The Death of the Culture and the Culture of Death

We like to scoff at pro-lifers as uptight old fuddy-duddies who want a woman to keep the retarded baby she got from when her dad raped her. However, I’m starting to think my people have swung the pendulum so far the other way, they’re pro-deathers. I mean, who’s at the soup kitchen doling out stew to the homeless? Certainly not the In Crowd. It’s uncool to care about life. Death is badass. Life is for assholes. Death is an awesome.

– Gavin McInnes (HT: Takimag)

We all know and easily identify the markers of a culture gone to seed. When the birthrates go down, when defeat betides a nation’s military at every turn, and when finally, their literature, arts and even their language winks out of existence, that culture has been beaten. In Atari-Nerd speak, “All their base are belong to someone else.”

Yet these are the outward manifestations, the last symptoms of death. It’s like when your hair falls out, you throw up every day and you still can’t breathe too well or climb up and down stairs. This tells you a month or so too late that the chemotherapy is not going to cure your lung cancer. Spengler characterized this set of circumstances in Western Europe as follows.

They have no ambition but to die quietly, no concerns except for those amusements which might reduce boredom and anxiety en route to the grave. They have no passions except hatred born of envy. They hate America, a new kind of universality that succeeded where the old Christian empire failed. They hate Israel, which makes the Jewish people appear all the more eternal in stark contrast to Europe’s morbid temporality. They will pass out of history unmourned even by themselves.

David “Spengler” Goldman (HT: Asia Times)

Thus, the logical thing to do is figure out the signs of a civilization on the road to rot, and stop the descent into moral senescence prior to it becoming an absorbing state that maps all figments of that culture and its people to the grave. As a recent father who will soon welcome his second child into the world, I identify signs of cultural rot and moral degeneration by how people think of children. By this standard, the United States has symptoms that need to be swiftly cured.

Professor Helen Fisher, of Rutgers University, does her very best to demonstrate why Governor Christie should fight harder to take funding away from New Jersey public educators. She opines to the lovely and talented Joy Behar, that people who have lots of children are littering. Joy laughed, Whoopie laughed, the whole panel laughed.

Those on TV, set above us as a cultural elite, are telling you not to breed. People who tell you that you should not breed, are not your friends. They do not have your wellbeing or the national commonweal in mind or in their hearts. They hate you. The key is to figure out where this chic hatred of decency comes from.

It is here that we examine our popular culture with an introspective Gimlet Eye. Gavin McInnes, publisher of Street Carnage Magazine, looks at the links between cool and dead. He describes what he sees being taken too far by the modern hipsters.

I love the idea of bucking the system and shocking the squares. It’s exhilarating to tell a racist you’re a race-mixer or to drag a homophobe to a gay bar. It’s a fun game that encourages discourse and it’s probably the best way to keep things fresh and exciting, but it’s just that—a game. You’re not supposed to take it to the grave

Gavin McInnes as linked above.

McInnes seems to miss two important points. Games can be played on multiple levels. Peyton Manning and Donovan McNabb are playing a little more seriously than I was when I played club rugby in school. This, in turn, was played with more conviction than backyard football at the neighbors’ house. McInnes understands popular culture is a game. He misses the idea that it is intentionally played at cutthroat velocity. “Art is a weapon.” Spoke Vladamir Lenin.

So why does the nihilist use art as a weapon against decent and affirmative culture? What can be gained in the long-term? Nothing. Hillaire Belloc, better than most others, addressed the gravamen underpinning the libidinous short-term thinking.

The Barbarian hopes — and that is the mark of him, that he can have his cake and eat it too. He will consume what civilization has slowly produced after generations of selection and effort, but he will not be at pains to replace such goods, nor indeed has he a comprehension of the virtue that has brought them into being. Discipline seems to him irrational, on which account he is ever marvelling that civilization, should have offended him with priests and soldiers …. In a word, the Barbarian is discoverable everywhere in this, that he cannot make: that he can befog and destroy but that he cannot sustain; and of every Barbarian in the decline or peril of every civilization exactly that has been true.

(HT: Catholiceducation.org)

We must replace this popular nihilistic buzz; this tolerance of the hateful and disgusting. Not everyone at Redstate or TMR accepts the Christian Faith, but I believe all of us are here in support of a shared stake in America’s commonweal. With this in mind, I offer up the following replacement to the Street Carnage and to Dr. Helen Fisher of the So-Called Rutgers University. Psalm 127, verses 3-5 follow below.

3 Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

(HT: lds.org)