Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short

In such condition [human nature without government], there is no place for industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving, and removing, such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

These are the words of Thomas Hobbes in his Leviathan which he wrote in the wake of the English Civil War. I have no stake in the upcoming choice of all Americans between the present status quo and unpredictable revolutionary forces. However, as a European, I am aware that the choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will have repercussions here in Europe, especially Germany and France. I leave my readers to consult sources of mainstream and alternative news – and make their own choices and conclusions.

In a world where there is no truth, only propaganda, one can only try to navigate around the preachers of deceit and form an intuitive impression. What seems to ring true? The situation in Syria is really worrying, and I am inclined to believe that Russia is not the side to be interested in aggression and imperialism. The USA has done nothing for the countless Christians being persecuted and martyred as Jihadist Islam increases its strength in western Europe. The choice in Syria is between Assad who is authoritarian but tolerant to all religions and points of view – and the living hell of Daesh. We face the end of the Enlightenment and humanism, the end of civilisation and humanity.

Radical Islam is not alone in being a symptom of human depravity. Culture and civilisation seem truly to be mere skins covering something very ugly. This following video was apparently produced by the American Army for its own in-house training.

I am usually very wary of videos and other media with themes of doom and gloom, especially depictions of the end of the world by fundamentalist Evangelical sects. Such material is often linked with the dimension of human psychology linked with fear of solitude and death. Other sources encourage the cult of “preppers” who adopt a more or less bestial lifestyle in the belief that they can face any enemy from their positions of safety. Christian humanism seems by far to be preferable to the dour view of Calvinism, but I often wonder to what extent it is illusory. If the “fire and brimstone” view is right, then we might as well end it all right now and cease any attempt to give our lives for the causes of love, beauty and truth.

I am fortunate to live in the country, but there is no reassurance in the event of a nuclear war or a society breakdown leading to shortages and unavailability of food. I still have to depend on money, the internal combustion engine and industrial food. Safety is an illusion. We just have fresh air and natural beauty for just a little while longer.

We stand a watershed between going on with a political system in which we have no trust in terms of integrity or interest in the common good. I am inclined to support some event that would break the stranglehold of such unprincipled cartels of corruption – and face an uncertain future. Revolutions are messy and blood-drenched. The Kingdom of Louis XVI was replaced by the Terror of Robespierre. Human beings could follow each other on the guillotine in less than half a minute and the blood flowed all the way to the Seine. Is this what we want? The continued lies and corruption? The feeling is that something has to move to allow a new beginning and something to hope for.

We pray for divine intervention, a miracle from Our Lady… There seems to be none. The world was spared at the time of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis and other near-misses. The present degradation between America and Russia is so futile and pointless – just so that America can take over the Middle East and push the Muslims into Europe. Even that seems too incredible and in no one’s interests. The situation becomes even more incomprehensible, confusing and anger-provoking. In the end, we face pure evil, the Antichrist.

Most of us have no hope in a fight. We can pray, try to replace hatred with love at a scale we can grasp. In the end, we must have no fear of death even if it seems to have no meaning or purpose.

Perhaps some of my readers could try to cheer me up a little!

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18 Responses to Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short

  1. Assad cannot win in Syria. To try and prop him up would only prolong the civil war and death toll, as well as doing nothing to end Daesh.

    • What would you see happening? Is there anything in Syria beyond Daesh? Should Putin surrender and hand Russia over to the Americans? Then what? I am open to your input. I would also appreciate it if you would read this and refute it point by point.

      PS. If I am to believe this article by a former US Army officer who seems to be knowledgeable, if Assad cannot win in Syria like Saddam Hussein in Irak, then Putin also has to come down. I suspect that the problem is the debts of the US and who is going to pay them.

      • There are quite a few factions in Syria beyond Daesh and Assad. Various rebel groups are fighting against Assad, some of them Jihadist and Al-Quada leaning. We need to engage and support the most reliable of those groups. By working with them, we can buy influence and keep them from looking to Al-Queda or Daesh.

        “Should Putin surrender and hand Russia over to the Americans?”
        Is this a serious question? We need to put as much pressure as we can on Putin to implement the Minsk agreement in Ukraine and to stop bombing Aleppo.

      • Here you have reached the limit of my knowledge of the situation. Blue pill or red pill? How can you tell if a “rebel group” is “reliable”? My question about Putin would seem to be logical. Could we say that once the Americans get rid of Assad, they can then talk about “regime change” in Russia, perhaps see if they can find any “reliable” Soviet remnants? Anyway, the situation won’t be resolved by you or I. If it ends up with a nuclear war, I’ll expose myself as much as possible to fallout, because “the living will envy the dead”. Good night – unless someone can give us something intelligent.

