Monday, January 1, 2018

Rise of the Phoenix

The Great Heresies, by Hilaire Belloc

It has always seemed to me possible, and even probable, that there would be a resurrection of Islam and that our sons or our grandsons would see the renewal of that tremendous struggle between the Christian culture and what has been for more than a thousand years its greatest opponent.

So writes Belloc, as published in 1938.  Before considering the heresy and the history both before and since he wrote these words, perhaps it is worth considering the situation in Muslim lands at the time he was writing.


After the Great War, what was left of Mohammedan power even in hither Asia, let alone Constantinople, was only saved by the violent quarrels between the Allies.

In 1938, almost all Muslims lived in lands controlled and occupied by a European power: virtually all of North Africa; all of the Middle East except Turkey (you might also except Saudi Arabia, but must recognize the British position in their oil); much of Central Asia; finally, the Asian sub-continent. 

It was in this environment of the Muslim’s weakest point since its founding that Belloc foresaw the rise once again of a Muslim threat to Europe. 

The History

Belloc offers a brief history of the rise and fall of Islam as a political power and empire:

Islam – the teaching of Mohammed – conquered immediately in arms.  Mohammed’s Arabian converts charged into Syria and won two great battles…

They quickly overran Egypt and Northern Africa, Asia Minor, finally crossing the Straits of Gibraltar into Spain.  By 732 – less than 100 years after their first victories – Muslim armies reached as far as Northern France.  They were thrown back to the Pyrenees, but continued to hold most of Spain.

We know of the Crusades called by the Pope.  These were not called in a vacuum; they were called in reaction to the violent conquest of Christian lands in the Middle East.  Brief successes followed by ultimate failure.

If the first Crusaders had had enough men to take Damascus their effort would have been permanently successful.

But they had only enough men to hold the seacoast of Palestine (I expand on this history here and here, also thanks to Belloc).  Perhaps a similar reason as to why Syria is so important today.

Europe finally beat back Muslim advances into Europe on September 11, 1683:

The battle was fought by the Habsburg Monarchy, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Holy Roman Empire, under the command of King John III Sobieski against the Ottomans and their vassal and tributary states. The battle marked the first time the Commonwealth and the Holy Roman Empire had cooperated militarily against the Ottomans, and it is often seen as a turning point in history, after which "the Ottoman Turks ceased to be a menace to the Christian world".

The exclamation point was placed on September 11, 1697:

The Battle of Zenta…on the east side of the Tisa river, was a major engagement in the Great Turkish War (1683–1699) and one of the most decisive defeats in Ottoman history.

This battle ended Ottoman control over large parts of Central Europe.  And from this point, we come to 1938 and the aforementioned European control over the vast majority of lands populated by Muslims, as Muslims gradually lost the race to Europeans in the material things necessary to wage war.

Interesting how September 11 keeps coming up in this relationship.

Islam as Heresy

Belloc offers that Islam is a heresy and not a wholly new religion:

It was not a pagan contrast with the Church; it was not an alien enemy.  It was a perversion of Christian doctrine.

If anyone sets down those points that orthodox Catholicism has in common with Mohammedism, and those points only, one might imagine if one went no further that there should have been no cause of quarrel.

Mohammed taught basically the Catholic doctrine, with a very important exception:

But the central point where this new heresy struck home with a mortal blow against the Catholic tradition was a full denial of the Incarnation.

Jesus was a prophet – the greatest of all prophets – but he was only a man, not God and not the Son of God.  About the most important point, I would say.

The Future (as Belloc saw it)

Belloc saw no reason that would prevent Islam from rising again as a power – a power that would threaten, once again, the Christian west.  He offered: talk to any Egyptian or Syrian student, and you will find him the equal of any European student on the subjects of his study.

Belloc offers the weakness of Europe: Europe replaced Christendom as its binding force:

In the place of the old Christian enthusiasm of Europe there came, for a time, the enthusiasm for nationality, the religion of patriotism.  But self-worship is not enough, and the forces which are making for the destruction of our culture, notably the Jewish Communist propaganda from Moscow, have a likelier future before them than our old-fashioned patriotism.

The Muslim world was under no such delusions of “self-worship” as more important than culture and tradition – in fact, the Muslim world fights actively against this.

Some Unpacking

This last cite from Belloc will take a bit of unpacking.  What have we seen since the time Belloc penned these words?  Moscow has disappeared as the purveyor of communist propaganda; it is no longer the source of destruction.  Yet, the war against the west (and there certainly is a war) is also not being led by Islam.  I return to Belloc’s words with which I began this essay:

It has always seemed to me possible, and even probable, that there would be a resurrection of Islam and that our sons or our grandsons would see the renewal of that tremendous struggle between the Christian culture and what has been for more than a thousand years its greatest opponent.

