What has gone wrong? On the collapse of public life

Why the insanity, the belief that will, word, and image make the world? Recent events—not just recent months but the past several years—confirm that our rulers have lost touch with reality.

(Image: Giancarlo Corti/Unsplash.com)

Why is public life collapsing?

Why the falsehoods? The slanders? The contempt and hatred for fellow citizens? The open sympathy for political violence? The indifference to truth, even among those who claim to be its advocates and custodians?

And why the insanity, the belief that will, word, and image make the world? Recent events—not just recent months but the past several years—confirm that our rulers have lost touch with reality. What else can explain their sudden insistence that a man becomes a woman by saying so?

I should give more examples, but some of what I call “lunacy” you may call “obvious truth”—and conversely. It’s harder than you might think to settle the matter today. Thought and belief have social aspects, and when the people around us go insane it’s hard to remain untouched.

There are a variety of reasons public life has ended where it has.

People today don’t have personal experience of the situations that affect them. The complex and distant processes through which modern social and economic life is carried on are out of sight and all but unknowable. The result is that the world has become an inkblot people can interpret any way imaginable.

Nor is it easy to find out anything. Electronic media and the Internet weaken human connections and disintegrate everything into a kaleidoscope of images, film clips, and sound bites that can be assembled into anything at all. Who can tell what assemblage corresponds to reality?

And it does not help to ask others. The ease of connection means that there is a network—a virtual society—within which acceptance of any belief imaginable is the norm. If you think the world is flat or run by shapeshifting alien lizards you can live in a virtual world in which that’s taken for granted. And what solid reality around you will tell you your friends and virtual neighbors are wrong?

To make matters worse, prosperity and electronics give us every possible aid to dissipation, from online shopping to alcohol and marijuana to social media, cat videos, and pornography. And a degraded ideal of freedom tells us to go for it.

People don’t even have a coherent point of view from which to understand their surroundings. In a high-tech globalized world, place, history, religion, nationality, particular culture, and stable identity dissolve. Even something as basic as whether people are male or female becomes uncertain. The result is that they don’t know who they are and have no stable point of view from which to sort things out.

That’s bad but people think it’s good. Today’s moral ideals are based on an idealized version of human society as an industrial process, in which the human components and raw material may be graded in various ways, through certified competencies for example, but are not allowed to differ systematically in any way not useful to the system. Men and women, Italians and Japanese, Christians, Buddhists, and secularists must all be interchangeable, with any remaining differences treated as purely optional private hobbies.

Some try to create identities for themselves but that can’t possibly work. If a man claims he’s a woman and everyone has to believe him what does “woman” mean? How can he stand firm on his “femininity” when he invented it and could change it tomorrow? And what difference can it make when “gender discrimination”—distinguishing men from women—is considered monstrous?

The result is that people become fragile and confused, and those who run institutions try to accommodate their increasingly unstable clientele by turning their institutions into bubbles in which indulging fantasies is compulsory.

These institutions include news organizations, learned societies, and institutions of higher learning. Under such circumstances, who can believe what the supposed experts associated with such enterprises tell us? They’ve thrown in their lot with insanity and support it whatever the intellectual cost. But when insanity becomes a basic principle it spreads into everything. So why rely on them for anything?

Alexander Pope said “a little learning is a dangerous thing.” But expertise is infinitely specialized, so by definition it’s “a little learning.” Mass higher education trains people out of common sense without providing the wisdom that eventually comes from experience, responsibility, and acquisition of a broader and deeper tradition. Principles are needed for integrating fragments of expertise into a mosaic of knowledge. For lack of anything better, those principles have become institutional interest, career advancement, and various psychological quirks.

The outcome is that today social, psychological, and institutional factors, along with pop culture, propaganda, and the will of the strongest, determine what is accepted as real. Worse, many try to give focus and direction to an unstable and unsatisfactory structure of thought through hatred backed by a system of lies. We see that with Antifa, BLM, and the other radical movements that have rapidly become mainstream.

These movements suppress history, religion, tradition, and the very idea of human nature as oppressive. Man has made himself divine, and believes each of us can remake himself and his world as anything he chooses. The accepted goal of politics and morality is therefore a state of affairs in which everyone can do, be, and get whatever he happens to want.

But people want different things, so viewed from that perspective they are always imposing on each other and getting in each other’s way. That situation puts opposition and enmity at the heart of social relations. Injustice and oppression become the basic categories for understanding politics, and our fellow citizens become either fellow victims or oppressors.

