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“Nationalism” and Decline

September 5, 2020

Is “the West” irretrievably in decline?

We know that a decline of nations, entire civilizations and their “people” cannot be recovered in the historical time of those living in decline.

Recovery will occur in another era in a new culture, not during the lives of those who lament their decline.

If recovery of the West occurs somewhere in the West, my guess is that will probably occur in Eastern Europe amidst the former “Captive Nations” of the former USSR.

Already people of these nations, Poland, Hungary, Georgia and even the worst of them, Belarus, are experiencing a rebirth of national consciousness. This has alarmed the states of the European Union, long wedded to an ideology of “Internationalism,” and that explains their desire to see President Donald Trump replaced by one of their own.

“Make America Great” smacks of nationalist movements that consumed Italy under Benito Mussolini or, even worse, Germany under Adolph Hitler.

Whether those fears are well founded—or merely neurotic—we cannot ignore reality. Something is astir in several nation-states that fear their decline and desire to regain or reassert their national identity.

In the West, if full recovery from decline is possible, that recovery requires repairing injuries associated with Western intellectuals rejection of Christianity. Somehow the good news of the Gospels and the long history of faith and spiritual reawakening must occur.

For what it’s worth, I’m completing that assessment in a study of the conflict between Conscience and Power and I invite you to read the “Introduction” to that study.

I’m not quite finished because once I reexamined the need for political order, I realized that the original monarchies of Western Europe are alive and well, even in our time, and we need to know them better than we now do.

Conscience and Power might be better titled “Welcome to the Nations of the West.” I hope you enjoy this “Introduction.”

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