Book: The Devil's Pleasure Palace: The Cult of Critical Theory and the Subversion of the West by Michael Walsh (Amazon link).
Any organization of substance, be it a government, a church, a charity, a political party, will have both external enemies and "fifth columnists" which seek to weaken and subvert the organization from within. I recently came across such a "fifth column" website with respect to the church to which I belong--the LDS Church. In reviewing several of the articles, I realized that unlike most "anti-Mormon" blogs which sought to attack the church and its doctrine from the outside--the writings of persons of other religions or those that have left the LDS Church--this blog was authored by those who purported to be members of the LDS Church, yet seek to bend the Church to accept and incorporate the philosophies of cultural Marxism and the liberal left; perfect examples of those who "draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me." (Matt. 15:8).
For instance, one article--"We Don’t Need Another Hiroo: Holdout Soldiers in the Culture Wars" by Michael Austin--argued that since conservative Christianity (including the LDS Church) had lost the Culture Wars, it was time for the Church to acknowledge the defeat and embrace the philosophies of the "victors."
The title of the article pertains to Lieutenant Hiroo Onda, a World War II Japanese holdout soldier that did not surrender until March 9, 1974. According to the article, although Onda was welcomed back to Japan as a hero, he was unable to assimilate the nearly 40 years of changes; eventually, he moved to Brazil to take up ranching. Austin uses this as an analogy to argue that:
[T]he longer contemporary religious people—including Latter-day Saints—persist in fighting the culture wars of the last two generations, the less able we will be to live meaningfully in the world that actually exists and to give our children the spiritual preparation that they will need in the future.Austin argues from a position of ignorance (or obfuscation) of the origin of the cultural wars, and the ultimate ability of victors to sustain their brave new world. Austin's position also reveals his lack of conviction of the truth of the religion which he purports to follow.
Michael Walsh, in The Devil's Pleasure Palace, tackles head on the origins of the culture wars in cultural Marxism, and the inherent flaws that guarantee its ultimate failure (notwithstanding the misery it shall cause in the interim). Walsh writes:
In the aftermath of World War II, America—the new leader of the West—stood alone as the world’s premier military power. Yet its martial confidence contrasted vividly with its sense of cultural inferiority. Still looking to a defeated and dispirited Europe for intellectual and artistic guidance, a burgeoning transnational elite in New York City and Washington, D.C., embraced not only the war’s refugees but also many of their resolutely nineteenth-century “modern” ideas as well.
Few of these ideas have proven more pernicious than those of the so-called Frankfurt School and its reactionary philosophy of “critical theory.” At once overly intellectualized and emotionally juvenile, Critical Theory—like Pandora’s Box—released a horde of demons into the American psyche. When everything could be questioned, nothing could be real, and the muscular, confident empiricism that had just won the war gave way, in less than a generation, to a fashionable Central European nihilism that was celebrated on college campuses across the United States. Seizing the high ground of academe and the arts, the new nihilists set about dissolving the bedrock of the country, from patriotism to marriage to the family to military service. They have sown (as Cardinal Bergoglio—now Pope Francis—has written of Satan, who will play a large role in our story) “destruction, division, hatred, and calumny”—and all disguised as a search for truth that will lead to human happiness here on earth.
Of course, what has resulted is something far from that. Were any of the originators of Critical Theory sill among us, they might well say, quoting Sir Christopher Wren: Si monumentum requiris, circumspice [if you seek his monument, look around]. Look about your daily lives here in early twenty-first-century America and Western Europe, and see the shabbiness, hear the coarseness of speech and dialogue, witness the lowered standards not only of personal behavior but also of cultural norms, savor the shrunken horizons of the future.In his article, Austin makes clear that he is more concerned about this world than the world to come. For instance, he argues:
Let me be very candid here: I am worried about our children. I am worried that they will not even be willing to give the Church a chance because they do not hear it talking about anything that they recognize as part of their world. The longer we persist in fighting the culture wars of the last two generations—and in invoking political rhetoric that was manufactured for questions that are no longer at issue—the less relevant we will be in their lives, which they live in a version of “the world” that bears little resemblance to the hive of Satanic scum and villainy that they hear about in Church. In our minds we may be the last bastions of rectitude in a fallen civilization. To our children we look like crazy hermits in 30-year old uniforms torching some poor guy’s rice field for no particular reason.Ironically, though, the world imagined by the cultural Marxist is the illusion. Walsh notes that "Leftists are fueled by a belief that in the modern world, it does not so much matter what the facts are, as long as the story is well told." He explains:
Living in a malevolent, upside-down fantasy world, they would rather heed their hearts than their minds, their impulses than their senses; the gulf between empirical reality and their ideology-infused daydreams regularly shocks and surprises them, even as it discomforts or kills millions who suffer the consequences of their delusions.In other words, "[o]n the Unholy Left, there is no idea too stupid to try, no institution unworthy of attack, no theory not worth implementing without care for its results, no matter what the practical cost." This merely is a different way of expressing the thought I have often expressed that progressives don't care about the consequences of their actions so long as they feel good about themselves.
