Why Europeans must reject Christianity, 20

by Ferdinand Bardamu

 
The Christian apologetics of Prof. Kevin MacDonald

Sociobiological accounts of Western pathological altruism are based on inferences not supported by the available empirical evidence. For example, if the individualism of European societies is the result of evolutionary adaptation under ecologically adverse conditions, a similar tendency would be found among other ethno-racial groups that evolved in the same environment. However, Eastern Europeans and Northeast Asians evolved in the same North Eurasian and Circumpolar region but remain strongly ethnocentric and collectivist.

Those arguing in favor of a European genetic basis for pathological altruism face another serious problem: for thousands of years of recorded history, there isn’t a single instance of collectively suicidal behavior among Europeans until the Christianization of Rome in the 4th century. Why this is the case requires the following explanation.

Ancient ethical norms diverged considerably from modern ones. Pity was condemned as a vice; mercy was despised as a character flaw. Mercy was viewed as the antithesis of justice because no one deserved help that had not been earned. The rational man was typically expected to be callous towards the sufferings of the less fortunate. His philosophical training in the academies had shown him that mercy was an irrational and impulsive behavior whose proper antidote was self-restraint and stoic calm in the face of adversity. In the Roman world, clementia was reserved exclusively for the vanquished in battle or the guilty defendant at trial. Weaklings and the economically disadvantaged were beneath contempt.

Life in the ancient world was quite brutal by modern Western standards. The punishments meted out to criminals—blinding, burning with coals, branding with hot irons and mutilation—were exceedingly cruel and unusual. Public entertainment was noted for its brutality. Scratching, biting, eye gouging and mauling an opponent’s genitals were accepted as legitimate tactical maneuvers for boxers and wrestlers alike. In the naumachia, armies of convicts and POW’s were forced to fight each other to the death in naval vessels on man-made lakes. Gladiatorial combat remained immensely popular for centuries, until the monk Telemachus tried to separate two gladiators during a match in the Roman coliseum. He was promptly stoned to death by the mob for his efforts. Slavery was considered a non-issue in the ancient world. Aristotle rationalized the institution by dividing men into two classes: those by nature free, and therefore capable of assuming the responsibilities of citizenship, and those who were by nature slaves. A slave was defined as chattel property bereft of the capacity to reason. This meant that he could be sexually exploited, whipped, tortured and killed by his master without fear of legal reprisal.

Racism or, more accurately, “proto-racism” was more widespread and more accepted in the ancient world than in our politically correct modern Western “democracies.” As revealed by in-depth examination of classical literary sources, the Greeks were typically ethnocentric and xenophobic. They were given to frequent generalization, often negative, about rival ethnicities. The Greeks casually and openly discriminated against foreigners based on deeply ingrained proto-racial prejudices. Ethno-racial intermarriage, even among closely related Greek ethnic and tribal groups, was universally despised. It was even regarded as a root cause of physical and mental degeneration. The absence of terms like “racism,” “discrimination” and “prejudice” in the ancient world reveals that proto-racist attitudes were not generally condemned or seen as pathological.

Greek intellectual and biological superiority was determined by their intermediate geographical position between lazy, stupid northern Europeans and effeminate, pleasure-loving Asians. The Greeks were the best of men because they had been exposed to the right climate and occupied the right soil. The Greeks looked down upon foreigners, pejoratively referring to them as “barbarians.” This was an onomatopoeia derived from Hellenic mockery of unintelligible foreign speech. Barbarians were viewed as the natural inferiors of the civilized peoples of the Mediterranean basin. Prejudice was not only directed at foreigners. Significant interethnic rivalry also existed among fellow Greeks, as demonstrated by the history of the Peloponnesian Wars. Greek patriots despised their Roman conquerors, even referring to them contemptuously as barbarians. After the conquest of Macedonia, the Romans embraced the prejudices of their Greek subjects as their own.

How do contemporary sociobiological accounts of Western pathological altruism explain this?

It has been alleged that pathological altruism was always a deeply ingrained European character flaw. The Pythagorean communism of the 5th century BC is frequently mentioned as corroborating evidence, but these practices were reserved for the intellectual elite. Much the same could be said for Stoic cosmopolitanism, which bears no similarity to the deracinated cosmopolitanism of the modern West. In the Greek variant, the intellectual gains world citizenship by living in accord with the cosmic law of universal reason; in the Roman variant, the cosmopolis is identified with the Roman patria.

The Hellenistic empire of Alexander the Great is believed by some to have been established on a morally universalist foundation. These accusations have their basis in the rhetorical amplifications and literary embellishments of chroniclers who wrote long after the exploits of Alexander. The expansion of the Greek sphere of influence in Asia was romanticized by some as implying a new world order based on an imagined brotherhood of man. This is contradicted by the historical record. In actuality, Alexander and his generals promoted a policy of residential segregation along ethno-racial lines in the conquered territories, with Greek colonists on one side and natives on the other. In the Greek view, Hellenized Egyptians, Israelites, Syrians and Babylonians were racial foreigners who had successfully assimilated Greek culture; clearly then, cultural and linguistic Hellenization was not enough to make one “Greek.”

Ancestral lineage was an important component of ancient Greek identity. Herodotus observed that the Greeks saw themselves as a community “of one blood and of one tongue.” Caracalla’s extension of the franchise to Roman provincials in 212 AD was not an act of universalism per se, but occurred after centuries of Romanization. It was done for purposes of taxation and military recruitment. This imperial legislation, known as the Antonine Constitution, did not abolish ethnic distinction among Roman citizens.

The conventional sociobiological explanation of Prof. MacDonald and others is contradicted by the pervasive brutality and ethno-racial collectivism of ancient societies. Given Christianity’s role as an agent of Western decline, no explanation will be fully adequate until this is finally acknowledged and taken into consideration. Prof. MacDonald, in an essay for The Occidental Observer, “Christianity and the Ethnic Suicide of the West”, ignores this major obstacle to his own detriment, arguing that from a Western historical perspective, Christianity was a relatively benign influence. Despite MacDonald’s eminence as an authority on 20th century Jewish intellectual and political movements, his defense of Christianity reveals a superficial understanding of history, contemporary political theory and Christian theology.

