Where are we

In France, an MP is fined and denounced vehemently for criticizing homosexuality, and the Culture Minister wants him kicked out of the party. In this country we mostly don’t fine people for saying the wrong thing, we just re-educate them or put them in therapy. And then there’ll always be an England, or at least British stupidity and a geographical area called England.

It’s not just homosexuality, of course. “Inclusiveness” includes everything. We’ve got a new moral order based on the eradication of human things as basic as the social function of sex and particular culture. Everyone who matters is on board with it, including prestigious Catholic educational institutions and—as a practical matter—eminent cardinal-archbishops who boast of their friendship with the powerful and talk only of how wonderful things are.

One could moan and groan forever, and there are distinguished practitioners of the art form. There’s nothing wrong with the activity. Jeremiah wrote jeremiads and he’s still admired today. Still, we have to remember what we like as well as what horrifies us. So here’s a list of some good things:

  • The internet has weakened control of public discussion by the information and expertise industries and made huge amounts of information and discussion immediately available to anyone in the world with an internet connection. There are problems with the resulting situation, but it’s better than having Dan Rather and the New York Times, with the help of Elaine Pagels and Robert Putnam, tell us what’s what.
  • The internet also facilitates self-organization, so to the extent a number of people are pursuing something similar that the culture and knowledge industries don’t care for they can link up and put something together.
  • Knowledge does advance, at least in some ways. We learn as well as forget. In particular, the social effects of liberalism are becoming ever more obvious, so it’s harder for even the social sciences to obfuscate them, and advances in the natural sciences are making it increasingly difficult for serious people to take feminist and other egalitarian claims seriously.
  • Then too, there are the good things we have in everyday life, life itself for example. One could count such blessings at length. Modernity itself brings blessings like modern medicine, and the problems it has also brought have some mitigating aspects. Obesity may be a problem today, but as a problem it’s better than starvation.
  • Clouds do have silver linings. GWB has finally reduced the conservative movement to powder. We’re ready for a new beginning, and new beginnings are full of hope. Join now and get in on the ground floor!
  • In the same way, recent scandals in the Church have put an end to a lot of happy talk, and the tendency of public life, especially in Europe, is making it clear to a lot of churchmen that they can’t have it all and choices are coming that might cost them something.
  • The more mindless the enemy, and the greater his dominance, the more unstable his position and the bigger the target.
  • Naturally, each silver lining also has a cloud. If the established order falls apart from its irrationalities, that’s no doubt good to that extent, but it might take a long time, it might get unpleasant, and there’s no immediate guarantee of something better.
  • Why not end with some Bible banging? “All things work together for good for those who love God.” Romans 8:28. In more secular language, the future belongs to those who have grounds for ultimate hope as well as awareness of what’s lacking. If nothing else, we can excel in that.

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