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The Counter-Repudiation That’s on the Way

The Counter-Repudiation That’s on the Way

Philosopher, writer, and teacher Roger Scruton labeled our age “the culture of repudiation” in his 1998 book An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Modern Culture. Though I am oversimplifying here, his basic premise was that academics and other influential writers and thinkers had given up defending, much less advancing, Western thought and culture. Many, in fact, had spent years attacking the art, history, faith, and principles of Judeo-Christian civilization. As Scruton noted a decade later,

This culture of repudiation has transmitted itself, through the media and the schools, across the spiritual terrain of Western civilization, leaving behind it a sense of emptiness and defeat, a sense that nothing is left to believe in or endorse, save only the freedom to believe. And a belief in the freedom to believe is neither a belief nor a freedom. It encourages hesitation in the place of conviction and timidity in the place of choice.

Now another decade has passed, and the repudiation gang is in full swing, a wrecking ball smashing everything from the family to statues, from rationality to religion. The ball swings 24/7, pushing critical race theory, gender bending teenagers, advocating full-term abortions, changing the meaning of words like male, female, and recession, and spending billions of dollars on projects that line the pockets of those who support them.

Yet resistance and hope, so often born as scraggly weeds, keep breaking through the concrete slab being poured on our culture. Around the country, colleges old and new—schools like Christendom or Hillsdale, or the recently founded University of Austin—stand by Western values. Outfits like The Federalist, American Thinker, and Intellectual Takeout saddle up and ride into battle every day against the craziness that grips our country by the throat.

Enlisting in this pushback against those seeking the ruin of liberty and tradition is pretty simple. Here are 10 of my suggestions, some of which I’ve mentioned in earlier articles. I’m confident others can add to, or improve, this list.

Live in the Truth
“Truth alone does not prevail,” Heda Kovály writes in Under a Cruel Star, her memoir of life in Czechoslovakia firs under the Nazis and then under communism. “When it clashes with power, truth often loses. It prevails only when people are strong enough to defend it.” Against today’s cancel culture we must hold fast to what we know in our bones to be the truth.

Seek Truth
“It is not hard for a totalitarian regime to keep people ignorant,” Kovály tells us. “Once you relinquish your freedom for the sake of ‘understood necessity’ … you cede your claim to the truth.” The propaganda campaign of the pandemic brought far too few questions and all too many Americans marching in lockstep. We relinquished liberties for understood necessity. Let’s not repeat that mistake.

This one’s a no-brainer. But you’ll hear some critics say, “A vote for a lesser evil is still evil.” Maybe so, but that’s the nature of politics.

Form Alliances
Let’s ally ourselves with likeminded family and friends. It’s easier to stand together than alone.

Cling to Faith
Seek out and practice a faith or a philosophy that gives moral guidance in living, that repudiates the nihilism of our culture.

Follow After Virtue
Live by the cardinal virtues of courage, prudence, justice, and temperance, and the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity. Doing so is wholesome, good for you, and can even provide some entertainment. As Mark Twain once said to a group of young people, “Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest.”

The Fortress of Home
Make your home, however humble, a castle of civilization, a fortress where when you close the front door you shut out trouble and feel comfort and safety.

Make Time for Meals
Make the evening meal a time for gathering with friends and family. Talk together about the day’s events, what happened at the office or school. These conversations are not insignificant, but are instead the ties that bind us to our loved ones.

Teach Your Children
Teach the kids about their history and culture. This road is wide open with read-alouds and books on tape, movies, museums, concerts, visits to national parks, and the reminiscences of grandparents. Preservation begins at home.

Have Fun
Have some fun along the way. Nothing drives the grim-hearted politicos crazier than seeing the rest of us laughing and enjoying ourselves. Revel in the small pleasures. This is important, because these are the things—the delighted shouts of a little one on a swing set, stars over the ocean, even that cup of coffee in the morning—that are worth fighting for.

Now, let the Counter-Repudiation begin!

Image Credit: Pxhere

Jeff Minick
Jeff Minick

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  • Avatar
    Deborah Duval
    August 17, 2022, 11:33 pm

    Thank you!

  • Avatar
    Mike Laughlin
    August 18, 2022, 3:26 am

    Excellent advice, thanks, I’ve saved it. Will use where appropriate.

  • Avatar
    August 18, 2022, 11:30 am

    This reminds me of an article from The Onion which appeared shortly after 9/11: "Not Knowing What Else To Do, Woman Makes Flag Cake." Your suggestions seem equally futile. Try adding the phrase ". . . until they come for you" to all those subheads in your list.

    • Avatar
      Jack Trimpey@JCambias
      August 25, 2022, 7:43 pm

      I understand JCampias’ impatience with Minick’s sound, common sense. Setting a good standard for others is fine when the others are interested in eventual reconciliation with polite society. There is no hope that moral leadership will resolve any of our political turmoil because the USA is already at war with an occupying, foreign enemy serving the shape-shifting entities of communism, i.e., Globalism, New World Order, and BLM, and Woke. They are all guided by the Democrat National Party (DNC), which is entirely devoted to replacing the United States Constitution ©1789 with a new, liberal-Marxist-socialist-communist government entity.

      By contrast to the gentlemanly approach of Minick, I would savor every encounter with a crude, rude social justice warrior as an opportunity to shame, scold, belittle, and especially to infantilize the beliefs and values and antics of that anti-family, anti-American culture, particularly calling attention to the ineradicable marks of social defiance including facial disfigurement with tattoos, noserings, and ear mutilations. Our criticisms should be direct, condescending, and shaming, even when the self-harm is irreversible, as in nasal piercings to accommodate tie-tack style objects driven through the external nose flesh and attached by an interior anchor. Such disgusting styles can be quelled by asking, "What happens when you blow your nose, and you have no plug to contain the mucous? Do you just let it spray everyone in range? Suppose you’re on a bus and have to sneeze. Do you warn everyone, "Everybody back! Cover youselves to avoid my mucous! Im going to sneeze! What does your mother think of your facial destruction? Did she say how lovely or handsome you look with snakes crawling out of your eyes?" And so on.

      This kind of confrontation is best offered without consideration for circumstances. The more who overhear your truthtelling, the better, because the entire social revolution against America the Beautiful is based entirely upon the assumption that we will not say the obvious, that we will politiely look upon self-imposed exile from the job market with kindness and charity.

      And now, the best part. The children. Our children, as opposed to what they have chosen to be. They need to know two things, (1) we love our children and all children who love America, and (2) we are the most dangerous predators on earth when it comes to protecting our children from predation of any kind. We will track down any wokesters, social justice warriors, and LGBTQ sickos who attempt to infect our children with anti-family evil, and when we find them there will be a moment of social justice that finally makes some sense, in the name of good, without the grinding shame of left-field ethos.

  • Avatar
    August 18, 2022, 1:09 pm

    “This culture of repudiation has transmitted itself, through the media and the schools, across the spiritual terrain of Western civilization, leaving behind it a sense of emptiness and defeat, a sense that nothing is left to believe in or endorse, save only the freedom to believe. And a belief in the freedom to believe is neither a belief nor a freedom. It encourages hesitation in the place of conviction and timidity in the place of choice.”

    This is not an accidental by-product, this is the goal.

  • Avatar
    August 18, 2022, 9:25 pm

    Thank you for your summary of Sruton’s work – well worth saving and sharing!


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