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Mercator
Wednesday, May 17th, 2006, 06:15 AM
"We are approaching unknown forms in the conflict between the Church and the world. We are about to meet—or our children are—not the assault of rebels, men of our own speech and manner, but the assault of aliens. Hitherto it has been Civil War: it is soon to be Invasion. [In the past, even] those in theory most opposed to the Faith have in practice followed the conventions of Europe. Even when they attacked property or marriage it was in the name of Justice. They maintained the concept of human dignity. They were indignant, in all their vagaries, against evils (such as oppression of the poor) which the Faith itself had taught men to hate. Now something quite other is beginning to show. A strange New Paganism...

The old pre-Catholic Paganism did evil but admitted it to be evil...But the New Paganism works in an attempted denial of good and evil which degrades all it touches...The old Paganism of the classics [was] accompanied by a perpetual attempt to cheat despair by the opiates of beauty or of stoic courage. But the New Paganism lives in despair as an atmosphere to be breathed, lives on it as a food by which to be nourished.

If all Paganisms end in despair, ours is accepting it as a foundation...Hence the lack of reason which is intellectual despair, the hideous architecture and painting and writing which are aesthetic despair, the dissolution of morals which is ethical despair. The thing is as yet unformed and only shocking in isolated instances...appearing so far, as a series of special lapses from the old Christian standards of civilization...Some few deliberately detestable buildings and sculptures in our towns, (especially in our capitals): books, still somewhat eccentric, portraying every vice; the forced and still novel apology in speech for evil of every kind—preferably for the worst: all these are still no more than isolated insults and challenges. The New Paganism is still no more than a New Arrival. But it is rapidly growing; it is also gathering cohesion; and it cannot but appear in full and formidable strength within a comparatively short period as historical time is reckoned.

We elder people may not live to see the thing full blown though I think we shall—noting as I do the pace at which change is proceeding; but our children will certainly see it. When it is mature we shall have, not the present isolated, self-conscious insults to beauty and right living, but a positive coordination and organized affirmation of the repulsive and the vile.

To appreciate that truth take the instance of Marriage. Antique Paganism held the institution of marriage...as a civil contract...When the Catholic Church had succeeded to the Pagan Empire it declared marriage holy and indissoluble...The Neo-Pagan objects to both. He would set up man as an animal. He would, so far, make of marriage nothing but a civil contract terminable on the consent of both parties; soon he must make it terminable at the will of only one....his aim is opposed to the whole scheme, and we may truly say that the facility and frequency of divorce is the test of how far any society once Christian has proceeded towards Paganism."

The Rise of Neo-Paganism (written in 1936)

Taras Bulba
Wednesday, May 17th, 2006, 05:07 PM
Thank you for posting this.....it is truely appreciated by Skadi's #1 fan of Hilaire Belloc. ;)

Taras Bulba
Wednesday, May 17th, 2006, 05:12 PM
Here's what else Belloc stated about neo-Paganism:


http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/SURVIV.HTM

"I have suggested that the threat of Paganism returning among the white races, and the strength of Paganism when it shall have returned, will be presumably enhanced by a sort of moral alliance between it and the exterior Paganism of the East, of Asia and not only of Asia, but, for that matter, of Africa too...Today the barrier, the only effective barrier, against such infiltration of Pagan ideas from races other than our own, is a strong anti-Pagan moral system and creed—and there is none such outside the Catholic Church."

Considering the fact that Im constantly hearing neo-pagans glorify Hinduism, Buddhism, Shinto, and even Islam; and setting these faiths up as more "Aryan" or whatnot than the most clearly European of faiths, you have to admit that Belloc was on to something.

Mercator
Wednesday, May 17th, 2006, 10:01 PM
Thank you for posting this.....it is truely appreciated by Skadi's #1 fan of Hilaire Belloc. ;)

You're welcome!

