Benedict XVI and Trump.The Bond: The Heroism of Defeat. (For Now…).
29 Gennaio 2021
Dear friends of Stilum Curiae, as you will recall, an American friend of “Big Shot” has proposed an analogy between the resignation of Benedict XVI and the replacement of Donald Trump with Joe Biden at the White House. It is an interesting thesis, which has provoked a response from another friend of Big Shot – this time an Italian. We are happy to share his reflection with you. Enjoy your reading!
I read with great attention the contribution made by Big Shot’s American friend, and I found the analogy he made between Trump and Benedict XVI to be illuminating. Here I am offering my own reflection, and I will try to develop some of its latent implications.
The defeat of Trump which was desired and obtained by the System – I call “the System” the “strategic alliance of power, let’s call it ‘Western’ power, […] between politics, the economy, science, media, and moral authority (in the sense of the Church)” – is analogous to the defeat of Benedict XVI that was desired and obtained by the System.
The arrogant New York building speculator and the shy Bavarian theologian could not be more different from one another. The analogy is thus not on a personal level, but rather relative to the historic role “played” by both one and the other in their respective institutions and with respect to the post-modern West which they both sought to “govern.”
One could write, without even using too much “conspiracy theory,” about the identical forces that worked for the resignation of Benedict XVI and the defeat of Trump, for the election of Bergoglio and the election of Biden (even the names of the well-known faces involved in certain plots are identical). But this is not what interests me now.
The analogy, in fact, goes far beyond the destinies of a President of the United State and a Pope; it involves their respective “sovereignties” (the United States of America and the Holy Roman Church) and Western civilization itself.
What was really defeated with the defeat of Benedict XVI? Ratinzger’s attempt (a desperate one, we can now say) to save post-conciliar Catholicism from its suicidal destiny by “healing” the Church from the evil within it and thus restoring a soul to the West.
This heroic project, just as the heroes of a certain tragic romanticism are heroic, tenaciously carried out by Benedict XVI on the level of theology (the hermeneutic of continuity), liturgy (the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum), civilization (the Ratisbon speech), and law and politics (the doctrine of non-negotiable principles, the paradigm of the natural law as the foundation of the liberal State), ended and failed with the resignation of Benedict XVI.
What was really defeated with the defeat of Trump? The (desperate?) attempt to save the United States (and with it the West) from the increasingly overwhelming nihilist current of liberal globalism, from a revolution that, Trotsky-like, wants to be permanent and universal – the neo-con wars of Bush to “export democracy,” the colored revolutions and the “Arab spring” of Obama-Hillary Clinton – a Maoistic cultural development, even to the extreme point of today’s cancel culture. This titanic effort of Trump to wrestle the United States free from dissolution into universal and permanent radical revolution took place by means of a new paradigm of foreign policy, the commitment to re-industrialize and slow down the process of globalization, the public re-launching of Christian identity, and an interesting hermeneutic of human rights rooted in natural law (the Glendon Commission). This titanic effort was defeated with the defeat of Trump and the election of Biden.
Continuing with analogical reasoning, not only can we be satisfied with extending the analogy to Obama – Hillary Clinton – Biden with respect to the United States/the West in relation to Bergoglio with respect to the Church, but with much greater profit we can also venture to consider the results in the two respective “sovereignties” from the defeat of Benedict XVI and Trump and from the consequent elections of Bergoglio and Biden.
What are we witnessing in the Church after the resignation of Ratzinger and the election of Bergoglio? A notable acceleration of the revolutionary post-conciliar process, and thus an ever-greater polarization, a rupture (which is de facto schismatic or pre-schismatic) of contemporary Catholicism which is more evident each day. Beyond the more or less refined nuances and distinctions, today the Church is divided between Bergoglians (who often go beyond Bergoglio himself) and the anti-Bergoglians – all other distinctions are mere subtleties. The moderate, centrist, Ruinian (in Italy), Wojtylian, and even Ratzingerian positions are increasingly crushed and sidelined by the radicality of the revolution taking place in the Church.
What are we witnessing in the USA after the defeat of Trump and the election of Biden? A radicalization of the Democrats with regard to the liberal agenda (we could also say liberal-socialist) and the totalitarian claim to cancel everything that is not ideologically liberal, an ever-greater polarization (by the anti-Trump side: impeachment, social censorship, the effort to categorize Trump supporters as domestic terrorists, the acceleration of the liberal agenda on abortion, transgenderism, etc.; by the pro-Trump side: anger over a stolen election, the conviction of living in a regime, fear of socialism, Biden, and Democratic leaders who are judged to be Satanists and enemies of God), a rupture of national unity (there are in fact two nations, two populations that are ideologically irreconcilable, the first calls for secession are being heard in Texas and Florida and even within the Catholic discussion: e.g. Eric Sammons, The Catholic Case For Secession). Beyond the more or less refined nuances and distinctions, today the United States is divided between Trumpers and anti-Trumpers. All other distinctions are mere subtleties.
The analogy of Trump-Benedict XVI, Biden-Bergoglio, USA-Church helps us then to understand that the key to understanding our time is: 1) polarization (in the irreconcilability of the two positions even to the point of schism or secession); 2) the victory of the Revolution (liberal-radical-socialist-gender-ecologist-globalist): “All that was said at Assisi in Economy of Francesco and in the Encyclical Fratelli Tutti is conformed to the principles and objectives of this curious alliance of power. It has never happened in contemporary history. Never before now.”; 3) the defeat of “reform in continuity.”
The defeat of Benedict XVI and President Trump is in fact the defeat of the last possible heroic/titanic “reformism,” the last attempt of “reform in continuity” of the Church and of the USA-West before the definitive imposition of the Revolution even to its most extreme objectives.
With the end of the Ratzinger pontificate and the first Trump presidency, what has been defeated is not Tradition, the Counter-Revolution or the Reaction, but rather the last possible Reformism. The Ratzinger pontificate and the Trump presidency are in fact incomprehensible only as “reform in continuity.” And perhaps their defeat is the result of precisely this: the fact that it is impossible to carry out a “reform in continuity” of the post-conciliar Church as well as the liberal-democratic West.
If this is true, then the present situation, while dramatic, has the merit of the progressive dissolution of the illusion, and Bergoglio-Biden have the involuntary merit of making manifest the impossibility of the Reformist compromise with the Revolution.
An Italian Friend of “Big Shot”
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