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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Curiosity and cognitive paradigms

As time has passed, I have realized that my ability to easily defeat other intelligent, educated people in debate has considerably less to do with my intelligence and more to do with what appears to be a higher degree of curiosity, which doesn't actually have much, if anything, to do with intelligence or formal education.

As has often been noted here, Man is a rationalizing animal. And what I have increasingly noted of late is that most people devote most of their intelligence to rationalizing what they already think to be true than they do to figuring out what they think is not true. This desire to rationalize rather than learn is, quite possibly, the intelligent individual's biggest intellectual weakness.

Now, we all do it to varying degrees. But the more we do it, the more absurd and indefensible and self-contradictory positions we will take. Thus we see the monetarists seriously discussing the outlawing of paper money, evolutionists denying the existence of species, anthropologists presenting literal fiction in the place of history or archeological science, and Christians arguing the virgin birth of a non-divine individual.

But this is only one form of the rationalization process. The other one is to base one's opinion on conclusions drawn from incomplete information, to argue on the basis of knowing about something rather than genuinely knowing it. Those of us who have graduated from good colleges are particularly susceptible to this, as we have been introduced to a broad range of classics, we have listened to lectures from professors deeply steeped in them so that we recognize them and know a little bit about them, but the truth is that we don't really know much of anything concerning their details.

Which is why we will so often see someone saying that Marx is wrong without have the least conception of what he might be wrong about, declaring that Fukuyama's declaration of the end of history is stupid on its face without understanding what Fukuyama meant by "history" - and any would-be intellectual should be humiliated upon the realization that his level of knowledge doesn't rise to the level of a pop song by Jesus Jones from 26 years ago - and appealing to all things "quantum" without even being able to define "quantum mechanics".

Complicating this is the common preference for binary thinking, or if you want to sound more philosophical, Abelardian philosophy. "It is so or it is not so" is the binary thinker's mantra; the concept of necessary, but not sufficient eludes him. Consider two contrary examples from the comments on Huntington's book, The Clash of Civilizations, yesterday.
"I suspect that it might be easier to start with worship of blood, soil and nature and work up from there.  The popularity of paganism should be no mystery."

"I would go further, and say not only that Christianity is needed for Western Civilization, I say Christianity IS Western Civilization. You can see from that why the appeal of the Alt-Right, claiming that my racial identity trumps my Church, is an idea not even worth discussing."
Despite being directly opposed, both statements are equally silly, and both are similarly ignorant. Anyone who has read even part of Huntington's book will instantly recognize that neither commenter has read it. The first comment violates the recounting of the history of the various civilizations in general and Western civilization in particular. Given that even a sophisticated religion such as Buddhism has proven insufficient to support the development of a major civilization, and even the highest, most noble forms of virtuous Roman paganism failed to compete successfully with Christianity, it is obvious that working up from the sort of pre-civilized animism that the commenter recommends would not be easier than metaphorically taking whips to the temple and reforming the Christian churches. In fact, it is improbable to the point of being a virtual impossibility.

As for the idea that Christianity IS Western Civilization, this is a historical and definitional absurdity. While religion is much more important in defining civilizations than the secular students of liberal democracy would like to admit, a civilization is considerably more than its definitive religion. Thus, both the following statements by Huntington are both true:

  1. People of the same race can be deeply divided by civilization; people of different races may be united by civilization....The crucial distinctions among human groups concern their values, beliefs, institutions, and social structures, not their physical size, head shapes, and skin colors.
  2. A civilization is the broadest cultural entity. Villages, regions, ethnic groups, nationalities, religious groups, all have distinct cultures at different levels of cultural heterogeneity. It is defined both by common objective elements, such as language, history, religion, customs, institutions, and by the subjective self-identification of people. People have levels of identity: a resident of Rome may define himself with varying degrees of intensity as a Roman, an Italian, a Catholic, a Christian, a European, a Westerner. The civilization to which he belongs is the broadest level of identification with which he strongly identifies.

First, an individual's values, beliefs, institutions, and social structures are heavily influenced by his race; race and culture are deeply intertwined. Second, Christianity is not Western civilization, it is merely one of the most important aspects of Western civilization; as the Alt-Right sees it, Christianity is one of the three necessary components. The idea that one's racial identity trumps one's religion is not worth discussing because it is irrelevant, both to the Alt-Right and to the civilizational paradigm. Both religion and race are necessary components of a civilization, but are insufficient in themselves. This should be entirely obvious from the start, given that neither religion nor race are recognized synonyms for civilization.

Third, the fact that there are three other major Christian civilizations besides Western civilization, Byzantine, Orthodox, and Latin American, (to say nothing of minor Christian civilizations such as Ethiopean) means that Western civilization cannot be Christianity and Christianity cannot be Western civilization. That is an idea that is not worth discussing, because it is as obviously and mathematically untrue as the statement that 1+3.5=1.

Now, we can argue whether a society of Chinese Christians will be more Sinic than Western or more Western than Sinic. I strongly incline towards the former view myself, though I would not view the matter as completely unworthy of discussion. But regardless, we should all be able to concur that it will not be Japanese or Muslim, or, for that matter, neoliberal.

And furthermore, the civilizational paradigm tends to highlight why Alt-West and Alt-White are not necessarily in competition with each other. Alt-White is less an alternative to Alt-West than a subset of it, as Alt-West is focused on the civilizational level, while Alt-White is focused on the national level. However, it also indicates that the Alt-White is going to have to come to terms with the necessity of Christianity to its own objectives if it is going to find any success going forward.

It can, of course, reject the civilizational paradigm, but that is a suboptimal response given the way it is increasingly clear that the civilizational paradigm is vastly superior in explanatory and predictive terms to either the bipolar superpower paradigm that preceded it or the universalist neoliberal paradigm that was supposed to succeed the superpower model.

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128 Comments:

Blogger Sherwood family September 28, 2016 5:13 AM  

Well stated. Western Civilization, indeed, any civilization, is a mixture of particular components and is not reducible to one component alone. Though some components may make up more of the mixture than others, it does no good to say that one is the only one that matters any more than stating that white flour alone is sufficient to make a cake. Without the correct components in their proper proportion you have something very different than originally envisioned. Which is why those who resist the notion that whites are necessary to Western Civilization's success because it seems exclusive fail to understand that substituting rye flour for white flour makes a very different cake though both are come from grains. At the same time those who reject Christianity because it is not "native" to Europe/not derived from Whites originally are missing the point as well. Sugar and leaven are not the same as flour but their function is irreplaceable in a cake.

Blogger SciVo September 28, 2016 5:13 AM  

I think that as the three-act structure is fractal, so is white identity, and a lot depends on your locality. Like how how simply being American is a different level.

So we can expect some conflation between the white and the west in america because they actually are kind of the same here.

Blogger M Cephas September 28, 2016 5:26 AM  

Shots fired.

Anonymous Samson J. September 28, 2016 5:35 AM  

virgin birth

Nice troll.

I was thrilled to see yesterday's thread about Tom Holland, by the way, having read several of his books last year and finding them first-rate. Indeed I remember one of them being tainted only by an ever-so-subtle barb against the bible...

Blogger VD September 28, 2016 5:48 AM  

The fact that identity trumps ideology can be seen by the way in which these errors of rationalization can often, if not usually, be traced to the identity of the person committing the error.

And one can reliably identify some of those who are prone to committing such errors, since they will tend to claim that I make this particularly pro-Western case because I am a Christian. That's absurd, because the very strong case existed long before I even encountered it. I am not Sam Huntington, and also, I didn't reject Fukuyama's paradigm on religious grounds.

Blogger Determinator Telemachus September 28, 2016 5:53 AM  

I recall us talking about this before, but a quick search only brought up this:

The Three Pillars of The West

1:) The Greek and Roman Legacy

2:) Christianity

3:) The Customs of the Germanic Barbarians



I think I remember something to the effect of "the Christianity pillar could be kicked out, only if a suitable replacement were close at hand", but there isn't any suitable replacement even on the horizon.

Anonymous Roman Lance September 28, 2016 6:00 AM  

You do realize "Christianity" is an abstraction don't you Vox. Christ founded a Church not a religion. That Church is the Catholic Church.

And Europe IS Catholicism, at least according to Hillare Belloc. And no matter what the heretics within western civilization pronounce, Europe will always be inextricably linked with the Catholic Church.

Blogger Ben Sanderson September 28, 2016 6:02 AM  

Funny, because no matter where I look, I can find nobody blogging about the "alt white" or the "alt west". It exists only on this blog, as fiction. And I'm not saying this to provoke, but merely to point out that the altwhite/west isn't a thing. The Alt Right is, however.

Anonymous Icicle September 28, 2016 6:07 AM  

most noble forms of virtuous Roman paganism failed to compete successfully with Christianity,

I find it interesting only Shinto has managed to pull this one off and compete with Christianity. Maybe the ethnic homogeneity did it.

Third, the fact that there are three other major Christian civilizations besides Western civilization, Byzantine, Orthodox, and Latin American,

People were specifically arguing Russia was not European (Western Civilization). Huntington places Russia is in the Orthodox category.

Anonymous JAG September 28, 2016 6:12 AM  

This is why I come here, articles like this one. I had not even contemplated these subjects much at all before giving up on conservatism.

This is a lot of new ground for me so rather than trying to discuss concepts I am merely getting started with I'll just read this discussion as it progresses.

Blogger VD September 28, 2016 6:18 AM  

Christ founded a Church not a religion. That Church is the Catholic Church.

