On Repression

As our society progresses further into the Kali Yuga, Western governments reach out to grab more and more power over their nations. Governmental centralization has become predominant in the Modern era. The current regimes hold an unprecedented amount of dominion over the West. Yet, libertarians and conservatives seem incapable of finding a solution beyond tax reform and begging everyone to stick to the Constitution. Without power, all they’re doing is pointlessly bemoaning their losses. Political suppression, the loss of “muh freedoms and liberties!,” is no accident. Spanish statesman and philosopher Juan Donoso Cortes offers an appropriate observation:

There are only two possible forms of repression: one internal and the other external; religious repression and political repression. They are of such a nature that when the religious thermometer is high, the thermometer of political repression is low; and, when the religious thermometer low, the political thermometer—political repression—tyranny is high. That is a law of humanity, a law of history. ~ “Discourse on Dictatorship”

This principle, though basic and perhaps obvious to some, is worth evaluation. The more a nation is internally repressed through religion (specifically Christianity), the less necessary it is for the government to use violent or non-violent political power to suppress and control its people.

A look at Western history shows Cortes’ statement to be a general rule. The profligacy of the late Roman Empire resulted in the “despotic” Dominate where the emperor held a large amount of power. The collapse of the Empire and widespread acceptance of Christianity led to the fabled Age of Faith. Since the inhabitants of the European kingdoms felt bound by their religion to act and conduct themselves in a compliant way, state involvement in daily life was unnecessary. They would follow religious and secular law with little issue. In turn, the lords had little reason to physically repress their subjects. Feudalism decentralized power and spread it throughout an intricate hierarchy (not that it was always perfect, but you get the idea).

From the slow degradation of the Church and the growing call for religious reform came the Protestant “Reformation” (a proper Revolution). Absolutism became the norm as sovereigns felt it necessary to wield immense force to control their increasingly disobedient subjects. Then came the Enlightenment, the breaking of the “shackles of religion,” coupled with democratic federalization. Later, totalitarianism and the reduction of hierarchy into two classes: the rulers and the ruled. And here we are. It only took several centuries to go from feudalism to standing armies, police forces, bureaucracy, public television, welfare, etc.

Curious, isn’t it? It’s almost as if bad things start to happen when rulers stop seeing themselves as servants of the people and the people start viewing the sovereign as an oppressor to be fought rather than a legitimate ruler to be respected and obeyed. Who would’ve thought? Once you remove social cohesion, the whole system will fall apart.

As it stands, the West is on track for even greater centralization. The importation of third world populations, on top of the push for more socialistic policies, contributes to the ever-expanding power of the government. As social unity declines from incompatible groups being thrown together and the chaos caused by secularization, the state can step in in the name of order and stability. The more disorder that’s created, the greater excuse the government has for expansion. They’re able to ensure the nation’s dependence upon the state by driving religious repression to an all-time low. And if you control the people, you control the capital.

Progressivism is the next step. The elite, whether or not they know it, are trying to have their cake and eat it, too. Progressivism is essentially the new religion; the goal is to have a people who are both religiously and politically repressed. It will desensitize Westerners through inculcation of its Satanic doctrine; big business and big government will take care of you, just sit back, enjoy the ride, and don’t ask questions. Let’s turn every nation into a human farm. How disgusting.

Some might claim that racial and/or ideological homogeneity would fix the problem. If they’re even achievable, they have never prevented exploitation, rebellion, and tyranny in the past, at least not as well as religion. Eventually, someone somewhere will question the legitimacy of the sovereign or the sovereign will want to overreach for personal gain. Homogeneous religious repression, although it is no guarantee, has proven itself as the option most conducive for a peaceful and free society; it’s how Europe has seen properly multicultural empires without massive dissent or dysgenic tendencies.

Well then, it’s either one of these two: either a religious reaction will come, or it will not. If there is a religious reaction, you will soon see that as the religious thermometer rises, the political thermometer will begin to fall, naturally, spontaneously, without the slightest effort on the part of peoples, governments, or men, until the tranquil day comes when the peoples of the world are free. But if, on the contrary, and this is a serious matter; I say again, Gentlemen, that if the religious thermometer continues to fall, I know not whither we are going. I do not know, Gentlemen, and I shiver when I think of it.

