Friday 11 March 2011

Bertrand Russell and racism - the Pharisee of the drawing room

Bertrand, Earl Russell was one of the more hypocritical of the thinkers of the Left.

Living a life of ease and comfort due to mere circumstances of birth, he nevertheless claimed to believe in neither. He even claimed to be a "liberal" (i.e. Leftist) because his ancestors were!

Russell's ancestors were those same Russells who had seized upon the property of the monasteries, enriching themselves at the expense of the poor and becoming the new, dominant men of the Tudor period, avaricious, greedy, narrow, cunning, sly, anti-Catholic thieves, robbers and murderers.

These were the "liberals" Russell seemed to be proud of descending from.

Russell himself seemed incapable of seeing the irony of his being proud to descend from such scoundrels whilst claiming, himself, to be a champion of right. In fact, he resembled his hypocritical ancestors all too well.

John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford,
the ancestors of the Russells, who enriched himself from the monasteries and the patrimony of the poor, he helped suppress the Catholic Pilgrimage of Grace, and was a friend of the odious Thomas Cromwell. On the dissolution of the greater monasteries Henry VIII granted him lands and properties of the Cistercian Abbey at Dunkeswell, Devon, the Abbey of Tavistock, Devon, and the kitchen garden of Westminster Abbey, which is now the site of Covent Garden. He was created Earl of Bedford on 19 January 1549 for persecuting and murdering Catholics, smashing religious statues and relics, and for promoting heresy. A perfect ratbag, he died in his bed.

Bertrand Russell purported to champion women but did not scruple to leave a trail of destruction behind his numerous marital infidelities.

He began (inevitably) by supporting the Communist revolution until it turned into what anyone with common sense (which ruled out Russell) could see it would turn into - a bloodbath.

As to race, he was, like Marx, a racist.

Here are a couple of choice quotes:

"In extreme cases there can be little doubt of the superiority of one race to another[...] It seems on the whole fair to regard Negroes as on the average inferior to white men, although for work in the tropics they are indispensable, so that their extermination (apart from the question of humanity) would be highly undesirable".

Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals, 1929, p.266.

He was a supporter of birth control for eugenic reasons, sharing this particularly odious view with Hitler and the Nazis.

On 16 November 1922, for instance, he gave a lecture to the General Meeting of Marie Stopes' Society for Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress on "Birth Control and International Relations," in which he described the importance of extending Western birth control worldwide so as to avoid an encroachment of the non-white races.

His views prefigure those of the population control movement of the 1960s but their origins lie deep in the so-called "racial hygiene" movement that inspired the Nazis.

Marie Stopes.
Butter wouldn't melt in the mouth of this enthusiastic Nazi-sympathiser and eugenic campaigner for "racial hygiene" and the "elimination" of "inferior" races.

It was no accident that Marie Stopes was an enthusiast for Nazism, nor that the funder of research that resulted in the contraceptive pill, Margaret Sanger, was also an enthusiast for Nazism.

Sanger even lectured on birth control to the women's auxiliary of the Ku Klux Klan (e.g. at in Silver Lake, New Jersey in 1926) as she admitted in her autobiography Margaret Sanger, An Autobiography. New York: W. W. Norton, 1938, pp. 361, 366–7.

Margaret Sanger, eugenicist, racist and enthusiast for Nazism.

In 1935 Stopes attended the International Congress for Population Science in Berlin, held under the Nazi regime. Even other birth-control enthusiasts, such as Havelock Ellis, admitted Stopes was anti-Semitic.

She was, indeed, a personal and political devotee of Adolf Hitler, once writing to him thus:

“Dear Herr Hitler, Love is the greatest thing in the world: so will you accept from me these (poems) that you may allow the young people of your nation to have them?”

Her son, Dr Harry Stopes-Roe, is an advocate of euthanasia and, along with Richard "Dorky" Dawkins, a Vice-President of the British Humanist Association which rejects any idea of God.

Now let's hear what Russell said:

"This policy may last some time, but, in the end, under it we shall have to give way — we are only putting off the evil day; the one real remedy is birth control, that is getting the people of the world to limit themselves to those numbers which they can keep upon their own soil... I do not see how we can hope permanently to be strong enough to keep the coloured races out; sooner or later they are bound to overflow, so the best we can do is to hope that those nations will see the wisdom of Birth Control.... We need a strong international authority."

- "Lecture by Bertrand Russell", Birth Control News, vol 1, no 8 (December 1922), p.2.

And the merchants of racism and death are still with us, alas, despite the defeat of Hitler and his thugs.

The logic of eugenics!


Wednesday 9 March 2011

Ash Wednesday: "Remember man, that thou are dust and unto dust thou shalt return!"

Meménto, homo, quia pulvis es, et in púlverem revertéris

Remember, man, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return

"What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh..." [Ecclesiasticus 1]

"Remember friends as you pass by,
as you are now so once was I.
As I am now so you must be.
Prepare for death and follow me."

So may we well begin this Holy Season of Lent which so much reminds us of the transience of this life and, in contrast, the joys of heaven to come.

In a sense, there is both joy and sadness in Lent - sadness at death but joy at life, the life to come. Lent signifies the 40 days that our Lord spent in the desert fasting and doing penance for us and giving us an example of the way in which we can discipline ourselves to withstand the temptations of the world, grow in grace and virtue and become more truly ourselves, rather than our appetites.