That’s not going to end well. People won’t get what they’ve been promised, because the promises are based on an invented reality. They won’t be happy about it, and will look for scapegoats. Since their view of the world is ill-founded, nothing will work the way they think it should, and they’ll adopt fantastic mythologies and blame everything on conspiracies and demonic forces.

The problem is made worse by advances in the arts of persuasion. Those who own the Internet can try to bring order into thought and society by crushing tendencies they view as antisocial. But quis custodiet ipsos custodes? The collapse of socialism has led to an alliance of oligarchs and bureaucrats in a unified system of government and propaganda in which the people who run things just listen to each other. Who will keep the billionaires who own the Internet sane, let alone concerned for truth and the public good? And who can tell them that their version of what counts as true is wrong?

Nobody, now that “truth” has become a construction, social media and TV talking heads have become the public square, and there is no accepted common good or way to discuss such a thing. The principle that determines public truth and who gets his way when impulses conflict has therefore become the interest of our rulers. How could it be otherwise, when they own the means of communication and coercion, they can hire the best propagandists, and people with energy and talent have no concept of who they are outside their careers?

For legitimacy our rulers necessarily claim to be on the side of the victims rather than oppressors. The result is woke capital, woke universities, woke government, woke everything, who tell the mob to target not the people who run things—themselves—but their antithesis, the deplorable bitter clingers who (they say) are ruining everything.

And that includes Catholics. We stand for a world ordered by something other than billionaires and bureaucrats, and that has become intolerable. We are tempted to avoid trouble by compromise, but that won’t help since the demands increase without limit and the system demands victims in any case. So we should prepare for a very bumpy ride.

And that means embracing those things in our tradition that best lay the ground for a different sort of world—love of God and neighbor, love of the Church, love of family and country, love of the Good, Beautiful, and True, recognition of the authority of tradition, dogma, and reality. Since that is what we should be doing anyway, why should we complain about the times? They make our duty clear, and that is the greatest possible service they could perform for us.


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About James Kalb 108 Articles
James Kalb is a lawyer, independent scholar, and Catholic convert who lives in Brooklyn, New York. He is the author of The Tyranny of Liberalism(ISI Books, 2008) and, most recently, Against Inclusiveness: How the Diversity Regime is Flattening America and the West and What to Do About It (Angelico Press, 2013).

61 Comments

  1. Christianity has for all intents and purposes died in our culture. We are witnessing its effects and it’s not a pretty picture.

    The only way Christianity will be kept alive for now will be in the hearts and minds of individual persons. One thing for certain is that it won’t be kept alive by an imposed hierarchical structure as there are far too many instances of the leadership of the Church being morally bankrupt. I hesitate to name names but they are familiar to most.

  2. James Kalb concludes by recalling each of us to live the “Christian life…” He observes that, otherwise, “Men and women, Italians and Japanese, Christians, Buddhists, and secularists [and Muslims] must all be interchangeable, with any remaining differences treated as purely optional private hobbies.”

    Three points: from St. Augustine, Vatican II, and the self-understanding of Islam…

    FIRST, lacking the “Christian life,” we do fall now into the kind of radical incoherence experienced by Rome when Alaric sacked the City in 410 A.D.—and when the guardians of paganism blamed the Christians. St. Augustine reminded the flock that we belong to a different city—the City of God: “When Rome was devasted […] the worshipers of the many false gods, whom we are accustomed to call pagans [today’s cancel-culture], began […] to blame this devastation on the Christian religion [….] Wherefore, fired with a zeal for God’s house, I determined to write my book, The City of God, against their blasphemies and errors” (Retractations, 2.43.2).

    SECOND, accurately reading today’s “signs of the times” (and anticipating Kalb), we have the timely two central themes of the Second Vatican Council: “aggiornamento” or engagement with the world (including “interreligious dialogue”) and “ressourcement” or the retrieval of the perennial Church (Scripture and the early Church Fathers). The Council understanding of so-called “updating” is in reality a “today-ing” in Christ who is the same Christ “yesterday, today and forever” (Heb 13:8).

    THIRD, the focus of Muslim “interreligious dialogue,” instead, finds its start and its end point in the “principle of religious pluralism, which is crucial to any meaningful dialogue” (as explained by Mahmoud Ayoub in his criticism: “Pope John II on Islam,” in Irfan A. Omar [ed.], A Muslim View of Christianity, Orbis Books, 2007, p. 241).

