This is an important new book.
I’m probably going to dial it back a bit on covering the news this weekend to finish the book, gather my thoughts and write a review.
The following excerpts come from Rusty Reno’s new book Return of the Strong Gods: Nationalism, Populism and the Future of the West.
“As I headed home from Yale, an important feature of postwar history became clear in my mind: The Cold War concentrated the energies of American liberals and conservatives, however much they differed. The threat of communism provided existential urgency and gave postwar politics a metaphysical density, mostly in the form of patriotic loyalty. Conventional histories treat Vietnam and the 1960s as the crucial moment when that density and loyalty were lost. I do not gainsay the importance of events that dismayed so many during that decade. But it is important to recognize that the priorities outlined by Popper and Hayek—cultural critique and reduction of everything to economic interests—were already at work. They impoverished the political and cultural imagination of postwar elites. It was this weakening that Burnham worried about in the early 1960s when he wrote Suicide of the West.
The West won the Cold War in 1989. This is not something Burnham expected, though I’m sure he would have been thrilled, as all of us were, when the Berlin Wall fell. Little did we know that the West’s release from that life-and-death struggle would expose it to the full force of the postwar consensus and its hostility to the strong gods. Unrestrained by the existential threat of communism, the Western postwar consensus tended toward pure negation, leaving us a utopian dream of politics without transcendence, peace without unity, and justice without virtue.”
We are zeroing in on the same thing here.
The project of deracination which began after World War II in order to forestall the return of “totalitarianism” is only one aspect of it. It wasn’t just “white supremacy” that was dismantled in the two decades between 1945 and 1965. White America itself became morally illegitimate in the postwar era and there were parallels all over the American Empire like denazification in West Germany or Australia where the White Australia policy was systematically dismantled. Since the Second World War, the Western Bloc has essentially been a global liberal empire and what is going on locally like here in the South is happening elsewhere as well.
While things like race and nation and ethnicity are some of the pillars of Western civilization (these things are hardly synonymous with fascism but were treated as such after World War II), the same is true of religion which gave shape to our culture, which is now under sustained assaulted under the liberal order. Sorry, I mean there is an indisputable hollowing out and dismantling of Christianity going on. It is no accident that feminism and gay liberation and multiculturalism and political correctness and gay marriage and transgenderism and polygamy and polyamory und so weiter, are being promoted now because the goal is to further weaken the indigenous population so that it will be less able to resist its displacement by hordes of foreigners. Chick-fil-A is a hated symbol of White Christian heteronormativity. In contrast, this thing called “Judeo-Christianity” was created after World War II and is held in great esteem.
What is the common thread here? Who stands at the center of all these disparate projects to undermine, weaken and dissolve the West? How have we gotten to this place where it is normal and mainstream to bash White people and Christianity all day, every day, but merely the charge of “anti-Semitism” can torpedo your entire career? How did Judaism and Buttmitzvah become sacrosanct in the postwar West, but Christianity and Chick-fil-A become so reviled?