Walsh goes on:
And what, precisely, is the point of their twisted narrative? Simply this: It, like scripture, contains all the themes and clichés deemed necessary to sell a governing philosophy that no one in his right mind would actually vote for absent deception and illusion. No matter how evil, the leftist story must seem to have a positive outcome; it must appeal to the better angels of our nature; it must promise a greater good, a higher morality, a new and improved tomorrow. In short, it must do what Milton’s Tempter (“with show of zeal and love / To man, and indignation at his wrong”) does in the Garden: lie. Thus spake Lucifer to Eve, in the same words that come out of the culturally Marxist mouth of every cajoling leftist.
* * *
The Tempter, in a nutshell, asks: Why not? Besides, what’s the big deal? God is lying to you. He wants to keep you naked and ignorant. Look at me: I ate the apple, and now I, a mere serpent, can speak human language with wisdom and compassion. And you—just one small “transgression” against a stupid and arbitrary edict, and you, too, shall be as God is.It is the concept of The Lie--taste of the fruit and you shall be as the gods--that underlies most of Walsh's work. He compares the lies of the left to the lies of Satan. Thus, much of the book is comparing not only the biblical account the The Lie, but also how the The Lie is presented in other similar stories such as the various versions of Faust and his literal devil's bargain with Mephistopheles in Western literature and theater. As such, his book is journey through the history of how modern cultural Marxism had its genesis in Rousseau and the Romantics, which worldliness and nihilism carried over into the culture of the late 19th Century--music, theater, art--before giving birth to modern socialism, including the cultural Marxism of the Frankfurt School and its "march through the institutions." It is truly a satanic belief, though, because it seeks to supplant God. As Walsh reminds us:
[Satan's] temptation to [Eve], remember, is to remove God from Paradise by becoming like a god herself. So, practically from Creation, the notion of a world without God was formed. And yet, as history shows, man has signally failed at replacing God. Rousseau’s life and works are proof that vice and virtue may be, when combined in the same man, not hypocrisy but evil.
As Walsh notes, "Not believing in Heaven, they not only wish their own heaven here on earth, but its earthly revenge as well." Consequently, "that is what the atheist State is for. That would be the armed atheist State, whose agents are legally equipped with lethal means to force compliance with its wishes and diktats. In the State’s precincts, one is free only insofar as one’s actions and predilections and even thoughts conform with those of the State—Rousseau’s General Will."
In the aftermath of the clear-cut, unconditional victory in World War II, that will has been poisoned, soured in part by the ethos of the Frankfurt School, which whined “Why not?” when the question should always be “Why?”
Speaking at the funeral of his assassinated brother, Robert, the late Massachusetts senator Edward Kennedy quoted his fallen sibling: “Some men see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say why not?” Telling words, which reveal which side of Chesterton’s Fence these two Kennedys were on, and how much cultural mischief they have caused. Conservatives believe there is a reason—a very good reason—why things that never were, never were.
And where did that line, uncredited, come from? From this passage in George Bernard Shaw’s 1921 play Back to Methuselah: “I hear you say ‘Why?’ Always ‘Why?’ You see things; and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’ ”
The speaker is the Serpent.The Lie, at its essence, is that cultural Marxism will set us free from the constraints of traditional society and religion. As Walsh explains: "For Satan, as for Marx, religion was an impediment to the grand design of transforming humanity from a collection of free-willed, autonomous individuals into a mass of self-corralling slaves who mistake security for liberty and try to keep the cognitive dissonance to a minimum in order to function." He goes on to argue that both Critical Theory and Satanism preach a false premise consisting of "rebellion for the sake of rebellion against an established order that has obtained for eons, and with no greater promise for the future than destruction." In a short hand, true religion and conservative principles requires us to ask and answer the "why" of something before casting it aside; whereas for Satan or the left, the question is "why not" do what feels good and damn the consequences. That is, both Satan and the Left argue feelings and emotions over reason and consideration. The problem with this approach, as noted by Goya, is that "Fantasy abandoned by reason produces impossible monsters: United with her, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of their marvels."
