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God and the state in Europe and America

So why are the Americans more religious than the Europeans? There have been a variety of explanations:


On to Restoration!

Welcome to On to Restoration!, the center on the web for counterrevolutionaries, restorationists, and the unreconstructed. We include reflections on what it’s about and links to discussions, projects and resources. You may also listen to a spoken introduction to our site (requiring RealPlayer).


The Patriot

starring Mel Gibson and directed by Roland Emmerich


Out of Control

by Kevin Kelly

New York: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company. 1995, 521 pp. (paper).

Long a major figure in cyber-culture, the executive editor of Wired, turns in this book to futurology. The wisdom of contemporary oracles, like that of their predecessors, emerges from dark sayings and plays on words. Although Kelly admits the future is unforeseeable, he argues that we can domesticate the things that make it too complex to grasp if we replace our logic by “bio-logic.” His book is an effort to explain what that might mean.

Its theme is the contemporary convergence of technology and biology, or what the author views as such, that consists in the replacement of external control by self-organization and self-direction. An automobile does what we make it do, while a horse has a mind of its own. The technology and social arrangements of the future, the author says, will be so complex and adaptable that they will be more like a horse than an automobile, and only through the equivalent of taming, training and selective breeding will we be able to harness them.


The Amish, David Koresh, and a Newer World Order

Shortly before dawn on April 19, 1993, FBI tanks equipped to dispense tear gas crashed through the walls of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. Over the course of the next six hours the tanks repeatedly rammed the ramshackle frame building inside the compound occupied by members of the sect, pumping in tear gas and causing structural damage that blocked stairways and exits. At about noon, fire broke out and spread in the high winds, quickly swallowing the half-wrecked building in flames. Most of those inside, including dozens of women and children, were trapped in inner rooms on the second floor and died in the fire.


No One Left to Lie To

by Christopher Hitchens

122 pp hb Verso London 1999

The disappearance of politics in today’s world reflects the disappearance of resistance to rational hedonism. “Give ‘em what they want” has become the grand principle of what passes for public life. To put it formally, only a few crazies now dispute that the final goal of public life is a rational system for maximizing individual satisfactions as much and equally as possible.

In the absence of politics disputes that once were political take on a purely technical form. How can prosperity be promoted, diffused and secured? How can noneconomic considerations—ethnic and religious ties and so on—be rendered irrelevant? Any substantive issues, for example the conflict between maximizing satisfactions and equalizing them, get turned into just another technical matter, with the “right” arguing that reducing taxes and regulation increases production and helps the poor and the “left” claiming the same for egalitarian initiatives.


The Abolition of Britain

by Peter Hitchens

332 pp+xi, Encounter Books, San Francisco 2000 ISBN 1-893554-18-X (Second Edition)


Civil War Two

by Thomas W. Chittum

201 pp American Eagle Publications, Show Low (Arizona) 1996. ISBN 0-929408-17-9

Thomas Chittum, a former rifleman in Vietnam, the Rhodesian Territorials, and the Croatian Army, has written something of an underground classic that predicts the devolution of an increasingly multicultural America into racial partition and bloody civil war.

The analysis is quite simple. Through immigration policy and “affirmative action” programs American governing elites are transforming the country from a generally democratic nation-state into a stratified multiethnic empire. For the elites the payoff is increased power, status and wealth as the transformation makes them increasingly immune to popular control. Nonetheless, the new arrangements will be unstable because multiethnic empires are always unstable. In the absence of common understandings and loyalties, they can be held together only by force, privilege, and a strategy of divide and rule.


Culture Wars -- Discussion and Resources


Welcome to the Culture Wars page!

We present this page, including discussion and resources, in hopes of helping clarify issues in a battle that often seems confused.

The issues presented here can be discussed in our forum. Your participation is welcome. You can also email the author, Jim Kalb, or add a comment at the foot of this page.

