In discussing the relations of the Fathers towards the astral science, we have already shown how they purged it of some of its grossest errors. But their principal service to the science remains now to be told. For amongst all the vagaries of the science of the heavens, astrology is both in theory and in practice the most deplorable. That the Fathers placed the weight of their great authority in the scale against this superstition, is one of the most praiseworthy of their achievements. At the time that the Fathers began to write, in the century just following the labors of the Apostles, astrology formed everywhere an integral part of the science of astronomy. It was taught in all the schools, Chaldean, Jewish, Grecian and Roman. Almost from the beginning the defenders of the Christian faith proceeded to attack this pernicious error, realizing how inimical it was to the spread of truth which Christ had come to impart. Already in his address to the Greeks, Tatian was heard denouncing the absurdities of Grecian astronomy and astrology. This was in the middle of the second century, just at the close of what is called the Apostolic Period. A little later, Tertullian, the famed apologist of the then flourishing African Church, placed himself on record as the uncompromising enemy of astrology. With his usual vehemence of language he declared that “of astrologers there should be no speaking even” among Christians; and went to the length of saying that “he cannot hope for heaven whose finger or wand abuses the heavens.” These and many similar utterances may be found in his Treatise on Idolatry.

With this denunciation of magic and idolatry there went hand in hand, however, a genuine respect for the proper science of the heavens. Contemporary with Tertullian, and like him one of the great Christian masters of the period, was Clement Alexandria. To the Catholic astronomer of to-day it is gratifying to find this Father of the Egyptian Church giving generous testimony to the worth of astronomical science. With just discrimination he praises astronomy as “leading the soul nearer to the creative power, as helpful to navigation and husbandry, and as making the soul in the highest degree observant, capable of perceiving the true and detecting the false.”

Father George Vincent Leahy, Astronomical Essays (1910)

In 1920 all of Africa was under eight flags. It is now subject to no less than forty governments. French Indochina broke up into four states, British India into three or four. 6 In this respect decolonization was a recessive movement, in contradiction to a great many ideas and ideals professed by the American left. A great many other features of decolonization were also antiprogressive and recessive. Before we deal with the desirability of the Westernization inaugurated by the European powers, we have to ask the preliminary question whether the Afro-Asians wanted to be Westernized: a legitimate question because nations should decide whether they really like to be subjected to a specific evolutionary process.

Talking in Africa to evolues, highly critical of “colonialism,” I very often asked pointblank whether they would have considered it preferable if, 200 years ago, we Europeans had put a cordon sanitaire around Africa, leaving it to its own evolution unaided by the immense knowledge and experience we had acquired and accumulated-at great cost, at great pains, in the last three thousand years. A few extreme nationalists explained to me with profound conviction that, left to their own devices, they would have achieved the same inventions, the same improvements, the same advances, but the vast majority, less possessed by brazen optimism, were usually put on the spot. A few even admitted that in all likelihood they would not even exist, since the substantial decrease in mortality and the phenomenal increase in population were gifts of the medical services introduced by the Europeans. The unqualified “yes” to European civilization was, to be true, not always followed by the same enthusiastic assent for European culture. In most of the “emerging nations” the belief exists that one might opt for one and not the other, but this is true only to a very limited extent. One can, for instance, ride a bicycle half or three-quarters naked, one can read Plato (though not in Linguala!) and eat couscous, one can use the most modern automatic rifle and, at the same time, practice cannibalism which might be defined as “nutritional democracy.” There are, however, certain limits to these arbitrary selections from what, as Arthur Koestler pointed out, in reality are package deals.

Erik Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Leftism: From de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Marcuse (1974)

The benefits provided an attractive reward for the hard labor involved in being a laundress. Although pay scales and benefits varied over time and from post to post, the women often earned more than the average enlisted man. As a company laundress, a woman made a contribution to the family both through income and food. Elizabeth Bacon Custer summed it up by saying marrying a laundress was a good investment for an enlisted man. Income earned for washing, along with the extra rations allotted by the military, plus other benefits, allowed the family of a soldier with a laundress for a wife to live in relative comfort.

Jennifer J. Lawrence, Soap Suds Row: The Bold Lives of Army Laundresses, 1802-1876 (2016)

Now, there exists a school of thought which hesitates to talk about higher and lower cultures. We, of course, use the term culture in the German sense, now generally adopted by the English-speaking nations: the intellectual, moral, and artistic status of nations as opposed to their civilization, which includes the civic (political) institutions and the servile arts. Obviously there are domains which do not fit neatly into one category or the other: Sanitation and industry obviously belong to civilization; religion, painting, and poetry to culture; jurisprudence and table manners to both. High levels of culture and civilization are related, but do not operate in synchromesh. Often history shows us great discrepancies between both, among persons as well as entire nations. […]

There exists, however, a curious interconnection between culture and civilization. There can be hostility and conflict between them (as is evident if we put the masses of our big cities under the magnifying glass), but they cannot exist too far apart either. Jointly they form (to use an expression of Arthur Koestler) a “package deal” which precludes the possibility of taking individual items arbitrarily and successfully out of their compounds. The European masters of these old and proud nations (our fourth type of colony) usually tried to provide them with the blessings of Western civilization rather than culture, but soon the desire for cultural assimilation (within arbitrary limits) followed. There is a real inner conflict between the study of mechanical engineering and the natural sciences and Buddhism or Hinduism, whereas in the case of Christianity, such an antithesis does not exist, except, perhaps, in the minds of leftist semi-intellectuals who have never taken the trouble to study systematic theology.