    WHAT DOES IT MEAN, then, when a plea for “human fraternity” opens with a non-Augustinian and mongrel “pluralism of religions” (The Abu Dhabi Declaration of 2019)? Perhaps what is better meant—other than undefined pluralism, is instead the universal Natural Law (?)—and a dialogue among PERSONS, as such, rather than any pre-emptive (?) Islamic homogenization of Religions, as such. (As with St. Paul: “When the Gentiles who have no law do by nature [!] what the Law prescribes . . . they show the work of the Law written in their [personal] hearts,” Rom 2:14-15).

    In today’s Alaric Moment, beginning with an equality of persons (not of religions), how should the “witnesses” to Christ truly and meaningfully dialogue with the “followers” of Islam?

    • I suggest that we resist human fraternity as Abu Dhabi would have it. I suggest that we prudently recognize the lack of support by any institutional hierarchy.
      We do as Augustine did. His sainthood stands to his credit; the writers of Abu Dhabi, have fellowship with pagan, heterodox, or heretical ideology to theirs. We prudently recognize that blame will be/is placed upon us. We prudently prepare to resist while we prudently beg His mercy and the Blessed Mother’s intercession in our necessities.

  3. People make it all too complicated.

    Family is the foundation of a strong Civilization..
    What destroyed the Family in the USA?

    Television, everybody started to stare at a box, not talk to each other.
    Phonography, the internet was founded on, and is, phonography
    Propaganda, War is glorified in the USA,, Yet in reality, its murder, evil.
    Borrowing of money, pre WWI, very wrong.. By Vietnam, its the boon of a economy, the USA today.. Today, an insane Trillion dollar a year military budget, enough to more than feed the whole world, the poor.

    The destroying of Education in all schools, the grave dumbing up…
    From the basic of knowing how to read, write, and do math… All three now eliminated out of US education.. Ignorance is taught.

    Work ethic, GONE..
    Respect for Human life, Gone..
    An intellectual in the USA is one who demands the extermination of the Islamic..they know and judge, all knowing…

    and, the big one, is the big lie to USA history.. The denial of the true facts of recent and past history, leads to the repeat of historical failure, again, in the USA.

    That, is proven in the Current USA extermination, Genocide of Yemen.. Millions of Children, Women, and Men exterminated by the USA, today, and recent past.

    God will hear the cry of the poor, and answer them, that is Truth…

    • Not sure I agree with everything but certainly a lot of good points. Would add that we elevated sports to a false god. As an example Sundays are dedicated to football, Church is an afterthought.

      • As Rush Limbaugh (love or hate him) has pointed out in the past, sports (especially football) was the one thing you could invest your live/passion/loyalty and not get burned. Three hours of pure fun. (Even if you’re a Lions fan, I guess.)
        .
        Marriage? No. Divorce rates are high. Your employer? No, he will downsize you to keep stock prices high. Even under good circumstances, the average friendship lasts about seven years. These days? Better not let your friends know you are voting Trump. Your parish? Sadly no. They are very politicized as well, with pro-life/social justice/liturgy wars.
        .
        But your football team? They got your back. Or used to. Now they are Woke, and you are racist.

  4. “those things in our tradition ” Transcendent values can ONLY come from a Judeo/Christian worldview based on the BIBLE as truth. Traditions shaped by any other source are just opinions…nothing different than the modern opinions the author rejects.

  5. People make it all too complicated.

    Family is the foundation of a strong Civilization..
    What destroyed the Family in the USA?

    Television, everybody started to stare at a box, not talk to each other.
    Phonography, the internet was founded on, and is, phonography
    Propaganda, War is glorified in the USA,, Yet in reality, its murder, evil.
    Borrowing of money, pre WWI, very wrong.. By Vietnam, its the boon of a economy, the USA today.. Today, an insane Trillion dollar a year military budget, enough to more than feed the whole world, the poor.

    The destroying of Education in all schools, the grave dumbing up…
    From the basic of knowing how to read, write, and do math… All three now eliminated out of US education.. Ignorance is taught.