Actually, the Catholic Church that Jesus founded is the Orthodox Church. The Roman Catholic Church is a splinter group based on the Bishop of Rome breaking away from that church. And both religion and Christianity are labels for material things, they are not pure abstractions.

Please note that if you insist on continuing with your historically inaccurate, off-topic Catholic propaganda, your next post will be spammed.

Funny, because no matter where I look, I can find nobody blogging about the "alt white" or the "alt west". It exists only on this blog, as fiction. And I'm not saying this to provoke, but merely to point out that the altwhite/west isn't a thing. The Alt Right is, however.

You're wrong. Alt-White and Alt-West are absolutely a thing. The fact that I am the first to observe and articulate it does not mean that it does not exist. The Alt-Right existed before it was identified and named. The Okapi existed before Western biologists named it.

As is all-too common with your kind, you simply do not understand the difference between the map and the territory it describes. Words are not magic. They describe, they do not create.

Blogger Amy September 28, 2016 6:20 AM  

Excellent early morning reading Vox. I have some more reading to do. If my library has Huntington I'll pick up a copy today.

I am interested in the question of why, once Christianity took root in Europe, that both the faith and western civilization took off like a rocket. When in history has a mere millennium led to such heights and advancements in engineering and architecture, in medicine and chemistry and physics, in human philosophy and discourse? Some perfect synergy happened and it would likely take the remainder of my lifetime to read, think, and write enough to parse it out.

Blogger VD September 28, 2016 6:20 AM  

rather than trying to discuss concepts I am merely getting started with I'll just read this discussion as it progresses.

I commend your common sense. Unfortunately, there are many whose preferred form of instruction appears to be speaking obvious falsehoods and then being corrected.

Anonymous Icicle September 28, 2016 6:21 AM  

And Europe IS Catholicism, at least according to Hillare Belloc.

And yet, Romania still exists.

And I'm not saying this to provoke, but merely to point out that the altwhite/west isn't a thing.

Yet.

Anonymous Icicle September 28, 2016 6:31 AM  

You're wrong. Alt-White and Alt-West are absolutely a thing. The fact that I am the first to observe and articulate it does not mean that it does not exist.

I'm thinking he means no one is talking about it. Not that it is not floating out there someplace. Hence the "yet" comment.

Blogger VD September 28, 2016 6:44 AM  

I'm thinking he means no one is talking about it

No, because he claimed it exists only as fiction. I don't think he understands how utterly indifferent I am to what other people are talking about. I can happily go the rest of my life without ever knowing why Angelina decided to divorce Brad.

I don't care if absolutely no one adopts the terms I use to clarify concepts for my own benefit. No one uses scientody either, and yet, more and more people are gradually coming to understand that there are differences between "science" and "science" and "science", and that those differences are important.

Blogger Sherwood family September 28, 2016 6:44 AM  

Icicle, I think Huntington is correct in divvying things up the way he does. Russia is not and never has been Western. It is White, it is Christian, but it, at present, derives little from the customs of the Germanic barbarians, despite the clear evidence that the leadership of the "Rus" were Vikings/Norsemen for a period. Blame the Tatars and Mongols for this if you like but it is true.

The Byzantines, another white, Christian group, are not part Western Civilization for the same reason. (Though Byzantiums existence allowed for the development of Western Civilization. Indeed, a great debt is owed by all of Europe to the Byzantines/Eastern Romans.)

Latin America is, depending on location, Christian, but not necessarily white. It's language (mostly) and government forms are from Western Europe and do derive, for the most part, from Germanic Custom and Greco-Roman Heritage.

That's why there is more commonality between these groups and the West than there is between the West and other groups. There is more overlap.

Northeast Asia, by contrast, shares none of these in large measure, though Christianity as a percentage of the population there continues to grow. However, it can be argued, that many of the features of life in modern Japan and China are derived from Western civilization, at least in terms of the physical trappings and even some of the mental processes, though I would argue that these would be more remote than those in Latin America, Byzantine or Orthodox civilizations.

Blogger Leo Littlebook in Shenzhen September 28, 2016 6:48 AM  

There is always a superior perspective which allows one to be outflanked from above, as Job's conversation with Jehovah shows.

Anonymous McOxford September 28, 2016 7:03 AM  

I recently bought some books from 1910 by amateur historians detailing my town's history. It was established in 860 AD by royal charter granting the land to the then resident bishop. The lane in which I live is named for a man who bent the knee to do knights service to said bishop over a thousand years ago. Christianity has been baked into England from the very beginning, the idea that its a species of slow acting Jew poison or that it can be replaced or discarded without terrible cost looks increasingly ridiculous to me.

OpenID simplytimothy September 28, 2016 7:18 AM  

Essays like this are why I enjoy reading your blog.


Thanks, Vox.

Anonymous Broken Arrow September 28, 2016 7:25 AM  

This post is an excellent reminder to Christians everywhere to be very cautious about arguing theological and denominational differences. Remember the guy you are arguing with thinks that you are just as delusional and out of touch with reality in regards to the scripture as you think of him. Instead it's likely both of you are rationalizing large portions of your theology.

Anonymous Icicle September 28, 2016 7:28 AM  

You could (maybe) divide it into two halves based on Huntington's groups that will "clash" (I use that loosely):

A) Western
B) Orthodox
C) African (We could probably just ignore them and pump in Christianity)
D) Latin American
E) Sinic (This is not just China. It includes Korea(s) and Vietnam. Christianity is exploding in South Korea. Slower in Vietnam.)

vs.

A) Islamic
B) Hindu
C) Japonic
D) Israeli (Jewish) (?)

No, because he claimed it exists only as fiction

I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt there he's not a complete retard.

I don't care if absolutely no one adopts the terms I use to clarify concepts for my own benefit. No one uses scientody either, and yet, more and more people are gradually coming to understand that there are differences between "science" and "science" and "science", and that those differences are important.

There's that fag-talk again.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRQijskAMp4

Blogger yoghi.llama September 28, 2016 7:28 AM  

Christianity is the mainstream of Western civilization. Pagan rationalism, Enlightenment rationalism, Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Judaism, and :-( cultural Marxism are all tributaries and distributaries now.

I rewatched Agora recently. Fantastic film. Love the way they portrayed Xians as swarthy, guttural, illiterate Palestinian phenotypes, chanting "Alleluia" like Allahu Akbar as they smashed up the Serapeum.

Blogger CM September 28, 2016 7:29 AM  

We can prioritize what we are curious about as well. Traditionally, I'm more curious about my faith than politics, though reading here, I have stopped toeing the party line and challenging some assumptions.

OpenID simplytimothy September 28, 2016 7:36 AM  

@12 I am interested in the question of why, once Christianity took root in Europe, that both the faith and western civilization took off like a rocket.

Sarah Ruden's Paul Among the People...

paints a compelling picture of Roman life in 70 AD. TL;DR it sucked and Christianity was a breath of fresh air--a better thing.

Anonymous CC September 28, 2016 7:46 AM  

As has often been noted here, Man is a rationalizing animal. And what I have increasingly noted of late is that most people devote most of their intelligence to rationalizing what they already think to be true than they do to figuring out what they think is not true. This desire to rationalize rather than learn is, quite possibly, the intelligent individual's biggest intellectual weakness.

Yeah, totally agree with this. Sometimes when I'm talking to somebody really intelligent and they come out with absurdities or received mainstream opinions, I find myself thinking something like "but you're a really smart person..." It occurs to me then that they're ego or self-esteem or well being is likely tied up in their beliefs which have become cast in amber and has then restricted their desire to learn and individual growth.

I like to believe that the greatest strength of human beings is their adaptability to new events, but that doesn't mean adaptability comes easily. It's not easy saying "I don't know."

Very good post Vox, and I agree with you on your terms Alt-White and Alt-West. I can see them becoming more widely used and discussed.

Anonymous VFM #6306 September 28, 2016 7:56 AM  

A chief benefit of curiosity is that it kills cats. Perhaps you should debate dog people.

Supporting your argument is that the debates that required greater adaptation from you occurred in the ones where you were the published subject matter expert and the opposition was curious, but no expert with no natural concerns of ego or status.

Blogger Ben Cohen September 28, 2016 8:03 AM  

What's the difference between Orthodox Christianity and Byzantine Christianity?

Blogger CM September 28, 2016 8:09 AM  

Isn't this type of rationalization the kind of thing Socrates' method of questioning was supposed to correct?

Blogger Sherwood family September 28, 2016 8:14 AM  

All Byzantine Christians are Orthodox but not all Orthodox are Byzantine i.e. Russians, Romanians, Serbians, etc. Each national autocephalic church has its own hierarchy/patriarch. But as I am not Orthodox I will leave further explanations to those who are for fear of mischaracterizing something.

Blogger CCubed September 28, 2016 8:16 AM  

"The other one is to base one's opinion on conclusions drawn from incomplete information, to argue on the basis of knowing about something rather than genuinely knowing it."

Only God has complete information. We mortals must muddle along with incomplete information. We don't know what we don't know; so how can you tell if you "really know" something? At best you can say that maybe you know more about it than you did before.

Blogger Cerdic Ricing September 28, 2016 8:23 AM  

@30 I was going to say something of the sort as well, but my knowledge is limited so I didn't want to overstretch, especially since that's kind of the theme of this post.

I think he wants to separate the Eastern Roman civilization (Eastern Roman Empire) from the other Eastern civilizations, such as Russia, Serbia, etc. Those civilizations formed on their own, and I think we should give them credit as a separate civilization. They might be technically the same religion, but the theme is separating religion from civilization, just as Latin America shares Catholicism with its Western progenitors.

