Saturday 28th January 2023

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

To Make History, You Have To Destroy It First

December 10, 2022 Frontpage No Comments

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

In reaching for a deeper understanding of our current times, I turn to the master. In his history of Rome, Titus Livy suggests that we “trace the process of our moral decline, to watch first the sinking of the foundations of morality as the old teaching was allowed to lapse, then the final collapse of the whole edifice, and the dark dawning of our modern day when we can neither endure our vices nor face the remedies needed to cure them.”
Wow, that’s a pretty tough assignment in any era. Today, any historian undertaking that challenge has a steep mountain to climb. While we have little trouble witnessing our moral decline, we are confronting a massive effort to hide its history, and then to destroy it. As Karl Marx says in his Eleventh Thesis on Feuerbach, “Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.”
In Orwell’s 1984, history was destroyed and changed daily. And the effort was spurred on by the mandatory “Two Minutes Hate” to keep the staff on their toes.
In our own time, Livy’s “old teaching” has been scourged with all the epithets its destroyers can muster. Not only have the truths been corrupted, but the very symbols of the truth-tellers are being torn down and burned. Here in Virginia, “Lee Highway” and “Stonewall Avenue” have been dumbed down to “Woke Alley.” And in Richmond, the imposing, 21-foot-tall statue of General Robert E. Lee that stood on Monument Avenue was taken down in September. In order to drive the point home, the statue was then cut into pieces which were taken to an undisclosed location.
Media accounts explained that the campaign to have the statue removed had begun during the riots that followed the death of George Floyd. That death and destruction was not caused by nostalgic white southerners, but so what? The revolution relies not on logic but on the dialectic.
Media stalwarts failed to notice how the statue’s removal and destruction so faithfully followed the propaganda model of Vladimir Lenin in the Russia of 1917 during the months preceding the October Revolution. As historian Orlando Figes recounts, “In the absence of any obvious counter-revolution — without a real enemy to fight against — the destruction of the symbols of the old regime was, at least for the revolutionaries, the destruction of the old regime itself.”
The Lee Statue was a symbol indeed. When it was erected 133 years ago, there were no slaves in Virginia or anywhere else. It was placed there to honor a man whom all Americans — Abraham Lincoln foremost among them — greatly admired. But like Winston’s colleagues in the Ministry of Truth, the Woke Left was seething with the hatred stoked by the likes of Nancy Pelosi: “Forget history. We’re talking about the future!”
But to forget history, one must first destroy it. In the case of Robert E. Lee, as the symbol of everything he stood for is ground into the dustbin of history, a new symbol is born:
Behold the Golden Casket of George Floyd.

If You Can’t Destroy Them,
Hijack Them

In Russia, there were some symbols that were so beloved by the Russian people that Lenin’s revolutionaries couldn’t destroy them — so they were hijacked. Everything from popular songs and labor union mottos to Jesus Christ were candidates for dialectical destruction. Christ was “the first Communist,” said Anatoly Lunacharsky, Soviet Russia’s first minister of education.
Of course, that dialectical tactic was only temporary. Ultimately, Lunacharsky argued, all religion must be destroyed, because the revolution is fueled by hate, and religion is based on love. As Alexander Solzhenitsyn put it, “all of the Communist Parties, upon attaining power, have become completely merciless. But at the stage before they achieve power, it is necessary to use disguises.”
Our own revolutionaries today follow the same pattern. Consider “morality”: The Left cannot destroy it, so it has been hijacked and then turned on its head: With the recently passed “Respect for Marriage Act,” Congress has authorized a full-scale attack by the federal government and the courts on anyone who dares to defend the fundamental truths of family, marriage, and children, while cross-dressers and drag-show fans crowd the White House stage.
Or consider “Democracy”: The Left has simply pried it loose from its mooring in reality, only to convert the term into a label to slap onto its lust for power. Biden’s Philadelphia speech in September was worthy of Leni Riefenstahl, complete with the Marines that he had dragooned to play Stasi agents. He shouted “MAGA” 14 times, branding all of his political opponents “enemies of Democracy” — just like Vladimir Putin, of course.
Biden does this so often, one wonders, where’s the outrage? Are intelligent people just writing off the guy’s perversions to dementia, and shrugging their shoulders?
Not quite. As Orwell wrote in 1944, “Intellectuals are more totalitarian in outlook than the common people. Most of them are perfectly ready for dictatorial methods, secret police, systematic falsification of history, etc., so long as they feel that it is on ‘our’ side.” Biden’s lapdogs gave it rave reviews.
Good doggies, panting in the spirit of the crowd addressed by Josef Stalin on the eve of the Soviet Union’s legislative elections in December 1937, when he beamed, “The forthcoming elections are not merely elections, comrades, they are really a national holiday of our workers, our peasants, and our intelligentsia. Never in the history of the world have there been such really free and really democratic elections — never! History knows no other example like it…our universal elections will be carried out as the freest elections and the most democratic compared with elections in any other country in the world.
Well, there you go. Stacey Abrams would be proud.
And with good reason. Consider the observation of Boris Bazhanov, Stalin’s former secretary, quoting his boss on the subject: “I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this — who will count the votes and how” (Bazhanov, Memoirs, 1992).
Of course, if a Russian voter saw an example of massive cheating that betrayed that promise, he would whisper to himself, “Why, that’s terrible! If only Comrade Stalin knew!”
But he would never dare tell anyone else.