It seems it is even worse than Belloc imagined.  The sons and grandsons are not fighting for their Christian culture – the sons and grandsons are doing what they can, to include creating Muslim enemies, to destroy the last remnants of the Christian culture.  No invasion is necessary; they are welcomed and subsidized as guests.  King John III Sobieski could not be spinning faster in his grave, I believe.

Attribute it to Antonio Gramsci, Cultural Marxists and the Frankfurt School, or postmodernists – whichever you choose – the philosophy of destruction of western Christian culture is being driven by western leaders of western institutions: political, educational, social.

People in the west have allowed themselves to become impotent in this fight: beginning with the Renaissance and Reformation, continuing through the Enlightenment, the philosophy of the west has created the atomized individual.  Yet, as Belloc notes, “self-worship is not enough.”


I grow more and more struck by something my father said many years ago, when I made a stumbling effort to describe libertarianism to him.  He replied, “what, are you a communist?”  As has been true in dozens of examples before and since, his replies were much more profound than was my ability to understand.

“There goes bionic, throwing liberalism and libertarianism under the bus again.”

It seems to me that the west – and those persuaded by the non-aggression principle or something approaching it – has allowed a simple political idea of individual liberty to define all of man’s relationships and the whole of man’s relationship to his fellow man.  Yet this makes man impotent against those who would exploit the weakness in this philosophy.

I don’t mean impotent as in guns and defense (although it is quite true here); I mean impotent as in ideas, as in how to intellectually fight back.  Something more than a negative liberty must bind a community if that community is to remain in reasonable peace.  While “anything peaceful” is allowable under the non-aggression principle, it does not follow that “anything peaceful” is conducive to community – in the most freedom-supporting sense of the term.

Something or someone will organize society if it is to be a functional and thriving society.  By creating and defending the atomized individual and ignoring culture and tradition (the “something”), with what intellectual weapon does the defender of individual liberty fight back against the strongman (the “someone”)?

He has none; he stands naked and alone (atomized) in front of his intellectual enemies, thus clearing the path for his mortal enemies.  Unobstructed and unopposed, they need no military to win this battle.


  1. Got free tickets to watch concussion ball in the crony government stadium downtown yesterday. The only real cheering and passion from the fanatics was when a bunch of people rolled out a flag and sang a song before the game and when some vets (who are now productive as pipe fitters) were shown on big screen. I don't think "The People" were cheering the pipefitting skills.

    My little Tribe took a stand by not standing for either piece of propaganda. Who are the heretics? What binds our community now?

    1. I have been thinking quite a bit over the last several weeks about the questions you raise. I may write a post expanding on this in the next week or so, but in the meantime....

      Whatever we do, we must support truth and not a lie; we must support the good and not the evil. As Peterson says (something like): we may not know the truth, we may not know the good; but we do know the lie, we do know the evil.

      At the top of the page you find the tab "BU2B." It is a compilation of my version of exposing the lies of history that we have been taught; the evil we are supposed to pretend never happened.

      Once I received a comment regarding this BU2B post, something like: it looks like all you are trying to do is dump on the good things America has done.

      I replied: if these were so good, they wouldn't have to lie about them.

    2. Thanks for the link. So many great posts. In some ways, your story of your father reminds me of my own Tribal Leader. My father is as skeptical of government as anyone, but I can't ever convince him to make the full leap over to whatever it is I believe (NAP with moral culture?). His cultural upbringing still convinces him despite faults we in US have it best. He might be right, despite all the evil you show in BU2B, but maybe his insight is that the "progression" toward what I think is better is the actual problem. New ideas/reformations are heresies and by very nature are dangerous.

    3. As Lyle Lovett says, "what would you be if you didn't even try? You have to try..."

      So after a lot of thought
      I'd like to reconsider
      If it's not too late
      Make it a cheeseburger

    4. Much better than the reaction many of us with contrarian, or should I say unorthodox, views: Love it or leave it!

  2. So... The link below isn't as unrelated to the current post (and discussions) as it might meet the eye...

  3. All religions are true in the sense that they seek to 're link' us with a common shared mystical experience, the vast unspeakable wonder of being, the miracle of it all, the fantastic mystery of existence. Islam has its Sufism, Christianity has their Gnostics, Judaism the Kabbalists, Buddhism has its Bodhisattvas, the more tribal societies have their shaman. One could say that while people are always already constituted as subjects of their particular culture, tradition, religion and language they are born into, religion in its truest and deepest sense provokes a radical escape from that local and temporal constitution and reunites and reconnects each and all with that vast nameless, silent, wordless unfathomable mystical ground of all being.

  4. You are right, Islam cannot be contained with promises of "social security" or "individual freedom". Surveys show that second generation immigrants are more radical than their parents. It's core idea is the creation of the universal sacred society on Earth, and they are not in a hurry. Whichever idea lasts more, wins.