I might be wrong here, but that's my understanding from history here.

Blogger residentMoron September 28, 2016 8:25 AM  

Some people are zen with the idea that people might legitimately disagree with them. Some go the "purge the heretic! Destroy the unclean!" route.

Some go too zen and become irrelevant relativists. (This is a major component of churchian compromise with evil, erroneously concluding that there's no such thing as evil, only differences of opinion.)

Concluding there's no evil is as risibly wrong as concluding that all dissent from my own opinion is evil.

Suffice it to say, one may stray from the path of wisdom to Left or to Right, to Relativism or to Legalism.

For narrow is the way, and strait is the gate, that leads to salvation, and few there be who find it.

Blogger Cerdic Ricing September 28, 2016 8:27 AM  

@32

Let me correct an ambiguity here, it's not necessarily separating religion from civilization, but noting that they are distinct. They are tied, but they are not the same. Thus, you can have Eastern Orthodox Civilization (Russia, etc.) be distinct from Byzantine Civilization even if they share religion.

Blogger VD September 28, 2016 8:28 AM  

Isn't this type of rationalization the kind of thing Socrates' method of questioning was supposed to correct?

No. Socrates's method was a cheap and occasionally dishonest use of false dichotomies. It's not X, and it's not Y, therefore it must be Z.

What's the difference between Orthodox Christianity and Byzantine Christianity?

That's not relevant. The subject is the difference between Orthodox civilization and Byzantine civilization. The latter is a dead civilization. But it was a Christian civilization distinct from Western civilization.

Anonymous Avalanche September 28, 2016 8:35 AM  

Vox: "and even the highest, most noble forms of virtuous Roman paganism failed to compete successfully with Christianity"

(I can't, on quick thought over coffee, find a possibly less uncomfortable metaphor, but no offense is intended. I am probably swimming out of my depth, but this blog entry pricks my discomfort with Christianity patting itself on the back for 'bringing civilization' to the West (and beyond). Civilization most assuredly existed in the West long before the Semitic religion that sapped and destroyed Rome showed up. The Semitic religion was most assuredly 'contaminated' and modified and 'shaped' BY the Germanic and Northern barbarians and also by the pre-existing Greco-Roman civilization/paganism.

Consider a revision:
Even the highest, most noble forms of virtuous health failed to compete successfully with cancer.

"A civilization is ... defined both by common objective elements, such as language, history, religion, customs, institutions, and by the subjective self-identification of people." All these elements were (already) very successful in Roman and Greek (and probably even Germanic barbarian!) civilizations. Having those civilizations weakened and finally destroyed by Christianity does not accrue to Christianity's positive ledger!

(cont.)

Blogger Johnny September 28, 2016 8:35 AM  

To use the concept of a village to mean interpersonal association, the morality of a village is based on interpersonal association. It gets expressed as behaviors that are acceptable and those that are not.

When an empire gets formed interpersonal association is lost owing to scale. That creates a need for something to replace the morality of a village, and that is where Christendom came from. Christianity had the framework needed to create a unifying moral code. Its widespread acceptance made the Roman Empire a cultural whole. That along with Greek culture, Roman Law, and Roman administrative abilities generally created Europe as a cultural whole, which is why it is still with us.

Anonymous Avalanche September 28, 2016 8:36 AM  



Vox: "there are three other major Christian civilizations besides Western civilization, Byzantine, Orthodox, and Latin American, (to say nothing of minor Christian civilizations such as Ethiopian)"

Byzantine and Orthodox have a flavor of Christianity, but their "high noble" civilizations formed from contact with what became Western civ. (That is, it wasn't Christianity that created their civilization, it was contact/conquering/contamination by what became Western civ.)

Latin America? They certainly had some versions of a high paganism -- and some pretty damned good versions of civilization, albeit not one we could comfortably call either noble or virtuous. (Still, it worked for them: see, e.g., Teotehuacan and codexes!) Their introduction to Christianity destroyed them quite thoroughly! They did not 'grow' a new Christian civilization; the Christian (Western) conquerors forced them into a semblance of (non-native: i.e., does not fit their *race*) civilization (that is still not working well at all).

Ethiopia? Did they even have ANY such "high, virtuous, noble" civilization before they were civilized (or colonized?) BY the West? Or was it by Semites (Hence, "Ethiopian Jews" {eye roll}), which I do not believe even counts as Roman paganism?)

(And China too: they HAD a high civilization; it crashed (not because of Christianity); and in its nadir only some of its people were susceptible to 'catching the disease' that is Christianity. It has not brought them back to "the highest, most noble forms of virtuous" civilization; they have massively piggybacked on WESTERN civ; but have not created a new civ of their own based in or on Christianity.)


Vox: "Alt-West is focused on the civilizational level, while Alt-White is focused on the national level."

If one applies Steve Sailor's "very extended family" description, then these are neither as clear-cut as they are described by their names, nor separate. Two or more 'wings' of a family may be divided by any number of "common objective elements, such as language, history, religion, customs, institutions, and by the subjective self-identification of people" (football teams?) – without thereby ceasing to be family.

If "nation" come from race (thus family: "our posterity"), and civilization is a broader spread of THE RACE that creates the civilization, how is Christianity not an overlay (however magnificent it (once?) led the race to become in music, architecture -- perhaps in 'moral structure': I'm still mulling that one over -- and etc.), then Christianity when spread to other races (and I'm thinking contagion here, not proselytizing), does not lead to or help create any sort of civilization. Pick any of your new Christian states in Africa, or look at Korea -- huge number of Christians, have they built their own "highest, most noble form of virtuous" civilization -- or have they laid WHITE Western civ over what they had?
(cont.)

Anonymous Avalanche September 28, 2016 8:36 AM  

Vox @13: "Unfortunately, there are many whose preferred form of instruction appears to be speaking obvious falsehoods and then being corrected."

And yet, when describing an elephant, the blind men must compare and contrast each others' descriptions to try to form a picture of a whole?

Blogger Old Ez September 28, 2016 8:37 AM  

"No faith yet has altered the world and no fact can ever rebut a faith." - Spengler

Blogger Ben Sanderson September 28, 2016 8:38 AM  

We know that the altright is a reaction to neoconservatism; to banish the neocons just as they had banished the paleocons. We know this, it is an historical fact. And now we've seen it take off.

We can not say this about the "altwhite/west." It has no history and no creed. It isn't a movement. It has no followers. There are no essays written about it. Not even a google search can find these terms.

I'm not trying to be a shit disturber, but you should not be using the 'alt' prefix to describe your thoughts, because such a reduction invariably confuses the issue. More importantly, it makes you appear dishonest, like a carpetbagger. I know you don't care, but you should. All you have is your reputation in this life.

Blogger Deplorable Gaiseric September 28, 2016 8:40 AM  

Determinator Telemachus wrote:I recall us talking about this before, but a quick search only brought up this:

The Three Pillars of The West

1:) The Greek and Roman Legacy

2:) Christianity

3:) The Customs of the Germanic Barbarians

I think that there's actually a fourth, not often recognized pillar and necessary component of Western civilization: manorialism and Outbreeding. Read some hbd chick articles on the subject (here, here and here.)

This is what caused the readily observable Hajnal Line. This is what separates Western civilization from those that can imitate Western civilization but not exactly recreate it, like the Irish, or the Southern Italians or the Czechs and Poles, etc.

I'm more and more convinced that this development in "Core Europe" is as much responsible for Western civilization being what it is as is Christianity, the Classic tradition, and the Salic Law, or however you want to call the Germanic tradition.

Anonymous mature craig September 28, 2016 8:41 AM  

Christianity has been baked into England I am of the belief that there is a connection between England Anglo and Angel..and that Anglo-Saxon has something to do with Angels that can procreate

Blogger Johnny September 28, 2016 8:44 AM  

Something that I think is greatly underappreciated is the development of phonics, also from the Middle East. Phonetic script lowers the effort necessary to become literate, and that made it possible for a much larger part of European society to become literate at a very early period.

Anonymous Avalanche September 28, 2016 8:45 AM  

And please let me stress again, I do NOT mean any offense or insult by using a metaphor (illness) and its morbidity/mortality 'effects' on various peoples. But -- it is a metaphor that aligns (if a bit painfully) with my view on what "Christianity" (perhaps mainly Churchianity) brings/had brought to MY extended family.

Anonymous Basket of Deplorables September 28, 2016 8:47 AM  

Today, a resident of Rome could also define himself alternately as Nigerian, a member of the Hausa tribe, a Muslim, a Sunni, a Salafist, and even a Roman so long as they keep paying the welfare Jizya. And that is a problem. Although off topic, however important to note that the key element uniting the strains of the Alt Right is the right for 'us' (however disputedly defined) to exist and defend ourselves. To me, the Alt Right to me is 'us' claiming our socio-cultural rather than individual right to self defence and survival against alien assault from without, and culturally marxist subversion from within.

Vox, thank you for doing more than your part.

Blogger residentMoron September 28, 2016 8:54 AM  

Consider the massive differences between South Africa and Botswana, literal next door neighbours of vastly different character.

Consider also that SA is about 80% self reported Christian, while Botswana is at 70%, but only in Botswana does a meeting with government officials begin and end with a prayer to God.

I certainly know where I would prefer to live if these were my only two choices.

Anonymous Dave September 28, 2016 8:59 AM  

You're wrong. Alt-White and Alt-West are absolutely a thing. The fact that I am the first to observe and articulate it does not mean that it does not exist. The Alt-Right existed before it was identified and named. The Okapi existed before Western biologists named it.