"The Great Heresies", by Hilaire Belloc (download)

Mercator
Thursday, July 13th, 2006, 12:21 AM
Part 2

Multi-culturalism and the New Age Movement (written in 1929):
"[Elsewhere] I have suggested that the threat of Paganism returning among the white races, and the strength of Paganism when it shall have returned, will be presumably enhanced by a sort of moral alliance between it and the exterior Paganism of the East, of Asia and not only of Asia, but, for that matter, of Africa too…

There is, in the first place, the sympathy between any one Paganism and another; for all forms of Paganism have in common the principle that man is sufficient to himself, and all have in common the negation of an absolute Divine Authority acting through revelation. They also have all in common the indulgence of human passion, and the practical permission of excess in it, whether in the passions of the appetite, or of anger, or of any other driving power in natural man.

In the second place there is propinquity. We are today mixed up with the old outer world as the classic Paganism of our forefathers never was….in our popular music the thing is glaring. The modern revolution in that art is a direct introduction of a force deriving from African Paganism…[In architecture] the Prussians have been pioneers, the Bavarians after them, and the French are now following suit…Europe as a whole…is suffering heavily, and perhaps increasingly, in its external forms of art, not only architectural but pictorial, from the Pagan influence of Asia. In sculpture this repulsive innovation is notorious.

But by far the most profound effect of what I will call "The Pagan Alliance" appears in what lies at the root of everything—to wit, Philosophy.

Whether it be in the form of religious error, or in the commoner form of negation (which is the essential of the Buddhist business—what it is plainer to call, in Christian terms, Atheism) the influence of these ancient alien Paganisms is upon us everywhere.

At the same time we are growing more and more to respect the cultures arisen from those exterior paganisms. Our modern Neo-Pagans of European stock have welcomed this fraternization as a good thing. This welcome springs in part from their "brotherhood of the world" business; but much more is it a response of like to like.

It is not a good thing: it is a very bad thing, is this new respect for the non-Christian and anti-Christian cultures outside Europe. Insofar as it progresses it will inevitably breed, as it has already bred in so many, a contempt of Christian tradition and philosophy, as being things at once old-fashioned and puerile. There is more than one prominent European writer professing not only close acquaintance with, but reverence for, the Buddhist negation of God and of personal immortality: at the other extreme you have the respect for the Pagan ruthlessness and the Pagan doctrine of right-by-conquest…

The thing has not yet gone so far as to become an immediate menace. The inter-communion between the new Paganism of Europeans and the very ancient Paganism of other races is as yet only faintly sketched out; but it is advancing. I cannot but believe that in another generation it will be powerful, apparent to all."

Part 3

The Coming Resurgence of Islam (written in 1929):
"Islam presents a totally different problem from that attached to any other religious body opposed to Catholicism. To understand it we must appreciate its origins, character and recent fate. Only then can we further appreciate its possible or probable future relations with enemies of the Catholic effort throughout the world.

How did Islam arise?

It was not, as our popular historical textbooks would have it, a "new religion." It was a direct derivative from the Catholic Church. It was essentially, in its origin, a heresy: like Arianism or Albigensianism.

When the man who produced it (and it is more the creation of one man than any other false religion we know) was young, the whole of the world which he knew, the world speaking Greek in the Eastern half and Latin in the Western (the only civilized world with which he and his people had come in contact) was Catholic. It was still, though in process of transformation, the Christian Roman Empire, stretching from the English Channel to the borders of his own desert…

Now what Mahomet did was this. He took over the principal doctrines of the Catholic Church—one personal God, Creator of all things; the immortality of the soul; an eternity of misery or blessedness—and no small part of Christian morals as well. All that was the atmosphere of the only civilization which had influence upon him or his. But at the same time he attempted an extreme simplification…

He turned Our Lord into a mere prophet, though the greatest of the prophets; Our Lady (whom he greatly revered, and whom his followers still revere), he turned into no more than the mother of so great a prophet; he cut out the Eucharist altogether, and what was most difficult to follow in the matter of the Resurrection. He abolished all idea of priesthood: most important of all, he declared for social equality among all those who should be "true believers" after his fashion.