There is no justice, at least as that term is understood in its ordinary sense, under Critical Theory.
Critical Theory, applied to the law, is little more than mob rule and anarchy; like everything else it touches, it is the negation of what it purports to examine. No one any longer pretends it is anything else. “Sentence first, verdict afterwards” is no longer regarded as a perversion of the ideal of blind justice but, in fact, is understood as justice itself. Indeed, it is a “higher” form of justice that is meant to rectify a long litany of past wrongs: justice as payback, capital punishment that is not only deserved but welcomed by the victim.The Black Lives Matter movement is an example of this. Ironically, the push for "equality" and "diversity" is another of the Left's tactics, rather than a goal. Walsh "suspects, for example, that 'diversity' will no longer be deemed necessary once the white man has been knocked off his perch of 'privilege' and effectively disinherited from his own cultural patrimony. Only 'non-white' whites, the champions of the 'diverse' masses, will be allowed to have power; and they will be selected by a nakedly political criterion."
This represents the flaw in Critical Theory--and Satan's plan; that is, at its root, it is a movement based on accumulation and exercise of power, which cannot be hid forever. Eventually the chickens come home to roost. Walsh observes:
But an unrelenting record of failure eventually begins to tell. What at first seemed impressive—charts! graphs!—turns risible, then mockable. Finally, the people realize they are being had. They see that the entire revolving-door system of academe, government, and the media—bound together through myriad incestuous ties, along with their offshoots, such as the left-leaning think tanks and nonprofits that funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to “global warming” and other questionable causes—is one giant, taxpayer-funded racket designed to enrich the “clerisy” and impoverish the proletariat. The truth will out: The people are being governed by a criminal organization masquerading as a political party.
At root, and as with any criminal organization, the primary goal of the Frankfurt School, its acolytes, and its Critical Theory adherents—however camouflaged by the squid ink of altruism, ideology, and philosophical pretenses—was the attainment and retention of power in order to amass wealth.Political correctness is an important tool of Critical Theory. "Whoever would overthrow the liberty of the nation, must begin by subduing the freedom of speech." Thus, the left targets the media in order to shape public discourse and the views of the people in order, in effect, to "dissolve the people and elect another." We cannot let the Left frame the narrative. "The most potent weapon the Right has against the Left [is] mockery of its sheer pretentious ridiculousness."
One of the targets of the Left is our self-confidence in our culture: to insert doubt (such as Lucifer did when speaking to Eve in the Garden).
The loss of cultural confidence was precisely what the Frankfurt School and its descendants sought and still seek to engender. It is their only path to victory, which is why—even as they have seized the high ground of the academy and the media—they continue to roll over and expose their bellies like whipped curs whenever they are directly confronted. Pleas for “tolerance,” a weakness masquerading as a virtue, still serve them well.This is where the control of free speech comes in. "By consistently claiming that some solutions are 'off-limits' to 'civilized' peoples, they undermine the very principles of civilization they pretend to advocate—the first of which is the right to civilizational and personal self-defense." But it is not just control of what is acceptable speech, but also the meaning of words that is under attack. For instance:
“Peace” to an Islamic jihadist means the absence or submission of Christians, Jews, and all other infidels. It is, literally, absence of conflict between Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb, between the world of perfect Islamic peace and the world of chaos and war, once the latter has been conquered. Similarly, the modern Left’s ideas about “justice” have nothing to do with justice as most Americans traditionally understand it (blind, impartial, procedural) and everything to do with payback (social, economic, results-oriented). Both Muslims and leftists, in the furtherance of their aims, rely on their common enemy’s good-natured misunderstanding.The family, given its importance as the foundation stones of society, has also been targeted. Walsh discusses the progressively pointed attacks on the family unit, such as the "free love" movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, until:
Finally, the nuclear family was simply dispensed with altogether, as behavior considered acceptable in the underclass, where sexual license had always just barely been suppressed, percolated into the higher culture. The morals of those with nothing to lose and everything to gain from a dysfunctional social-welfare system bubbled upward from the black and white underclasses into the middle classes, who had been induced to feel guilty on behalf of the “underprivileged.” And those considered “marginal” or “disadvantaged” no longer bore any responsibility for their destructive personal choices and behavior. It is no accident that the new social acceptance of out-of-wedlock pregnancies coincided with the rise of both bastardy and the abortion culture, the growing demand for contraception, and, later on, gay rights. Once Pandora’s Box was opened, all sort of things flew out, some of them at first seemingly contradictory, but all related by the very fact of their confinement in the box. The box had stayed closed for a reason, but under pressure from Critical Theory, it had to be opened.He goes on (in a statement that should attract the attention of all of us concerned with civilizational collapse):
Many have observed, the historian Arnold Toynbee prominently among them, that society begins to crumble when the morals of the underclass become mainstream. Toynbee noted that when self-expression begins to substitute for disciplined creativity, civilization has a problem. Critical Theory’s obsessive compulsion with its genitals is not the sign of a mature culture but a childish one. Discussing the chapter “Schism in the Soul” from Toynbee’s Study of History, Charles Murray wrote in the Wall Street Journal, in 2001:
But the loss of common morality was not enough for the Cultural Marxists. They had to create schism between men and women to make sure that the family unit would die. Walsh explains:He observes that one of the consistent symptoms of disintegration is that the elites—Toynbee’s “dominant minority”—begin to imitate those at the bottom of society. His argument goes like this:
The growth phase of a civilization is led by a creative minority with a strong, self-confident sense of style, virtue, and purpose. The uncreative majority follows along through mimesis, “a mechanical and superficial imitation of the great and inspired originals.” In a disintegrating civilization, the creative minority has degenerated into elites that are no longer confident, no longer setting the example. Among other reactions are a “lapse into truancy” (a rejection, in effect, of the obligations of citizenship), and a “surrender to a sense of promiscuity” (vulgarizations of manners, the arts, and language) that “are apt to appear first in the ranks of the proletariat and to spread from there to the ranks of the dominant minority, which usually succumbs to the sickness of “proletarianization.” That sounds very much like what has been happening in the U.S. Truancy and promiscuity, in Toynbee’s sense, are not new in America. But until a few decades ago they were publicly despised and largely confined to the bottom layer of Toynbee’s proletariat—the group we used to call “low-class” or “trash,” and which we now call the underclass. Today, those behaviors have been transmuted into a code that the elites sometimes imitate, sometimes placate, and fear to challenge. Meanwhile, they no longer have a code of their own in which they have confidence.
The attack on normative heterosexuality—led by male homosexuals and lesbians, and invariably disguised as a movement for “rights,” piggybacking on the civil rights movement of the 1960s—is fundamental to the success of Critical Theory, which went straight at the hardest target (and yet, in many ways, the softest) first. The reason was simple: If a wedge could be driven between men and women, if the nuclear family could be cracked, if women could be convinced to fear and hate men, to see them as unnecessary for their happiness or survival—if men could be made biologically redundant—then that political party that had adopted Critical Theory could make single women one of their strongest voting blocs.
And so Eve was offered the apple: In exchange for rejecting a “traditional” sex role of supposed subservience and dependency (slavery, really), she would become more like a man in her sexual appetites and practices (this was called “freedom”), and she would be liberated from the burdens of motherhood via widespread contraception, abortion on demand, and the erasure of the “stigma” of single motherhood (should it come to that) or spinsterhood. Backed by the force of the government’s fist, she would compete with men for jobs, high salaries, and social status, all the while retaining all her rights of womanhood. The only thing she had to do was help destroy the old order.
The result has been entirely predictable: masculinized women, feminized men, falling rates of childbirth in the Western world, and the creation of a technocratic political class that can type but do little real work in the traditional sense.Or, as he later describes, "the result of this sex reversal has been to emasculate and feminize males and turn women into ersatz men. With the masculinization of women, unsurprisingly, birthrates have dropped; and the entry of women into the workforce has resulted in, practically, the halving of men’s income, since it now takes two incomes to provide a standard of living equivalent to what the middle class enjoyed in the scorned 1950s and ’60s—and which generally supported far larger families."