      • Dale says:

        Matthew, I would suggest a reading of the First Afghan War where the British attempted, in the middle of the 19th century exactly what you are proposing now, that “We need to engage and support the most reliable of those groups. By working with them, we can buy influence.” The result of British policy at that time of working with the “most reliable of those groups [at the time]” was an unmitigated disaster and cost the lives of more than 16,000 British foot solders. There are no reliable groups any place in the areas that we are speaking of.

  2. I don’t think any sensible person would advocate regime change in Russia; a military invasion of Russia would be a very unwise strategy. When the Russian people are ready, they will get rid of Putin.

    In the meantime, the UK and US government must work hard to prevent Russia causing harm in Ukraine or Syria.

    • It seems that Putin is very popular in Russia. So the only way for the US to get rid of Putin is war.

      According to this, the Ukrainian government is neo-Nazi and supported by the US.

      Here is an article accusing the US for having created Daesh. If this can be believed, the “moderate rebels” are only a myth and a mask for different variations of Wahhabi Islam.

      Neo-Nazis and Wahhabi totalitarianism? Are those not what is causing the harm in Syria and Ukraine.

      It seems that the gaming table needs to be cleared before the cards are shuffled and dealt afresh. That’s my impression.

      • As I said, nobody is talking about getting rid of Putin. This idea might be on your mind, but it is not something any government is advocating.

        That stuff about Ukraine is complete garbage. There are neo-nazis in Ukraine, just like there are in Russia and even in the USA, but they are not in government. Information about the political parties in government and the main opposition parties in Ukraine is easily available on the internet. Nor was the Ukrainian government installed by the Americans; this is contradicted by first-hand accounts by those involved in the Maidan protests and journalists who where on the scene.

        You do seem to like reading websites that make outrageous claims and take extreme positions. I know the BBC can be biased at times and sources like the Guardian even more so, but there material is researched by professional journalists who are accountable for what they write.

      • I agree that there is a lot of junk out there, especially sponsored by American Evangelical cults. Something I have noticed is bits and pieces creeping into the mainstream news that were expressed months or years before on the “conspiracy” sites. It is difficult at times to sift through everything. Increasing numbers of people no longer believe mainstream journalism. There is a sense of malaise with most people I come into contact with, who are very ordinary people without particular ideologies.

        As for America advocating regime change in Russia, here is an article which you can analyse or dismiss as junk.

        I try to see as big a picture as possible, and can only consider the aggressive acts and of the USA, presently of Obama and tomorrow of Clinton or Trump, to be highly dangerous and motivated by the interests of evil people. Putin may be many things, an ex KGB agent and anything you like, but nothing compared with the evil that America* has in store for us all on this planet.

        When I say “America”, I don’t mean ordinary American people but the elites.

      • Dale says:

        Matthew, what you have written is very true “That stuff about Ukraine is complete garbage. There are neo-nazis in Ukraine..” Whenever Russia has a problem with anyone, the first attack, always ludicrous, is to portray the opposition as neo-Nazis. I cannot believe that it works, but it does seem to do so.

        What does scare me today, is that Ms Clinton, and now Mr Obama are actually quite willing to retreat into a Cold War with Russia to deflect Ms Clinton’s own leaked emails. That is scary. This blaming of Russia, with absolutely no proof is troublesome. The woman is going to win the election, and with her absolute, pathological hatred of Russia, I do not see things improving.

  3. Patrick Sheridan says:

    All this woe has been a thousand years in the making. The “empire” of Charlemagne, enthusiastically supported by the popes of the city of Christian martyrdom, although short-lived, became the basis for a series of nationalistic, pseudo-Christian, revolutionary empires, led by Hildebrands, and Frederick Barbarossas, Cromwells and Napoleons, Hitlers and Stalins, Obamas and Clintons. All of these anti-Christian tyrants have over a thousand years tried to destroy the Christian Empire; first in Constantinople, which was first of all crippled by Roman Catholics in 1204 and then finished off by Islamists in 1453. Then the Imperium was transferred to Moscow, the Third Rome, and lo and behold, Russia, which has seen a miraculous revival of Orthodoxy since the collapse of the Soviet Union twenty-five years ago, is the world’s new enemy. Just as in the days of the Greek War of Independence, and the Crimean War, Russia, as the only Christian nation on earth, is now the sole protector of persecuted Christians worldwide. All else is the forerunner of Antichrist, be that America as Israel’s Shabbat Goy; Britain in the form of its Conservative party, or the European Union with its atheistic, utopian ideals. Russia is the Empire of Christ. Anything or anyone else is the Synagogue of Satan.

    • The Russian Empire was so Christian that under Peter the Great, it abolished the Moscow Patriarchate and put severe restrictions on the number of monks and monasteries, not to mention the long-held policy of forcing surplus priests into the Russian army.

      All that ‘Holy Russia’ stuff was largely window dressing.

      • Our great British Empire was blasting Indians away from cannon in the 1850’s and killing Aborigines for sport. Our Empire did however have the merit of getting rid of Napoleon’s empire! I think that all empires become evil. All power corrupts whether it is evil persons or anonymous bureaucracy or corporate management. I don’t buy into “holy” Russia any more than “holy” France, England or anywhere else including the Papal States.

        However, if our future is something like Orwell’s 1984 or Huxley’s Brave New World, then I think Russia might be preferable if only to break the present system so that there can be a “system reboot”. Failing that, we only have total war and death to face. I would prefer to die knowing that I have something to leave humanity to enrich it in some tiny way. If Earth has to become like Mars, the thought really does ruin my day!

    • Dale says:

      Patrick, could you please explain how this Holy, Christian nation of Russia ends 70% of its pregnancies in abortion?

      Personally, I would venture to say that the only group without dirty hands in Russia, church-wise, are the Old Believers; who will have noting to do with either the Russian state or the official Russian Orthodox political apologists.

      • Patrick Sheridan says:

        Dale, I had heard that that happens in Russia. I can only dimly guess what 75 years of state atheism must be like to shake off. But there is something special about Russia. I refer you to the speech given by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill at Ennismore Gardens on Sunday, commemorating 300 years of Russian Orthodoxy in these islands. Please note what he says about the building of tens of thousands of churches in Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union:

  4. J.D. says:

    It seems to me that Russia and China are the last superpowers left. Maybe its best if I just move to the rural Phillipines with my woman or find some other relatively understurbed backwater. Or maybe I ought to exploit my Russian heritage and Orthodox leanings and attempt to move there, preferably someplace out in the far flung Eastern hinterlands.

    The truth is i prefer to just be left alone. I don’t want politicians or muslims in my business.

    Trump seems the better of the two evils here in the USA but who knows what his policies will really be, it’s impossible to tell.

    One thing is certain, eventually someone here in the USA needs to be in power who will stop meddling in foreign affairs and end any and all muslim immigration. I don’t even care at this point if the man in question wants to drive them out by force into the sea, I would vote in his favor. Get is out of foreign affairs and rid us from every last muslim hiding throughout our nation.

    I know, I’m not your average pacifist Christian but I cannot help it, I find the Christian call to meek and mild pacifism and resignation in the face of slaughter to be maddeningly stupid and hard to understand. Are Christians to be as life and world denying as Theravada Buddhists? It would seem so, as the whole crusader ethos is repudiated both by the words of Christ, the New Testament, the pre Constantinian Church and its cult of slaughtered and mutilated saint martyrs and by modern churchmen.

  5. Fascinating post and comments.

    It is a classic tactic of governments to distract their subjects from unpopular stuff by launching foreign exploits. The middle east is just such a distraction, a sideshow. Islamists aren’t going to rule the world – just look at Britain, do you really think the imams of Birmingham and Bradford are going to overthrow our atheistic authorities and impose their worldview on our politically-correct shiny-happy-people society? No, of course not.

    For their own ends, our Western politicians have turned the business of removing foreign leaders into a cottage industry: Saddam, Gaddafi, Al Quaeda/Taliban. Next up: Assad. Our leaders – Obama, Cameron, Merkel and co, pretend that these people can be removed painlessly and replaced by a lovely parliamentary democracy – and if that doesn’t come to pass, it’s only because these people are Islamic fanatics, not dutiful welfare state consumers like us civilised Europeans and Americans!

    Meanwhile, the real action is elsewhere. Will other European nations follow the example of Brexit and step back from the abyss of a religion-averse megastate? And – forget the controversies about whether Trump stuck his tongue down some bimbo’s throat eleven years go – make no mistake, a battle is currently going on for the soul of America: Hillary’s statist, socialist, globalist, abortion-obsessive agenda against Trump’s redneck/pioneer-gun-toting freedom.

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