With the energy of his personality behind that highly simplified, burning enthusiasm, he first inflamed his own few desert folk, and they in turn proceeded to impose their new enthusiasm very rapidly over vast areas of what had been until then a Catholic civilization; and their chief allies in this sweeping revolution were politically the doctrine of equality, and spiritually the doctrine of simplicity. Everybody troubled by the mysteries of Catholicism tended to join them; so did every slave or debtor who was oppressed by the complexity of a higher civilization…

For centuries the struggle between Islam and the Catholic Church continued. It had varying fortunes, but for something like a thousand years the issue still remained doubtful. It was not till nearly the year 1700 (the great conquests of Islam having begun long before 700) that Christian culture seemed—for a time—to be definitely the master.

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the Mahommedan world fell under a kind of palsy. It could not catch up with our rapidly advancing physical science. Its shipping and armament and all means of communication and administration went backwards while ours advanced. At last, by the end of the nineteenth century, more than nine-tenths of the Mahommedan population of the world, from India and the Pacific to the Atlantic, had fallen under the Government of nominally Christian nations, especially of England and France.

On this account our generation came to think of Islam as something naturally subject to ourselves. We no longer regarded it as a rival to our own culture, we thought of its religion as a sort of fossilized thing about which we need not trouble.

That was almost certainly a mistake. We shall almost certainly have to reckon with Islam in the near future. Perhaps if we lose our Faith it will rise...

The political control of Islam by Europe cannot continue indefinitely: it is already shaken. Meanwhile the spiritual independence of Islam (upon which everything depends) is as strong as, or stronger than, ever…I will maintain that this very powerful, distorted simplification of Catholic doctrine (for that is what Mahommedanism is) may be of high effect in the near future upon Christendom; and that, acting as a competitive religion, it is not to be despised…

Remember that our Christian civilization is in peril of complete breakdown. An enemy would say that it was living upon its past; and certainly those who steadfastly hold its ancient Catholic doctrines stand today on guard as it were, in a state of siege; they are a minority both in power and in numbers. Upon such a state of affairs a steadfast, permanent, convinced, simple philosophy and rule of life, intensely adhered to, and close at hand, may, now that the various sections of the world are so much interpenetrating one and the other, be of effect.

The effect may ultimately be enhanced in the near future by a political change.
We must remember that the subjection of the Mahommedan—a purely political subjection—was accomplished by nothing more subtle or enduring than a superiority in weapons and mechanical invention. We must further remember that this superiority dates from a very short time ago.

Old people with whom I have myself spoken as a child could remember the time when the Algerian pirates were seen in the Mediterranean and were still in danger along its southern shores. In my own youth the decaying power of Islam (for it was still decaying) in the Near East was a strong menace to the peace of Europe. Those old people of whom I speak had grandparents in whose times Islam was still able to menace the West. The Turks besieged Vienna and nearly took it, less than a century before the American Declaration of Independence. Islam was then our superior, especially in military art. There is no reason why its recent inferiority in mechanical construction, whether military or civilian, should continue indefinitely. Even a slight accession of material power would make the further control of Islam by an alien culture difficult. A little more and there will cease that which our time has taken for granted, the physical domination of Islam by the disintegrated Christendom we know."

More info:
http://rod-bennett.blogspot.com/

General_avrelianvs
Saturday, August 5th, 2006, 06:34 AM
Beautiful....Hilaire Belloc was truly a prophet agains modernism..

Peter
Sunday, December 3rd, 2006, 10:41 PM
Belloc is wonderful, he is a master, The Crusades is a wonderful book, I recommend a lot too, 666 from Hugo Wast

Taras Bulba
Monday, December 4th, 2006, 05:18 PM
I have yet to read to his book on the Crusades, or a whole host of other books by him as well. Sadly he's not as widely available as Chesterton. Plus, trying to read an entire online is a pain for me.