The Anti-Thing

Note: Some readers have noted that they can see our new podcast videos on computers but cannot download them to their phones. We’re working on that. We’re also working on audio-only versions for those who like to listen in cars, etc. Our third podcast –  Brad Miner leading a discussion with Fr. Gerald Murray and myself about the Papal Posse, the Vatican, and future prospects in the Church – will be live online on Sunday. And we’ve got much more coming very soon. The daily column is still our main focus, to be sure, but we’re hoping to do even more and better in our advocacy of Faith and Reason and commentary on the Church and the world. All of this is possible only because of support from our readers. Now’s the time to show that you appreciate what you see here every day. You know how – and why. Don’t delay support TCT, now. – Robert Royal     

The recent Batflu epidemic has been a learning experience.

We have learned not to trust epidemiologists in particular, and godless medical experts in general. We have learned that the “gotcha” media really are psychically twisted. We have learned that much of our political class is formally committed to the persecution of Christians, and the suppression of the Catholic Church. That they are anti-Semites, too. That even when not directly in the pay of Red China, they are tendentiously pro-communist nonetheless. Also: instinctively pro-criminal, and lawless.

These were not learning experiences for everybody. I, for instance, already knew these things; and I know others equally well informed. And it goes without saying that those working almost contractually for infernal forces do not learn anything.

If one of my gentle readers is outraged by these assertions, I give him permission to express his inner berserker. To my mind, it is all of a piece with what Christ told us to expect, during our sojourn in this world, to assist us in maintaining our serenity.

Some readers might accuse me of being overly political but, while I recognize that evil assumes political forms, I am habitually unpolitical. I, like many, regret being compelled to make political arguments, or adopt political stances, for such “political” causes as being left alone.

The agenda of Satan cannot allow this. Not only must the lives of faithful Christians be consistently invaded in both petty and alarming ways; the agenda requires implicating them in what they know to be evils.

This is evident in the phenomenon that is glibly called, “political correctness.” For more than a generation, I have noticed that every “politically correct” assertion is a flat lie, and often a significant one. But by agreeing to be silent about it, we agree to the protocols of a new Gulag. By increments we become like “zeks,” following the rules in a new lockdown state.

We know that our livelihoods and personal independence may be threatened if we speak up. In extremes, we know that people visibly seething with hatred seek targets to accuse of imaginary “hate crimes.” We also know that they have thoroughly infiltrated our legal, bureaucratic, and educational establishments so that they have acquired real, arbitrary power.

I often think back on the late (and now unfashionable) Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who told us to take risks. His principal message was “stop lying”; and to refuse, regardless of consequences. He suggested that if everyone agreed to stop lying for a full morning, the Soviet tyranny would collapse by noon.

It did, eventually, from the slow drip, drip, of irresistible truths. Suddenly, finally, its Berlin Wall came down. The same must ultimately happen in other evil empires; and as Christians we can know that God will prevail.


Patience is a virtue, in mundane situations, but the process by which evil is defeated can be immeasurably accelerated and enhanced by telling the truth, inconveniently. As another of my late mentors, George Grant, said, the place to discuss abortion is at a polite academic sherry party. Shouting is unnecessary in such a venue.

This process creates martyrs for sure, and is sometimes responsible for creating disorder, as those who depend on all the lies for their livelihoods are “triggered” out of their minds.

Verily, we get glimpses of a secret war, behind the scenes of every totalitarian order, as its apparatchiks are confronted by their own lies, and left twisting on them. The most hardened functionaries sometimes bolt, or defect, as we saw across Europe a generation ago.

But today I use this memory mostly as an analogy for our own times, a long generation later, when evil has regrouped as it has done throughout history.

Communism provided an organizing focus to the anti-Christian presence in our modern age, once the alternative Satanisms, Nazism and Fascism, had collapsed. But for this very reason, it collapsed itself – the nothingness in its foundations exposed.

Paradoxically, our millennial Leftists – by which I don’t mean “millennials” generationally, but those who came to politics after the Cold War – benefit from being so poorly organized. Like summer black flies, they are harder to defeat. Their unity consists in a revolutionary attitude, only – they are destructively opposed to the old order, but lack the consistency of a fixed party line.

Moreover, it is operating from a base not outside the West, or at least partially outside, but entirely within it. This may seem counter-intuitive to those who imagine that Red China, the surviving Communist superpower, is “outside.”

It is unquestionably inside, of our end-of-history world of “globalism” – what we actually received from the triumph we declared at the end of the Cold War.

In a sense, Deng’s China won. The “ideal” of free trade for the pursuit of wealth, and a complementary, secular Nanny State built on the “ideal” of safety, was universally embraced. By that pincer movement, “Western Civ” was obviated.

Henceforth, whether in Shanghai or New York, our freedom would have to be “managed” – and by men themselves necessarily free of spiritual or any other principles.

While plenty remains beneath, we have seen the scum floating to the surface with the Batflu. The lockdowns began in the hope that we could “flatten the curve” for overloaded hospitals. By rapid increments it became an end in itself – for various “bad actors,” who could be identified by their fruits, easily.

This struck me when, to give just one instance, I noticed governors in several American states, simultaneously forcing nursing homes to receive infected elders. The plan was as murderous as the Politburo tactic of quarantining Wuhan from the rest of China, while leaving hundreds of international flights open to infect the world.

I am not so paranoid as to think that the (all Democrat, coincidentally) governors had a nefarious plot, to “cancel” as many oldies as possible. Rather I think, that Satan himself was their “community organizer.”


*Image: Demons attacking St. Anthony (detail from Polyptych with Coronation of the Virgin and Saints) by Cenni di Francesco di Ser Cenni, c. 1395 [Getty Museum, Los Angeles]. The polytych is below; the image above is in the bottom panel, second from the right.


David Warren is a former editor of the Idler magazine and columnist in Canadian newspapers. He has extensive experience in the Near and Far East. His blog, Essays in Idleness, is now to be found at: