deep south states went first. After Lincoln’s call for volunteers in response to Fort Sumter, Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina separately seceded and joined the CS government.
(The remaining slaveholding states of Missouri, Kentucky, Delaware, and Maryland never left the Union, largely because slavery lacked the political saliency there that it had in the more southerly reaches of the South.)
Secondly, the eleven seceding states most certainly did not leave the Union legally, for there is no legal right to unilateral secession under the Constitution. Know who would agree with me? Why, none other than General Robert E. Lee.
On January 23, 1861, after South Carolina and others had seceded but months before Virginia left, Lee wrote to his son Custis from Fort Mason, Texas, where the future Grey Fox of the Confederacy was then stationed with the U.S. Army:
“The framers of our Constitution never exhausted so much labor, wisdom, and forbearance in its formation, and surrounded it with so many guards and securities, if it were intended to be broken by every member of the Confederacy at will. It is intended for perpetual union, so expressed in the preamble, and for the establishment of a government (not a compact) which can only be dissolved by revolution, or by the consent of all the people in convention assembled.”
On the other hand, Lee, unlike the Unionists and unlike the hot-tempered South Carolinians who recklessly fired upon Fort Sumter and played into Lincoln’s hands, did not feel any desire to defend the Union with his sword. And ultimately, he sided with his home state’s decision. But that does not change the truth of his condemnation of the idea of secession as a legal right. The Southern secessionist “Fire-Eaters” conflated secession as legal right and secession as moral right in order to win the votes of their section. But this conflation is dangerous and groundless.
No, under the Anglo-American system of government, secession can only be debated as a moral right. And if you wish to defend the Southern secessions of 1860-61, then you will be forced to defend chattel bondage. Know why? Because your contention that the War was not about slavery would be contradicted by the Southern slaveholder rebels themselves!
I quote from the first paragraph of the Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union. This document clearly states that the reason for South Carolina’s rejection of federal authority was purely and simply the supposed failure of the federal government to protect the institution of slavery. More specifically, South Carolina was aggrieved that the federal government was, so thought slaveholders, failing to protect them from the laws of non-slaveholding states.
“The General Government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the States. For many years these laws were executed. But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed, and in none of them has the State Government complied with the stipulation made in the Constitution. The State of New Jersey, at an early day, passed a law in conformity with her constitutional obligation; but the current of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress. In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constituted compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation.”
By the way, this also helps to destroy the concept of the war being about “state’s rights” instead of slavery. In response to that assertion, I always ask, state’s rights for whom? South Carolina secessionists wanted state’s rights when those rights protected slavery. As you should be able to see from the above paragraph, South Carolina opposed state’s rights when those rights allowed other states to condemn and hamper slavery.
Maybe you’re more right than you know, however, when you say the war was about “money.” After all, the Southern economy had tens of millions of dollars tied into their human property. Is not the love of money the root of all kinds of evil?
The simple fact is this: Those who fought for the Union Army largely fought to preserve the Union, while a not small minority also fought to free the slaves. Those who fought for the Confederate Army largely fought to preserve a social system that was based on the institution of chattel negro bondage. Read primary literature: This is what the men on both sides said they fought for, and I’m inclined to take their word for it.
This does not mean that there is not some honor in the Confederate veterans, who died so bravely, and earned Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain’s famous salute at Appomattox. But it does mean that the war was about slavery, that the Southerner slaveholders and their supporters fought for four long and bloody years to keep slavery alive on these shores, and that traditionalist Catholics need to keep these things in mind before speaking so boldly on the War.
“Years after Appomattox, at a convention of Confederate veterans, that magnificent, simple cavalryman General Nathan Bedford Forrest listened to a series of highflying speeches from his old comrades-in-arms, by way of apologia for the lost cause; but slavery was scarcely mentioned. Then Forrest rose up, disgruntled, and announced that if he hadn’t thought he was fighting to keep his niggers, and other folks’ niggers, he never would have gone to war in the first place.” – Russell Kirk, ‘The Conservative Mind’, pages 151-52
And no right-thinking person accept anything from Lew Rockwell’s site as valid or historical. American Traditionalist Catholics should read genuine history, not nonsense from the festering hives of anarcho-capitalism.
Recommended basic reading on the American Civil War:
The Road to Disunion by William Freehling (two volumes)
The Impending Crisis by David M. Potter (one volume)
Allegiance by David Detzer (one volume)
Freehling’s work covers the period from 1776-1861. Potter offers a detailed analysis of 1848-61. And Detzer covers, with marvelous details and fine writing, the exact events of the secession crisis and the opening shots at Fort Sumter.