Prof. MacDonald whitewashes Christianity throughout, denying that the religion has ever been “a root cause of Western decline.” He observes that Christianity was the religion of the West during the age of European exploration and colonization, but not once does he mention that Christianity was a spent force by the late Middle Ages, having undergone a serious and irreversible decline in power and influence. Prof. MacDonald does not mention that after 1400, Christendom was no longer unified because the legitimacy of medieval ecclesiastical authority had been shattered; first, by the rediscovery of classical science and philosophy, which shook the Christian worldview to its very foundations, and second, by the Protestant Reformation, which reduced the pope to the status of a mere figurehead.

This set the stage for the large-scale dissemination of atheism and agnosticism in the 20th century. Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press, combined with the spread of mass literacy, virtually ensured that the Christian church would never again control European intellectual life. If the late medieval church had retained the same ecclesiastical and political authority it had under Pope Innocent III, European colonization and exploration of the globe would have been virtually inconceivable. For these reasons, it is more historically accurate to situate European territorial expansion within the context of resurgent pagan epistemic values, i.e. empirical rationality, intellectual curiosity and the pursuit of scientific progress for its own sake, during the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution.

It is argued that the decline of the West has co-occurred with the decline of Christianity as an established faith, but this is incorrect. The Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution, as well as exploration and colonization that occurred along with it, were only possible because of the collapse of ecclesiastical authority in the late medieval period. This eroded the Christian stranglehold on the spread of knowledge, replacing blind faith with the pagan epistemic values of classical antiquity. The recent decline of the modern West beginning in the 1960s has co-occurred with the growing influence of a neo-Christian ethic in the public sphere, just as the decline of the ancient world co-occurred with the triumph of Christianity over the forces of paganism.

Prof. MacDonald observes that Christians have not always been consistent moral universalists in practice, but this is a non-sequitur. Marxists have not always been consistently anti-racist or multiculturalist, given Stalin’s rabid anti-Semitism, aggressive policy of national Russification, and deportation of entire ethnic populations to Siberia, but this does not change the fact that anti-racism and multiculturalism are characteristic features of Marxist orthodoxy. Since when have the inconsistent practices of a few individuals ever mitigated or excused the destructive nature of an ideology completely at odds with the biological reality of human nature? Likewise, MacDonald’s non-sequitur does not affect the central importance of spiritual equality in the Christian belief-system. Historically, Christians were divided on whether spiritual equality entailed certain real-world implications or was of purely eschatological significance.

This hopelessly muddled line of argument revolves around a nebulous definition of “traditional” Christianity, a term either alluded to or directly mentioned throughout. If traditional Christianity is supposedly good for Europeans, how can it be universalist and ethnocentric at the same time, as in the case of American abolitionists and slave-owners? Or is traditional Christianity whatever form of Christianity MacDonald finds acceptable? If this is the case, what is the point he is trying to make here? Prof. MacDonald mentions that the patristic writers frequently criticized Jewry for being obsessed with biological descent. This placed them at odds with the multicultural and multiethnic ideology of the Christian religion. But how can the patristic writers, who systematically formulated the official dogmatic orthodoxy of the church, not be representative of “traditional” Christianity? Paradoxically, MacDonald acknowledges the ancient origin of the church’s race-mixing proclivities. If he believes that the patristic writers were corrupted by egalitarian principles at a very early date, he should at least provide evidence of theological subversion.

According to Prof. MacDonald, the secular left, which initiated the cultural revolution of the 1960s, is not Christian in inspiration. This statement is egregiously wrong, revealing a profound ignorance of the philosophies of liberalism and Marxism, especially in terms of their historical development. These belief-systems originated in a Christian theological context. The core ideas of liberalism, human rights and equality, have their genesis in the careful biblical exegesis of 17th and 18th century Christian political theorists. Marxism is deeply rooted in the fertile soil of the Christian tradition, especially in the speculative Protestant rationalism of Hegel. It also draws additional inspiration from the Reformed theological principles of Luther and the communist socio-economic practices of the primitive Christian church.

The hostility between the secular left and “traditional” Christianity is emphasized to further demonstrate the non-Christian origins of Western pathological altruism. However, his observation is completely irrelevant, as both traditional and secular Christianity are essentially rival denominations within the same Christian religious tradition. The mutual hostility that exists between the two is to be expected. Furthermore, it is foolhardy to maintain that traditional or mainline Christianity has been corrupted by the secular left; given the origins of liberalism and Marxism in Christian theology and biblical exegesis, it is more accurate to say that traditional Christianity has allowed itself to be corrupted by its own moral paradigms after taking them to their logical conclusion. The Christian theological basis of social and biological egalitarianism is merely the rediscovery and application of the original ethical teachings of Jesus and the primitive church.

Prof. MacDonald says the “contemporary zeitgeist of the left is not fundamentally Christian.” He fails to realize that the liberal-leftist ideas behind Third World immigration and state-sanctioned multiculturalism have deep roots in the Christian tradition. There is a common misunderstanding, no doubt propagated by Christian apologists, that one must embrace the supernatural claims of Christian religious dogma to be considered a Christian. This contention is not supported by contemporary scholarship. For example, Unitarians reject traditional Christian orthodoxy but remain well within the Christian fold. Neo-Christianity, like Unitarianism, is a thoroughly demythologized religion, properly defined as the application of New Testament-derived ethical injunctions to the management of contemporary social and economic relations. By this definition, Liberals and Marxists are no less Christian than your typical bible-thumping “holy roller.”

If Christianity is ultimately responsible for the destruction of Western civilization, asks MacDonald, why aren’t Middle Eastern Christians destroying their own societies by aggressively pushing the same universalist and ethno-masochistic agenda? In this case, the comparison is historically flawed. The medieval Islamic conquest of Byzantine North Africa and the Near East virtually guaranteed that Middle Eastern Christianity would follow a socio-historical trajectory differing significantly from the one followed by Latin Christianity. Up until quite recently, Middle Eastern Christians inhabited a medieval world no different from the one Europeans had lived in for centuries before the dawn of the Renaissance. Middle Eastern Christians never experienced any Reformation that allowed them to shake off the tyranny of ecclesiastical authority and wrestle with the real-world implications of spiritual equality.

Furthermore, none of the conditions for a Reformation ever existed in what remained of Middle Eastern Christendom. There was no humanist movement, which meant no dramatic increase in literacy or availability of printed material. There was no rediscovery of the patristic writers or of the ancient biblical manuscripts in the original languages. Access to the original source material would have made it easier for religious dissidents to challenge ecclesiastical authority and refute long-established medieval Christian dogma. In fact, Middle Eastern Christians were dhimmis, a persecuted jizya-paying religious minority in a larger Moslem world hostile to their very survival. Given the precariousness of their legal situation in the Ottoman empire, they had no time for the finer points of biblical exegesis or theological analysis.

