Saturday, 2 December 2017

Decline and fall


I decided that Rome the eternal city is the ideal place to celebrate a birthday and my recent one was a very good one. Lunch and dinner with clever like minded people. Wonderful food and drink, churches and paintings, even the Tridentine Mass. Italy is an economic disaster due to the euro, but Italy is the last civilised country in Western Europe. And Rome is good for introspection which is the point of travel and birthdays.

But Rome becomes more touristy each time I visit. The small family owned shops and restaurants are still plentiful but the souvenir shops grow more. Rome's future is Venice. It is already half a museum and this is the future of Europe.

Rome was taken and sacked by a series of infidels including Arabs long ago, but remains

Christian. Now though Mass attendance is pretty low and Italy is another materialistic, secular country.

Will Christians win back Europe? Like Pope Benedict XVI I am very pessimistic.
Meanwhile Pope Francis is encouraging what he himself calls an 'Arab invasion'.

Still not all is lost and things might change in a conservative and Christian direction. The unexpected always happens. But for change to happen young people in their twenties must change and at the moment the teachers and professors are markedly left-wing.

Two places look hopeful. Eastern Europe and the USA. But both are becoming secular. The USA for demographic reasons may be moving leftwards and has very left-wing universities. Left-wing and socially liberal ideas are coming to Eastern Europe too, via the EU and clever young people who study in the West.

As every schoolboy knows (Lord Macaulay's omniscient schoolboy) the Young Pretender's younger brother, the Duke of York in the Jacobite peerage before Charles died, was a cardinal and the last Stuart Pretender to the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland. He lived in a palace in Rome and was Henry IX to Jacobites and Cardinal York to the world. The modern suggestion that he was a homosexual is completely unfounded. 

He was the last person to touch for the King's Evil (scrofula). His first cousin once removed Queen Anne did so and touched the young Samuel Johnson, but George I did not.

For some reason whenever I come to Rome it is not Caesar, Catullus, Cicero or Michelangelo I think of, nor Anita Ekberg, but the elderly Cardinal York/King Henry IX.

I hope that (genuine) conservatism in Western Europe will not dwindle into the nostalgic antiquarianism of the Jacobites after the '45. But it might. 

Image may contain: outdoor and water
Trevi fountain with only two dozen tourists (I hate those people) at 9 a.m. But Trevi without Ekberg is Hamlet without the Prince.


  1. My Italy is not an economic disaster because of the Euro, that and the intervention it brings is one of the things that has perhaps kept it afloat. It is a disaster because of three things. A level of local and national government corrupt practice perhaps only equalled by Greece and Romania. A National aversion to paying tax, because the state employees only steal it anyway. Finally an uneducated populous kept enthralled with base distraction by a political class who own all the newspapers and tv.

  2. Will Christians win back Europe? You never had it. You co-opted some of the celebrations, but the pagans never really let it go.The Lords of misrule have always been pandered too by the hierarchy to appease the mob. Now they are in full control of the rein again

    1. Yes, let's stop pretending Europe = Christendom. The Roman Empire was not fully Christianised until the 5th century, Celts and Germans not until 700 AD, and Balts not until the late 14th C. On the whole Christianity has been an utter disaster for our continent. It has led to unprecedented death and destruction through stupid unecessary wars like the crusades and the Reformation wars, (pagans didnt have wars of religion) impoverished us culturally and scientifically and led to the development of utopian and suicidal ideologies like liberalism and Marxism. Europe's heart and soul has always been pagan. All the achievements of European man happened in spite of Christianity's domination, not because of it.

  3. There is a touch of sadness in your piece. Conjures up "Death in Venice."

  4. Poignantly sad piece. A eulogy of our dead civilisation.