The West on the Precipice: A Warning and a Hope

Abbreviated text of Dr. Trifkovic’s public lecture at the Orthodox Church of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God in Zurich, Switzerland, on Sunday, July 10, 2022.

In the perception of the ruling elites of the (post)modern West, nations shaped by Orthodox Christianity belong to a tradition that is both alien and sinister. By contrast, many Western Christians—and especially Roman Catholic conservatives—see in Orthodox Christianity a morally and liturgically sound bastion against both the Western world gone mad with self-destructive wokedom and the progressivist tendencies among their own senior prelates.

Despite the legacy of occasionally strained relations between the “Latin West” and the “Greek East,” a lively dialogue and mutual assistance of Christian traditionalists is both possible and desirable (albeit not in the name of “ecumenism,” of course). Individually, broken into separate camps, traditionalists are helpless in the fight against the cancer of post-modernia.

Resistance to the forces of the new totalitarianism carries a high price, as we see in the persecutions of Americans and Europeans who do not want their children to be indoctrinated with LGBTQ ideology. Persecution and martyrdom are inextricably linked to the Orthodox experience, of course, first under Muslim conquerors in the Middle Ages, and then in the 20th century under Communism. In this century, it will be the turn of Western Christians to experience persecution in earnest. As the liberal terror worsens, it will become necessary for all Christians, regardless of tradition or denomination, to define what is permissible and what is not in the relationship between church and state, especially a state that pursues evil policies.

For believing Christians of all denominations and traditions, it is necessary to reject, here and now, any absolutization of state authority. Institutions and laws should be accepted as imperative only to the extent that they seek to support good and limit evil. If legal resistance is impossible, as in the case of the satanic indoctrination of children, then the Christian must turn to civil disobedience. If the authority of the state forces believers to apostatize from Christ and His Church, to commit sinful and spiritually harmful actions, the Church and the faithful have both the right and the duty to cancel obedience to the state. If and when persecutions begin, Christians must continue to openly testify to the faith.

The ongoing moral collapse of the West is truly Spenglerian. After the devastating European civil wars of 1914-1945, the flowers of evil blossomed in the 1960s, the decade that proved to be an incubator of bad ideas. The spirit of civilizational self-denial and deconstruction took over the West, fusing Michel Foucault and the Frankfurt School. It produced an obsessive need to celebrate the Other (especially Islam) and an even more morbid obsession with race, gender, and sexual orientation—a form of insanity that is metastasizing on both sides of the Atlantic.

We are witnessing the onset of the mature phase of the Decline of the West: the totalitarianism of the Davos elite. The system produces a huge amount of information, which is processed through the media. It is incorporated into a dualistic pseudo-reality in which words and concepts have new meanings (e.g. inclusion, tolerance, etc.). The Word and the World are separated. Empiricism is subordinated to rigid nominalism; experiential reality is not allowed to stand in the way of the development of an ideological vision that produces its own reality. The receivers of the messages either submit to manipulation or else are declared deviant. Democracy has been turned into a manipulative process based on a predetermined, ideologically valued outcome. Culture is no longer an integrated system of knowledge, belief, and behavior. Instead, it becomes redundant as a mechanism for maintaining social dynamics and integration. It becomes a product to be consumed, not experienced.

Secularism—replacing Christianity as the foundation of the West’s identity—rejected the notion of a European social, geographical, and cultural space that should be protected from physical and spiritual penetration. Europe is now on the path of historically unprecedented demographic and cultural self-liquidation. From the southern side of the Mediterranean, from Africa, from Asia, this creates the impression that the West is on a downward trajectory, the impression that Europe is a rich villa with feeble old tenants, with a broken lock, and no night watchman. Without the recovery of the Christian faith, the final result will be death.

The elite class is the cause of the fatal weaknesses of the West, including both the primary cause—loss of faith—and a number of secondary ones, such as open borders, migrant invasions and the cult of “diversity” and “tolerance.” These causes go hand-in-hand with the demonization and criminalization of any disagreement, with the implementation of draconian laws against “hate speech” and drastic surveillance measures against the unfit: e.g. the AfD in Germany.

The culture of death, embodied in the cult of deviance, has borne bitter fruits, but recovery is still possible, as the examples of Hungary and Poland demonstrate. Otherwise, by the end of this century, there will be no “Europeans” left as members of nations who share the same language, culture, history, and ancestors and who inhabit the lands named after them. At the same time, to make the irony complete, the declining nations of Europe are being told that the demographic change is a blessing that enriches their societies and makes them excitingly diverse.

The lie on which the postmodern West rests is that there is no God and therefore everything is permitted; that man is able to rely on his own ambition and reason to solve all the questions of his existence, to find an eschatological shortcut to the end of history, a worldly one, according to John Lennon’s recipe: without heaven, without hell, a world without nations and without religion, in which everyone lives just for today.

Christians of all traditions and denominations need to come together in order to resist the satanic vision of a liberal-democratic nirvana that rests on the same ideological premises which had fired earlier totalitarian, materialistic projects, from Robespierre, Lenin, and Hitler to Tito, Castro, and Pol Pot.

There is hope because there is God.

Image: LGBT Solidarity Rally (mathiaswasik / CC BY-SA 2.0 via flickr)

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