Prof. MacDonald states, erroneously, that in Judaism there is no “tradition of universalist ethics or for empathy with suffering non-Jews.” He is obviously not familiar with the teachings of the Old Testament: “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 19:34) Christianity is simply the radical universalization of Hebrew ethical concern for the plight of hapless foreigners living among them; as such, it is firmly embedded within the soil of 1st century Palestinian Judaism. Although Christianity has absorbed Greek philosophical ideas because of its wide dissemination in Europe, it is obviously not a European invention.

At this point, Prof. MacDonald asks: If the “moral universalism / idealism” that is destroying Sweden is due to Christianity, how does one explain “how people can lose every aspect of Christian ideology except the ethics”? To answer this question, let us inquire into the historical genesis of the Christian religion and the identity of its earliest followers.

Christianity originated in the yearning of Palestinian Jewry for social justice while having to patiently endure the tyranny of foreign rulers. Under these harsh conditions, Jewish beliefs in a messiah acquired an unprecedented sense of urgency, eventually assuming militant and apocalyptic overtones. This sense of urgency reached a crescendo in 1st century Palestine; self-proclaimed messiahs amassed armed bands of followers poised and ready to establish the son of David on the throne of Caesar, by force if necessary. This is the environment in which the Jesus myth originated, woven together from different strands of Jewish tradition in an atmosphere of deep-seated yearning for the coming advent of a messiah. This advent symbolized the end of Roman tyranny and the establishment of the kingdom of god on earth.

Christianity’s earliest followers were drawn from the refuse of the empire. Why? Because Christianity was the first mass movement in history to give concrete expression to the inner yearning of the people for freedom from oppression and hunger. What man has not sought to escape the oppression of his masters or the poverty of his surroundings? With the rise of Christianity, like the rise of Jewish Messianic belief, the inchoate yearnings of the mob for deliverance from oppression were replaced with a vision of a new social order that would inaugurate an age of universal justice and freedom. This new vision would lead to the establishment of a worldwide communist economic system that would forever solve world poverty and hunger. In the New Testament was found a blueprint for an ideal society that would inspire generations of social reformers and leftist revolutionaries.

For centuries, it was the only widely accessible document that demanded social justice for the poor and downtrodden and the only document to propose a practical solution to the problem of social inequality: the establishment of a socially egalitarian or communist society on earth. The religion of Christianity tapped into this deep-seated, age-old psychological yearning of the masses and, for the first time in history, gave it a coherent voice. This ensured the survival of ethical Christianity long after the decline of ecclesiastical orthodoxy in the late Middle Ages, allowing it to flourish, virtually unchallenged, in the ostensibly secular milieu of the modern 21st century Western “democracies.”

As a control mechanism, ethical Christianity was remarkably flexible. It could be used to justify any social arrangement, no matter how unjust or brutal. Its promise of “pie in the sky” had a remarkably pacifying effect on the illiterate serfs, who were expected to toil on the lord’s manor for their daily bread. Feudal landowners encouraged Christian religious instruction because it produced an easily controlled and manipulated peasantry. Vassals had it drummed into their heads from the moment of birth that servants must obey their masters. The church promised them life everlasting in paradise if they faithfully observed this requirement until death.

The great rarity of the peasant revolt against serfdom reveals the shrewd pragmatism of those who used religion as a means of safeguarding the public order. Punishment for original sin and the Pauline dualism between body and spirit, among other things, provided European rulers with additional convenient rationalization for the institution of serfdom. In the right hands, the ethical pronouncements of the New Testament could be used as an agent of revolutionary change, capable of stirring up mass revolt and potentially unleashing forces that could tear apart the “vast fabric of feudal subordination.” This was demonstrated by the Peasant Revolt of 1381, ignited by the fanatical communist-inspired sermons of the renegade priest John Ball.

The concept of human rights—Christian ethical injunctions in secularized form—illustrate in concrete fashion why the morality of the New Testament managed to survive long after the decline of Christian dogmatic orthodoxy. Rights dominate the field of political discourse because they are considered by egalitarian ideologues the most effective mechanism available for ensuring (a) the equal treatment of all persons and; (b) equal access to the basic goods deemed necessary for maximal human flourishing.

This practicality and effectiveness must be attributed to the ability of rights to fulfill the secret yearning of the common people, which is to ameliorate, as much as possible, the baneful effects of oppression and want. It achieves this by demolishing the traditional social and political distinctions once maintained between aristocracy and peasantry, placing all individuals on the same level playing field. The concept of rights has allowed the masses to closely realize their age-old utopian aspirations within a liberal egalitarian or socialist context. The concept’s great flexibility means that it can be interpreted to justify almost any entitlement. Even those who openly rejected the notion of rights, such as utilitarian philosopher Bentham, were unable to devise a more satisfactory mechanism that ensured equal treatment of all.

The Marxist tradition, emerging from under different historical circumstances, never fully decoupled Christian ethical teaching from traditional orthodoxy; instead, Marxist philosophical method necessitated an “inverted” Judeo-Christian eschatological and soteriological framework, largely because dialectical materialism is primarily an inversion of Hegel’s speculative Protestant rationalism.

In Hegelian Christianity, knowledge is substituted for faith. This eliminated the “mysteries” of Christian orthodoxy by making rational self-knowledge of god a possibility for all believers. The trinity as absolute mind, and therefore reason incarnate, means that Jesus of Nazareth was a teacher of rational morality, although his ethical system had been corrupted by patristic and medieval expositors. If “the rational is real and the real is rational,” as Hegel said, history is not only the progressive incarnation of god, but god is the historical process itself. The triadic structure of the natural world, including human self-consciousness, proves that the structure of objective reality is determined by the triune godhead of Christianity.

Hegel’s interpretation of Christianity gave Marx the raw material he needed to extract the “rational kernel” of scientific observation from “within the mystical shell” of Hegelian speculative rationalism. This liberated dialectical analysis from Hegel’s idealist mystification, allowing Marx to do what Hegel should have done, before succumbing to Christian theological reflection: construct a normative science, a Realwissenschaft, analyzing the socio-economic developments within capitalism that would unleash the forces of worldwide proletarian revolution.

