Many of us are familiar with the charges of “radicalism” and “extremism.” We are constantly being told that we are “on the wrong side of history” or accused of “clinging bitterly to a past that never really existed.” Constant media consumption and participation in the zeitgeist can make one feel like a stranger in his own home, a man against time. Nothing could be further from the truth. We love our people, honor tradition, value and cherish our families and communities and want the best for our children.
The culture of materialism and hedonism is ugly and nihilistic. It grows in the absence of community and feeds on despair. In an increasingly transactional society, community and meaningful relationships are everything. Many of us easily fall into the abyss of isolation and despair. We are encouraged to leave our homes and families to pursue unfulfilling careers and making money to buy things we don’t need. This is sold to us as “freedom.”
Freedom from obligation, duty, self, nature and God are the goals of the new secular faith. There are no borders, nations, communities, or places of meaningful worship. Truth is subjective and you are only defined by your consumer choices and transactional relationships. It appears as the end game of consumer capitalism. Nothing matters but a transaction of cash for goods; nothing matters but the free flow of capital. You culture doesn’t matter and neither does your soul, upgrade your cellphone and buy a new flat screen television.
What can men do against the evil and ugliness of modernity? Live simply and with purpose. Standing against the storm can be overwhelming, but the tree with the deepest roots will hold fast. Take time off from the internet. Read books. Do something nice for your families and loved ones. Lift. Pray. Develop friendships and meaningful relationships. Check in on your friends, both online and in the real-world. Go to church. Call your grandparents (if you’re fortunate enough to still have them).
Be an example of excellence. Never give up, we’re all going to make it.
I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened?Samwise Gamgee
But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. Because they were holding on to something.
-By Johnny Rico
Oh, I'm a good old Rebel, now that's just what I am; For this "Fair Land of Freedom" I do not give a damn! I'm glad I fit against it, I only wish we'd won, And I don't want no pardon for anything I done.