I submit to the liberal establishment that there is a story out there which resonates with the common man like no other. Even atheists and agnostics would agree with this proposition.
It is a “metapolitical project” about all kinds of things. Everyone who has ever read the Holy Bible is familiar with the man and the myth.
There isn’t a single person in the American South who hasn’t tried to communicate with Jesus Christ with a simple prayer. They call 1-800-Jesus all the time.
If you listen to the radio these days (this is an empirical observation), I swear that you can almost hear the conversation taking place with the Almighty on the airwaves. It sounds almost like there is a transfer of legitimacy going on between the secular liberal establishment and whatever theologian is reading the pages from that book.
As the stock price of Mammon and Satan quite literally goes down the tubes, the stock price of Jesus and the Apostles (who worked for the original non-profit organization) is soaring across the land. The liberal establishment really ought to do an investigation of the foundational texts of “Occidental civilization.”
In light of the barbarian sack of England, there is a lot of good advice in there for alienated secular intellectuals.
“Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.”
– Proverbs 18:12
Great Books: Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue, Seneca’s Letters From A Stoic, Plato’s The Republic, Epicurus’ Fragments, Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, St. Augustine’s City of God, Charles Taylor’s Sources of the Self, Edward Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
There is a lot of good reading in the Western canon. In Western history, I stress the importance of the story of St. Benedict, the founder of Western monasticism in the Dark Ages.
In the opening chapter of After Virtue, Alasdair MacIntyre hit a home run in his “Disquieting Suggestion” about the enthroned liberal establishment in the West.
“Imagine that the natural sciences were to suffer the effects of a catastrophe. A series of environmetnal disasters are blamed by the general public on the scientists. Widespread riots occur, laboratories are burnt down, physicists are lynched, , books and instruments are destroyed. Finally a Know-Nothing political movement takes power and successfully abolishes science teaching in schools and universities, imprisoning and executing the remaining scientists. Later still there is a reaction against this destructive movement and enlightened people seek to revive science, although they have largely forgotten what it was. But all they possess are fragments: a knowledge of experiments detached from any knowledge of the theoretical context which gave them significance; parts of theories unrelated either to the other bits and pieces of theory which they possess or to experiment; instruments whose use has been forgotten; half-chapters from books, single pages from articles, not always fully legible because torn and charred. Nonetheless these fragments are reembodied in a set of practices which go under the revived names of physics, chemistry and biology. Adults argue with each other about the respective merits of relativity theory, evolutionary theory and phlogiston theory, although they possess only a very partial knowledge of each. Children learn by heart the surviving portions of the periodic table and recite as incantations some of the theorems of Euclid. Nobody, or almost nobody, realizes that what they are doing is not natural science in any proper sense at all. For everything that they do and say conforms to certain canons of consistency and coherence and those contexts which would be needed to make sense of what they are doing have been lost, perhaps irretrievably.
In such a culture men would use expressions such as “neutrino’, ‘mass’, ‘specific gravity’, ‘atomic weight’ in systematic and often interrelated ways which would resemble in lesser or greater degrees the ways in which expressions had been used in earlier times before scientific knowledge had been so largely lost.
What is the point of constructing this imaginary world inhabited by fictitious pseudo-scientists and real, genuine philosophy? The hypothesis which I wish to advance is that in the actual world in which we inhabit the language of morality is in the same state of great disorder as the language of natural science in the imaginary world in which I have described.”
It was an excellent book about the practice of ethics. I made sure to buy that one.