The Idea of a Christian Society, by T.S. Eliot

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Re: The Idea of a Christian Society, by T.S. Eliot

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:13 am

[W]hat I mean by a political philosophy is not merely even the conscious formulation of the ideal aims of a people, but the substratum of collective temperament, ways of behaviour and unconscious values which provides the material for the formulation. What we are seeking is not a programme for a party, but a way of life for a people: it is this which totalitarianism has sought partly to revive, and partly to impose by force upon its peoples. Our choice now is not between one abstract form and another, but between a pagan, and necessarily stunted culture, and a religious, and necessarily imperfect culture.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 31179
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Idea of a Christian Society, by T.S. Eliot

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:14 am

The fundamental objection to fascist doctrine, the one which we conceal from ourselves because it might condemn ourselves as well, is that it is pagan.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 31179
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Idea of a Christian Society, by T.S. Eliot

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:14 am

[T]he only alternative to a progressive and insidious adaptation to totalitarian worldliness for which the pace is already set, is to aim at a Christian society....To those who realise what a well organised pagan society would mean for us, there is nothing to say. But it is as well to remember that the imposition of a pagan theory of the State does not necessarily mean a wholly pagan society. A compromise between the theory of the State and the tradition of society exists in Italy, a country which is still mainly agricultural and Catholic. The more highly industrialised the country, the more easily a materialistic philosophy will flourish in it, and the more deadly that philosophy will be. Britain has been highly industrialised longer than any other country. And the tendency of unlimited industrialism is to create bodies of men and women -- of all classes -- detached from tradition, alienated from religion, and susceptible to mass suggestion: in other words, a mob. And a mob will be no less a mob if it is well fed, well clothed, well housed, and well disciplined.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 31179
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Idea of a Christian Society, by T.S. Eliot

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:14 am

The Liberal notion that religion was a matter of private belief and of conduct in private life, and that there is no reason why Christians should not be able to accommodate themselves to any world which treats them good-naturedly, is becoming less and less tenable....When the Christian is treated as an enemy of the State, his course is very much harder, but it is simpler. I am concerned with the dangers to the tolerated minority; and in the modern world, it may turn out that the most intolerable thing for Christians is to be tolerated.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 31179
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Idea of a Christian Society, by T.S. Eliot

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:15 am

[T]he only possibility of control and balance is a religious control and balance ... the only hopeful course for a society which would thrive and continue its creative activity in the arts of civilisation, is to become Christian. That prospect involves, at least, discipline, inconvenience and discomfort: but here as hereafter the alternative to hell is purgatory.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 31179
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Idea of a Christian Society, by T.S. Eliot

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:15 am

I conceive then of the Christian State as of the Christian Society under the aspect of legislation, public administration, legal tradition, and form....with what kind of State can the Church have a relation? By this I mean a relation of the kind which has hitherto obtained in England...It must be clear that I do not mean by a Christian State one in which the rulers are chosen because of their qualifications, still less their eminence, as Christians. A regiment of Saints is apt to be too uncomfortable to last....The Christian and the unbeliever do not, and cannot, behave very differently in the exercise of office; for it is the general ethos of the people they have to govern, not their own piety, that determines the behaviour of politicians. One may even accept F. S. Oliver's affirmation -- following Buelow, following Disraeli -- that real statesmen are inspired by nothing else than their instinct for power and their love of country. It is not primarily the Christianity of the statesmen that matters, but their being confined, by the temper and traditions of the people which they rule, to a Christian framework within which to realise their ambitions and advance the prosperity and prestige of their country. They may frequently perform un-Christian acts; they must never attempt to defend their actions on un-Christian principles.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 31179
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Idea of a Christian Society, by T.S. Eliot

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:15 am

I should not expect the rulers of a Christian State to be philosophers, or to be able to keep before their minds at every moment of decision the maxim that the life of virtue is the purpose of human society -- virtuosa ... vita est congregationis humanae finis; but they would neither be self-educated, nor have been submitted in their youth merely to that system of miscellaneous or specialised instruction which passes for education: they would have received a Christian education. The purpose of a Christian education would not be merely to make men and women pious Christians.... A Christian education would primarily train people to be able to think in Christian categories, though it could not compel belief and would not impose the necessity for insincere profession of belief. What the rulers believed, would be less important than the beliefs to which they would be obliged to conform. And a skeptical or indifferent statesman, working within a Christian frame, might be more effective than a devout Christian statesman obliged to conform to a secular frame. For he would be required to design his policy for the government of a Christian Society.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 31179
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Idea of a Christian Society, by T.S. Eliot

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:15 am

Among the men of state, you would have as a minimum, conscious conformity of behaviour. In the Christian Community that they ruled, the Christian faith would be ingrained, but it requires, as a minimum, only a largely unconscious behaviour; and it is only from the much smaller number of conscious human beings, the Community of Christians, that one would expect a conscious Christian life on its highest social level.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 31179
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Idea of a Christian Society, by T.S. Eliot

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:16 am

We must abandon the notion that the Christian should be content with freedom of cultus, and with suffering no worldly disabilities on account of his faith. However bigoted the announcement may sound, the Christian can be satisfied with nothing less than a Christian organisation of society -- which is not the same thing as a society consisting exclusively of devout Christians. It would be a society in which the natural end of man -- virtue and well-being in community -- is acknowledged for all, and the supernatural end -- beatitude -- for those who have the eyes to see it.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 31179
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: The Idea of a Christian Society, by T.S. Eliot

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:16 am

It should not be necessary for the ordinary individual to be wholly conscious of what elements are distinctly religious and Christian, and what are merely social and identified with his religion by no logical implication. I am not requiring that the community should contain more 'good Christians' than one would expect to find under favourable conditions. The religious life of the people would be largely a matter of behaviour and conformity; social customs would take on religious sanctions; there would no doubt be many irrelevant accretions and local emphases and observances -- which, if they went too far in eccentricity or superstition, it would be the business of the Church to correct, but which otherwise could make for social tenacity and coherence.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 31179
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

PreviousNext

Return to Ancien Regime

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests