Modris Eksteins & Our Fragile Time

Aug 2, 2022 by

By Rod Dreher, The American Conservative:

On the journey back to Vienna today from Krakow, I re-read one of my favorite books: Rites Of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age, a highly acclaimed work by the Latvian Canadian historian Modris Eksteins. I revisited it not only because it’s a great book, but also because I was curious to know if Eksteins’ account of how World War I changed the West shed any light on the question of Western disenchantment. It did, but it gave me even more to think about regarding our own extreme decadence….

…The Sexual Revolution actually started in the early 20th century — before the Great War, even. We are only now living through its full ripeness, as the triumph of transgenderism symbolizes the final victory of Luciferian rebellion over the Christian order. Luciferian, because it consciously places the sovereign Self and the Self’s desires over any other principle or person. With transgenderism, it even declares biology null and void when it violates the will of the one who wishes to be liberated from all that is given…

…I guess I’m worked up about this because I just spent a few days in Poland, in and around Krakow, and it was so great to see a healthy culture, one in which the Christian faith still palpably guided public life. I talked with some adults there who are readers of my book The Benedict Option, which was published a few years ago in Poland. They were telling me that they look with fear and disgust at what’s happening in the West, particularly regarding gender ideology and the colonization of children’s minds, and worry how they can keep it from coming to their country.

What a bizarre thing, and even a painful thing, it is to be an American visiting a country that once suffered from Communist captivity, a country where the people under Soviet oppression looked to America as a beacon of hope and liberty, and to now see them afraid of us and what we represent. And they are right to be! I have always been proud of my country, despite its sins and failings. But look, you sit there with Polish parents and try to defend what America has become. If you are a conservative, you can’t.

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