Cultural catastrophism

Geologists define catastrophism as the theory that sudden, violent, and unpredictable events have dramatically changed the world throughout prehistory.  The dinosaurs were the victims of one such event, the Yucatán meteor impact.  

Cultures are also known to change suddenly due to such catastrophes as invasions and volcanoes.  

Revolutions are sudden, social catastrophes, but until the twentieth century, even they had not radically transformed the entire cultural basis of societies.  Even the communist revolutions in Russia and China, although their effects were drastic, left intact many of the cultural norms that sustained those societies, despite the efforts of the revolutionaries to eradicate them.   

Not until the 1960s did we, in the West, get a foretaste of a truly catastrophic change inside the deepest roots of our own culture.  Although it seemed gradual at the time, a new movement, which we now call "Woke Leftism," began to comprehensively attack and alter each and every one of our institutions and norms.  

Marriage and family, parenthood, education, medical ethics, government and finance, military and religion — all of these and more, began to crumble under the broad-front, relentless subversion of the left.  There seemed to be no stopping it.  

Throughout all that time, hope sprang eternal.  There were always glimmers of optimism, as here and there, conservative values won a small victory.  Those glimmers, however, turned out to be all too brief.  The leftists would focus on those and crush them.  Despite the onslaught, many of us regarded the cultural revolution as only temporary, an aberration of history, which would eventually give way to a return to moral values and common sense.  

We were wrong, dreadfully wrong.  Were someone in the 1960s to have predicted the present condition of our society, he would have been dismissed as delusional.   Same-sex "marriage," "sex change" surgeries, abortion for young girls (with neither the permission nor knowledge of the parents), local governments cheerleading for rioters and looters, in-your-face electoral fraud going unpunished, millions of illegal aliens escorted into our cities by law-enforcers — and worse.   Reality itself is becoming an Orwellian delusion.  

We were not hit by a sudden meteor strike, but despite the slow tidal wave of cultural destruction, we must now acknowledge that a catastrophe has occurred.  The culture is facing final ruin, of a sort that even the fall of the Roman Empire, with all its debaucheries, cannot match.  

Am I overstating the crisis?  For those born after the mid-1990s, the devastation is largely invisible.  They are like the first generation of forest creatures, born into the aftermath of a fire.  They have nothing in their life experience against which to compare.  They regard the ashes and dead trees as normal.  Young people today, watching old movies and television reruns, cannot imagine a world in which Leave It to Beaver is not a parody, the myth of a time in which functional families struggled not with drugs and teenage pregnancy, but instead with the everyday moral conflicts that were part of the coming of age.  

Chicago gang wars in the 1920s made major headlines, but today, gangster massacres by young people are a common occurrence in the same city, where the focus is on paper masks.  Schoolchildren are being taught to hate their country, by people who have no regard for those children.  Victims of crimes are all too often blamed, while the criminals themselves are glorified.  The world is supposedly going to end in a few years because of capitalism, the only economic system that can actually save the planet.  

No, we are no longer in a gradual decline; we are on the cusp of a sudden catastrophe, which, unless we act swiftly and in concert, will snap like a brittle twig bent too far, or, using another analogy, like the explosive charge once the lit fuse sets it off. 

There are glimmers of hope, but we must not rely on them.  They are nothing more than toe-holds on the face of a cliff, the impetus for energetic action.   

If our destruction is inevitable, as some say it is, then at least may the end find us fighting furiously on the right side.  That will mean something, something eternal and worth the effort, as in the words well done, faithful servant of God.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.

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