    Work ethic, GONE..
    Respect for Human life, Gone..
    An intellectual in the USA is one who demands the extermination of the Islamic..they know and judge, all knowing…

    and, the big one, is the big lie to USA history.. The denial of the true facts of recent and past history, leads to the repeat of historical failure, again, in the USA.
    That, is proven in the Current USA extermination, Genocide of Yemen.. Millions of Children, Women, and Men exterminated by the USA, today, and recent past.
    God will hear the cry of the poor, and answer them, that is Truth…

    The wealth of the USA is now hoarded in the hands o f few, while the common people are a mass of wage and debt slaves. Wages need to double/triple/multiply in the USA, to bring the masses out of debt slavery, or stop the borrowing to exist. but that would take away profits from the few who hoard the wealth..

  6. It is more simple than that: power mongers are violent. Always have been, always will be. They might have their violence done for them by others, but violence is what they do. That’s how they get to be King of the Mountain.

    • “Why is public life collapsing?”

      If this is true, three items: ignorance, malice, and license of speech.

      “People today don’t have personal experience of the situations that affect them. The complex and distant processes through which modern social and economic life is carried on are out of sight and all but unknowable. The result is that the world has become an inkblot people can interpret any way imaginable.”

      This is somewhat true. So long as unjust at-will employment is allowed the “inner councils” within business will determine employees’ “fate.” As long as prosecutors aren’t forced to be transparent, then they can abuse potentially innocent persons with impunity. As far as all potential news stories aren’t allowed to be shared with the public, then televised/centralized media can sit on news stories of great import, and almost no one will be any wiser.

      I don’t think that the processes are necessarily complex. They are fairly simple. Debts outside of legal action must be paid. One can’t pay with money that one doesn’t have without borrowing. Businesses must eventually make a profit or at least break even. To eat a person needs to make money, be given money, be given food, or – in extreme circumstances – steal or rob. As is usual – the devil is in the details.

      Any human being can interpret things however they want, but that doesn’t mean that he is correct. In the absence of good evidence, any interpretation is suspect/hasty.

      “Even something as basic as whether people are male or female becomes uncertain. The result is that they don’t know who they are and have no stable point of view from which to sort things out.”

      How 1960s! One can’t know one’s identity and sex? Haven’t we outgrown this nonsense? The questions aren’t difficult to answer. (Provided one didn’t “grow up” in the 1960s?)

      Every human being is either a man or a woman. Even abnormal aberrations don’t mean that there is a “third sex.”

      All informed Catholics and probably many non-Catholic Protestants and schismatic “Orthodox” would agree with and recognize that every human being is a child of God. That is every human’s identity. The implications are explained by the Catholic Church.

      “That’s bad but people think it’s good. Today’s moral ideals are based on an idealized version of human society as an industrial process, in which the human components and raw material may be graded in various ways, through certified competencies for example, but are not allowed to differ systematically in any way not useful to the system.”

      To treat a human being as a means is wrong. In other words, no one can abuse (or, more accurately perpetrate injustice towards) a human. This doesn’t mean that humans don’t need to obey their lawful superiors, but those superior’s MUST treat inferiors with justice.

      This is true in some ways. If one takes “the system” to be “the employment world” the important words are speed, greed, and niceness. With regards to “law” it is unscrupulous dishonesty.

      “The result is that people become fragile and confused, and those who run institutions try to accommodate their increasingly unstable clientele by turning their institutions into bubbles in which indulging fantasies is compulsory.”

      I doubt that this characterization is correct. Rampant dishonesty may create this perception, but since almost no one who isn’t an educated Catholic seems to believe (with regards to their actions) that dishonesty is wrong, then the conditions within institutions are determined by the loudest whiners who force the institution to attempt to soothe them by taking draconian measures against purported dissidents.

      “The outcome is that today social, psychological, and institutional factors, along with pop culture, propaganda, and the will of the strongest, determine what is accepted as real.”

      It’s more the case that those with the loudest speakers are successful in spreading their ideas. Since those ideas are inevitably self-serving, people aren’t exposed to any effective solutions. This is the only way that – in a democracy – the populace can be kept docile and disorganized by “TPTB.” The Internet has changed that somewhat, but there is still a tremendous fragmentation compared to, for instance, national television.

      “But people want different things, so viewed from that perspective they are always imposing on each other and getting in each other’s way. That situation puts opposition and enmity at the heart of social relations. Injustice and oppression become the basic categories for understanding politics, and our fellow citizens become either fellow victims or oppressors.”

      A good understanding of this dynamic is a diabolical twist on The Golden Rule: “Do onto others before they can do unto you.” This is relatively obvious in its evil meaning: don’t have any charity and be Machiavellian. The way that things are structured, it is the malicious “complainers” who get their way.