The secularization of Christianity preserved the religion’s ethical component, while discarding all supernatural elements. This gave us modern liberalism. In contrast, Marx turned Hegel’s Protestant theological system upside down, a process of extraction resulting in the demystification of Hegelian Christianity. In Marxist philosophy, the inversion of dialectic removes the analytical tool—the “rational kernel”—from within its Christian idealist “shell.” This is then applied to the analysis of real-world phenomena within a thorough-going materialist framework, like the internal contradictions of capital accumulation in Marxist crisis theory.

Prof. MacDonald argues for a genetic basis for moral universalism in European populations, a difficult argument to make given the historical evidence indicating a total absence of pathological altruism in the ancient world before Christianization of the Roman empire. He mentions the systematic brainwashing of Europeans and the major role of Jewish political, academic and financial influence in the ethnocide of the West, but again forgets to mention that all these cultural forces rationalize European dispossession using political ideas like universal human rights and equality, the two fundamental pillars of secularized Christianity.

Prof. MacDonald’s attempt to exculpate Christianity of being “a root cause of Western decline” is easily refuted. In the final analysis, Christianity, at least in its organized form, is the single greatest enemy of Western civilization to have ever existed.

______ 卐 ______

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Faith of the Future, 3

by Matt Koehl

 

III. The Decline of Christianity

The imposition of Christianity on the Aryan peoples of Northern Europe had one lasting effect. It resulted in an inner tension, a disquiet—an angst—which has been a protruding feature of Western culture from its inception. Throughout the history of the West, there has always existed a soul struggle keenly felt by the more perceptive spirits of the race, occasioned by the contradiction between the inverted values and tenets of an Oriental/Semitic belief system on the one hand and the natural religious feeling of Nordic/Aryan man on the other.

If the former furnished the ideological matrix of the culture, it was the latter which provided the creative inspiration, the divine spark. Indeed, the greatest moments of Western culture as a manifestation of Aryan genius—whether expressed in a specifically Christian or extra-Christian form—occurred despite the stricture of Church dogma, rather than because of it. Dante, Chaucer, [Edmund] Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, Goethe, Schiller, Shelley, Wordsworth, Keats, Byron, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, Dürer and Rembrandt all testify to this, no less than do Vivaldi, Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner and Bruckner.

As we have seen, the external character of Christianity was greatly modified in its metamorphosis from a small Jewish cult into the mighty religion of the West. The medieval institution known as chivalry, in fact, with its refined honor code—which save for its Christian trappings more properly reflected the outlook and mores of a pre-Christian time—resulted from this very process, and provided a modus vivendi for opposing spiritual interests during the Middle Ages.

Thus, through a mutual accommodation of sorts was the underlying contradiction largely contained. And yet despite any institutional adjustment, the unease deriving from an alien idea remained latent within the fabric of the culture. The social and intellectual response to this inner tension varied. For their part, the kings, emperors and other secular rulers tended to treat the matter with cynical detachment, accommodating and offering resistance as political requirements dictated.

Among scholars and thinkers, on the other hand, there were those who, like Giordano Bruno, rose in open revolt against Church dogma. More often, however, the stirrings of disquiet were manifested in subtle attempts to orient Christian doctrine toward innate Aryan religiosity. This was particularly true of the mystics of the Middle Ages, like Scotus Erigena, Amalric of Bena and Meister Eckhart, who—going beyond the theology of the Church—looked inward into their own souls and to Nature itself to discover the kingdom of God.

It was with the Renaissance, however, that there appeared the most significant movement to challenge Church doctrine—a movement which would, in fact, set in motion an irreversible chain of events leading ultimately to the discrediting of that very doctrine as the core idea of a culture.

Now, for the first time, was the Promethean impulse able to break out of the clerical mold. Art came to express, not merely a sterile Semitic outlook, but the feelings of a Northern racial soul—a most notable development, which announced that creative vitality had stepped beyond the mythic prescriptions of the culture. The entire Judeo-Christian cosmology was called into question by new discoveries in the natural and physical sciences. Exploration across unknown seas commenced. Perhaps the most revolutionary single development of this time, however, was the discovery of movable type by Johannes Gutenberg, which enabled a much wider circulation of knowledge—knowledge other than that bearing an ecclesiastical imprimatur, knowledge transcending the basic ideology of the culture.

* * *

The most important consequence of the Gutenberg invention is to be seen in the Protestant Reformation, to which it was a contributing factor and whose development it greatly influenced. Up until the time of Martin Luther, the focus of Christian authority was the Papacy, whose word was unquestioned in matters of faith and dogma. Now, with the great schism in Christendom, a direct challenge was presented to ecclesiastical authority. It certainly was not, of course, die intent of Luther and the other dissenters to undermine or eliminate the Christian faith; rather the opposite. They merely wished to reform it. And yet, by challenging the one unifying institution of Christendom and causing a split in Christian ranks, they inadvertently opened the door to disbelief in the Christian mythos itself.

To replace papal authority in matters religious, Luther proposed to substitute the authority of the Book; and so, with the prospect of employing the Gutenberg invention, he undertook the prodigious task of translating obscure Hebrew scriptures into the German language—to the everlasting misfortune of Christianity.

It is ironic that in his quest for spiritual freedom, the Great Reformer should have rejected the despotism of the Papacy only to embrace the tyranny of the Torah and the ancient Jewish prophets. The arcane texts which had remained on musty shelves behind cloistered walls and accessible only to priests and theologians now became universal property. And now, instead of one single authority in matters of Christian exegesis, everyone—and no one—became an authority. Out of this there could be but one result: contradiction and confusion.

The effect on intelligent minds, of course, was devastating. For here it was now possible—in the best Talmudic fashion—to prove mutually exclusive points of view by reference to the same Semitic texts. Not only that, but critical examination of biblical literature gave rise to serious doubt concerning the veracity and validity of the subject matter itself, not to mention the peculiar mentality of its various authors. For the first time, perceptive minds could observe the obvious contradiction between empirical reality and what was claimed as holy writ.

Gradually there grew the inner realization that the faith itself was flawed, and creative genius began to look beyond the ideology of the Church for inspiration and direction. Even in those instances where Christian motifs continued to provide the external form for artistic expression—such as in the works of Bach, Corelli and Rubens, for example—the vital daemon which spoke was clearly extra-Christian and of a religious order transcending Church dogma.

