Why Edmund Burke matters, and what he thought of revolutions.
I’m very proud to announce our third publication for SPIRIT OF CECILIA books, SEEKING CHRISTENDOM: AN AUGUSTINIAN DEFENSE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION.
This was a book–roughly 82,000 words–I wrote over Christmas break, 2002-2003, and then revised four times between 2003 and 2008. I wrote it in between writing the biographies of J.R.R. Tolkien and Christopher Dawson as a way to understand Christian Humanism. I wanted to know its scope as well as its limits, hoping to find something to move well beyond the simple and deceptive left-right spectrum.
Here’s the opening to the original version:
The nineteenth century witnessed the flourishing of progressivist thought in social relations, politics, religion, and biology. Everything was evolving, or so it seemed, toward the better. Smiles were more frequent, and lives just kept getting happier, as the citizens of the world were becoming one, homogenized, contented mass. The blessings of modernity entangled everything, East to West, claiming that no more perfect offerings needed to be made. Once properly educated and the childhood superstitions of the race outgrown, the prophets of modernity assured us, the masses collectively would speak as a god. In a word, according to intellectuals such as Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells, it would soon be “utopian.”
It was a lie.
Modernity was a trap, and we were its greatest victims. We failed to resist, and it greedily fed on us. In democratic regimes, the brightly colored and candy-coated machines of bureaucracy and large corporations mechanized us, making us far less than human. In non-democratic regimes, the damage proved much worse, nearly irreparable. Beginning with the assassination of a relatively minor figure by an equally obscure terrorist group in 1914, the twentieth century drowned in its vast killing fields, gulags, holocaust camps, trench warfare, and weapons of mass destruction. Whether in the camps of the European or Asian ideologues, some humans, convinced of the righteousness of their cause, viewed all other human persons as nothing more than a collection of parts, ready to be dismembered and reassembled in a Picasso-esque fashion, or perhaps simply quartered and then quartered again. Armed with the ideological doctrines of fascism, National Socialism, and Communism, the twentieth-century became a century of the inverted vision of Ezekiel: wheels within wheels, endlessly spinning, the abyss ever expanding, ever within reach. All that was sacred became irrelevant. All who remained relevant were shot. And, the State and its faithful companion, War, demanded the sacrifice of much blood to the restored gods. Demos, Mars, and Leviathan became ascendant, taking possession of the field, and claiming victory, their appetites insatiable.
And, the Logos wept.
If you’re interested, here’s the link to the amazon Kindle version ($4.99). If you’re interested in a copy to review for a print or online publication, please let us know through the contact button.
Thanks! And, enjoy.
I am extremely proud to announce and launch our ebook publishing concern, SPIRIT OF CECILIA Books. As with the website, St. Cecilia is our patron, and we will be publishing several books a year–dealing with art, culture, film, biography, science fiction, music, etc.
Our inaugural book, Reflections on Reflections: A Close Reading of Edmund Burke, is now available at amazon.com as a Kindle version. We will soon be releasing it in other e-book formats. The price is $2.99. Please support us with your purchase.
“People go to Washington asking the Federal Government to solve their economics problems. But the Federal Government was never meant to solve men’s economic problems. Thomas Jefferson says, ‘The less government there is the better it is.’ If the less government there is the better it is, the best kind of government is self-government. If the best kind of government is self-government, then the best kind of organization is self-organization. When the organizers try to organize the unorganized, they often do it for the benefit of the organizers.”
—The Catholic Worker (Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin) Quoted in Maisie Ward, Unfinished Business (Sheed and Ward, 1964), 176,
Yep, it’s Black Friday. And, for this deal, you not only DON’T have to leave your home, but you’ll ALSO get lots and lots of nutrition for the mind!
Right now, Tom is offering a Master membership to Liberty Classroom for only $287.
If you use the link below and purchase a LC Master membership, I (Brad) will happily and eagerly and joyfully send you a signed copy of IN DEFENSE OF ANDREW JACKSON as well as RUSSELL KIRK: AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE as my gift.
After you’ve purchased your membership with the link, let me know, and I’ll send the books to you. Make sure to let me how you want them inscribed.
To Tom! To Liberty! To Classrooms of the mind!