      The key for these malicious people is to get “the law” on their side. After that, the potential costs for anyone trying to fight such as jail, large attorney fees, and/or perpetual employment difficulties automatically declares the “winner.” Perjury and/or “dirty hands” (i.e. bad faith) is almost completely overlooked by our “justice” system, so it is almost guaranteed that those who initiate an action will win by default. They “play the victim,” while obtaining the “service” of third party abuse.

      While there may be a label of “victim” or “oppressor,” that doesn’t mean that it is correct. I believe that most people who automatically or swiftly turn to authorities (especially for objectively relatively trivial matters) are most likely to be the real oppressors.

      “The problem is made worse by advances in the arts of persuasion. Those who own the Internet can try to bring order into thought and society by crushing tendencies they view as antisocial. But quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”

      Who do you believe owns the Internet?

      I have had an idea that Catholic religious brothers or someone officially a part of the Church leadership should be in charge of or play a big part in censorship, and they shouldn’t be paid for the service. Additionally, one would need a license to publish (on or off the ‘Net).

    • This is more true than you may know. I suspect that anyone of importance who ends up being murdered has been targeted by someone powerful for “termination.” The powerful probably believe themselves to be “above” morality and they are (or appear to be) sufficiently successful that they can come to believe their delusion. They may erroneously believe that there is no good or evil, but only power and those too weak to seek it.

      Hopefully they repent before they die.

      Otherwise…

  7. Beautiful, true and good.

    “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of The Father and of The Son and of The Holy Spirit, and teaching them all I have commanded; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

  8. I believe that we are seeing the influence of satan through out society. Unless it is firmly planted, the tree will be at the mercy of the wind whichever way it blows. It is time for the second American Revolution. Our democracy was founded on the basis of Judeo-Christian values. These values have to passed down from generation to generation. Unless this is done carefully and thoroughly, we exist by whim and not by virtue. We must take whatever steps are necessary to take our country back. If we are unwilling to do this, I believe that we are doomed.

  9. We have arrived at our second “Noah” moment in human history. Read the Blessed Mother’s messages to Sister Agnes Sasagawa of Our Lady of Akita. One of the very few approved apparitions in the latter part of the 20th century. Lord have Mercy

  10. As the wise and wonderful Bishop Williamson here in England pointed out, Man has put himself above God. Big mistake As they will one day realise.

    • The twice-excommunicated, neither “wise” nor “wonderful,” horrible anti-Jewish bigot and Holocaust denier Richard Williamson (who was NEVER a “bishop” in the Catholic Church – he is only a “bishop” in his own schismatic and sedevacantist cult) has also put himself above God. Perhaps he will one day realise that, repent fully of and atone fully for the many, many grievous sins which he has inflicted on God and on His one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, make humble and heartfelt submission to God’s will and that of His Church, and return to the fold.

      But, given his history of arrogance, condescension, cover-ups (in the U.S.), and gross disobedience and insubordination, I’ll believe it when and if I see it.

  11. No question in my mind that “the times are out of joint” as so searchingly diagnosed by James Kalbe here. I believe the way out of this current “huit clos” is a revivifying in the Spirit of Christ’s gospel and a Catholic recommitment to the relationship between faith and reason, now so thin on the ground in many of our existing educational institutions. Yes, Deacon Edward, recovery must happen within the individual, but also within the whole community of the faithful, including its Christ-given hierarchical structure. This time of kairos is a time of evangelical call and opportunity, as articulated by Pope John Paul II and his successors. And we can be encouraged by the fact that critical times and remedial ecclesial response to them are not new to the Church in which Christ promised to abide, ” . . . even to the consummation of the world.”

  12. I heard Rush’s comments and he made a good point. Maybe to be clearer what I’m saying that sports has become in today’s society all encompassing, with players, teams etc becoming new gods. The Church and God are left way behind. The Church (God) should be front and center, with sports playing a back seat.

  13. I agree with one of Kalb’s central points, that too much of our life has been moved to “the virtual”, indirect impersonal contact with others. This development of virtual contact (from the telegraph to Twitter) was all a fairly rapid progression so far as human history is concerned; yet, since it took many decades, still “slow” from the perspective of the individual in the present, or in-between generations. No, this is not some sudden thing forced upon us; we are the proverbial frog in the slow-boiling pot, and it seems we are now cooked nearly enough and about to lose consciousness– indeed, you could say (with Kalb above) we have already lost that consciousness and the remainder of the “cooking” will be for those whom wish to eat us, and very soon it appears. Perhaps Trump’s attempt was not to lower the stove burner temp (how could he?) but rather to get us to jump out of the pot before it’s too late. Because, it appears something is happening to society, whether we wish it or not. Everyone is expecting the lightning comet before the Second Coming. But it seems humanity will slow-boil and die with a whimper well before the comet, with only the monsters and a few hiding mice remaining alive when He comes again.

