The economic crisis worsens. The news presents us with markers, signs and symptoms. The situation spirals gradually, downward, toward a point of no return. China’s war against the U.S. dollar continues pushing one nation after another to bypass trading in dollars. We see, as well, that China Moves to Further Marginalize the Dollar just as China Leads a Campaign to Replace the Dollar as [the World’s] Reserve Currency. It is no accident that China pursues a national strategy hostile to American financial interests. To supplant a great financial power one must take certain actions and follow a definite path. So what is the American side doing to protect its position? America is doing very little. America is, in fact, lost in a wilderness of self-inspired trivialities and entertainments. We no longer appear to know which end is up.
In a 1977 sermon titled The Church and the Immiment Fall of Europe, Fr. Hans Milch explained, “He only is relevant and apt for the future that draws on the past! The deeper the roots reach into the soil of the centuries, the higher the treetops of hope for the shaping of the future.” In terms of financial analysis: the wellspring of abundance is a byproduct of intellectual and spiritual attainments which are no longer cultivated, and understandings which are lost. Those attainments which have been lost, and are unrecoverable in terms of the prevailing zeitgeist, formerly provided us with the context of our existence. One might say, in fact, that these provided the entire context of our existence, that is, of everything – of up and down, left and right, light and darkness, male and female.
And so a great catastrophe has overtaken us. “Men have lost their context,” said Fr. Milch, “and are living as day flies.” Do you hear the senseless buzzing of wings? Western man has lost both faith and fatherland. He has become an insect – without significance even to himself. How then does this “insect” retain his currency? The short answer must be, without any doubt, that he cannot maintain anything. It is beyond his present capacity. As Fr. Milch rightly explained: “Because he no longer knows what is history, because he no more recognizes the nature of man, the meaning of the human person is also lost [when it comes to] recognizing [even] gender differences.”
Not only have we lost our context, we regard our own existence as something less than real. We modern Americans somehow imagine that we are an audience – that we are the audience. And as audience, nothing happens to us. As mere spectators there is no occasion for alarm, and thus we give out no alarms. Things will continue as they are. Such is the prejudice and expectation. How could it be otherwise? Yet, we are not immune from what occurs on stage. And especially, we are not immune from the consequences that follow upon losing our context. If we were healthy enough to even have what were once called “prophets,” how they would decry our wickedness!
In losing our context we have lost faith and fatherland, history and futurity. We now find ourselves astride a break in the great chain that links the past and future. We, who dwell in the present, are priestly mediators “between the generations, between yesterday and today,” warned Fr. Milch. It is no small thing to break what must be linked. Such is a failure of function for which our economic peril is a mere symptom. At bottom we have failed to remember. We have failed to look forward. Entertained by the dance of an eternal present moment, we are stuck. And this sticking is dangerous, for we have a target painted on us. In terms of the dollar, the Chinese have manipulated their currency, have prosecuted a trade war, and are due to collect the reward of their effort.
But why should we worry? After all, we are the audience. We do not have to contend? We do not have to fight for the ground beneath our feet. Or do we? There is a little voice inside each one of us, if we could only hear it. The little voice says, “If you fail to contend you will cease to exist. For existence is contention.” The present, in fact, is the moment in which we contend for the future. Every decision matters. Mistakes have the gravest consequences. Think back, if you are able, to the mistakes of 1914, 1929, 1933 and 1939. For those yet “rooted in the soil of the centuries” know what kind of future was thereby shaped, and what those years signified; and these will also recognize, with due prescience, what the years 2001, 2008, 2012 will signify to those yet unborn.
Of course, there are occasional stirrings of life. Perhaps the great chain of being is not entirely broken. Perhaps an eleventh hour amendment is possible. A recent and curious headline at WND reads, “U.S. GENERALS NOW TAKE ACTION TO WATCH OBAMA: Retired Army, Air Force leaders say ‘government continues down path of destroying America.” According to WND writer F. Michael Maloof, retired generals are calling for the “forced resignations of President Obama and congressional leaders in response to multiple grievances, including the alleged political purge of hundreds of senior military officers….” Retired Army Major Gen. Paul E. Vallely has founded something called Stand Up America, which presents a list of “KEY NATIONAL ISSUES that must be solved if the separate and collective States of The United States of America are to become economically solvent, remain peacefully and nationally secure….” First and foremost, for Vallely, is that that the Constitution of the United States “as originally established and amended will remain in absolute and total effect.”
The retired generals want the rule of law, a strong national defense, a rectification of economic practices which have contributed to unemployment and national indebtedness. “All political plundering of the people’s wealth via taxation will be stopped,” declares generals Vallely and (Brig. Gen.) Jones. “Our banking system and wealth management have been corrupted with the 1913 establishment of the Federal Reserve System, placing monetary and economic control in the hands of a few (now partisan) individuals. The Federal Reserve System will be abolished and all US Government financial and economic functions will be turned over to the US Treasury, including the coining and printing of currency and the issuing of currency. US green-back bills will be printed and a one-for-one exchange to replace Federal Reserve notes will take place.”
Generals Vallely and Jones further call for abolishing the IRS, the Department of Energy, the Department of Education, the Environmental Protection Agency and Obama’s Affordable Health Care Plan. The generals further warn, “The nation is being torn apart daily as the crises … become known.” The audience is being torn apart. But will the audience cease being passive? Will it cease being an audience? Is it possible, at such a late date, that America will rediscover its context? In his sermon Fr. Milch said, “Because man no more knows about that which fundamentally constitutes the dignity of man, he no more knows what is good. And therefore, the consciousness of morals falls apart.”
Without morality how can genuine reforms begin? Lacking morality, every attempt at reform would be an exercise in self-deception. In such a world our champions would be yet another set of criminals. Our reforms would be yet another “road to serfdom.” And then there is the question of competence, which is also significant. Can we find competent policy-makers, or have we reached the point in history at which all our efforts result in bungled outcomes? The man who has lost sight of his context, noted Fr. Milch, has “nothing but bits and pieces he holds in his hands…. He no more knows how things are arranged in relation to each other, that they are pointing to each other and even beyond themselves. Thus, he is no more able to interpret and decipher things.”
As the pace of the Great Unraveling accelerates, banks warn that they could begin charging customers for deposits if the Fed cuts interest paid to bank reserves. As the U.S. National Debt accelerates out of control China has declared a no-fly zone over a sector of the Western Pacific. A Saudi Diplomat says that Obama’s sudden embracing of Iran (and suspension of sanctions) is “incomprehensible.” The Israelis are also angry at President Obama’s appeasement, and God only knows what they will do. The world is headed for a time of troubles. And as Fr. Milch foresaw back in 1977, this trouble is deeply rooted in the soil of the centuries.
But we are asked to be quiet now. The audience has fallen asleep, exhausted from many entertainments and readily bored when serious ideas are discussed. We hear a great snoring sound. The hour is late indeed. The sleepers, naturally, have no more relation to the past or the future. Their context is one of unconsciousness. Only dreams remain before the onset of the Great Nightmare.