And so even the Counter-Reformation, and the stylistic mode it inspired, succumbed to widening skepsis. A lessening of traditional belief had set in, and Aryan creativity now began to look increasingly in other directions for the divine. At the intellectual level, philosophy—which had long separated itself from theology—pursued its own independent quest for truth, while at the artistic level a succession of stylistic periods—impelled by irrepressible inner tension—sought ever newer forms of expression. Thus, the Baroque, having exploited all of its possibilities, gave way to the Rococo and the Classical, which in turn yielded to the Romantic of the last century and to the Impressionist, which has now been succeeded by the Modem era—which concludes the historical experience of the West.

* * *

Today, Christianity has reached its final stage. From both a spiritual and a scientific standpoint, its fundamental beliefs have become untenable. The advances of Aryan science have forever shattered the old Jewish myths. The cumulative impact of such figures as Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton and Darwin could not be eternally suppressed by ecclesiastical edict. When Church dogma, for example, insisted that the earth was the center of the universe and scientific investigation demonstrated otherwise, Aryan man was compelled by his innate regard for the truth to accept the latter at the expense of the former. In so doing, he came to question all other aspects of a once-sacrosanct belief system.

For the modem Church, this poses an impossible dilemma. The more it adheres to its fundamental doctrines, the more preposterous they must appear and the quicker will be its demise. On the other hand, once it attempts to reconcile itself with the findings of science by reinterpreting and redefining its basic tenets, it automatically concedes its moral position and its very reason for existence as an arbiter of truth.

The fact is that Christianity, as the dominant ideology of the West, has failed. It has exhausted all of its historical possibilities. No longer does it carry the emotional, mythic, polarizing force necessary to direct the spiritual life of a culture. Indeed, it is a spent cultural force no longer capable of adapting successfully to new organic realities.

All of this can be readily seen in the emptiness and sterility of modem cultural expression—reflecting the absence of any real spiritual values—as well as in the secularization of the Christian idea itself into liberal democracy and Marxism. Especially is this to be noted in the self-devaluation process of ecumenism and interfaith/inter-ideological dialogue, which constitutes the clearest concession by Christianity that it has failed and no longer has anything vital to offer. For once the Church admits that its doctrines are coequal with those of the nonbeliever, then what reason is there to be a believer?

It is not without significance that while the influence of Christianity is waning in the West, it is—through the sheer force of demographic pressure—gaining souls and expanding among nonwhites. Not only is this particularly true in Latin America, but also in Africa and—to a lesser extent—in Asia as well.

This development has, of course, not escaped the notice of the Church, which—with obsequious interracial posturing and attempts to divorce itself from its historical Western setting—has chosen to redirect the Christian appeal toward the colored world as the primary area of its interest and concern. In abandoning its Western role, however, Christianity has announced its conclusion as a cultural force. And so, whatever it may have traditionally represented for past generations of Europeans and North Americans no longer obtains.

Accordingly, it would be a mistake to assume that the Judeo-Christian idea has anything to offer the white peoples in their contemporary struggle for survival—that it might in any way be capable of addressing the vital needs and concerns of endangered Aryan life on this planet.

What now exists in the name of Christianity—apart from certain nostalgic, retrograde attempts to revive a historical corpse in a world of uncertainty and personal insecurity—is nothing more than fossil formalism and sterile nominalism without genuine vitality or substance, reflecting the marginal relevance of this particular ideology in today’s society. For in the face of modem realities, the Christian worldview simply has nothing more to say. It has fulfilled its historic role; it is now moribund. At best, it is irrelevant. At worst, it is an avowed enemy, a deadly menace to the Aryan race and its survival.

It may well be argued that the worst consequences of such ideological and spiritual error were far less conspicuous before the Second World War. Does the same hold true today, however, when the final effects of that error can be plainly seen? For well over a millennium now, Christianity has held a monopoly as the self-proclaimed custodian of the spiritual and moral well-being of an entire cultural order—for which one must reasonably assume that it has accepted concomitant responsibility.

What, then, are the fruits of its spiritual regime? We see them all around us. They are the symptoms of a diseased civilization: decadence, degeneracy, depravity, corruption, pollution, egoism, hedonism, materialism, Marxism and ultimately atheism. Yes, atheism. By destroying whatever natural religious feeling once existed in the hearts of our people and substituting alien myths and superstitions, it must now bear full responsibility for the diminished capacity for spiritual belief among our folk.

It will perhaps be objected that the Church itself is opposed to all of the above indesiderata. I am sorry: the responsibility for what has been claimed as a divine charge cannot be so easily evaded. Words aside, these happen to be the actual results of its earthly reign.

The Promethean spirit of Aryan man, for its part, must now look in other directions.

Latest Frost exchange

on Christian apologetics

“…the French Enlightenment. If John Adams is correct and Helvetius was the first person to really believe in human equality, then the idea arose, not in Christendom, but in secularism. Worldviews can and do change. There is no reason to think that the ideas of the modern world are related to Christianity.”

So you’re saying these ideas were autochthonous developments that bore no relation to Christianity whatsoever. You claim they sprang up out of the native earth of Christendom and had nothing to do with what preceded them? Frankly, given the powerful role played by religion and the church at that time, I think that’s more than a little ridiculous.

>The new Gutenberg battleThe greatest help that the ideas of egalitarianism and universal brotherhood ever received was when Gutenberg invented the printing press and translations of the Bible became widely available. People could then read it for themselves and make their own decisions as to the meaning. As with so many other aspects of white culture, traditional Christianity was, in that way, another casualty of technology; it was steamrollered by Progress.

“If egalitarianism is taken in its modern sense then that’s impossible [that there are many gospel passages that extol universal brotherhood and egalitarianism], because the modern idea didn’t exist in the ancient or Medieval world.”

Human equality isn’t a difficult concept, and it hasn’t changed at all in two thousand years. All are one in Christ (Galatians 3:28), and according to Christian creation myths, all are of the same blood. Apparent divisions such as race and gender therefore are all illusions. God values all equally, with the implication that so should we, since life should be lived in imitation of Christ.

“Christianity has ceased to play a role in the modern world.”

Someone should tell the Pope this, and the Christian Zionists who keep sending money to Israel, and also the 70% of Americans who still call themselves Christians.