The complaint that a religious restoration would be a threat to freedom is ridiculous. True freedom is having the ability to do what you ought, not whatever you want; it is not synonymous with licentiousness. If the pathetic libertarians, anarchists, et al. were actually intelligent, they’d become missionaries. There’s a reason that all the early no-government American utopias were based on some religious sect.

Some have said how any significant development must come through a change in the elite. While this is mostly true, one should not be too reductionist. A case to consider for this is the Soviet Union. There were peoples within the Union who were still under Christianity. It takes time, often generations, for the ruling regime to fully push its ideology or religion onto its subjects. When the USSR collapsed, the new regimes, who are relatively pro-Christian, were able to establish themselves alongside the faithful without much fuss, and now their future is much brighter than Western Europe. The elite may be the determining factor, but it’s much easier for the elite to rule when the people are already aligned with their ideals. If we truly believe that a Liberal collapse is imminent, then a religious restoration will not be fruitless. The new elite, friendly to religion, could take over with less effort and win the praise of their people at the same time. On top of that, it’s impossible to have a religiously oriented elite if there are no religious people to be found in the West.

Europe could really use another St. Paul.

There is only one thing that can avert the catastrophe—one and only one: we shall not avert it by granting more liberty, more guarantees and new constitutions; we shall avert it if all of us, according to our strength, do our utmost to stimulate a healthy reaction—a religious reaction. Now is this possible, Gentlemen? Yes, it is. But is it likely? I answer in deepest sorrow: I do not think it is likely. I have seen and known many men who returned to their faith after having separated themselves from it; unfortunately, I have never known any nation which returned to the Faith after having lost it. ~ Cortes

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Testis Gratus

Catholic, reactionary, traditionalist — "Ego vox clamantis in deserto: dirigite viam Domini"

8 thoughts on “On Repression

  1. “True freedom is having the ability to do what you ought, not whatever you want; it is not synonymous with licentiousness”.

    I understand where this is coming from, however, outside of a Catholic context, this could simply be rendered meaningless. To many people, the ability to do what ‘ought’ to be done is included in the ability to do whatever you want. One could argue that if you can do whatever you want, then when situations demand you to do something, you will be able to do it. Our age’s dominant religion is secularism and its variants (including Cultural Marxism), and under this religioin, man should be able to do whatever he or she wants, and be whatever one wants to be. You could become an alpha male type bobybuilder turned Hollywood moviestar and successful millionaire (the ultimate American dream, I guess?), a PUA or a Catholic monk. When it comes to the competition between religions, Christianity will lose out at this point.

    I think this is where Catholic doctrine need a fix in order to make it work in our age’s context. Therefore, I propose Christian freedom (or even Catholic freedom) instead of just freedom. Here is what it might sounds like:

    “Christian freedom, properly defined, is the ability to be free from all evils on Earth . One who is free in the Christian sense has the power over his or her own weaknesses, and therefore render the dark power of Sin and the Devil powerless. Being freed by God, he or she will also be able to participate in the Father and the Son’s holy war against the Devil and liberate this planet Earth from his clutch, forever. Being freed by God also means that one is able to realise the Imago Dei or the godhead inside himself or herself.

    Do you want to have the ability to overcome the weaknesses of your
    Do you want to have the ability to resist and defeat the demons who haunt you?
    Do you want to have the power to resist those who do evils?
    Do you want to be able to transcend this world and take yourself to the next world?

    Then follow Jesus, and take up the cross.’

    1. I’m not convinced that most people actually desire “liberty” as it’s understood in the modern context. “Do what you want” is simply becoming “do what the government and universities tell you to do.” Man will always look to some order for guidance, the problem is that the wrong order has power. “Liberty” is ultimately meaningless when it comes to action. No one can ever have the ability to do literally anything since all are constrained physically, mentally, and so on. The only thing that’s “free” in that sense is the will. While I like your definition, I don’t think we need to make up new terms because Liberalism is wrong. The real definition must be laid bare, and it only makes sense if objective morality and teleology are accepted; and if they’re true, there’s no escaping them. Both of these are a part of human nature, which shows that Modernism is nothing but ignorance of the self.