One can imagine the comments Sir Isaac Newton would have had if blogs were around back then. Fantastic stuff, Vox; carry on.

Blogger Bard September 28, 2016 9:00 AM  

How to break binary thinking? I tend to strong emotional opinions that cloud judgement. Do you first work to correct sloppy emotions/maturity? The second comment appeals to me but when you dissect it, I think that is brilliant and why didn't I think of that angle? Function of IQ?

Anonymous Athor Pel September 28, 2016 9:04 AM  

" 40. Blogger Old Ez September 28, 2016 8:37 AM
"No faith yet has altered the world and no fact can ever rebut a faith." - Spengler"


Dishonest comparison.

Looking at the two sides we see faith and faith, then we see world and fact.
Faith equals Faith
World does not equal Fact

And Spengler and you know it.
Therefore you're a liar.

Blogger dc.sunsets September 28, 2016 9:07 AM  

To me it's self-evident that HBD is the explanation for why Christianity is not synonymous with Western Civ.

The urge to universalize our self-perceptions (to others) is almost irresistible. It is difficult for most people to even imagine that others whose ancestors spent most of the last 1000 (or 10,000) years under very different conditions can adopt similar beliefs (e.g., Christianity regardless of subset) and still be utterly alien in profound ways with regard to lots of things that truly matter.

We generally cannot escape the hubris of thinking we're not of nature. We anthropomorphize animals, plants, even inanimate objects, and we simply cannot imagine that our day-to-day behavior obeys the directives of our DNA at the level of detail we attribute to instinctive behavior in, say, dogs. It's all a form of magical thinking, another way to describe the unseen forces of our unconscious or impulsive minds that pull our strings all day long.

I think the discussion of the various "tribes" of white people in the USA is relevant here as well. https://jaymans.wordpress.com/american-nations-series/

Blogger Amy September 28, 2016 9:10 AM  

@simplytimothy, thank you, I will read Ruden's book.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr September 28, 2016 9:13 AM  

Bard:

It helps to always remember that there's usually more than one solution. And more than one perspective...history is more often a battle between good men whose duties are in conflict than a battle between Good and Evil.

WRT our host, he's showing a strong encyclopedic perspective. Some people look at a problem or situation as a string...someone with an encyclopedic perspective sees a net of cross-connections going everywhere.

Anonymous Tom September 28, 2016 9:14 AM  

I always feel guilty when I do the whole "know about" but "not know" thing and catch myself. The problem is I don't always catch myself and people will believe me because I do "know" a lot of stuff. I wish I was more reflective and wiser about how I spoke...

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr September 28, 2016 9:20 AM  

Now, as to Western Civilization...Christianity brought the concepts of pity and mercy to a world that lacked them. Neither ancient Rome nor the Germans were noted for either. Lose a battle to them, and they'd sell the survivors as slaves. Crippled newborns could expect to be exposed. Not a nice place to be if you were small, weak, sick, young, or old.

Blogger Nate September 28, 2016 9:22 AM  

it should be as obvious as the hand in front of your face that Christianity /= Western Civilization. Since Christianity is exploding in Asia and Africa... and Western Civilization isn't.

Blogger Bard September 28, 2016 9:22 AM  

Thanks napoleon, that helps.

Anonymous Darth Dharmakīrti September 28, 2016 9:24 AM  

Given that even a sophisticated religion such as Buddhism has proven insufficient to support the development of a major civilization

Vox, I respect you greatly, but "major" is doing a lot of work here and perhaps even functioning as something of a weasel word. I challenge you to go to Siem Reap (you and Spacebunny will have a lovely time in Cambodia) and see Angkor, then we can talk about Buddhism as a foundation for civilization.

It's true that Buddhism has not supported anything on the scale of Christendom, which is unique in the history of mankind. But the monastic university at Nālandā (where I got the title of my blog) was the center of learning in India, and housed up to 10,000 monks, centuries before Oxford or the Sorbonne even existed. Likewise the Mahāvihāra at Vikramaśīla.

Beyond that, Imperial Buddhist Tibet was the largest and most powerful force in Central Asia (including the modern day Chinese heartland) for centuries, Tibetan Buddhism was the state religion of Khubilai Khan's Yuan dynasty, Buddhism remains the defining feature of Southeast Asian culture and in many cases political organization...

I realize that as a faithful Christian you believe that Buddhism is false. That is fine. But I think you could also learn a little more about this. Frankly, I would say that the genius of Christianity in relation to the question of political order is that, even in ecclesial bodies such as the Orthodox patriarchate which do not have a single unitary figure at the top, there is a clear and well-defined hierarchy. In Buddhism there is simply no analogue (no, not even the Dalai Lama). This makes a project of political and "ecclesial" unification difficult-to-impossible within a Buddhist context.

Anonymous mature craig September 28, 2016 9:28 AM  

Interesting

Blogger Bard September 28, 2016 9:32 AM  

That is a great point Nate.

Blogger S1AL September 28, 2016 9:33 AM  

"it should be as obvious as the hand in front of your face that Christianity /= Western Civilization. Since Christianity is exploding in Asia and Africa... and Western Civilization isn't."

Well, the Chinese ARE doing science for the first time since they discovered gunpowder...

Blogger Thomas Davidsmeier September 28, 2016 9:35 AM  

@36

Christianity's introduction to the Roman Empire was not what caused its fall, although it happened concurrently.

The Empire was failing for the same reasons that other empires failed before. Anacyclosis. While it might not be a perfect theory, it does a great job of laying out how common human failings will always be exposed by possession of political power over time. Humans continually follow roughly this cycle because humans continually are humans. Our "sinful natures" might not be identical, but the law of averages works out about the same way every time. A good ruler who consolidates power can start a golden age of a political entity, but that power will attract bad rulers to it, whether they come to power by hereditary succession or by other means. That same pattern plays out whether the power structures are set up for an individual ruler (Monarchy/Tyranny), a small group of rulers (Aristocracy/Oligarchy), or large groups (Democracy/Ochlocracy).

Look at history, look at humanity. Christianity and its espoused beliefs act against these forces and extend the cycle. Christianity emphasizes the values of all human individuals. It emphasizes personal moral responsibility. It emphasizes the idea that individuals' actions will have extremely long term consequences. It promises a reward greater than any that the World has to offer through abuse of power.

Compare the staying power of the Roman Empire with the Byzantine Empire. Rome only stood for 500 years, but Byzantium lasted 1100 years. If Christianity was a cancer that destroyed civilizations, the what's going on with those numbers there?

Christianity actually helped with one of the problems facing the Empire at the time when Constantine adopted it as the official religion because it united the diverse peoples of the Empire more than they had been before. Now, they weren't just a bunch of people who had been conquered by Rome once upon a time, they were all Christians, united in faith and behavioral expectations. (I know I'm way over simplifying it here.)

Blogger Iowahine September 28, 2016 9:43 AM  

Amy,
Read The 10,000 Year Explosion by Cochran, & Harpending:

Blogger VD September 28, 2016 9:54 AM  

I am probably swimming out of my depth, but this blog entry pricks my discomfort with Christianity patting itself on the back for 'bringing civilization' to the West (and beyond)

You are. You are also exhibiting one of the very problems I mentioned, which is permitting your identity to lead you into falsehood.

Byzantine and Orthodox have a flavor of Christianity, but their "high noble" civilizations formed from contact with what became Western civ. (That is, it wasn't Christianity that created their civilization, it was contact/conquering/contamination by what became Western civ.)

This is haplessly, hopelessly ahistorical, and wrong.

How to break binary thinking? I tend to strong emotional opinions that cloud judgement. Do you first work to correct sloppy emotions/maturity? The second comment appeals to me but when you dissect it, I think that is brilliant and why didn't I think of that angle? Function of IQ?

How would I know? I've never been a binary thinker. Yes, I would think the first thing to do is recognize when you're feeling an emotional reaction and stop there. I would also stop attempting to judge the truth or falsehood of something by whether it appeals to you or not. You are not the truth arbiter of all things. I think it is less a function of IQ than emotional control.

I'm not trying to be a shit disturber, but you should not be using the 'alt' prefix to describe your thoughts, because such a reduction invariably confuses the issue. More importantly, it makes you appear dishonest, like a carpetbagger. I know you don't care, but you should. All you have is your reputation in this life.

Now you're getting desperate. Only the dishonest will attempt to claim I am being dishonest; we've already seen blatant lies being told about how I am trying to subvert or take over the Alt Right. And "carpetbagger" is about the nicest thing any critic has said about me in 15 years.

Ask yourself this question. Why does my coining the terms Alt-White and Alt-West upset you so much? Why are you so threatened by it that you are moved to repeatedly come here and engage in this futile effort to shut it down at its source?

You see, the terms have the ring of truth to them and that either frightens you or threatens your objectives. If you really thought the terms didn't matter, you wouldn't pay them any attention.

Blogger VD September 28, 2016 10:01 AM  

Vox, I respect you greatly, but "major" is doing a lot of work here and perhaps even functioning as something of a weasel word. I challenge you to go to Siem Reap (you and Spacebunny will have a lovely time in Cambodia) and see Angkor, then we can talk about Buddhism as a foundation for civilization.

And this is why you should ALWAYS READ THE SUBJECT MATTER before publicly taking issue with it.

No Buddhist civilization, past or present, is considered a major civilization by anyone. Not Toynbee. Not Quigley. Not Spengler, McNeill, or Bagby. Not Braudel and not Rostovanyi. Neither Melko nor Huntington himself. You are not quibbling with me, but with every recognized historian and scholar who has addressed the topic.