Afterthoughts

“The strongest argument for socialism is that it sounds good. The strongest argument against socialism is that it doesn’t work. But those who live by words will always have a soft spot in their hearts for socialism because it sounds so good” — Thomas Sowell.
When Communist parties gain power and shed their disguises, that’s where the terror begins. But Solzhenitsyn relates how by that point, trade union members we’re so absorbed in the ideology of the party that, “when the spokesman for the party line rebuked them for their laziness and for getting out of hand, and demanded sacrifices from them — overtime work without pay, reductions in food, military discipline in the factory administration — this aroused great elation and applause. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward,” he writes.
Or consider the powerful image of Venezuelan refugees escaping into Colombia, as described by an officer in military intelligence at the border:
“These people are destitute, they are sick, starving, they have lost everything. But still, when questioned, they still want ‘Chavismo’ (the Revolution) to succeed.”
Did they “purely and simply deserve everything that happened afterward”?

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

House Republicans approved 2 #ProLife measures.

The first measure would ban #Abortion on babies born alive and require the babies be given medical care and treatment. The other measure condemned a spurt of growing attacks against crisis pregnancy centers.

House Republicans Pass Pro-Life Bills

House Republicans on Jan. 11 approved two pro-life measures. The first measure passed by the House would ban abortion ...

www.theepochtimes.com

"I'm afraid that the West will die. There are plenty of signs. You are invaded,still,by other cultures & peoples,who will progressively dominate you by their numbers and change your culture, your convictions, your morality."~ Cardinal Robert Sarah

Load More...

Vatican and USCCB leave transgender policy texts unpublished

While U.S. bishops have made headlines for releasing policies addressing gender identity and pastoral ministry, guidelines on the subject have been drafted but not published by both the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s doctrinal office, leaving diocesan bishops to…Continue Reading

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Catechism

Today . . .

Catholic journalist George Neumayr dies in Africa

COTE D’IVOIRE (LifeSiteNews) – George Neumayr, an author and journalist who fearlessly exposed corruption in the Catholic Church, died of malaria last night. He was 50. He had been in Africa since December 26, 2022, studying Christianity there and “what the Church in the West could learn from it, both good and bad,” according to his journalism fund updates and several articles he wrote from the former French colony.

Cardinal Müller slams Pope Francis’ ‘political’ laicization of Fr. Pavone

ROME (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Gerhard Müller strongly defended Fr. Frank Pavone and slammed Pope Francis’ laicization of the renowned pro-life priest in an exclusive interview with LifeSiteNews. Cardinal Müller, the former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the top Vatica

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI dies at Age 95

Funeral Mass to be held January 5.

Cardinals block appointment of Heiner Wilmer as Prefect of the DDF

Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, the prefect for the Doctrine of the Faith who was still in office, had received his mandate in an unexpected way in the summer of 2017. Until then, the Spanish Jesuit had been secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, i.e. the right hand of the prefect. At the time, the prefect was still Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former bishop of Regensburg, whom Pope Benedict XVI had appointed…Continue Reading

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic . . . Bold Steps Needed To Address Illegal Immigration

By STEPHEN M. KRASON One of the ways in which the rule of law has been utterly flouted by the Biden administration has been its unwillingness to seriously enforce U.S. immigration law. In fact, the current crisis at the southern border is largely due to Biden’s signaling, as soon as he took office, that people…Continue Reading

McCarrick’s Lawyers Say He’s Not Competent To Stand Trial

By JOE BUKURAS MDEDHAM, Mass. (CNA) — Former cardinal Theodore McCarrick is in “significant” mental decline and may not be fit to stand trial for allegedly sexually abusing a 16-year-old boy, his attorneys say in a new court filing. The legal team for the 92-year-old ex-prelate said it plans to file a motion to dismiss…Continue Reading

Pregnancy Is Not A Disease… No One Could Observe This In Contemporary America

By R.T. NEARY “Follow the science” has been the mandate since 2019 in this once-united nation that is still officially entitled The United States of America. “Experts” have been featured on TV screens voicing this as Gospel.Public dialogue has centered on the reality of a threat posed by a living organism present in our environment.…Continue Reading

Death Of Cardinal George Pell

By RAYMOND CARDINAL BURKE With the sudden death of Cardinal George Pell, the Church has lost the earthly company of a wise, loving, joyful, and courageous shepherd. I have lost the earthly company of a good friend and example in the Sacred College of Cardinals. Having visited at length with Cardinal Pell on the afternoon…Continue Reading

Joining The Communion Of Saints

By DONALD DeMARCO Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987) was truly a Renaissance woman. She won a seat in Congress and held an ambassadorship. She was the managing editor of Vanity Fair. As an author, her writings extended from drama and screen scenarios to fiction, journalism, and war reportage. As a pro-life stalwart, she wrote for The…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. When Joseph and Mary came to the inn in Bethlehem, the innkeeper said that there was no room and told them to “go on.” That night an angel of the Lord came to Joseph in his dream and said, “It is you who shall go on and on.” Is this true? — J.B., Pennsylvania.A. Not according to the Gospel…Continue Reading

New Book By Ganswein On BXVI

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Part 2 Upon his death we shared the witness that Pope Benedict lived in the words he uttered. Archbishop Georg Ganswein’s book Nothing But the Truth recounting his life with the great Pope is now out in bookstores. Here I share some vignettes of that volume from an advance unofficial English translation.In October 1978 the…Continue Reading

Basics Of Christian Anthropology

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE Part 1 (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this article on January 13 and it is reprinted here with permission.) + + Anthropology is, most simply, the science or study of human beings through time and space. Different specialties focus on the analysis of biological/physiological characteristics and the examination of societies/cultures. In the religious sense, anthropology…Continue Reading

Grace And Humility

BY FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fourth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Zeph. 2:3, 3:12-131 Cor. 1:26-31Matt. 5:1-12a In the first reading today, the Lord calls all the humble of the Earth to seek Him. Interestingly, He then calls them to seek justice and humility with the hope that they would be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger.…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: This series on the Bible is from the book Catholicism & Scripture. Please feel free to use the series for high schoolers or adults. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column as well. See the contact information at the end of this column. Special Course On Catholicism And Scripture (Chapter 11) Following the path of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Peter Damian

By DEB PIROCH For those in search of a night free of insomnia, it’s said those with a clean conscience sleep blissfully. Yet, many of us know it is not quite that easy to vanquish insomnia and in truth, the longer one tries, the less one is inclined to fall sleep. At the least it can be exhausting, at the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Dunstan

By DEB PIROCH Before St. Thomas Becket, the saint most likely to be invoked by an Englishman was St. Dunstan. He was successively appointed the abbot of Glastonbury, the bishop of Worcester, the bishop of London, archbishop of Canterbury and later, the bishop of Winchester. Additionally, he was related to at least one archbishop and three bishops; perhaps being a…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)