Ironically, the empowerment of women is but a means and not an end. As Walsh notes, the reason the Left is drawn to Islam is because "[w]hat the Left and Islam have in common is the only thing that matters to either: a will to power and a desire for submission on the part of their enemies." Thus, even the offer of female empowerment is part of the lie.
The consequences of the Cultural War is terrible to behold. As Walsh observes:
No culture until ours has so willingly abjured procreation, so enthusiastically practiced abortion, so demonized (an apt word) those who demurred, and so refused to understand the demographic “consequences of no consequences.” If procreation is only an afterthought or an optional lifestyle choice, our Ponzi-schemed social-welfare programs, such as Social Security, which depends on future generations to make it function, will collapse. Indeed, we could be looking at the demolition of the entire “social safety net”—though one would think radicals would want to save this, if we are to believe them when they express grave concern for humanity.In fact, "[n]o issue motivates [the Left] more than the demographic self-destruction known as abortion; as has often been noted, 'a woman’s right to choose' (their favored euphemism) is for them a secular sacrament, and the more babies killed in the womb, the better." And all this so "no female participant in the sex act should ever be held responsible for anything."
But there are, as Austin calls them in his article, "holdout soldiers" that hold to the traditional morality: Judeo-Christianity. And it is the Church and churches, which will increasingly come under attack. This is what leads to calls for accommodation and compromise from such as Mr. Austin. But, as noted above, there can be no successful compromise with the left and its evil. As Walsh puts it, "In stories of heroes, there is never a synthesis; indeed, there cannot be. The satanic Left understands this all too well, no matter what lip service they pay to 'synthesis.' The hero must not—and ultimately cannot—cooperate with the villain." Or, as Walsh notes:
Which brings us back to the political argument at the heart of this book. We frequently hear terms such as “bipartisanship” and “compromise” in the halls of Congress, especially coming from the Unholy Left whenever it finds itself on the short end of an electoral decision. But, according to the dictates of narrative, such “compromise” cannot hold, except in the short term—and not even then, I would argue, since compromise, even in the smallest things, leads to synthesis, and there can be no synthesis between Good and Evil. As the crude metaphor goes, one part ice cream mixed with one part dog poop is dog poop, not ice cream.Such also is true religion and faith. Austin's argument that the Church's continued relevance is dependent on "compromise" or acceptance of the new mores is not a path to success, but destruction.
How to fight back? As noted earlier, one of the tools is ridicule, exposing that the emperor has no clothes. Walsh points to the preference cascade that took down the Soviet Union:
What will it take to disabuse the rest of America? We have a partial answer before us—and in recent history. As it happens, I spent much of the period between February 1985 and the summer of 1991 behind the Iron Curtain, in what was then the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact nations. From the time I arrived, it was evident to me that the socialist system could not last. Its “internal contradictions” were not merely theoretical, like the West’s, but visible and grotesque. Its “liberated” women had been reduced to little more than prostitutes, sexually available for the price of dinner or a new dress. In the Soviet Union, if you were a man in need of female companionship, it came to you: All you had to do was wait for a woman in an elevator to offer to visit you in your room or, even easier, wait for the chambermaids to knock on your door, with delicacies boosted from the kitchen and themselves as the sweeteners. The old Soviet Union was Reich’s sexually liberated paradise come to life, and all the scars on the women’s bodies from multiple abortions spoke of its mutilations and death toll.
The men, meanwhile, were seemingly disinterested members of the economic-justice proletariat, but you couldn’t find a taxi driver in Moscow; the official “living wage” fares weren’t worth the trouble to start the engine. Far easier for you to hold up one or two fingers (signifying how many packets of smuggled-in Marlboros—the de facto currency—you were willing to pay for a ride) and get a lift immediately, to anywhere you wanted, no questions asked. An added bonus: Very often, the civilian driver would be carrying a load of fenced contraband, including caviar, vodka, and, at times, weapons.
These men and women were not examples of the failure of the Soviet system; they were exemplars of the superiority of capitalism and the Christian West’s desire for personal freedom (contrary to George W. Bush’s claim, it is, alas, not universal). In the fun-house mirror that was the old Soviet Union, citizens learned a devilish lesson: Vice is virtue. And they profited from the lesson, as best they could, until at last the entire rotten edifice buckled.