  2. “Progressivism is essentially the new religion; the goal is to have a people who are both religiously and politically repressed.”

    Good luck with that, progressive elites; you’re gonna need it. Any regime of repression based on progressive ideology is bound to become unstable and deconstruct itself. Religion is a force for social conservation; progressive ideology self-consciously sets out to do the exact opposite, viz. continuously disrupt and revolutionize social life. Any attempt on progressive grounds to impose limits on conduct thus contains, in its very premises, an open invitation- indeed, an ethical imperative- to transgress those limits, since transgressing social limits in the name of moar freedom and progress is the name of the progressive game, and exalted as a sacred practice in the progressive pseudo-religion. We’re already seeing the results of this internal contradiction in rise of the chan/image-board phenomenon, which in its blatantly insubordinate irreverence and relentless mockery of progressive pieties carries forward the transgressive tradition of modern art to the point where it turns against the very ideology that spawned it in the first place. Progressivism is powerful to destroy social controls, but to institute them, not so much; it is in the same position as the old comedy gag in which a guy sits on the branch he’s trying to saw off.

    1. I should’ve put religion in quotations since it works differently. It suppresses by misdirection, and uses social restraint on the most dangerous to the ideology (e.g. white privilege, patriarchy, etc.). It’s easy to control a population of fat androgynes who sit in a room and cry about gender and pronouns all day. At the first sign of real conflict they’ll immediately flee. The right kind of social chaos is good for the progressive elite; it allows them to shift the focus elsewhere so the people don’t notice the man behind the curtain. The problem is that not everyone’s drinking the kool-aid. That, and the fact that they’re trying to go too fast. The mocha-skinned utopia won’t happen if you create so much disorder that it destroys you.

  3. Perhaps you could clear a few things up for me? “bad things start to happen when rulers stop seeing themselves as servants of the people”. It seems to me that “seeing themselves as servants of the people”, is the social contract, insofar as the legitimacy of a ruler is derived from the people and not from God. Perhaps it could be argued that this existed in a very loose form in some parts of dark age Germany, or 10th century England however, in the medieval era, it did not. And Western Civilization as we know it can really be said to begin in the 11th century. I fail to see how this social contract existed as an intellectual force in Europe pre Hobbes, and in the 17th century, this view did not spread very far out of England, really — only your native America. Surely the total reverse of what you wrote should be argued, that it was the adoption of the idea that rulers should be slaves of the people that accelerated the decline of the West? expressed powerfully by Coriolanus:

    Coriolanus
    Whoever gave that counsel, to give forth
    The corn o’ the storehouse gratis, as ’twas used
    Sometime in Greece,—

    Menenius Agrippa
    Well, well, no more of that.

    Coriolanus
    Though there the people had more absolute power,
    I say, they nourish’d disobedience, fed
    The ruin of the state.

    Junius Brutus
    Why, shall the people give
    One that speaks thus their voice?

    Coriolanus.
    I’ll give my reasons,
    More worthier than their voices. They know the corn
    Was not our recompense, resting well assured
    That ne’er did service for’t: being press’d to the war,
    Even when the navel of the state was touch’d,
    They would not thread the gates. This kind of service
    Did not deserve corn gratis. Being i’ the war
    Their mutinies and revolts, wherein they show’d
    Most valour, spoke not for them: the accusation
    Which they have often made against the senate,
    All cause unborn, could never be the motive
    Of our so frank donation. Well, what then?
    How shall this bisson multitude digest
    The senate’s courtesy? ///** Let deeds express
    What’s like to be their words: ‘we did request it;
    We are the greater poll, and in true fear
    They gave us our demands.’ Thus we debase
    The nature of our seats and make the rabble
    Call our cares fears; which will in time
    Break ope the locks o’ the senate and bring in
    The crows to peck the eagles.**///

    Another thing, you write “state involvement in daily life”, but I’m almost certain you don’t actually mean “state”. I suppose the point of this circumlocution is that you seem to be arguing that the decline of feudalism was also the decline of the church, and that the death of feudalism marked the decline for the West, I want to know how the absence of feudalism (and divine right??) can be a cause of the decline of the west while at the same time the absence of the social contract can be a cause of the decline of the west. Is this “both p and not-p are false”? surely you have to drop one of these? or perhaps, as usual, my autismo has lead me to miss your meaning, heh.