________________

Editor’s note: I have relocated, to this day, the above entry (originally posted a couple of days ago) because Frost has added still another reply in his discussion with the commenter Denvilda at The Occidental Observer, added as my 1st comment in the comments section, below.

Who We Are, 22

The following is my abridgement of chapter 22 of William Pierce’s history of the white race, Who We Are:

Centuries of Colonialism Yield Benefits, Perils
Nearly All Black Slaves Went to Iberian America
Economic Colonialism Is Racial Treason

 

With the close of the Viking Age in the latter half of the 11th century, we left the prehistoric period, with all its pagan vigor, behind us in the previous installment and entered an era described more or less fully by contemporary written accounts. Our aim here, in accord with the purpose of this entire series, is to select from the wealth of historical material covering the events of the last 900 years that which is especially pertinent to racial developments, rather than to political, religious, economic, artistic, scientific, or other cultural aspects of life—keeping always in mind, of course, that, in the final analysis, race and culture are inseparable.

We have already noted, however briefly, the racial developments in Iberia through the 15th century (installment 19) and in Eastern Europe through the 17th century (installment 20). Most of what follows will be concerned with the North and the West of Europe: more specifically, with the people of that region and their expansion over the globe.

For five centuries after the abandonment of the settlements in North America, Europe staggered along under the burden of a number of problems: battling Moors, Turks, and Mongols on its southern and eastern frontiers and often well inside those frontiers; yielding up the last of its spiritual and mental freedom and settling into a straitjacket of superstition and orthodoxy, as the Christian Church tightened its grip on all of Europe; succumbing to the Black Death by the tens of millions, as this dread scourge swept over the land in the 14th century and killed every fourth European. In addition to these problems imported into Europe from Asia, the Europeans were no slouches at generating problems of their own, and territorial and dynastic warfare continued to take their toll throughout the Middle Ages.

By the beginning of the 15th century, however, the indomitable spirit of the White race was clearly making gains on several fronts: material, intellectual, and spiritual. On the first of these, European energy and inventiveness had kept up a slow but steady increase in productivity, both in agriculture and in the crafts, so that, despite the ravages of war and plague, the accumulation of wealth in all social strata had resulted in an average standard of living vastly higher than in any Asian land.

In the fifth decade of the century the German printer Johann Gutenberg of Mainz developed the process of printing with movable, metal type to the point that the mass production of books could be undertaken. For the first time in the life of the race the recording and general dissemination of man’s accumulated knowledge to all with the wit and the will to profit by it became a practical matter.

And it was only in Europe that this wit and will were manifested. Some of the earlier developments in the printing craft had come from Asia—ink and paper, for example—but the explosion in knowledge resulting from Gutenberg’s work was confined almost entirely to our own European ancestors. By the end of the 15th century 1,000 new titles per year were being produced by Europe’s book printers. By 1815 the number had climbed to 20,000 per year.

Even on the spiritual front there was progress. The Church, grown soft, corrupt, and overconfident in the centuries since the Saxons and the Vikings had been forced to the baptismal font, was spoiling for an upset by the end of the 15th century. It had laid the basis for its own downfall, and early in the following century its monopoly in matters of the spirit was dealt two lethal blows, first by Martin Luther in Germany (1517), and, a little over a decade later, by King Henry VIII in England. It is one of history’s sweetest ironies that Martin Luther was a Saxon and King Henry was the descendant of Norman Vikings.

Amerind Fate. The native Amerinds found by the Spaniards in the West Indies were, like those of the mainland, of Mongoloid derivation, being the descendants of Mongoloid peoples who had begun crossing the Bering Strait from Siberia to North America some 12,000 years ago and had then gradually propagated throughout the empty North and South American continents and the adjacent islands.

Since the Spaniards’ entire purpose in the New World was economic exploitation, not the propagation of their own race, they did not deliberately liquidate the native population. In some areas, however, that was the inadvertent effect of the Spanish conquest. The Indians were not constitutionally suited to the unremitting slave labor in the gold and silver mines and on the sugar plantations which was forced on them by their new masters, and they died like flies under the Spanish yoke.

An enormous toll was also taken by smallpox, a disease endemic among the Europeans but one to which the Amerinds, isolated as they had been for thousands of years, had no natural immunity. It virtually depopulated the Caribbean islands and then wreaked havoc among the mainland Indians. (The Indian revenge was syphilis, a New World disease entirely new to the Europeans—at least, in the new and virulent form in which it existed among the Amerinds.)

Beginning of the Black Tide. Because of the inadequacy of the Indians as a local labor force, the Spaniards almost immediately began importing Negro slaves from West Africa. The latter belong to a race ideally suited to the plantation labor of that era. The Blacks were first used in the West Indies, then on the Brazilian mainland. Approximately a million of them were imported in the period 1550-1650, and by the latter date they had completely replaced the Amerind natives as a slave labor force on the Caribbean islands.

Approximately 150,000 Spaniards and Portuguese had migrated to the New World by the middle of the 17th century, and natural increase had raised their number to about 400,000. They ruled over about 9,000,000 Indians—and a growing population of mestizos (Indian-White mixed breeds), Blacks, mulattos, and Indian-Black mixed breeds. Only on the island of Cuba was there anything approaching a truly White Spanish or Portuguese community.

Northerners Arrive. From the beginning of the 17th century, however, Northern Europeans—English, French, and Dutch—began seriously contesting the Iberians’ claims on the New World. By 1650 nearly 50,000 English (and a few thousand French and Dutch) immigrants were settled on Caribbean land wrested away from the Spaniards, and another 50,000 had landed in North America.

In sharp contrast to the Spanish and Portuguese colonists, the great bulk of the Northern Europeans came to the New World not to exploit non-White labor and make money, but to settle and work the land themselves, in all-White communities. Thus, colonialism acquired two quite distinct meanings in the 17th and 18th centuries: a strictly economic meaning, which applied to all the Southern European and some of the Northern European colonies; and a racial meaning, which applied almost exclusively to the colonies of the Northerners.

The tropical climate of the Caribbean did not treat the Northerners as well as it did the Southern Europeans, however, and about half of those who settled there were killed off by fever. After reaching a total of around 100,000 by 1700, most of them moved on to North America. The ones who remained switched to Iberian-style colonialism and began importing Blacks to work Caribbean sugar plantations in much greater numbers than the Spanish and Portuguese had.