Why the Soviet Union so suddenly collapsed at the end of 1991 is a puzzle that has occupied scholars and apologists ever since. Yet it is no mystery to anyone who was there. “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” said Lincoln. Far more so than the U.S., the U.S.S.R. was beset by the cognitive dissonance arising from the conflict between its proclaimed ideals and the brute force with which they were implemented. Everybody knew it, except the Western intellectuals and mainstream journalists, who insisted, right up to the end, that the Soviet Union was the “other superpower,” the idealized (if not actually ideal) alternative to the American experiment. The evidence was right in front of their faces: The Soviet Union was a society that could barely build a functioning toilet; it was afflicted by severe housing shortages (it was customary for parents of marriageable children to retire discreetly to the bedroom of a two-room flat in order to let the young folks have sex in the living room; failing that, couples had sex in the backs of cars or in the local graveyard); it tested the seaworthiness of its deep-water subs by sending a few underwater to measure at what depth their hulls cratered and their crews died."We are not at that point, yet. And the cultural war is not over, as Austin intimates in his article. Walsh explains:
We are engaged, as Lincoln noted, in a great civil war, this one not yet fought with weapons, but with ideas. In the Left’s attempt to “fundamentally transform” the United States of America, it has used every other weapon in its arsenal, from indoctrination to fabrication, from “moral” suasion based on no morality at all to an unapologetic celebration of hedonism and sybaritism embodied by Reich and Marcuse, Leary and Hefner. To its everlasting shame, it has convinced women to murder their own babies in the name of “rights”: Adam Gopnik, an otherwise fine writer for the New Yorker, has called abortion “one of the greatest moral achievements in human history—the full emancipation of women.” The Left has convinced black Americans, on the Orwellian theory that freedom is slavery, to flock to the banner of the party of slavery, segregation, secularism, and sedition in search of freedom from slavery. It has convinced generations of college students that their country was founded in Original Sin (which the Left otherwise rejects). Furthermore, it has taught that this Original Sin can never be eradicated or expiated, since there cannot be a Redeemer; the only recourse is the self-abnegation or total annihilation of the Principal Enemy, which just so happens to be (as Pogo famously observed) us. By embracing the Cause, they are saved, indeed elevated above the constraints of morals, as their goal is just, and they are freed to make holy war upon the sinful, wicked, damned folks back in Dubuque or Topeka.It is not a time to compromise and give in, as Austin suggests, but to keep our faith and push ahead. As Walsh points out toward the end of his book, the Left cannot win "as long as one free man still breathes. For freedom is akin to the light in the darkness: A single exemplar represents total defeat for the other side. Darkness can never be complete until the eradication of the last light, a task beyond even the superhuman capabilities of Satan." The Left--the supposed winners of the Culture Wars--have not won, but only stepped into a trap. Like communism in the Soviet Union, their edifice will collapse because its foundation is illusory and transitory.
Don Quixotes of the mind, their philosophy giving unholy birth to the “sniveling brats” of the contemporary nasty, sneering Left, gibing at both the traditionally masculine and feminine virtues and appurtenances, desperately trying to relegate the ur-Narrative to the realm of secondary myth and legend, to bedtime stories for the gonzo Bonzos of postwar America: Such was the Frankfurt School. Having seized academia, they left a legacy in the cancerous growth of “studies” departments (gender, race, queer, whatever) that infest the modern university at the expense of classical learning. They have turned prominent institutions of what used to be called “higher learning” into reeducation camps of lower learning, populating them with “diversity” commissars and political officers, blunt fists in tweed jackets, sucking taxpayer money to fuel their own employment, forcing the larger population to subsidize their own theory of destruction.While it may seem a dark hour, Walsh reminds his readers that:
Only one camp, however, has the additional elements of duty, honor, and country on its side. Only one side defends its women and children. Only one side fights to preserve instead of destroy, to honor instead of mock, to improve instead of tear down—to maintain the fence between civilization and barbarism, and to ask “Why?” instead of “Why not?” That knowledge, hard won, is both ancient and ongoing....But to win this fight, we cannot compromise our standards. "Standards, not behavioral impulses, are what set us apart from the chimps, who have only the latter, now matter how much projection and anthropomorphic wishful thinking we might direct their way." Austin's call on the members of the Church to accept defeat and compromise our standards and values is not a path to victory, or even peaceful co-existence, but a path to hell and damnation. To paraphrase, one part Gospel and one part dog crap is still dog crap.