    If I understand you, every stage in history was a decline or religious debasement (feudal->renaissance->enlightenment->”modern”) because each stage increasingly marginalized religion. The papacy does not wield the power it once did in the time of Innocent III, and as the church decentralized, or lost its influence, “nationalism” and the “state” became an idea, and these states began to centralize — is this broadly your view? Do you believe that “government” and “church” were both institutions and an equilibrium of repression existed between them whereby states repress in place of religion, religion in place of states. do you view this as a dialectic, it seems to gesture towards historical materialism. Do you see this process as a set of scales that rise and fall in proportion to each other. If this is true, since the repression of the state has increased at the same rate as the decline of repression of the church, the aggregate repression would remain constant. Furthermore, if “progressivism” functions as a religion, or at least as a quasi-religious institution, how can you argue that there has been an increase in repression? The idea of a homogeneous cultural and racial group expressing itself as a state or nation is very infrequent in European history, and has only existed in its acute form in the last couple of centuries, during the decline you write of. The church was a way to unite opposing cultures, the Normans and their synthesis with Anglo-Saxons for example. So the church resided over, and repressed, **~~ a beautiful rainbow // :^) // of diversity ~~ **. Jokes aside, the modern state also does this, there would not be any more repression because of multiculturalism as there was repression form the church from the dark ages.

    At the heart of this, here is the assumption that the church did not repress people. It seems that the only way for this article to be consistent, is to assume that religion does not repress. Religion as an institution, though I find it very hard to believe that you honestly think that the Catholic Church(tm) was not a political institution, that it never dogmatically coerced, that it did not administer itself as a theocratic Empire, that monastic orders did not act as multinationals, that Bishops did not lead armies, that it did not enforce taxes, that it DID NOT REPRESS. You write that people should only be free to act in ways they “ought” to, religion and state morality is, you seem to be arguing expressed in equal terms. Since progressivism acts similar, culturally, to plebs now as the church dogma of old, and that modern state institutions repress as harshly as the religious institutions of old, how will a restoration of Christendom lower repression.

    To close, I think you have missed the ineluctable MEANS to repress. if the rate of repression of the church deceased at a lower rate than the rate of repression increased by the state, resulting in an aggregate acceleration of repression, have you considered that this is due to the relative positions of the two in time. Have you considered that repression increased in states because the state followed from the church? if the state had preceded the church would the aggregate repression increase or decrease relative to our own history? TO repeat, has the “state” increased its repression by nature of it being a state and not a church, or has the state increased repression because it has the means to do so? technology provides the means of repression as it provides means of liberation. We had moved from states into a centralized European theocracy in century XXI, with the technology available to us, do you think people would be equally repressed as they were in the dark ages? You cannot ban books without books being written, and you can’t ban tweets without twitter. You can’t carry out surveillance on people without cameras, you can’t tap a phone unless phones exist. The means of repression were quite crude and overwhelmingly less efficient that today. Is it not that the transition from church to state has occurred on the rising crest of technological/technocapital “progress”. I think you might be missing a trick or two by studying a single dialectic, of the institution of church and state, in isolation.

    So there are four views:
    (1) Repression is conserved in changes between institutions, all institutions are equally repressive; and is unchanged by availability of means.
    (2) Repression is not conserved in changes between institutions, some are, by nature, more repressive than others; repression is unchanged by availability of means.
    (3) Repression is conserved in changes between institutions, which are equally repressive. Repression is proportional to the availability of the means to repress.
    (4) Repression is not conserved. Repression is proportional to the availability of the means to repress, and is the sum of the means to repress and the inclination to repress as determined by an institutions nature.

    or:
    (I) institutions: conserved; means: conserved.
    (II) institutions: not conserved; means: conserved
    (III) institutions: conserved; means: not conserved
    (IV) institutions: not conserved; means: not conserved

    I feel as though you vacillate between (1 (I)) & (2 (II)). If you are to reply, it would probably be easier if you explain to me your position in terms of my autism can understand and which view categorizes your thought.