In fact, Cambodia is specifically mentioned in the book by Huntington as one of the minor civilizations.

Of Weber’s five “world religions,” four—Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Confucianism—are associated with major civilizations. The fifth, Buddhism, is not. Why is this the case? Like Islam and Christianity, Buddhism early separated into two main subdivisions, and, like Christianity, it did not survive in the land of its birth. Beginning in the first century A.D., Mahayana Buddhism was exported to China and subsequently to Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. In these societies, Buddhism was variously adapted, assimilated to the indigenous culture (in China, for example, to Confucianism and Taoism), and suppressed. Hence, while Buddhism remains an important component of their cultures, these societies do not constitute and would not identify themselves as part of a Buddhist civilization. What can legitimately be described as a Therevada Buddhist civilization, however, does exist in Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. In addition, the populations of Tibet, Mongolia, and Bhutan have historically subscribed to the Lamaist variant of Mahayana Buddhism, and these societies constitute a second area of Buddhist civilization. Overall, however, the virtual extinction of Buddhism in India and its adaptation and incorporation into existing cultures in China and Japan mean that Buddhism, although a major religion, has not been the basis of a major civilization.

Anonymous Darth Dharmakīrti September 28, 2016 10:06 AM  

And this is why you should ALWAYS READ THE SUBJECT MATTER before publicly taking issue with it.

Well, I think we agree that the issue is the qualification of "major," and as I said I'm perfectly willing to concede that Buddhism has not supported anything on the scale of Christendom or even the Caliphate. In any case, this is all the more reason to finally get around to reading Huntington. Thanks for engaging.

Anonymous Northern Observer September 28, 2016 10:08 AM  

"neither religion nor race are recognized synonyms for civilization."

This is one reason why a modern English England or a white USA is not a long term solution political problems in either country.

The English are much to far gone from being Protestant Christian and the mixed European stock that makes up 'white America' historically far too divergent views on religion and on what makes good government.

Blogger wrf3 September 28, 2016 10:09 AM  

Bard wrote:How to break binary thinking?

You don't want to break it. You want to apply it correctly. Some things are binary. Some things aren't. The trick is knowing which is which. "Is this an apple?" is binary. "Is this a pile of sand" is a lot harder.

Blogger wrf3 September 28, 2016 10:13 AM  

VD wrote: The other one is to base one's opinion on conclusions drawn from incomplete information, to argue on the basis of knowing about something rather than genuinely knowing it.

So much this!!! Putting a label on speculation (effectively defining ignorance) then using that definition in an argument, is not knowledge. "You aren't using words the way they are defined!" the pedant cries. "Your particular definition of the words isn't in accord with the way the world actually is!" is the frustrated response.

Blogger pyrrhus September 28, 2016 10:13 AM  

There have been dozens of civilizations, which basically just means people living in cities under one banner. The civilizations that have greatly advanced science and technology, primarily the ancient Greeks starting around 600 BC and Northwestern Europe starting about 1400 AD, both arose after long "dark ages" in which there was harsh selection in favor of more intelligent, outward looking individuals. Both civilizations also had strong religious cores which did not, however, interfere with the exploration of nature to any great degree...

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents September 28, 2016 10:27 AM  

Latin America is, depending on location, Christian, but not necessarily white.

A syncretic Christianity. Not white at all, but mestizo in large parts.

It's language (mostly) and government forms are from Western Europe and do derive, for the most part, from Germanic Custom and Greco-Roman Heritage.

Strongly disagree. Spanish is Latin based, nothing Germanic about it, and varying amounts of Indian languages have been incorporated into Latin American languages. The governance of Latin America is not Germanic. They tried that in the 19th century from Patagonia all the way to the Rio Grande and could not make it work. Now they have hybrid forms that incorporate some parliamentary systems with traditional Spanish Empire notions. A mix of Roman systems with other things.

The Spanish colonists came from west of the Hajnal line but the Indians came from Asia. In countries like Mexico where a lot of Indian women were taken as wives the blending that results is different. In Argentina and Brazil other blending occurred.

We can say that Latin America is Christian although syncretic. "Western" not so much due to the Indian influence that continues to this day.

Blogger Nate September 28, 2016 10:40 AM  

"In fact, Cambodia is specifically mentioned in the book by Huntington as one of the minor civilizations. "

But he went there. And it was super cool!

Blogger Aeoli Pera September 28, 2016 10:45 AM  

A decent heuristic for identity is to watch which holidays a person celebrates, and whether they enjoy the celebrations or merely observe them.

Blogger Aeoli Pera September 28, 2016 10:46 AM  

The latter distinguishes conscious identity from unconscious.

Blogger Aeoli Pera September 28, 2016 10:53 AM  

Excellent essay, by the way. It's like the old WND articles, except better because experience.

Anonymous Bob Just September 28, 2016 10:53 AM  

VD,

Tangential relevance: Debating prowess.

Seeing a more complete picture:

http://www.sciencealert.com/gamers-just-outdid-scientists-in-a-race-to-figure-out-a-protein-s-shape

Blogger residentMoron September 28, 2016 10:55 AM  

@wrf3

So, .... there's a binary condition for binary conditions?

Roger, roger.

Anonymous Darth Dharmakīrti September 28, 2016 10:57 AM  

But he went there. And it was super cool!

In a response from VD emphasizing the importance of "reading the whole thing," you... zero in on one line, and ignore the wider context as well as the overall thrust of the argument taken as a whole.

Classy.

Blogger Aeoli Pera September 28, 2016 10:58 AM  

McOxford wrote:I recently bought some books from 1910 by amateur historians detailing my town's history. It was established in 860 AD by royal charter granting the land to the then resident bishop. The lane in which I live is named for a man who bent the knee to do knights service to said bishop over a thousand years ago. Christianity has been baked into England from the very beginning, the idea that its a species of slow acting Jew poison or that it can be replaced or discarded without terrible cost looks increasingly ridiculous to me.

This comes from the idea that religion is an emergent consciousness that arises from racial (or class) identity. It's not a serious treatment of the subject because the people who use it are only interested in how it can be used for influence, and not interested in the "why" questions that haunt all humans.

Anonymous crushlimbraw September 28, 2016 10:59 AM  

Most of the comments here are beyond my expertise or interest. However, this sentence is my driving force - "And what I have increasingly noted of late is that most people devote most of their intelligence to rationalizing what they already think to be true than they do to figuring out what they think is not true." - this statement has caused me no end of trouble in disagreements with friends and family. My curiosity even got me thrown out of a men's bible study - I asked too many questions!
Here are my supporting discoveries for what Vox stated:
1-"Prove all things and hold on to that which is good." - bible
2-"Truth for us mortals is a process - not an end state!" - author unknown
3-"Logic is the systematic study and practice of discerning and telling the truth! - Dr. Joel McDurmon from his book Biblical Logic.
I think I'm discovering why I often turn to this blogsite first to 'move the ball forward'!

Anonymous A Most Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents September 28, 2016 11:04 AM  

VD

How would I know? I've never been a binary thinker. Yes, I would think the first thing to do is recognize when you're feeling an emotional reaction and stop there.


Very good point. When my self-image is tangled up with an abstract position, probably my amygdala gets triggered by any perceived attack on that position. This fires up the limbic system and "fight or flight". Less or no thinking, more or all emotion.

Deep breaths. Control emoting, restart thinking.

I would also stop attempting to judge the truth or falsehood of something by whether it appeals to you or not. You are not the truth arbiter of all things. I think it is less a function of IQ than emotional control.

It is almost entirely a function of emotional control. It used to be a sign of manhood in the West that your emotions were on a short, stoic, leash. Not running all over the neighborhood crapping on everyone else's lawn.

Blogger Aeoli Pera September 28, 2016 11:04 AM  

I just contradicted myself because stupid. The last line should read: The people who use it consider religion to be purely a tool of political influence and seek answers to the haunting "why" questions elsewhere.

Blogger JeffHansen September 28, 2016 11:11 AM  

Commenting on the most important aspect of The post, loved this from VD:

This desire to rationalize rather than learn is, quite possibly, the intelligent individual's biggest intellectual weakness.

- Vox Day

This sentence speaks large truth. It can be seen everywhere. Reminds me of:

Man is not a rational animal, he is a rationalizing animal.

- Robert Heinlein

Combine this with:

The main idea behind complex systems is that the ensemble behaves in way not predicted by the components.

- Nassim Taleb

There is a "short cut" or "hack" however to help here, provided by the greatest mind to ever live:

"By their fruits you will recognize them. Never do people gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles, do they?"

- Jesus Christ

Because we cannot hope to understand a complex system, i.e. Civilization, health, religion, use this shortcut. Look at the fruits or the end result of a belief and we will be able to at least come to a good understanding of a subject.



Blogger S1AL September 28, 2016 11:13 AM  

--" It used to be a sign of manhood in the West that your emotions were on a short, stoic, leash. Not running all over the neighborhood crapping on everyone else's lawn."--

That's more "English", or perhaps "Germanic", than "Western". Try telling a Scot or an Irishman or a Frenchman or a Spaniard that emotions are unmanly.