  14. I seem to recall that Cicero made many of the same points when he was bemoaning the collapse of the Republic and the ushering in of the Imperial Dictatorship of the Caesars. Little seems to have changed regarding the condition of the people and their governments.

  15. Endless analysis. In a few more years of analysis-only punditry and no leadership, no calls to participate in a specific plan to remedy our increasingly dire situation, we will be hearing from pundits (those who are still free to communicate with us) all about exactly how we became commodities owned by the state and subjected to brutal tyranny.

  16. Real simple reason. Our shepherds have abandoned the faith and their flock God has entrusted to them.

    The laity in response have abandoned God.

    That is why society and the world is where it is.

    Catholics have failed.

    If St. John Vianney was told by Satan if there were 4 priests like him, Satan’s kingdom would have no power, how do you explain our current shepherds and the rampant evil in the world?

    • Faithful Catholics are not failing. They are giving the glory to God and when they have holy complaints He shows them why it matters. Apart from that, everyone has an interest in sound public exchange and without faith you will be left with nothing true at all.

  17. You sound very angry and bitter. God be with you. I’ll rely on my Lord to guide me. Bishop Williamson is a great Shepherd I say.

    • Hannah, Bishop Williamson may love God, but his actions prove that he hates the Catholic Church. He certainly loves himself.

      My family and I personally knew him well, many years ago, during time spent in the SSPX. Dominic, above, is completely correct, although to be fair I should point out that Williamson is a validly consecrated bishop, just not a licit one. He is not recognized by Rome, and has no authority in the Church.

      Williamson is very charismatic; he is educated and speaks well with a classy British accent, was somewhat handsome in his younger days, and is a natural born leader. This, combined with his arrogance and self-appointed “I’m more Catholic than Rome” attitude has led so many away from the Church, while he hides behind Catholic beliefs. For years he was responsible for the formation of the SSPX’s priests, and they all exhibited his erroneous notions, and basically took on his persona. He is at the root of the controversy surrounding extreme modesty that is displayed among many women in Latin Mass circles. His errors spread far and wide through his cult-like leadership within the SSPX, and, after his expulsion from the SSPX, his wounded pride convinced him to create the SSPX-resistance, a sedevacantist group that apparently thinks the SSPX is “too soft on modernist Rome,” simply because they have considered reuniting with Rome in the past. He doesn’t acknowledge any Pope since Paul VI. He promotes the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” claims 9/11 was a false flag incident, and other wild conspiracy theories. He is simply not living in reality.

  18. If the lovely Ms Harris ends up in the Oval Office within the next six months, all that is described in this article will accelerate. Bet on it.
    Half of the USCCB will fold into their usual deaf-mute behavior. The other half will be smiling and kowtowing for crumbs from her table.
    There will be glorious, holy exceptions to this, of course. TBTG. But not many. Bet on that too.

  19. Very well composed, & with Truth’s and Wisdom , & Reality , All woven w Christianity which is the Root of A real and normal & Way to live and Think & Goveran your Life..till death that you brought out SO well. Otherwise, we are Clones of the One’s Emotions & wrongful hearts and minds. D’ JMJ

  20. Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us. Resentment, fear and apostasy are my family’s biggest challenges right now. Personally it feels like Germany, November 1932; Just waiting for Biden to appoint Harris. Next year when thought becomes legislation what will happen to Americans who want to stay faithful Catholics? I trust in the Holy Spirit and pray that the will of God will pass gently over my household.

  21. This is what happens when you have a secular state with no official state recognition of Christ the King to anchor the culture firmly in Catholicism. And frankly, we deserve all of it. We are a horrible, disgusting and contemptible culture that loves sin and hates virtue. No vote can change that, only an American Inquisition to root out heresy and evil can. But, this country that values secularism and balks at the idea of having an official state religion, that will never happen, so the only thing we have to look forward to is it’s destruction.