    And finally, the restoration of Catholicism in Europe is hopeless. I respect your belief, but perhaps you should invest your energies into some more useful, and realistic end. It’s as hopeless as the restoration of nordic paganism, you are tying yourself to an anachronism, a *historical expression* of tradition and religion rather than the forms themselves. A new expression of these forms should be created, it is futile to blow air into a corpse in an attempt to give it life…

    I enjoyed this article, though I don’t know if I entirely understood it. As always, an interesting article, Testis!

    Condolences if you have read all the way to this line. And thank you for reading this ramble.

    1. Good Lord, there is a ton here and there’s no way I can respond to every point. I’ll simply say what I feel will be most helpful.

      I am not in any way talking about the social contract. When it comes to the power and responsibility of sovereigns to their people, I am referring generally to Divine/Natural Law. In the Bible you will find “whosoever will be the greater among you, let him be your minister” and other similar statements. Power is God given, and with power is the responsibility to justly serve whoever you have power over. This can be seen in rulers like St. Louis who cared very deeply about the needs of the people, and not his own gain; likewise, the Pope is called the Servant of Servants. You get the idea.

      I think you are misunderstanding Cortes’s concept of the two forms of repression. Religious repression is referring to an individual’s submission to Divine/Natural Law and the Church. Insofar as a person restrains himself through following the precepts of Christianity, he will likely not need much governmental influence in his life, which is why when people were generally faithful, power could be decentralized through feudalism. It’s not necessarily tied to the Church itself, as an institution, holding more power.

      As far as the Church centralizing and repressing *politically* as a state-like entity, this is in some way proportional to other temporal governments centralizing. The Church as such was as much decentralized as the kingdoms during the early/mid Middle Ages and only concentrated its power as kings did so and threatened the Church, whether directly or indirectly, such as during the Investiture Controversy, Guelphs and Ghibellines, the Reformation, etc. (of course, this did fluctuate like with the Western Schism), until the Church was unable to wield any temporal authority. It’s spiritual power waxes and wanes along a different timeline. And, to be fair, I maintain that the Church was not nearly as repressive as it is commonly said to have been with all the fools who decry “muh inquisitions!” and the like.

      WRT Progressivism: It is a “religion” in an analogous sense and I was both purposefully and accidentally vague (I should have put religion in that paragraph in quotes) to avoid getting too off topic. It operates in a different fashion, not through direct internal suppression, which I mention to in a response to a comment above, so it does not really lessen the need for state repression, at least not to the extent of a proper religion, and rather acts alongside it.

      I don’t regard Church and State as a dialectic, as the conflict between the two through history was only ever because one or the other attempted to step outside of its proper sphere. If the Papal States had never been set up, there would not have been land disputes (that being said, I hold the Pope to be above temporal sovereigns as shown by one of my previous articles). This article is an observation of the phenomenon I will mention in the next paragraph.

      The ability for external state suppression obviously was made easier through technological progression, but the *need* for repression is a wholly different issue. *It’s need increases as the power of Faith decreases*. I don’t know, nor do I care, if this is quantifiable, so I can’t sate your autism :^). The issue of bannable books and tweets ceases once the writers of the content don’t say things that need to be banned. I have said and will continue to say that the heart of the problem in the modern world is immorality, and the solution is to make men moral again (idealistic and unattainable in this world, I know). The answer is within; “first make clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, that the outside may become clean.” We must start with ourselves.

