I do like that word bastion. A form of it, Bastian, is also a man’s name, and a most complimentary one at that. A bastion is a stronghold, a difficult-to-assail redoubt that stands athwart the enemy’s campaign. The enemy must be sure to reduce such strongholds completely before continuing on with an invasion, for there is nothing quite as perilous to an invading force as to have one on its flank or in its rear.
Just as a nation that possesses several well-placed military bastions is thereby insured against a surprise attack, a nation that possesses adequate cultural bastions can be fairly relaxed about the security of its way of life. Forces that seek to corrupt the culture of such a nation must first reduce those strongholds. As “politics is downstream from culture” (Andrew Breitbart), a campaign against the nation must undermine those cultural bastions first.
Until recently, the United States had several cultural bastions:
- Its Christian ethics;
- Its emphasis on family;
- Its bourgeois commercial culture;
- Predominantly trustworthy news media;
- Social norms that emphasize privacy and autonomy.
Such things don’t spring from the ground like toadstools; they must be built over many decades. Those who plot our downfall set to work on them more than century ago. Only these past few years have the consequences become blatantly visible.
I’m sure no regular reader of Liberty’s Torch needs an enumeration. The news media, one of the first of the bastions to be subverted, report on the outcroppings daily. Nearly always, their slant is intended to suggest that rampant violence, incivility, perversion, cruelty, and duplicity are in the natural order of things, and should not stir one to outrage. There’s quite a lot of “there oughta be a law” in there, too.
When a nation’s bastions have been reduced, what does it have left with which to rally its people to its defense?
We should have taken note of what was being done to us a lot sooner.
Today, it takes a lot of fortitude to say “I will not give in; I will soldier on.” Not many Americans have that much courage or endurance. We know what we’ve lost. We lament it bitterly, but we can’t find in ourselves the spiritual resources required to fight back. Worse, we find the prospects for further losses near to unstoppable. We seem to be surrounded by evil.
I’m there too. I write; I talk to acquaintances; I counsel young people who seek a new perspective. Yet I’m ever more at a loss when someone asks me “What can we do?” Many things that I once deemed reliable countermeasures have vanished or have been corrupted in their turn.
I refuse to say “Give up; they’ve got us by the short’n’curlies.” I’ve tried to fortify my own little family and holdings as best I can, but that’s about the only measure I can recommend to others…and even that is not without cringing. Against an opponent with the resources of the anti-American Left, hunkering down and resolving to wait it out is not a winning strategy. We can’t hope for the restoration of what we’ve lost without mounting an offensive.
There are some signs that give hope. The Bud Light and Target developments suggest that “woke capitalism” has finally hit the stops. Burgeoning outrage against such things as the promotion of transgenderism to schoolchildren and the teaching of Critical Race Theory is another indicator of massing resistance. And of course, the swelling willingness of Americans to oppose the various “pride movements” is critical. But all of these things must be restored to a foundation in Christian ethics and a family-centered culture, and those are the very rocks the Left has attacked most determinedly.
If I were plotting a strategy for the reformation of our culture, I’d emphasize the churches and the education of our young. Both have been subverted. Education in particular has been corrupted so completely that nothing can be done with the existing institutions except to shut them down. But the churches are little better. “Tolerance uber alles” now ranks alongside the Gospels. Indeed, I once heard a Catholic priest refer to the Ten Commandments as “interesting suggestions.”
We need our bastions to be built back to their former strength. We need them if we’re ever to throw back the death cults and the totalitarians they serve. But as I said earlier, those bastions were established and fortified over many decades. We might not have time enough to restore them.
Well, at least these services aren’t mandatory yet. But stay tuned. And now that I’ve depressed all my Gentle Readers, it’s time for prayer and a spot of breakfast. Have a nice day.