  22. Why should we complain about the times? They make our duty clear, and that is the greatest possible service they could perform for us (Kalb). When there’re only rotten lemons we make a lemonade. Cynical? Although Kalb is right. Omitted from my opening what they’re actually, Embrace that in our tradition for a world of love of God and neighbor, Church, family, country, love of the Good, Beautiful, and True, recognition of the authority of tradition, dogma, and reality (Kalb). These are the exquisite ingredients our culture lacks in Kalb’s lawyerly as only a lawyer can brutally dissect dissection. Anguish emerges in the tone of comments here and elsewhere. In that context I might add love better than recognition to dogma and reality. Why is my unmerited gift of possessing a faculty that effects a miracle. Each day at night Bread and Wine become Flesh and Blood. Darkness physical and spiritual dispel before the Real Presence. An extravagant luxury undreamed of in my youth during latter years unheard of in books or speech realized gratuitously not knowing. All that I know with certainty is to proclaim that love for us. Take Heart.

    • Thank you, Fr. Morello. It becomes increasingly clear that the only peace on earth is in His presence. Now how do we carry Him away from the sanctuary and into the world? My own spouse does not believe. Our children, thank God, do. May God guard and guide them.

      • Meiron the intention for the good of others, for their salvation diffuses the Holy Spirit and inspires conversion. God who is love is motivated to act by our love. I’ll pray for your spouse.

    • More silliness. Kalb’s one mention of education is:

      Mass higher education trains people out of common sense without providing the wisdom that eventually comes from experience, responsibility, and acquisition of a broader and deeper tradition.

      That is difficult to dispute or deny. Which must be why you resort to low wattage sarcasm.

      • I am reading ‘Atlas Shrugged’ for the 7th time, first in 1964. Some interesting precepts, MUCH too wordy, but that’s ok.

        Personally I blame ‘the 60s’, when it seems everything fell apart, and I was a willing participant in that, and a generation back was WW2, which Our Lady predicted (see Fatima) and I don’t imagine the Good Lord is too pleased with the murder of more than 60,000,000 of the most helpless people on earth.

        • There have been 60 million abortions in the US since its legalization in 1973. The worldwide count is staggering.

          LifeSiteNews offers this:

          “…3,484,800 abortions per month in the world so far in 2020. That means that between March and May, the time of the coronavirus shutdowns, approximately 10.5 million unborn babies were aborted.”

          During the same time period, deaths due to COVID-19: 360,000 worldwide.

    • Educate? It is more like PC indoctrination. Due process and the legal protections of the presumption of innocence appear to have no place in the collegiate culture or curriculum. The cancel culture rules on many college and university campuses, with faculty and administration approval. This behavior is also being seen in many public schools as well.

  23. Outstanding read. The US has been severely declining since the LBJ era, the progressive plan has finally unfolded to their 50+ year goal.

  24. And our bishops have forfeited all credibility on anything to do with a just society. They should burn their voting guide and anything they have written on social justice. These “shepherds” have abandoned the flock, and they will have to answer for their grave neglect and cowardice. Shame on them. The ninety-nine have been thrown to the wolves.

  25. Powerful piece.

    Clearly, the sickness in our society runs deeper than politics.

    As Mr. Kalb says, our cultural elites cannot think their way out of a wet paper bag.

    I mean, here we are. Inhabiting a culture that cannot distinguish a male from a female, cannot state that judging people by their race is wrong, cannot agree on what is good and what is evil to the point that police are vilified and murdered while criminals are released back into society to prey upon the weak again and again and again.

    Chesterton was right. When people stop believing in God, they will believe anything.

    This is not business as usual.

    • Brineyman. You know it dude. How short are our collective memories. In 2015 during the waning days of Obama/Biden our little city of 300,000 was engaged in a civil war as to whether or not to allow men dressed as women to use the women’s restrooms and also mandate a special LGBTQ restroom be constructed in all businesses open to the public. This issue went away during the Trump years but you can guarantee it will come back as an issue during the Biden/Harris administration. Fr. Morello, with all due respect: Lemons, lemons, lemons – I am not going to be like the European Catholics in 1939, you me in a concentration camp before I drink this Lemonade.

  26. Appreciation, for that which is Truth, Every action has to have, integrity, clarity, harmony.

    To that, the people who came to the USA, had two very distinct priorities in their early emergence.. And that is recognized in with their Fruits of labor, they built a Church and a School, and a hospital.. The Church to God, a School to the Greatest moral obligation is to Educate ones self, and to educate others..
    The Hospital, direct institution of Charity to others..