Blogger Deplorable Gaiseric September 28, 2016 11:17 AM  

S1AL wrote:That's more "English", or perhaps "Germanic", than "Western". Try telling a Scot or an Irishman or a Frenchman or a Spaniard that emotions are unmanly.
Which is exactly why I think it only makes sense to equate Western civilization with the "Core Europe" of the inside of the Hajnal Line. The Irish, the Scots (especially the Highland Scots; the Lowland Scots and Ulster Scots are a bit different and trend more towards English norms) the Spaniards, the Italians (especially the southern Italians who were never part of the Germanic Lombard or Frankish kingdoms) the southern French, etc.—they're imitative of some aspects of Western civilization, but they're too divergent to really be considered core to it.

Anonymous Jack Amok September 28, 2016 11:18 AM  

I am interested in the question of why, once Christianity took root in Europe, that both the faith and western civilization took off like a rocket.

I wouldn't exactly say western civilization took off like a rocket right after Christianity established itself. The sequence was more like:

1. Christianity establishes itself in the Roman Empire
2. The Western Roman Empire crashes and burns (not because of #1)
3. Highly intelligent but fractious barbarians inherit the bones (language, roads, and religion) of the fallen empire.
4. No unified empire takes the place of Rome in the west. Instead there arise various barbarian factions.
4. Those various barbarian factions finalize their adoption of civilization while both communicating and competing with each other, using their Roman inheritance - the Latin language, the road network, and Christianity - as their connections.
5. Voila.

Blogger Aeoli Pera September 28, 2016 11:27 AM  

The other one is to base one's opinion on conclusions drawn from incomplete information, to argue on the basis of knowing about something rather than genuinely knowing it.

I (halfway) disagree with this point, it is not only possible to draw good conclusions from incomplete information, but that the failure to do so would result in paralysis and complete dysfunction in daily life.

The halfway agreement comes in because this can be done well or poorly, relying on a host of emotional heuristics related to trustworthiness, salience, probability, competence, discernment, and so on.

Blogger BrianE September 28, 2016 11:27 AM  

"Look at history, look at humanity. Christianity and its espoused beliefs act against these forces and extend the cycle. Christianity emphasizes the values of all human individuals. It emphasizes personal moral responsibility. It emphasizes the idea that individuals' actions will have extremely long term consequences. It promises a reward greater than any that the World has to offer through abuse of power."-- Thomas Davidsmeier

For a civilization to survive there also needs to be an acknowledgment of where the ultimate authority lies.

Christianity accepts that Jesus is King and his Word is Supreme Authority.

Rome had a long run as arbiter of what the Word said, but it's excesses and corruption was replaced by the Reformation and a more regional acceptance of the Word. Even with that Western Civilization thrived.

In this post Christian age we are seeing the struggle for authority and of necessity the Authoritarian State will replace the Word.

And Western Civilization will cease to exist.

Blogger Jimmy The Freak September 28, 2016 11:29 AM  

Ben Sanderson - Certified Concern Troll

"I'm not trying to be a shit disturber, but you should not be using the 'alt' prefix to describe your thoughts, because such a reduction invariably confuses the issue. More importantly, it makes you appear dishonest, like a carpetbagger. I know you don't care, but you should. All you have is your reputation in this life."

Anonymous Jack Amok September 28, 2016 11:33 AM  

But, specifically, to address the mechanical role of Christianity in the rise of Western Civ, I think the way traditional Christianity addresses both male and female dysfunction is important. Monogamy and the idea that even the lowliest has a soul valued by Christ gives a very wide swath of men a civilized role to play in society - it energizes the Deltas in productive ways and that's a YUUGE advantage.

Blogger Aeoli Pera September 28, 2016 11:38 AM  

I used to be a binary thinker, but I broke it by learning about modal logic, and secondarily by thinking about IQ statistics. Statements like "smarter people make more money" quickly show themselves to be generalizations that can only be described as "somewhat true".

Anonymous Bob September 28, 2016 11:42 AM  

Perhaps the best professor I ever had used to repeat his little mantra several times a class: "Learn through Curiosity!" He gave entire lectures on the importance of cultivating a curious mind, because a curious mind can discover things while an apathetic mind must necessarily stagnate.

Amusingly, it was a course on network security, a field where hundreds of apathetic admins fail to stop invasions by highly curious hackers.

Blogger Aeoli Pera September 28, 2016 11:56 AM  

Determinator Telemachus wrote:I recall us talking about this before, but a quick search only brought up this:

The Three Pillars of The West

1:) The Greek and Roman Legacy

2:) Christianity

3:) The Customs of the Germanic Barbarians

I think I remember something to the effect of "the Christianity pillar could be kicked out, only if a suitable replacement were close at hand", but there isn't any suitable replacement even on the horizon.



Point 4 of the 16 points: "The Alt Right believes Western civilization is the pinnacle of human achievement and supports its three foundational pillars: Christianity, the European nations, and the Graeco-Roman legacy."

VD wrote:As is all-too common with your kind, you simply do not understand the difference between the map and the territory it describes. Words are not magic. They describe, they do not create.

It occurs to me that Germans would tend to put perfect faith in their maps because most of their maps would have been made by Germans and German institutions, with very German personalities.

Blogger Sheila4g September 28, 2016 12:06 PM  

Thank you to Vox and so many commenters here who are wiser, more intelligent, and far better read than I. As noted in Vox's post, I know "about" many things but truly "know" far too little about far too few. Over the years of my online reading and progression of political thought from conservative to Alt Right, I've worked hard to shed the emotional or binary response and learned to understand and explain why I believe something without rationalizing its truth. For me, at least, traveling and living abroad were pivotal experiences which made me confront what made me "American," and consider what it was I valued that was uniquely American and whether and why it was important that I share that with any future children.

This post and comment thread provide a vital framework for conceptualizing Vox's view of the Alt West as distinct from the Alt White or Christendom fallacies. Each is a necessary but insufficient component. While I was awed by the beauty of ancient monasteries and cathedrals before I was explicitly Christian, I was only able to view that beauty and exaltation of God as an outsider, unable to truly fathom what inspired the creators. Until I humbled myself to receive God's grace, I had no way of comprehending the scope of Jesus' gift. All the works of art or literature I had studied suddenly made so much more sense and had another level of meaning entirely closed to me when lacking faith. And (thank you Napoleon 12pdr) while I've always been more an encyclopedic thinker, without Christianity my view of the world and my place in it never quite made sense.

At the same time, while I had Christianity and a background /education rooted in Greco-Roman civilizations, I still felt there was some element of understanding I was missing. I'd attend church revival services and feel my heart moved by pity and some indefinable sense of Christian brotherhood with the world's downtrodden, but I still knew I never felt "at home" when living in Asia and was more comfortable in Europe, despite the varied new cultures and peoples I came to know. HBD provided that missing element and, pace #42 Deplorable Gaiseric, I'd include manorialism and outbreeding within HBD/race. I may be moved to an inchoate sense of pity by seeing a picture of a suffering Negro child, but I feel a kinship or bond with a suffering White child that moves me to action, because I can imagine that child as mine. Because, rightly or not, with a White child I imagine I "see the soul behind" the face, and know that he "hear(s) the things I hear and see(s) the things I see."

Blogger Escoffier September 28, 2016 12:10 PM  

Bard wrote:How to break binary thinking? I tend to strong emotional opinions that cloud judgement. Do you first work to correct sloppy emotions/maturity? The second comment appeals to me but when you dissect it, I think that is brilliant and why didn't I think of that angle? Function of IQ?

You might note Bard that self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit?

Anonymous patrick kelly September 28, 2016 12:18 PM  

@11 VD: "Actually, the Catholic Church that Jesus founded is the Orthodox Church."

Come to the dark side, we have manly beards, black robes'n'hats, and womenz who cook tasty Mediterranean food !! And Ouzo. Ok, that's not so great, but I love visiting other parishes and having the Priest ask me, "would like to try some homemade Romanian/Serbian/etc... moonshine?". Good times.

Blogger Matamoros September 28, 2016 12:30 PM  

Huntington profoundly wrong about Ukraine, Kyiv historian says

http://euromaidanpress.com/2016/09/25/huntington-profoundly-wrong-about-ukraine-kyiv-historian-says/

Blogger VD September 28, 2016 12:32 PM  

Huntington profoundly wrong about Ukraine, Kyiv historian says

Actually, as I was reading that section, I was struck by how right he got it 20 years in advance. Right down to the Eastern Ukrainians wanting to join Russia.

Blogger Nate September 28, 2016 1:13 PM  

"and ignore the wider context as well as the overall thrust of the argument taken as a whole."

That's because the wider context, and the argument taken on the whole... was stupid.

Anonymous Post Alley Crackpot September 28, 2016 1:18 PM  

"... mathematically untrue as the statement that 1+3.5=1 ..."

Also, 2 + 2 = 5 for suitably large values of 2. :-)

Anonymous VFM #6306 September 28, 2016 1:19 PM  

it should be as obvious as the hand in front of your face that Christianity /= Western Civilization. Since Christianity is exploding in Asia and Africa... and Western Civilization isn't.

What is remarkable is this: there are Churchians who will claim the reverse: that Western Civilization is alive and well in Asia and Africa...because Christianity is exploding there. The route to Western revival is in the removal of whites from American churches via "reconciliation."