  5. Mr. Mosquito have you read E. Michael Jones or heard him in youtube?

    1. Lol you are an anon after my own heart. I shill for EMJ constantly on here.

  6. Islam is heresy. So why is it flourishing here in America whose 17th-century Colonial foundations are unequivocally Christian?

    CLUE: There were no openly practicing Muslims, no Mosques, no Sharia, and no Islamic terrorism in 17th-century Colonial America whose governments of, by, and for God were established upon Yahweh's moral law, beginning with the First Commandment:

    "...Religious Freedom and Christian Liberty are not the same thing. They are, in fact, hostile to each other. The former is born of the First Amendment. The latter is born of the First Commandment. In 1789, the First Commandment and Christian Liberty were formally sacrificed on the altar of the First Amendment and Religious Freedom.

    "When the 18th-century founders replaced the First Commandment (found intact in some 17th-century Colonial Constitutions) with the First Amendment, America was transformed from a predominantly monotheistic Christian nation (a united nation under one God, Yahweh) into arguably the most polytheistic nation to exist (a divided nation under many gods, including Islam's Allah).

    "It’s one thing to allow for individual freedom of conscience and private choice of gods, something impossible to legislate for or against. It’s another matter altogether for government to enable any and all religions to proliferate through the land and evangelize our posterity to false gods. This is what the First Amendment legitimizes. It is an unequivocal violation of the First Commandment and the polar opposite of the following First Commandment statute:

    '[Y]e shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves. For thou shall worship no other god: for Yahweh, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: Lest thou … go a whoring after their gods….' (Exodus 34:13-15)...."

    For more, see blog article "National Religious Freedom Day aka Celebrating the Founders' Violation of the First Commandment." Click on my name, then our website. Go to our Blog and search on title.

    Then Chapter 11 "Amendment 1: Government-Sanctioned Polytheism" of free online book "Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective." Go our our Online Books page, click on the top entry, and scroll down to Chapter 11.

  7. BM,

    "By creating and defending the atomized individual and ignoring culture and tradition (the “something”), with what intellectual weapon does the defender of individual liberty fight back against the strongman (the “someone”)?"

    Is it really libertarians (advocating as they do for all sorts of voluntary cooperation and association, including traditional ones) who have created the atomized individual, or is this common smear typically employed by the Left actually a projection of the end result of humanity under their own leftist regimes? I think it is no coincidence that left libertarians are typically the ones to renounce traditional social institutions like the family, religion, culture, and race. They are also the ones who are more apt to value egalitarianism, the doctrine which seeks to equalize all men.

    "The more alike men are, the weaker each feels in the face of all." - Alexis Tocqueville

    Communism and socialism have always hated the distinguished man. In their zeal for equality, they've always endeavored to beat men down into a common mold through what Carl Jung termed mass psychology. Jung argued that it is the lack of meaning in the individual's psyche that allows him to be swept up in mass psychology on the way toward becoming a 'mass man.' Jung thought that it was the Western man's disconnection with religion, thanks to the advance of science, that allowed him to be swept up in mass political fanaticism.

    "The individual who is not anchored in God can offer no resistance on his own resources to the physical and moral blandishments of the world. For this he needs the evidence of inner, transcendent experience which alone can protect him from the otherwise inevitable submersion in the mass.

    Merely intellectual or even moral insight into the stultification and moral irresponsibility of the mass man is a negative recognition only and amounts to not much more than a wavering on the road to the atomization of the individual. It lacks the driving force of religious conviction, since it is merely rational." - C.G. Jung, The Undiscovered Self

    Jung sees the salvation of mankind through individual spiritual salvation, much as the libertarian sees societal progress through the individual's renunciation of organized aggression. Each man must recover what he has lost due to the retreat of religious conviction and meaning in Western society. The rational and spiritual halves of man must be reconciled and made whole before each man can be inoculated against becoming an atomized mass man susceptible to the siren songs of totalitarian regimes.

    1. “I think it is no coincidence that left libertarians are typically the ones to renounce traditional social institutions like the family, religion, culture, and race.”

      It strikes me that they make up the majority of the vocal population that wears the label “libertarian.” So I don’t believe it is a smear; I believe it is an earned label given this population profile.

      You and I agree on much of the rest of your comment – I appreciate your contribution and the cites that you offer. Your last sentence reminds me of the last part from the song Cygnus X-1, Book II: Hemispheres, by Rush:

      We can walk our road together
      If our goals are all the same
      We can run alone and free
      If we pursue a different aim
      Let the truth of love be lighted
      Let the love of truth shine clear
      Armed with sense and liberty
      With the heart and mind united in a single

      It comes across better when accompanied by music, of course.