This is our recollection behind the imposition of ashes on the forehead on Ash Wednesday. We are reminded of our mortality and that we shall return unto the dust from which man was originally made.

The words said by the priest come from Genesis 3:19 when Adam and Eve were made subject to the corruption of death and dying with the words of God ringing in their ears:

"for dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return"

From the Roman Office of the Dead, the Anglican divines took the words of Job and used them for the Anglican burial service. They have since thereby become famous, used in many a film setting. They are powerful words:

"MAN THAT IS BORN OF WOMAN hath but a short time to live, and is full of misery. He cometh up and is cut down like a flower; he flieth as it were a shadow, and never continueth in one stay. In the midst of life we be in death: of whom may we seek for succour but of thee, O Lord, which for our sins justly art displeased. Yet, O Lord God most holy, O Lord most mighty, O holy and most merciful saviour, deliver us not into the bitter pains of eternal death. Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts, shut not up thy merciful eyes to our prayers: but spare us Lord most holy, O God most mighty, O holy and merciful saviour, thou most worthy judge eternal, suffer us not at our last hour for any pains of death to fall from thee." [Job 11]

On Ash Wednesday, the ashes are made by the burning of the palms from the previous year's Easter.

The imposition of ashes signifies sorrow for sin, contrition, spiritual aid and the receiving of grace thereby.

The head, being the seat of pride, is then imposed with ashes in the form of a cross as the priest utters the words reminding us of our mortality.

We should wear this sign of penance as a memento mori (remembrance of death) and as a sign of witness against the concupiscence of the world.

This painting shows the return of the Blessed Virgin after the Crucifixion on Calvary.

In the distance can be seen the 3 crosses upon Calvary mount. It is a fitting theme for the penitential season of Lent - or Great Lent as the Greeks call it. Lent is a time of very moving and indeed hauntingly beautiful liturgy and chant.

Ash Wednesday begins with the reading from Joel the Prophet, Chapter 2:

“Now therefore saith the Lord: Be converted to me with all your heart, in fasting, and in weeping, and in mourning. 13 And rend your hearts, and not your garments, and turn to the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, patient and rich in mercy, and ready to repent of the evil. 14 Who knoweth but he will return, and forgive, and leave a blessing behind him, sacrifice and libation to the Lord your God? 15 Blow the trumpet in Sion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly, 16 Gather together the people, sanctify the church, assemble the ancients, gather together the little ones, and them that suck at the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth from his bed, and the bride out of her bride chamber. 17 Between the porch and the altar the priests the Lord's ministers shall weep, and shall say: Spare, O Lord, spare thy people: and give not thy inheritance to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them. Why should they say among the nations: Where is their God? 18 The Lord hath been zealous for his land, and hath spared his people. 19 And the Lord answered and said to his people: Behold I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and you shall be filled with them: and I will no more make you a reproach among the nations.”

On the First Sunday of Lent the Gospel reminds us of the precedent for Lent: our Lord's 40 days in the desert fasting.

On the Saturday in Ember week of Lent, when it was customary to have Ordinations to the clerical state, there are 6 readings including the Gospel and many beautiful chants.

In many communities, both religious and secular, it was also customary to have numerous additional pious devotions including chants, hymns and canticles dedicated to the instruments of the Passion, for instance the Holy Lance and the Holy Nails.

Ivan Kramskoy. 1872. Christ in the Desert.

In English-speaking countries there are many customary hymns such as this well-known one below by Rev Fr Vaughan CSSR which captures the spirit of Lent very well...

God of mercy and compassion,
Look with pity upon me,
Father, let me call Thee Father,
'Tis Thy child returns to Thee.

Jesus, Lord, I ask for mercy;
Let me not implore in vain;
All my sins, I now detest them,
Never will I sin again.

2. By my sins I have deserved
Death and endless misery,
Hell with all its pains and torments,
And for all eternity.

3. By my sins I have abandoned
Right and claim to heav'n above.
Where the saints rejoice forever
In a boundless sea of love.

4. See our Saviour, bleeding, dying,
On the cross of Calvary;
To that cross my sins have nail'd Him,
Yet He bleeds and dies for me.

Love never dies...


Monday 7 March 2011

Quinquagesima Sunday

Quinquagesima is the name for the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. It was also called Esto mihi after the opening words of the Introit, taken from Psalm 31:3.

The Gospel tells us the wonderful story of the man who was blind and our Lord, hearing his cry for aid, miraculously cures him.

The name stems from the Latin quinquagesimus (fiftieth) which refers to the fifty days before Easter Day, counting so as to include Sundays.

Since the forty days of the Lenten fast do not include Sundays, the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday, succeeds Quinquagesima Sunday three days later.

The earliest Quinquagesima can occur is 1 February and the latest is 7 March. This year, 2011, it falls upon 6 March, and so very late.

Needless to say, Archbishop Annibale Bugnini with his egalitarian-republican-Liberal-Modernist preference for the grey, the dull and the tedious did away with this day in his Novus Ordo Missae Calendar, together with the two preceding Sundays, Sexagesima and Septuagesima.

It is, of course, retained in the traditional mass and the lesson is taken from St Paul's Letter to the Corinthians [1 Cor. 13. 1] with that most beautiful of passages so evocative of the Christian Catholic faith.

Let us conclude with it.

THOUGH I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing. Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three:



Love never faileth...