      Your last remarks, I say this well-meaningly, are ridiculous. I do not see myself as some sort of savior of the Church; my energies are first and foremost invested into my own well-being through serving and knowing God. I am not a Perennialist, so historical expression is of no concern to me, only Truth. Either Catholicism is true or it is not. A “new expression” would simply see Europe fall to the Arab hordes, as Mohammedanism will be more true than whatever new “religion” is concocted. You cannot simply construct a religion a priori, that would be an ideology; or do you plan on crafting an ideology to save the West? Europe and Christianity are inextricably tied. No more Christianity means no more Europe. Furthermore, it is not “hopeless” as the reaction in the Church is growing. The Church is not dead no matter how much it may appear that way from the outside.

      Forgive me if any of this comes off too combative.

      You might want to be a bit more succinct in the future, lad :^). I can’t bear to write articles in response to general comments. Maybe move the conversation to a backchannel or something.

      1. The internal and external are not mutually exclusive. The “internal repression”, or religious law, is simply obedience to the law as a consequence of indirect coercion; and external repression from direct coercion. The same mechanism of repression exists, the only difference is that one only exists in the mind and the other exists in the mind and the world. We do not live in a world where people obey laws without coercion, external or internal. External institutions must reinforce the internal institutions that govern behavior. The Catholic Church(tm) reinforces the dogma, and moral code that it preaches. It is then false to believe that if the religious institutions of law were swept away, all people would still obey the religious laws. All of our internal laws, that do not coincide with our natural instincts, are determined externally. Once the cultural or religious laws have been indoctrinated into a people, certainly, the lawgivers can ease back and allow the system to coordinate itself however, now and again the rod is needed to remind people to obey these external laws. They’re not two opposing forces, and act together in varying degrees from culture to culture.

        I wrote: “every stage in history was a decline or religious debasement (feudal->renaissance->enlightenment->”modern”) because each stage increasingly marginalized religion […] “government” and “church” were both institutions and an equilibrium of repression existed between them whereby states repress in place of religion” is obviously your belief. What hinges on this belief, I correctly understood, was the belief that the church did not “repress”. Your reply justifies my assumption that you believe that the church did not repress, since you write: “the *need* for repression […] increases as the power of Faith decreases*”, this implies that if faith was absolute, there would be no need to repress and this implies that faith is not coercive/repressive, **and does not NEED to be enforced**. Ah that’s settled then, but then later you write: “Either Catholicism is true or it is not.”, so it is not faith itself, but faith in the wrong institution, since you write:
        “[Religious repression is an] individual’s submission to […] the Church” and,
        “the Church itself, as an institution”.
        which leads you back into the external that you denied! How can this NOT result in repression?! And the fact is that Christianity was resisted by and eventually enforced by external institutions, like almost every other religion in history. “Insofar as a person restrains himself through following the precepts of Christianity (internal law), he will likely not need much governmental(external law) influence in his life”. The problem is that the synthetic internal laws follow from the external laws. You cannot pull away the rug of external law arguing that if all people obey the law, the law would not need to be enforced and would not need to exist. It’s a fantasy world.

        “The ability for external state suppression obviously was made easier through technological progression”, (2), then. I am slightly disappointed that you dismiss this as obvious while totally underestimating its importance.

        RE: Catholic Church(tm), you believe it is not hopeless, I believe it is. What is the point in arguing? “No more Christianity means no more Europe.” This is the wrong type of thinking, but what could I expect from the dogmatist’s view of the world where their cultural and historical expression of truth IS truth itself, in the years that were, that are, and that will be? Cortes held this false belief and so do you, obviously.

        “You might want to be a bit more succinct in the future, lad :^)” — no.

        Don’t worry about being combative, my aspie gene makes me equally rude. It’s really, truly, nothin personnel. You don’t need to reply to this, since I am sure you cannot be bothered. I don’t hold any ill feelings simply because we disagree tbh. Its all ultimately a language game.

        1. Wew lad.

          I have little to add as we are clearly looking at it from different paradigms. You completely disregarded my point about Natural Law, or perhaps I didn’t make myself clear enough. The man who understands his nature does not need to be “coerced” (are you a libertarian?). You do not “coerce” a person to eat unless they are refusing to eat to their own detriment. Man’s corruption means that he needs guidance, whether he realizes it or not.

          Better a dogmatist than a relativist (of course, you’ll deny the accusation by appealing to esotericism, but I’ll call a spade a spade).

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