Sometimes readers will ask me: “Why did you write on that? What were you trying to say?” My response has always been that just about everything I attempt to convey, to write, is in some way connected to and comes under a broad heading of “the defense of Western Christian civilization and culture.” Thus, everything, from my staunch defense of Confederate monuments, to my long essay on the role of tradition in music, film and the arts, to my belief that the public schools have become toxic, to my continuing criticism of egalitarianism—all of these topics, I believe, are very important ones and should be examined.

I believe that the cultural artifacts of our civilization, including the arts and music that it has produced, are just as significant, if not more so, than the everyday debates over such topics as the budget or some “January 6 commission.” Those artifacts are part and parcel of what we call “the West,” our inheritance stretching back not only to Rome, but to classical Greece and Jerusalem. And they define it, convey its talent and its virtues, and give it expression.

For the wide-ranging, nearly irresistible forces of Revolution and its possessed zealots desire our total extinction not just politically and economically, but in every facet of our lives. Indeed, no one can stand by idly for long, no one can escape its tentacles and its reach. In the end, neutrality or fleeing “to the tall grass” can only be a temporary solution which ends in disaster.

Even worse, attempting to placate the Beast or to pretend that the forces which oppose us are like in the “good old days,” when Democrats and Republicans could sit down and work out some equitable compromise or solution, a la Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan, is not only foolish but encourages our fanatical enemies, emboldens them, and speeds up their barbaric work of demolition.

English critic Hilaire Belloc’s description, from over a century ago, is an apt summary of what has come to pass in our age: 

“[T]he Barbarian is discoverable everywhere in this that he cannot make; that he can befog or destroy, but that he cannot sustain; and of every Barbarian in the decline or peril of every civilisation exactly that has been true.  We sit by and watch the Barbarian, we tolerate him; in the long stretches of peace we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence, his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creeds refreshes us: we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond: and on these faces there is no smile.”  (This and That and the Other,1912, p. 282)

In some recent essays I have compared our enemies to “pod people,” a cinematic trope that makes an analogy with a classic Hollywood film from 1956 (“Invasion of the Body Snatchers”). I have used G. K. Chesterton’s imagery and definition of unhinged lunacy (fr0m his volume, The Poet and the Lunatics, 1929). But I think the description I gave back on March 11, 2019, after I had stared into the fierce and burning eyes of members of a mob of “woke” social justice warriors who were attempting violently to “cancel” the annual Confederate Flag Day that we were celebrating at the old North Carolina State Capitol, may be the most acute and chilling.

What I observed then, and I recently described again, was “…a very real madness, an unleashed fury, eyes filled with uncontrolled hatred…. [which] betrayed ruptured souls, corrupted and demonized, existing in a kind of counter-reality with their own set of always-advancing rules, but dedicated in a fearsome and unambiguous way to the destruction—salvation through destruction—of Western Christian civilization, of mankind as we have known it.”

There is, I believe, no other way to put it: the enemies we face and that increasingly destroy our patrimony, our culture, our birthright, our civilization, are indeed in some ways possessed—yes, even in the traditional theological sense. Not all, of course, to the same degree; but nevertheless there is a common denominator between the screaming lunatic Antifa demonstrator in the streets who exults in the truly demonic destruction of our cities and the artifacts of our history, and the lunatic professor who rubrics his vicious mental assault on “historic white supremacy” in the classroom or in supposedly-scholarly journals on the in-vogue passion for Critical Race Theory—and the lunatic political leader who enables and abets such insanity.

In some ways all these individuals are possessed, in some ways perhaps like characters in Dostoevsky’s novel The Possessed. And increasingly there appears no immediate successful means to repel them, much less communicate with them—they may use some of the same words we do, but essentially their language becomes incomprehensible to us.

We counsel and urgently suggest severe educational reform to staunch the putrefaction in our schools and colleges, we plead for border security, we demand of conservative and Republican leaders that “they do something.” When a bull-in-a-china-shop like Donald Trump does actually come along and attempt, if only a little, to stand up to them, he is criticized and ostracized by those same supposed opposition leaders who, in reality, serve the very forces of Hell they profess to thwart. And then by deceit and illegality, the unwashed one is expelled from the presidency so that things can get back to normal: the lingering, sputtering demise of 2,000 years of Western civilization.

I have suggested—and I am not the only one to do so—some sort of internal separation or secession. And we see strong movements in places like eastern Oregon and Texas where people are beginning to discuss that and take preliminary action. That might be the most peaceful means to, at least for a time, alleviate the slow death we are experiencing as a nation.

I have also suggested that our future options are limited.

Most of my neighbors are now armed, many heavily armed. I pity a social justice warrior who would attempt a disturbance on my rural street. Senile Joe Biden, a puppet in the hands of an increasingly “woke” and crazed Democratic Party and its unhinged allies, is no bulwark against them. Our elections and election integrity can no longer be trusted after the 2020 election. Packing the Supreme Court, Washington DC and Puerto Rico as new states, open borders to millions of illegals, ending the filibuster, implementation nationally of Critical Race Theory—these are just a few of the revolutionary advances which await us if we do not stand forthrightly and intelligently. And that is why I write, but not as much directly about those specific topics; others do that, and they do it better than I can. Rather, around the edges, as it were, with the hope that what I publish can offer support and just maybe broaden our understanding of the enemies we face—and they are Legion, and possibly plant some ideas about things we should closely examine and action we should take.

Boyd Cathey

Boyd D. Cathey holds a doctorate in European history from the Catholic University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, where he was a Richard Weaver Fellow, and an MA in intellectual history from the University of Virginia (as a Jefferson Fellow). He was assistant to conservative author and philosopher the late Russell Kirk. In more recent years he served as State Registrar of the North Carolina Division of Archives and History. He has published in French, Spanish, and English, on historical subjects as well as classical music and opera. He is active in the Sons of Confederate Veterans and various historical, archival, and genealogical organizations.

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