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Dark Lamps

A friend came to see me on one of the evenings of the last week — he thinks it was on Monday, August 3rd. We were standing at a window of my room in the Foreign Office. It was getting dusk, and the lamps were being lit in the space below on which we were looking. My friend recalls that I remarked on this with the words: “The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”

Sir Edward Grey, British Foreign Secretary in 1914

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

7 Comments

  1. Those lamps were the lamps of independence. In Europe, independence meant conflict, just like it did here in the states. We succumbed to central control first and then it was forced on Europe by America as a result of the war.

    I think that America was designed originally as it was because the founders looked at European history and realized that independent states would always be at war. They designed a system that was supposed to allow for a common governmental framework in which these conflicts could be defused without the loss of independence.

    It took less than one hundred yeas to find out that peace among independent states is not possible and that a little control with only the power of man as its basis won’t maintain it. Peace, or at least the fiction of it, can only be maintained through force of a more eternal kind.

    And that’s the real story of history. Who has the power to enforce peace and whether or not they do it with justice or terror. After the fall of Rome Europe became a place where subsidiarity was the rule. City states and small kingdoms all competed for power. Because there were many different actors and power was diffused a chaotic system kept any one group from holding too much power for too long.

    During the Middle Ages the system the American founders wanted actually existed, though to read modern historians one would never know it. The Catholic Church became the great arbiter, a clearing house for grievances large and small which kept most of Europe independent and from each others throat. Most rulers had an allegiance to the Church and the Pope which gave the Church the power to step in when needed and decide the issue at hand before war broke out.

    A perfect system? No. But a better one than the one that came into place after WWI. The American system of top down central control, developed after the Civil War, came into its own During the Roosevelt and Wilson administrations and at the same time as the rise of the other centrally controlled system, Communism. And Europe became the testing and battle ground for global central government.

    In the Middle ages Europe stayed relatively peaceful (at least for Europe) due to the fear of God. The limits imposed by the Church were shattered by the Reformation and the Age of Reason, culminating in the French Revolution and finally the force of government enforced through the fear of man and his arms after WWI. Nations no longer feared God. They looked to themselves for authority and the guys with the biggest guns had the most. So, with the governors off, with nothing apart from national force as the benchmark of truth, we entered into a century of global conflict, a tug of war on a global scale. An unnatural state of never ending warfare on a global and all consuming scale.

    That is the legacy of WWI and all that led to it. A war that has never been decided, a peace that can only be maintained through massive force which requires an expenditure of resources that cannot be maintained over time on a global scale never before attempted. Entropy writ large.

    We’re out of energy to apply to the false system of peace that was put in place at Versailles. The system is collapsing and a new one will rise in its place. We’re about to see why, on the biggest human scale ever, the Second Law of Thermodynamics is not just a suggestion – it’s a law.

    Personally, I think that we’ll use the last of our rapidly dwindling energy reserves fighting to damn near global exhaustion this time and then we’ll see the injection of God into history. The power to rebuild has to come from the outside to keep the human system going or it will completely collapse and disappear. God uses nature and He pretty much follows the laws He designed.

    So buckle up. Those that make it to the other side of this will have stories that will need to be passed down through the generations as a warning to those that come after.

  2. Repeat after me.
    Germany was to blame.
    WW1- Germany did not start it but Germany wanted it.
    WW2 – Germany started it AND wanted it.

    Germany is the birthplace of the Protestant Reformation, Marxism and National Socialism. Germany wanted an empire at the expense of their neighbors for a century and a half.

    Alsace-Lorraine
    Kulturkampf.
    The Partition of Poland.
    Lebensraum.
    Chemical weapons.
    Death camps.
    Oh,and the Zimmerman telegram.

    The Polish independence day is November 11.

  3. Very interesting Tom. Subsidiarity will make it’s come back! for those of us who make it through.

  4. “Personally, I think that we’ll use the last of our rapidly dwindling energy reserves fighting to damn near global exhaustion this time and then we’ll see the injection of God into history. The power to rebuild has to come from the outside to keep the human system going or it will completely collapse and disappear. God uses nature and He pretty much follows the laws He designed. So buckle up.”

    Matthew 24:3-27

    Signs of the End of the Age

    3 “As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’ 4And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. 5For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. 6And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.”

    9“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10And then many will fall awaya and betray one another and hate one another. 11And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

    The Abomination of Desolation

    15“So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, 18and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 19And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 20Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. 21For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. 23Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25See, I have told you beforehand. 26So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”

  5. Tom Usher

    The fact is that in Europe the Middle Ages (taking it as the millennium between the Sack of Rome and the Fall of Constantinople) was a period of almost incessant warfare, between and within the “city states and small kingdoms.”

    It is no accident that there is one exception to the rule that the services by which a vassal held his feu are always specified in detail in his charter; that exception was military service or ward-holding, simply described as Servitia debita et consueta – Services used and wont. The clearest words were requires to exclude it – “and these for all other burden, exaction, demand or secular service whatsoever which can be any ways exacted for the lands and others foresaid, or any part thereof, in all time coming.” Likewise, the sword was everywhere the badge of a gentleman.

  6. Michael I think the fact is that the history of the whole world was almost incessant warfare, between and within the “city states and small kingdoms.”
    /
    Christendom was a gentle -ing of the world and it’s a shame to not recognize the progress that humanity was making during the spread of Christianity– too bad the lights provided by God, not recognized, and tossed in the ebb and flow in regular human sin, are in danger of being extinguished by the dark fervor and will of the anti-Christians. Christianity has been under attack for all these generations and we do not have gentlemen and ladies armed well enough to defend her.
    Leadership needed.

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