Erik Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Leftism: From de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Marcuse (1974)

Chances are that a single woman hired as a laundress married quickly after taking the job. In the general population, men outnumbered women, particularly in the frontier west, and, of course, in military camps, the shortage of women was extreme. Soldiers also saw a laundress-wife as a good investment, as she made more in one month than did an unmarried private. Not until a man earned the rank of First Sergeant did the pay become almost equal. The food a wife cooked was most likely better than that served in the barracks dining room. Marriage included the traditional benefit of female companionship and the associated bonuses.

Jennifer J. Lawrence, Soap Suds Row: The Bold Lives of Army Laundresses, 1802-1876 (2016)

Life and death were harsh realities in army camps and isolated frontier forts, and laundresses participated in the full range. In spite of lacking formal education, many laundresses acquired the knowledge and resources they needed to face the challenges that came their way – whether it be doing laundry, birthing and raising children in primitive conditions, handling first-aid emergencies, providing companionship and sex to soldiers, or preparing bodies for burial and consoling the bereaved. Laundresses were often the only women available to take on roles that have traditionally fallen to the feminine gender, and they did what they could.

Jennifer J. Lawrence, Soap Suds Row: The Bold Lives of Army Laundresses, 1802-1876 (2016)

Indeed very few historical events should be called inevitable. We should be content to speak of greater or lesser probabilities, in extreme cases of “virtual impossibilities” and “greatest likelihoods.” True, it belongs to the leftist mentality to visualize a fixed point of historic evolution, a utopia behind which there is no genuine historical development but, at best, improvement. All roads lead to utopia which will be reached automatically, but intelligent people help to increase the speed of this evolution. “Progressive people” thus promote the coming of paradise on earth; reactionaries in vain try to delay the arrival of the millennium. (They are merely “turning the clock back.”) Actually the machinations of the left are often in the nature of a real fraud because they try to create the impression that the events favoring their cause were bound to come. But if they are so truly convinced of “historic automation” along their lines, why are they not waiting patiently and passively for the inevitable fulfillment of their Great Dream? This is a question legitimately addressed to the left progressivist no less than to the orthodox Marxist. Certainly, if you stand on the right, then rightly you have no reason to adopt such complacency.

Erik Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Leftism: From de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Marcuse (1974)

What is usually forgotten in the “patriotic” (i.e., historic) appeal to anticolonialism is, first of all, the fact that here we are not facing any “ism” whatever. The term “colonialism” will hardly be found in authoritative dictionaries before 1914 or even 1924. Colonizing is not the result of a systematic ideology, of a Weltanschauung, of a philosophy, political or other. A second fact has to do with the great variety of situations actually covered by the term’ ‘colony.” There have been and there still exist a few colonies which before the arrival of the white man were totally void of the human element. This is true, for instance, of a number of islands in the Indian Ocean. Is it an iniquitous situation if such settlements are governed by the motherland? When does their God-given right of secession and independence begin? Certainly not with the landing of the first settler. When are they “ripe” for autonomy? All answers of necessity will be arbitrary.

We have to place into the same category areas which were practically deserted and where the indigenous population at best had tribal but not political organizations. It would not be too easy to prove that the Britishers were infringing on the natural law (or on God-given rights) when they started to colonize Australia. Whatever may be the case, the colony in the classic sense of the term was a city or a whole area settled by people from a “motherland” (metropolis) speaking the same language, adhering to the same laws, praying to the same gods as the people in the motherland. In the remote past their independence usually resulted from the impossibility of long-distance administration. Political decisions had to be made on the spot without much delay. In antiquity independence always evolved in an organic process. The moral and emotional ties between motherland and colony were rarely broken. As a result, military alliance was the rule rather than the exception.

Erik Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Leftism: From de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Marcuse (1974)

Even before Pearl Harbor American public opinion had to be prepared for an alliance in which not only Britain but also the Soviet Union had a leading part. The German attack on the USSR played a role similar to the abdication of Nicholas II in 1917. Now American public opinion could more easily he made to change its stand. In this connection Cannon Bernard Iddings Bell recorded a rather significant wartime experience: “At a dinner in New York at that time, I sat next to a high-up officer of one of the great news-collecting agencies. ‘I suppose,’ I ventured, ‘now that the Muscovites are on our side, the American people will have to be indoctrinated so as to stop thinking of them as devils and begin to regard them as noble fellows.’ ‘Of course,’ he replied, ‘we know what our job is in respect to that. We of the press will bring about a complete and most unanimous volte face in the belief of the Common Man about the Russians. We shall do it in three weeks.’ “

Erik Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Leftism: From de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Marcuse (1974)

The chief argument in favor of the use of Latin was its universal character. This argumentation is substantial, although taken in itself it does not necessitate the exclusive use of Latin. It cannot be denied that the religious history of mankind clearly testifies to the use of sacral languages, which are often not understandable to all participants, which include and contain while to a certain extent also conceal the mystery of the cult, and which therefore rely upon mystagogy to open up its meaning for the initiated, the mystes. In my opinion the strongest argument in favor of Latin derives from the demand for the accurate and integral preservation of the liturgical content. During the countless translations into the vernacular one can hardly avoid distortion, or at least a change of meaning and style.

The Latin is a witness to, and a reservoir of, the full meaning, the total liturgical theology which is neither the opposite of, nor identical with, doctrinal theology. We can return again and again to this treasury of original meaning, terminology and manner of thinking, and we may use it also as a corrective of the distortions made during the course of time.

I wish to add two points to these considerations. First, the point here is not only logical accuracy, but also the use of language in a sacred atmosphere evoking a system, of associations, a cultic style, a “sacred” language. Second, it is not enough if this perfect form can be found in the liturgical books. Each historical period, each place and community, each person has to encounter it, and so the full Latin liturgy must be kept alive in its proper function, as the language of liturgical celebration

Laszlo Dobszay, The Bugnini-Liturgy and the Reform of the Reform (2003)