I would also recommend you read Russell Kirk’s ‘The Conservative Mind’ and ‘The American Cause’ before attempting to speak with authority on the ACW.
My, my but you are a petulant pedant, aren’t you?
I have to read what you read to understand the War for Southern Independence correctly?
“Chronicles of Culture” could star you off on a saner past.
You could read Prof Livingston.
You could read Secession University.
You could read “League of the South.”
You could read Professor Clyde Wilson
You could read…
O, to hell with it.
Just read this for it fits you to a T..
Lets put it this way, Lincoln’s War was about tariffs, Yankee theft of federal revenues, Lincoln’s dreams of a unified (marxist*) State instead of the constitution republic of sovereign States – simply these United States instead of the United States – with slavery as a subtext by Lincoln to seize the so-called “moral high ground”.
*Lincoln was a correspondent of Karl Marx, and he made communists who fled to the U.S. after the failed 1848 revolutions high ranking officers and generals to take fire and sword against the Southern civilian populace.
See “Red Republicans and Lincoln’s Marxists: Marxism in the Civil War”, by Walter Kennedy and Al Benson
Protestants are heretics, plain and simple. They are at least material heretics, if not formal. “Dialog” without emphasis on conversion to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic church is a waste of time at best, and supremely uncharitable at worst.
I totally disagree with your POV. Protestantism arose as a direct result of abuses by the Catholic Church. Modern day Protestantism’s essence is a rejection of the Catholic Church’s insertion of themselves between individuals and God. The relationship is a personal one. No intermediary is required.
And? They still need to convert if we want them to get to heaven. Conversion has to be the goal of any dialog. To do otherwise is monstrous and hateful.
You say that “The relationship is a personal one”, by Roman Catholics have the most personal relationship with Jesus, because we have the Blessed Sacrament. This does not exist in the 40,000+ Protestant, Non-conformist, and Free-church denominations.
john 6: Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink…… On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?…… They then walked away…..
This is what the Protestants did… they walked away,
I own this book. Reading it one’s never in doubt where the author stands, and is grateful for the forthright way he makes his case. The fact that so many of his views are incorrect to the point of being all-but-unthinkable in this modern world only increases the book’s value as a source of ideas entirely new and unexamined for most students of history. Thank God there are still some eccentrics left.
Completely agree. This is a great book.
For record, this is an abridged version of my original work for the purposes of this site. If you would be interested in my other views on the book, please read the full review version here: https://thefellowshipoftheking.net/2016/06/24/pilgrim-eagle-a-review-of-charles-a-coulombes-history-text-puritans-empire/
“He portrays Abraham Lincoln as being more concerned about preserving the union than liberating the slaves.”
From my understanding of the historical events, the Emancipation was the good that came out of his foremost desire to preserve the union.
“I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races. I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people. And I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will ever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. … And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.” – Abraham Lincoln in his fourth debate with Stephen Douglas in the campaign for the United States Senate on September 18th of 1858.
“Negro equality! Fudge! How long, in the government of a god, great enough to make and maintain this universe, shall there continue to be knaves to vend, and fools to gulp, so low a piece of demagogue-ism as this?” – Abraham Lincoln in notes for speeches in September of 1859.
“I hope a flock of pigeons fly into the Lincoln Memorial and dump a hail of Washington cherry laden bird droppings on the effigy of this product of nineteenth century racism.” – brotherpeacemaker on February 18th, 2008.
Lincoln said in the same debate
“But I hold that, notwithstanding all this, there is no reason in the the world why the negro is not entitled to all the natural rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I hold that he is as much entitled to these as the white man. I agree with Judge Douglas he is not my equal in many respects–certainly not in color, perhaps not in moral or intellectual endowment. But in the right to eat the bread, without the leave of anybody else, which his own hand earns, he is my equal and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the equal of every living man.”
Lincoln-Douglas debate–Ottawa, IL 1858
Perhaps not equality as viewed today, but name one contemporary (1830s-1860) American southerner or American Catholic who said anything similar? I say that as a southerner and a Catholic. The Jesuits of Georgetown University saw no problem in selling their slaves south, and breaking up families in the process. (thought they say they tried not to). These were blacks slaves who had actually converted to Catholicism.
I’ve seen ridiculous things like this written before. Their seems to be this need by lesser men to tear down greater ones.