Let me see if I can give you an example...yep

"The way we've put it is that in looking for staff, we haven't made it an absolute criterion that X number or percentage has to be ethnically diverse. We just said we will try the ten-fold very hard in looking for people who are racially diverse, or really get it, or are really committed. Jason has two black children for starters. He's committed. He pastored a church in Louisiana that was racist to the core. When they called him, he said, "We will not maintain this." He led that church through some really remarkable [change]. He was a chaplain at a southern Louisiana college. He has had Southern racial experience and has proved himself committed there. So, even though he's white and even though he's taking up a church that's mainly white, I have a lot of confidence that Jason's commitment is as high as mine and that he'll be more fruitful than I am because he's more relational than I am. " - John Piper

Anonymous Bellator Mortalis September 28, 2016 1:26 PM  

>> "As has often been noted here, Man is a rationalizing animal. And what I have increasingly noted of late is that most people devote most of their intelligence to rationalizing what they already think to be true than they do to figuring out what they think is not true. This desire to rationalize rather than learn is, quite possibly, the intelligent individual's biggest intellectual weakness."

Absolutely agree. The biggest group of foolish people I ever met were members of a Mensa chapter I joined. I paid for one year of Mensa membership, found out what the people were like, and never renewed.

A great error is to adjust your "map" of reality to conform to your prejudices rather than adjusting your maps of reality to conform to the real world. A second error is to think there is only one conceptual map. For example, when looking at literal maps there are road maps, cadastral maps, topographical maps, geological maps, ocean navigation maps, aeronautical maps, etc. I believe it is useful to navigate reality using multiple conceptual maps, as each provides a different perspective.

Blogger Aeoli Pera September 28, 2016 1:43 PM  

Bellator Mortalis wrote:A second error is to think there is only one conceptual map. For example, when looking at literal maps there are road maps, cadastral maps, topographical maps, geological maps, ocean navigation maps, aeronautical maps, etc. I believe it is useful to navigate reality using multiple conceptual maps, as each provides a different perspective.


That's the best description of Asperger's I've ever seen.

Blogger Aeoli Pera September 28, 2016 1:51 PM  

In combination with my comment above, it also explains the sperg-like qualities of the average German. Nice! We were just talking about this on Koanic's sperg forum.

Blogger residentMoron September 28, 2016 2:06 PM  

@Sheila4G

We've made this mistake over and over again, and Vox is absolutely correct to draw attention to it.

To know in the biblical sense speaks to a deep intimate experience, as in "and Adam knew Eve and she bore a son".

But just as we've substituted sex for intimacy, and "partnership" for marriage, so too we've substituted wilful ignorance for knowledge.

Blogger Aeoli Pera September 28, 2016 2:08 PM  

Adding to the metaphor, a social engineer believes his blueprint "creates" the reality he's planned.

Blogger residentMoron September 28, 2016 2:09 PM  

@Bellator Mortalis

A modern pagan fantasy is to dream that you can live without a map, without any conceptual models.

Blogger residentMoron September 28, 2016 2:09 PM  

Karl Rove, Mr Pera?

Blogger Aeoli Pera September 28, 2016 2:20 PM  

Maybe, it's impossible to tell who believes and who's just trying to fit in with the popular kids.

Anonymous Kryst the Conqueror September 28, 2016 2:25 PM  

As someone who's bloodline goes back to one of the original ancient Roman patrician >>>gentes majores<<<, and whose house later put a martyred pope on the throne of this christian world, I mean this with the upmost respect:

churchians, new agers, born agains,evangelicals, protestants...yall need to come back into the flock. I dabbled in lutheranism when I was younger. Great stuff, great people, but just like academia and other churches- converged. Bottom line is all these groups need to come back into the flock...the big tent...

orthodoxy is not the original church, it is an offshoot of the original church : christ's rock- the catholic church.

DEUS FAWKING VULT BROS
SURFS UP, GUNS UP

>>>Joe Brewin sharpens his shiv for October<<<

Anonymous Kryst the Conqueror September 28, 2016 2:36 PM  

Also, vox is entirely correct:

- curiosity, or lack of
- shitlibz devote most of their intelligence to rationalizing what they already think to be true
- shitlibz desire to rationalize rather than learn is the intelligent individual's biggest intellectual weakness



yes, basically midwittery is a sin. people would rather be lied to that given truth, let alone seek it for themselves. truth is always on guard against the lies. ignorance breeds laziness which lets slip the shitlibz lies. knowledge is a fruit at the end of a long journey- a journey which many fat lazy midwit americans and euro bros cannot and refuse to make anymore. knowledge is privilege for those who seek it.

ad dei gloriam

Blogger Marcio Goncalves September 28, 2016 2:37 PM  

"the fact that there are three other major Christian civilizations besides Western civilization, Byzantine, Orthodox, and Latin American"

I know that not the common view in the anglosphere, but most people in what you call Orthodox and Latin American civilization consider themselves westerners. Brazilians and Argentinians are always surprised when I tell them that Americans don't consider them westerners.

Being Brazilian and having lived in the USA for some years, and having travelled around Europe, I'd say that Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece have way more in common to Southern Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina than they have in common to the USA.

Including the problems (they are all low trust societies, high level of corruption, weak rule of the law, etc...).

Anonymous Kryst the Conqueror September 28, 2016 2:46 PM  

All maps and roads lead back to Rome.

This discussion of maps got me, erect.

Building Western Civilization took thousand of years of white power.

It doesn't take a genius to track these kinds of things.

We built it: the greatest civilization on the planet's history. It's in our fucking DNA- it's what we do.
When it all falls down- we built it right back up again- But this time bigger and better. Look how fucking beautiful we are.

Hitler was a pussy. He ain't got shiet on me. I'm coming for you all.

Blogger Marcio Goncalves September 28, 2016 2:51 PM  

"Strongly disagree. Spanish is Latin based, nothing Germanic about it, and varying amounts of Indian languages have been incorporated into Latin American languages. The governance of Latin America is not Germanic. They tried that in the 19th century from Patagonia all the way to the Rio Grande and could not make it work. Now they have hybrid forms that incorporate some parliamentary systems with traditional Spanish Empire notions. A mix of Roman systems with other things."

Not sure about the rest of Latin America, but Brazilian Law is HEAVILY influenced by German Law and thinkers.

The base comes from Roman Law and Iberian Law, but I'd say that the Germany is one of the strongest influences here.

German immigrants were the Emperor's favorites immigrants during the monarchy period in the 19th century and the Emperors themselves were Hapsburgs. So the German influence here is old and strong.

I'm not talking about some new fad, I'm talking about German Law being used as a model for new laws in 1900, for example.

German influence here is much stronger than just the nice German looking towns in the South or our germanic looking models like Gisele Budchen.

If you know Portuguese or Spanish (or you can use Google Translate) here are some sources about this:

http://www.conjur.com.br/2013-jun-26/direito-comparado-influencia-codigo-civil-alemao-1900-parte

https://jus.com.br/artigos/13869/nos-e-a-alemanha

http://periodicos.unb.br/index.php/textos/article/view/947/614

Anonymous brhue September 28, 2016 3:52 PM  

I don't understand how Latin America (specifically Brazil) is not "Western Civilization".

It seems to me that our influences from Indigenous and African cultures are parallels with those in the USA.

Blogger Deplorable Gaiseric September 28, 2016 3:56 PM  

Marcio Goncalves wrote:Being Brazilian and having lived in the USA for some years, and having travelled around Europe, I'd say that Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece have way more in common to Southern Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina than they have in common to the USA.

Including the problems (they are all low trust societies, high level of corruption, weak rule of the law, etc...).

Looks like you answered your own question there, champ.
brhue wrote:I don't understand how Latin America (specifically Brazil) is not "Western Civilization".

It seems to me that our influences from Indigenous and African cultures are parallels with those in the USA.

No, not even close. The DNA component from the indigenous in the US is less than 2%. The cultural components are similarly nearly nonexistent. We've got a bunch of funny names and a handful of local food, like corn. That's it. Brazil is very heavily indigenous compared to the US. The situations are nothing alike.

Same with the African population. In Brazil, the degree of "mestizo-ization" is very high. In the US, it's comparable to that of the indigenous population.

Seriously; don't just show up and make some obviously false claim.

Blogger Marcio Goncalves September 28, 2016 4:13 PM  

"Looks like you answered your own question there, champ."

I didn't ask any question, Deplorable Gaiseric, so I couldn't answer my own question.

Brhue worte a question, not me.

Blogger Basil Makedon September 28, 2016 4:14 PM  

It is an interesting area of thought.

The theory would hold that I am an "Alt-West" supporter because as an ethnic mutt, I don't have a stronger tie to a particular ethnic group to bear the weight of an "Alt-White" identity (particularly since many wouldn't even consider me as white and I'm not interested in playing the "no, I really am white" game). Thus, being a Western Civ chauvinist allows me to construct an identity where I am comfortably in the center.

Perhaps, perhaps not. I'm not sure I consider myself at the center of my Western Civ chauvinism. I personally consider pre-Great War Britain to be the apotheosis of western civ, yet I have minuscule blood ties to GB and live in Texas, not the UK. I see myself really as a man of the marches -- a Diogenes. I see the dust cloud of the approaching steppe hordes and have realized that unless the center holds, there is no hope for the marches either.

I would see Western Civ reclaim its confidence and reclaim some territories and people as well.

Blogger Deplorable Gaiseric September 28, 2016 4:19 PM  

Ah, looks like maybe I conflated you saying Brazilians and Argentines (and based on your name I presume you're Brazilian) are shocked at not being considered "western civilization" with you wondering why that would be.

Blogger yoghi.llama September 28, 2016 4:35 PM  

Buddhism is philosophically and spiritually superior -- to anything. But the West is culturally and scientifically superior, and it's true that Buddhism has not created a major civilization. I've pondered this paradox, but not been fully satisfied with my conclusions, which are:

(1) Buddhism did not create a single civilization, but it created the oldest human institution. The Sangha of monks/nuns is the oldest unbroken human hierarchy, and it is peaceful and loving. (Trump that.)

(2) Religion alone does not create civilization. (Islām maybe, but Islām is a complete legal system as well -- the sacralization of 7th-century Bedouin prejudices and tribal customs.) Race and prior culture matter. If Christianity created Westerners, then the Whites and Blacks of Zimbabwe and South Africa would get along fine. I can vouch that is not the case, having emigrated/fled from first one, and then the other.

(3) The power chord of Xianity is the Ancient Greek sacralization of logic, plus the Semitic confidence in a morally authoritarian Creator G-d. But Buddhism can't copy that, for better or worse. The "Creator" is always Rudra in disguise. It is simply beneath our dignity to worship Rudra. Not gonna happen.

(4) Buddhism was handicapped by being opposed to a core principle of the civilization from which it first sprang. Hinduism is the sacralization of caste, and Buddhism rejects caste. Today Hindutva exists, and Buddhism by and large does not exist, in India, because Indians prefer caste to the universalism of Buddhism.

(5) Buddhism is a wife to civilizations, not a mother. It is too universalist and peaceful to give birth. There are no serious or inflexible dietary laws, no ritual purity, no unnatural sexual mores, etc. It influences but does not impose cultural change. It can be a religion of warriors and farmers, but it's ascetics and merchants who spread it abroad.

Blogger Marcio Goncalves September 28, 2016 4:51 PM  

@Deplorable Gaiseric

I'm not shocked at all. I've lived in the USA for years, I know that in the US and the anglosphere we and the Argentinians are not considered Westerners (although a good part of Europeans outside the UK do consider us Western.). It doesn't bother me at all, I think both views are valid.

I was just talking about the fact that most Brazilians and Argentinians are not aware that we are not considered Western in the USA. It's a shock for them because we are taught at school that we are part of the West ("Ocidente"), our culture is Western and it comes from Greece, the Roman Empire and Western Europe, etc...

Even the term "latino" in Spanish and Portuguese relates to the latin culture of the Roman Empire. That's what we mean by the term when we say "latino". In the USA "latino" only means something related to Latin-America.

Overall, I think what people in the Alt-Right describes as the "West", and its characteristics, is actually only part of the West: the anglosphere (USA, UK, Canada, Australia, etc...) plus the Germanic countries.

Because, as I said in the post above, a lot of things that people consider non-Western (low trust society, weak rule of the law, corruption, weak work ethic, etc...) are very common in non-anglo-saxon western countries, such as Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, etc...

Blogger Jose September 28, 2016 6:28 PM  

Vox Day: "... any would-be intellectual should be humiliated upon the realization that his level of knowledge doesn't rise to the level of a pop song by Jesus Jones from 26 years ago - and appealing to all things "quantum" without even being able to define "quantum mechanics"."

I call these people IGORs (Ignorant Grandstanding Oblivious Rable-rousers). I don't discuss politics or religion, but in the sometimes politically charged fields of engineering management, environmentalism, and science (by people who "love science" rather than learn any of it), I usually crush with questions like "how many Joule in a kilowatt-hour?"

(Hard question for San Francisco street environmentalists, apparently. In Portugal this used to be taught in the 5th grade.)

I used to blog about these encounters, but I made a vow to be more positive, so I no longer do.

JCS

Blogger Blastman September 28, 2016 6:41 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Blastman September 28, 2016 6:44 PM  

Actually, the Catholic Church that Jesus founded is the Orthodox Church. The Roman Catholic Church is a splinter group based on the Bishop of Rome breaking away from that church.

No. Jesus founded the Catholic Church, which is synonymous with the Roman Catholic Church. The Orthodox Churches that are not in communion with Rome are the splinter groups.


Does the Orthodox Church predate the Catholic Church?

"… As for the church of Antioch, it is true that the Gentile community of Antioch is older that the Gentile community of Rome. However, the church of Rome itself (which started out as a Jewish church) was established by Jewish pilgrims who converted to Christianity on the day of Pentecost (see Acts 2:9-10), and had Jewish ministers belonging to it that were converted long before St. Paul (see Romans 16:7). What's more, St. Peter's first sojourn in Rome took place between A.D. 42 (when he flees Judea --Acts 12:17) and A.D. 49, when Emperor Claudius expelled all the Jews from Rome because of a riot over someone who the Roman historian Suetonius calls "Chrestus" --a clear mis-hearing of "Christus" ("Christ"). This is why Peter is back in Jerusalem in Acts 15 for the Council of Jerusalem, which took place in A.D. 49. It was only AFTER the council of Jerusalem (see Gal 2) that Peter settled in Antioch and became the first Bishop of Antioch (he was not some kind of "auxillary" bishop, as you state above). But, once Jews were permitted to return to Rome, Peter returned there, and this is where he and St. Paul confronted the arch-heretic Simon Magus, and where they together built up the Roman church as the synthesis of the Jewish Church and the Gentile Church, and where they ended their lives as martyrs. But, Peter himself was the primary authority there --that is, Rome's actual bishop. So, his bishopric in Rome was longer than (and before) his bishopric in Antioch. All the fathers (e.g. Hippolytus, Eusebius, Jerome, etc.) say this. And, as Damasus says above, this is where the three original (Apostolic) patriarchates came from. In about A.D. 60, Peter left Antioch and returned to Rome. In doing this, he left his disciple St. Evodius in charge of Antioch. St. Evodius was succeeded by St. Ignatius of Antioch. Then, while at Rome, Peter sent his chief disciple St. Mark to Alexandria, to be the first bishop (and his own "legate") there. And, in doing this, Peter, in essence, "triangulated" the known world. His own see of Rome held the primacy and was the final court of appeal, while administering Europe (and N. Africa) directly. Alexandria would hold the second place and be primate in the East, while administering Eastern Africa, Ethiopia, Arabia, and part of Palestine directly. And Antioch would hold the third place after Alexandria, and would directly administer Asia and the Orient. … "

Blogger Aeoli Pera September 28, 2016 7:54 PM  

Aeoli Pera wrote:
I (halfway) disagree with this point...


I'm informed that this was an unproductive sperg-out on my part.

Anonymous Jack Amok September 29, 2016 12:28 AM  

most Brazilians and Argentinians are not aware that we are not considered Western in the USA.

We don't really think of Mexicans as Western either, and if by some odd happenstance the US voted on whether Spaniards were still Westerners, I wouldn't be surprised if we voted No. Sharing a language with Mexicans* (and the Central American folks who, because they come through Mexico, we think of as Mexicans) is really a big strike against any group. If you're in Texas you probably know this better than most, but the Mexicans we get here usually aren't the Ricardo Montalban mostly-Spanish types. They're the 1/16th Spanish, 5/16th Mayan types, and don't look or act very Western at all.

* What's that you say? Brazilians don't speak the same language as Mexicans? Heh, yeah, I grew up in a town where the biggest minority were Portuguese (and just like Keoni Galt, we called 'em portages, and also like Keoni, it wasn't usually a slur, we got along well**), so I can (or at least used to be able to) usually tell the difference between Portuguese and Spanish (an for what it's worth, I like the sound of Portuguese a lot better). But dayym, Brazil hasn't been doing its image any favors lately. The Olympic diving pool just kinda sums it up.

Of course, we here in the US elected Barack Obama, so... I'll just put down these stones and spray some more Windex on my glass house.

** one of my best childhood friends was a Portagee named Joe. Years later we met up by chance in Arizona of all places (we're from the redneck/pot-growing parts of northern California). He'd been living there a while and was constantly being called a Mexican. Pissed him off something fierce.

Blogger Basil Makedon September 29, 2016 12:28 AM  

The split between Catholic and Orthodox occurred in stages. First, was the split in mother tongues -- Greek v. Latin. Next, was the filioque controversy, where the Western Council added words to the Nicene Creed, in 590 or so. Then as the ERE lost control of Rome and the Pope and the Franks got hold of the Pope and lost him again, things got worse. The "Great Schism" occurred when the Pope excommunicated the Patriarch, who then returned the favor, this was in 1025-ish, IIRC. Finally, the last straw was the 4th Crusade that sacked Constantinople rather than bothering to fight the Turk. That was in 1200 or so.

So, whether or not the Catholic Church was older or not, I'd say the Catholic Church did the splitting. But, as you could guess from my pseudonym, I am slightly biased on this topic.

Blogger Blastman September 29, 2016 9:48 AM  

So, whether or not the Catholic Church was older or not, I'd say the Catholic Church did the splitting.

How can the true Church itself split, or defect from the faith? It can't, or our Lord's words Math 16:18 … "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. … " … would be false.

This isn't just an idle question. It pertains to where the governance and authority of Christianity is invested. Christianity is where the seat of Peter is, which is Rome and the Catholic Church. An accurate surveying of history bears this out.

An excellent historical resource in this regard is the book …

On The Apostolical And Infallible Authority Of The Pope - When Teaching The Faithful, And On His Relation To A General Council, by F. X. Weninger 1869.

This book is now in print again. The second chapter …

Ch. II Testimony of the Holy Fathers

- From the beginning of the Christian era, until the days of St. Bernard, proclaiming the see of St. Peter at Rome, to be the highest tribunal in matters of faith.

… has numerous quotes from the Fathers and witnesses of the early Church -- Hermas, St. Ignatious, St. Polycarp, St. Ireneus, Tertullian, St. Hypolitus, Origen, St. Cyprian, St. Basil … etc … all testifying that the authority of Christianity resides with the Seat-of-Peter in Rome.

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