The Culture Wars


September 11 as a “wakeup call”

Conservatives are always expecting a wakeup call that will rouse the American people so they will rise up, recapture the citadel, and restore sanity and good government. None ever comes. The most recent failed wakeup call was September 11. For a while it seemed significant that people were putting up “God Bless America” stickers, and it was even reported that someone on TV had referred to “firemen” instead of “firefighters.” Today “God Bless America” has become “United We Stand,” and we hear more about female soldiers than about “firemen.”


The confusion of attempted simplicity

Privacy, tolerance, and the “wall of separation” were supposed to keep the government out of our private affairs, and especially out of our churches and bedrooms. Things haven’t worked out quite so smoothly, or at least that’s most likely the view of the Christian mother who is appealing a judge’s decision that prohibits her from teaching her daughter that homosexuality is wrong.

A woman living in a lesbian relationship adopted an infant daughter. Several years later she converted to Christianity, decided the relationship was wrong, and left it. Her former lover — who had no legal relationship with the woman or her adopted daughter — sued for joint custody and got it, with the added requirement that the mother had to “make sure that there is nothing in the religious upbringing or teaching that the minor child is exposed to that can be considered homophobic.”


Is America evil?

A reader asks—evidently hoping to provoke discussion—whether America is the most evil society ever.

The obvious answer is “no.” Abortion isn’t as bad as abortion plus infant exposure. The Colosseum was worse than MTV. And the consumer society has its problems but so did slavery. Still, the question is provocative. America and other present-day Western societies participate in evil in a way other societies have not, because they turn their worst features into grand principles and declare them morally fundamental.

The ancients exposed babies and let them die of exposure or be eaten by animals. However, their political, moral, and intellectual authorities didn’t get together and declare such practices fundamental to human dignity, so that restricting them in any way would be an attack on the very basis of a tolerable social order.


Curing us of therapy

New studies show that the whole idea of basing what you do on studies, psychological advice and general schemes of social improvement is a bad one. In particular:


The continuing presence of Nazism

Why Nazism? Many of the theories proposed to explain something so horrible and bizarre have had an ulterior purpose—it was all about big business, Christian antisemitism, authoritarian child-raising practices, or whatever. Pick the thing you like least about European society, and that’s what caused the Nazis. A contemporary eyewitness account by a young German, “Defying Hitler” by Sebastian Haffner, adds a realistic and troubling perspective:


Against interpretation (of 9/11)

Here in New York we didn’t know what to say about the September 11 atrocities, so we repeated old patriotic speeches and spent a couple hours reading the names of those who died in a sort of spoken equivalent of the Viet Nam Memorial. In England they apparently had the same problem, and Spiked provides an interesting summary: One year on: what the papers said.

Why the inability to say anything to the point? Some possibilities:


Universal radicalism

Signs that things are the same everywhere: Nude Performance Artist Shocks Conservative Chile and Japanese Activists Hail Ruling on Transgender Sacking. The news reports can’t be relied upon, of course, but it appears there is no serious, sustained and effective opposition to such things anywhere.


Paradox of American traditionalism

Traditionalist conservatism has an air of paradox in America. It reinterprets or rejects things often identified as American in the name of understandings people find unfamiliar. After all, many would ask, haven’t Americans always idealized science, progress, material prosperity and individual success? Aren’t we a nation of immigrants from a variety of traditions? Isn’t it freedom, equality and democracy and not ancestral ways that unite us? And if all that’s true, isn’t traditionalist conservatism a denial of everything that makes us Americans?


Liberal openness

There’s something admirable in a liberal outlook that maintains interest in new ideas and sympathy with other ways of life. It shows an awareness that the world is bigger than what we think about the world, which is all to the good. It’s not an outlook that can be turned into a final standard, though, since it would lose all definition and become useless. Any answer it gave would have to include the proviso that every other available answer is most likely at least as good, or at least there’s no reason to think otherwise.



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