The fact being is that Lincoln is considered to be a full blown racist as defined in this day and age and would be considered as such if what he had said were more widely known. The blacks in this country still consider him almost a god to this day not knowing the true Lincoln.
Lincoln was a mercantilist who cared not one whit about slavery and up until the moment the tyrannical collectivist met his maker he was working on plans to deport every single black person in America.
The Emancipation Proclamation freed no slaves
The mercantilist slayed liberty. That was his signature accomplishment.
And people wonder why Karl Marx supported him
Read the series of books 10 to 15 years ago. Excellent for tearing the blinders off. Shows that the errors of Russia are not the only errors propagated by nations.
Another great commentator is Murray Rothbard. He showed that the liberal/progressive hegemon that dominates America actually has its roots in the Puritans. The Puritans believed until rum, slavery, and Catholicism were eradicated, Christ could not return. Then they eventually ditched the religious aspect and morphed into the progressive movement (Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, etc.) So the Clintons, Obamas, and others are just offspring of the heretical Puritan sect.
One could find Coulombe’s rebuttal to Avelina’s article here: http://www.tumblarhouse.com/lounge/column/charles-coulombe-responds
One must be a bit careful in describing Charles Coulombe as a traditionalist. He is supportive of the ideas of certain occultists, especially Rosicrucians and Gnostics. He has contributed articles to a Gnostic magazine.
Well, to be fair, sometimes the rosies and gnosies can be right and as for him writing for a certain magazine, beware the genetic fallacy.
What did he write for the magazine?
I agree completely about Advent, Christmas, Ephiphany, Carnival and Lent. Fact is, Catholicism was in America before the US was founded (New Orleans, Texas, the Southwest, California) and most American Catholics are not aware of it.
Don’t forget the 2nd and 3rd oldest parishes in the US—St Ignace(1671), Michigan and Sault Ste. Marie (1668), Michigan. Both founded by French Jesuit missionaries.
I have read several of Charles Coulombe’s works, and they were very good. I was less happy with this one as I had just read “Yankee Babylon: American Dream, American Nightmare” by MacDonald King Aston dealing with the Puritans and their metamorphosis through various forms into today’s so-called SJWs (Social Justice Warriors).
I expected “Puritan’s Empire” to provide a lot more valuable information on the subject from a Catholic standpoint, but was overall disappointed.
I would recommend the excellent “Yankee Babylon: American Dream, American Nightmare” to anyone who wishes to understand the Puritans in America.
I read his book and initially thought it was pretty good. But then I got to the part about the hippie movement in America. Coulombe, and other “traditionalist” authors, generally see no real problem with hippie culture – probably because they grew up in that disgusting era and even participated in that culture to a certain extent. Didn’t Ferrara attend Woodstock? With the exception of our own time, that time was by far the most morally repugnant of any other era. The difference is that in our time every morally upright person can recognize the evils of our times and reject them. Not so of the 60’s and 70’s. The fact that these “traditionalists” have very few negative words to say on it is deeply troubling and says a lot about their flavour of “traditionalism.” And it explains why you’ll hear more words coming from the elite “traditionalist” intellectuals condemning “neo-conservatives” than you’ll hear from liberals. It’s because these “traditionalists” are cut from the same cloth, raised by the same parents as the latter, and have proven themselves completely incapable of exorcising their own generational spirit.
The more you read them the more you’ll realize these people are hardly traditional in the realm of political philosophy, but rather try to repackage the same idiotic utopian schemes of the 20th century and call it something else. (Distributism is a good example of something that never once ever existed in human history but is somehow thought of as traditional among these crypto-socialists. Chesterton said: “It is my experience that the sort of man who does really become a Distributist is exactly the sort of man who has been a Socialist… Mr Belloc himself had been a Socialist; my brother had been a Socialist; I had been a Socialist.” Thanks for being honest old Gil.)
I like Skojec because his mind isn’t poisoned like these aging crypto-hippies. You don’t find mind boggling political rants decrying the “war-machine” (which Ferrara does in typical hippie fashion in his book on liberty) or articles on tax policy or conspiracies surrounding big business on Onepeterfive. It is pure, raw, orthodox Catholicism. None of the other bullshit that has become standard in “traditionalism.” If somebody, the government or a big business or whoever, wants my cloak, they can have my coat too, I don’t really give a crap. What they can’t take is my soul.
This is my refrain to my kids. “They can take everything from you, including your life. But they can’t take your soul.”
There’s a power in that. It makes staying right with God a real priority.
This might have been the best thing I have read the whole year. Bravo.