The Pollution of the South. During the 18th century nearly three million Black slaves were brought into the Caribbean by the English. Another three million were imported by the Iberians, the great majority of them going to Brazil. This established an overwhelmingly non-White population base for the Central and South American area.

It was only in the 19th century that this bleak racial picture for Latin America began to change, and then only in the southernmost part of the region, the consequence of a large influx of new European immigrants (most of them from Southern Europe) into an area which had previously had a very sparse Amerind population and had not been considered suitable for economic exploitation with Black labor by the early Spanish and Portuguese colonists. Today the only countries in South America which are substantially White are Uruguay (nearly 100 per cent), Argentina (between 80 and 90 per cent), and Chile (approximately 50 per cent).

Of the 9.5 million Negroes imported in the three centuries between 1550 and 1850, 4.25 million went to Brazil and other parts of northern South America, and 4.5 million went to the Caribbean and Central America. Another quarter of a million went to southern South America, and only half a million went to the southernmost colonies of North America.

As mentioned above, most of the Northern Europeans who came to the New World had quite different motives than did the Spanish and Portuguese. Most of the latter came only to make money, and relatively few brought their women with them; from the beginning miscegenation was common in the areas controlled by the Iberians.

The Northerners, on the other hand, came for the land and the opportunity for a new life on a new frontier. They brought their women and their plows with them, and for the most part, they did their own labor. They saw in the Indians no opportunity for economic exploitation, but only a danger to their families. Until missionaries began making Christians of the Indians and taking their side against the Whites, the latter just pushed them aside, took their land, and formed all-White communities of farmers, craftsmen, and tradesmen, as they had in Europe.
 
Colonization elsewhere

In Australia the Europeans (nearly all British) encountered an extremely primitive native race—in some features even more primitive than the Negro—numbering around a quarter of a million. Disease and deliberate liquidation by the Europeans had reduced the Australian aborigines to about 60,000 by the beginning of this century. Even today, under protection from the Australian government, they have recovered to only 80,000 and remain largely isolated from the predominantly Northern European population of 13 million.

In New Zealand the non-White native population was less primitive, being of Polynesian stock. The European settlers reduced the number of these Polynesians (Maoris) from an initial 250,000 to about 40,000 at the beginning of this century. Since then a misguided White policy of deliberate coddling has resulted in a population explosion back up to the quarter-million mark. Today, among a White New Zealand population of only three million, the still-expanding Maori minority, mostly urbanized, poses a growing racial threat.

England in India. First the Portuguese, then in succession the Spanish, the Dutch, the English, the Danes, the French, and the Austrians attempted to control the trade between Europe and India. In every case the motivation was strictly economic, not racial.

Although the long English experience in India had a profound influence on the national psyche of England, it provided no net benefits to the White race. The soldierly spirit of duty and uncomplaining self-sacrifice in the service of one’s kind eventually was perverted into a maudlin sense of obligation to the conquered scum of the earth. Again it was Kipling who said it best:

Take up the White Man’s burden
Send forth the best ye breed
Go, bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives’ need;
To wait in heavy harness
On fluttered folk and wild
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half child….
Take up the White Man’s burden
And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard.

The hard lessons learned on the plains of Afghanistan were soon forgotten. Too many years of ease intervened, and moral rot set in. When the Indians became restless again after the Second World War, superstition and moral softness kept the English from dealing with them as Robert Clive had. In the end, though colonialism in its day had made some Englishmen very rich, nothing was left except the superstition and the softness. And because of that superstition and softness, it is now the Indians and the other conquered races who are colonizing England without opposition from the English.

South Africa. The story of southern Africa is different, but equally instructive. Although the Portuguese first found it, they saw no economic opportunities there and did not colonize it.

It was, in the 15th century, an almost empty land, with only a few thousand yellow-skinned Bushmen eking out an existence there by hunting and gathering. The Negroes still had not emerged from their jungles, far to the north.

The Dutch established the first settlement in southern Africa in 1652, at the Cape of Good Hope, but its purpose was only to provide a way station for their maritime traffic between Europe and the East Indies. Five years later, however, the first Dutch farmers arrived and established farmsteads in the vicinity of the way station.

By 1671 Dutch colonists were expanding from the Cape Colony deep into the interior of southern Africa, driving herds of cattle and horses before them and building farms and villages as they went.

Mixed with the Dutch trekkers into the interior were an increasing number of German colonists. In 1688 a group of French Huguenot refugees from the anti-Protestant massacres of the Counter-Reformation arrived. From this group are descended the many South Africans of today bearing French names.

Although southern Africa had become a de facto racial colony by the beginning of the 18th century, it was still a de jure economic colony, under the control of the Dutch East India company. The Company, whose sole interest was profit, saw itself losing control of what had been intended to be only a provisioning facility for its ships on the way to and from the East Indies. Consequently, in 1707 it made the fateful decision to stop providing assistance to European families who wanted to settle in its African colony.

In 1717, guided by the same profit-oriented reasoning, it decided to import Black slaves rather than bring more White craftsmen and artisans into the colony to meet a labor shortage.

The consequence of these capitalist policies was that, when the Dutch East India Company finally disappeared from the scene in 1795, a century and a half after the arrival of the first settlers, there were still only 15,000 Whites in southern Africa. Furthermore, they had started down the deadly path of dependence on Black labor, rather than total White self-sufficiency.

The loss of homogeneity had far-reaching, negative results, which are still felt today. The final end for the Whites there can be, at most, a matter of two decades away.

The hard lesson taught by the different results of the European colonization of North America, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, India, and southern Africa is that the only type of colonization with lasting significance is racial colonization; and that racial colonization can succeed only when Whites are willing and able to clear the land of non-White inhabitants and keep it clear.

Civilisation’s “Protest and Communication”

For an introduction to these series, see here.

Below, some indented excerpts of “Protest and Communication,” the sixth chapter of Civilisation by Kenneth Clark, after which I offer my comments.

Ellipsis omitted between unquoted passages:

The dazzling summit of human achievement represented by Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci lasted for less than twenty years. It was followed (except in Venice) by a time of uneasiness often ending in disaster. For the first time since the great thaw civilised values were questioned and defied, and for some years it looked as if the footholds won by the Renaissance—the discovery of the individual, the belief in human genius, the sense of harmony between man and his surroundings—had been lost. Yet this was an inevitable process, and out of the confusion and brutality of sixteenth-century Europe, man emerged with new faculties and expanded powers of thought and expression.