    The Church is an option today, the school infiltrated as the church with alot of people with, an agenda… Not a source of integrity, clarity and harmony..but a brain washing, mind control, in worst case senerio.
    A defiance to ” civil obedience, is a moral obligation”. is not only not taught, but promoted.
    Work ethic, gone, send them on through. With many seeing education as a waist of their Unbridled Capitalistic gains, or, inciting outrageous fees and costs to education, creating mass borrowing by “children” for education… Creating a whole generation, duped to education, as Debt and Wage slaves, paying off, student debt, loans.

    The hospital, from an institution of compassion, to one overridden by those that seek profit, wealth, in the face of the sick, and those that provide the compassion, care, are superceeded by those that seek wealth, Insurance, monitary wealth profits.

    The family is the foundation of a civilization. As it slips away, so does the nation, the government has no reason to exist, as well comes to be seen..

  27. I believe it was the colorful Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani who quipped (during the ecclesiastical cat-fight subsequently known as Vatican II) when asked about collegiality sarcastically replied that the only evidence of collegiality in the four Gospels was “and they all fled.”

  28. On the other hand, it is not the first time that the Catholic Church has found itself in trouble.

    Consider the case of St. Jerome, whom the Lord commanded to stop reading penny dreadfuls and get to work defending the Trinity, who wrote after the Council of Ariminum, “The whole world groaned, astonished to find itself Arian.”

  29. I know one source of a mortally divided nation, Trump! Truly mind boggling.

    Recent scary actions resulting from Trump’s election loss something he cannot tolerate:

    Trump, without any hard evidence, rejects Biden’s win saying the “election was rigged” and refusing to participate in an orderly transition of power further causing mayhem and exposing our national security.

    As an ex-president, Trump could disclose the secrets he learned while in office, current and former officials fear. As president, Donald Trump selectively revealed highly classified information to attack his adversaries, gain political advantage and to impress or intimidate foreign governments, in some cases jeopardizing U.S. intelligence capabilities. As an ex-president, there’s every reason to worry he will do the same, thus posing a unique national security dilemma for the Biden administration, current and former officials and analysts said.
    As an ex-president, Trump could disclose the secrets he learned while in office, current and former officials fear.

    Trump is dismantling the critical “unloyal” heads of government using Tweets, while others resign.

    Donald Trump Jr. heads up a taskforce to take over the RNC.

    Wonder what the extreme right is saying now?

    • I don’t know if I’m the” extreme right ” but what I’m doing is praying that President Trump is reelected.
      Or if not that real truth and correct number of legitimate votes for both candidates is revealed.
      Mr. Biden is not a president elect unless Trump concedes. The media does not determine that.

      • Mrs. Cracker, I agree.

        I’ve just read an ironic quote from the first presidential debate: ““Will you urge your supporters to stay calm while the vote is counted, and will you pledge not to declare victory until the election is independently certified?” asked Wallace of Biden at the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio.

        “Yes,” answered Biden.”

        And yet….

        • Absolutely….. the Chronic Narcissist President should be re-elected. He should continue to erase any and all who don’t do as they’re told, Republican, Democratic or whatever. Scrap democracy, we need a dictator, and we need it now, just as the news media and other money-mongering selfists purport.
          Do’t believe at all in any honesty by individuals and organizations elected to foster correctness, ,liability and justice. Call anyone and anything you don’t like as a liar, it is the new American Way. Self-centeredness ALL THE WAY, beginning with the one in the mirror.

    • Not sure what the “extreme right” is thinking, if such a thing even exists. But most of us here think you have absolutely lost your mind. Your conduct on this site is deeply inappropriate and disrespectful, and your self-righteous slander is a sin against God and His people. Stop posting on this site. Your TDS adds nothing of substance to these discussions.

  30. Plus, Biden won’t advance Catholic principles. He’s beholden to the Marxist element that has been allowed to run rampant within the Democrat party. Look at his VP.

    “In order for socialism to succeed, the family must be destroyed.” -Karl Marx

  31. This article is truly wonderful and amazing in it’s clear insight to what has happened in our society and political processes. Thank you! It so deeply expresses what I believe!

6 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. What has gone wrong? On the collapse of public life - Catholic Daily
  2. What has gone wrong? On the collapse of public life – On God's Payroll
  3. VVEDNESDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit
  4. De bevisstløse froskers tidsalder – LeveVeg
  5. Some reading material – RC Largs and Millport
  6. På tide å ta tilbake begrepet reaksjonær – LeveVeg

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