In this room in the castle of Würzburg are the carvings of Tilman Riemenschneider, one—perhaps the best—of many German carvers in the late Gothic style. The Church was rich in fifteenth-century Germany, and the landowners were rich, and the merchants of the Hanseatic League were rich; and so, from Bergen right down to Bavaria, sculptors were kept busy doing huge, elaborate shrines and altars and monuments like the famous group of St George in the old church at Stockholm: a supreme example of late Gothic craftsman deploying his fancy and his almost irritating skill of hand.

The Riemenschneider figures show very clearly the character of the northern man at the end of the fifteenth century.

First of all, a serious personal piety—a quality quite different from the bland conventional piety that one finds, say, in a Perugino. And then a serious approach to life itself. These men (although of course they were unswerving Catholics) were not to be fobbed off by forms and ceremonies. They believed that there was such a thing as truth, and they wanted to get at it. What they heard from Papal legates, who did a lot of travelling in Germany at this time, did not convince them that there was the same desire for truth in Rome, and they had a rough, raw-boned peasant tenacity of purpose. Many of these earnest men would have heard about the numerous councils that had tried throughout the fifteenth century to reform the organisation of the Church. These grave northern men wanted something more substantial.

So far so good. But these faces reveal a more dangerous characteristic, a vein of hysteria. The fifteenth century had been the century of revivalism—religious movements on the fringe of the Catholic Church. They had, in fact, begun in the late fourteenth century, when the followers of John Huss almost succeeded in wiping out the courtly civilisation of Bohemia. Even in Italy Savonarola had persuaded his hearers to make a bonfire of their so-called vanities, including pictures by Botticelli: a heavy price to pay for religious conviction.

The Germans were much more easily excited. Comparisons are sometimes an over-simplification; but I think it is fair to compare one of the most famous portraits, Dürer’s Oswald Krell, with Raphael’s portrait of a cardinal in the Prado [above]. The cardinal is not only a man of the highest culture but balanced and self-contained. Oswald Krell is on the verge of hysteria.

Those staring eyes, that look of self-conscious introspection, that uneasiness, marvellously conveyed by Dürer through the uneasiness of the planes in the modelling—how German it is.

Four pages later Clark devotes several pages to Erasmus of Rotterdam, whom Bronowski praised even more in The Ascent of Man. I have quoted Clark at length on the German character because I believe that Nietzsche was spot on in blaming Luther and Protestant hysteria for the restoration of Christianity when Christendom was falling apart in the times of the Renaissance popes. But in the next entry I will try to convey some of my antichristian thinking by taking the Catholic Erasmus to task. Meanwhile let’s continue with Clark’s views:

In 1506 Erasmus went to Italy. He was in Bologna at the exact time of Julius II’s famous quarrel with Michelangelo; he was in Rome when Raphael began work on the Papal apartments. But none of this seems to have made any impression on him. His chief interest was in the publication of his works by the famous Venetian printer and pioneer of finely printed popular editions, Aldus Manutius. Whereas in the last chapter I was concerned with the enlargement of man’s spirit through the visual image, in this one I am chiefly concerned with the extension of his mind through the word. And this was made possible by the invention of printing.

Printing, of course, had been invented long before the time of Erasmus. Gutenberg’s Bible was printed in 1455. But the first printed books were large, sumptuous and expensive. It took preachers and persuaders almost thirty years to recognise what a formidable new instrument had come into their hands, just as it took politicians twenty years to recognise the value of television. The first man to take advantage of the printing press was Erasmus. He poured out pamphlets and anthologies and introductions; and so in a few years did everyone who had views on anything.

This should remind us of our own age! Take heed of the elucidating excerpts from a 2009 interview of James Bowery by Jim Giles.

Bowery said: “We are essentially living under a theocracy. I call it Holocaustianity but other people call it political correctness. It’s essentially a canon of morals that have taken over Christianity, and the primary sins of this religion involve ‘racism’ which is an undefined word, and anti-Semitism (sexism is certainly down their list; it is like a venial sin, not a mortal sin). So people have been indoctrinated in this by the media and the academia. The government has passed legislation about these morals to make them violation of law. So people [in the 21st century] are essentially in a medieval mindset, living in a theocracy. It’s just that it is not operating under that name… Right now people are essentially in a State where there cannot be a Protestant Reformation. You can’t have other religions than this State religion of political correctness” (39:40).

And later during the interview Bowery added: “Let me go back to my point about the theocracy, and the dissolution of the theocracy in Europe. The Gutenberg press created a situation in which the monopoly of the Church on the written word was broken. A large portion of what the Church was about was media control. So through the media control they could indoctrinate the populations and maintain, you know, a revenue stream. The Gutenberg press broke that. Now all of a sudden you get lots of other voices. As I said, I have been working in this Internet stuff since the early days” (1:29:42).

And that is altogether crucial for our cause. Bowery concludes: “I knew this time was coming. The Internet is the new Gutenberg press. And the theocracy is being taken apart because its control of the media is being taken apart. And we are getting a new Protestant Reformation and following on the heels of that, people are going to say: ‘Look: We have our own beliefs… This is the way things should be.’ Even the Jesuits just couldn’t stand up to that. I don’t think the Jews can’t either.” (1:31:35).

That’s exactly why Erasmus was so notable, as the nationalist Internet bloggers will be equally notable from the standpoint of a latter-day Clark in the coming ethno-state, once the current theocracy falls apart.

Both Erasmus and Luther were involved in important translations of the Bible that shaked the medieval worldview. Although in the next episode Clark spoke highly about Counterreformation art, after the last indented quotation he said: “Whatever else he may have been, Luther was a hero; and after all the doubts and hesitations of the humanists, and the hovering flight of Erasmus, it is with a real sense of emotional relief that we hear Luther say: ‘Here I stand.’” However, at the same time Clark was also dismayed that the Protestants smashed the colored glasses of beautiful Catholic churches, and that artistic images of the Virgin were decapitated.

But it had to happen if civilisation was not to wither, or petrify. And ultimately a new civilisation was created—but it was a civilisation not of the image, but of the word.

But even the Protestant reaction had to be triumphed over, this time by secularism.

It is refreshing to see, in the closing remarks of the episode, Clark praising Montaigne as “completely sceptical about the Christian religion” and of Shakespeare as “the first great poet without a religious belief.”