Skip to comments.Rod Dreher and the "Benedict Option" (Moral people forming their own counterculture)
Posted on 09/28/2013 10:00:02 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
This past week, Rod posted a remarkable bleg over on the website of the American Conservative. Because Rod's premise is so arresting--he believes we've about reached the point at which good and decent people need to drop out of American society to form their own counterculture--and because Rod himself is such a sweet writer, I thought I'd re-post his bleg right here.
You who have been following my work for years know that I keep coming around to this idea of the Benedict Option. In short, it means this: At what point do the conditions of moral breakdown and atomization become such that people who want to live out the moral life in community realize that they have to secede from mainstream culture in a serious way? The idea comes from MacIntyres final paragraph in After Virtue:
"A crucial turning point in that earlier history occurred when men and women of good will turned aside from the task of shoring up the Roman imperium and ceased to identify the continuation of civility and moral community with the maintenance of that imperium. What they set themselves to achieve instead
was the construction of new forms of community within which the moral life could be sustained so that both morality and civility might survive the coming ages of barbarism and darkness. If my account of our moral condition is correct, we ought also to conclude that for some time now we too have reached that turning point
This time, however, the barbarians are not waiting beyond the frontiers; they have already been governing us for quite some time. And it is our lack of consciousness of this that constitutes part of our predicament. We are waiting not for a Godot, but for another doubtless quite different St. Benedict."(continued)
(Excerpt) Read more at ricochet.com ...
I clicked on page 2-3, and it just re-displays page 1.
The first serious whiff of that way of thinking happened around the nation the day after Obama’s ‘re-election’. Many people still want to carve some area out for themselves and likeminded individuals because the takers are fast out numbering the producers.
The schools, primary through graduate seem to value obedience and conformity over independence and originality. Society in general is working and twerking it’s way to trash strewn bottom. So, yes, it’s time to rethink our choices. Minor point; when I see the phrase ‘Benedict Option’, my first thought is to think of Benedict Arnold, who would be the antithesis of this kind of venture. That’s just me needing to read more and broaden my mind.
Is this related to pope benedict?
The eco-nut who called himself a “crunchy con”?
he is still around??
Oh, maybe it’s 3 pages of comments?
This was predictable. When the freaks became mainstream the only way left to rebel was to be “normal”.
Don’t know. My main concern was : It’s WRONG!
He was a long time center-left contributor to NRO, and an editorialist at the Dallas Morning News.
He always churns out a lot of words explaining what's wrong with this or that thing, then he churns out even more words explaining how Conservatives should respond so as not to upset the Democrats.
In this piece, Dreher suggests the cultural and moral decay in America is so bad that good people must withdraw and form their own community.
Then, he immediately rejects “radical separatism.”
Dreher is perpetually searching for the golden mean between “too much” and “too little.”
And he never finds it or clearly explains what it will look like.
Yes, in fact there are 3 pages of comments.
“my first thought is to think of Benedict Arnold”
This author should call it the “Saint Benedict Option”.
Before Obama I was drinking 5-6 diet sodas a day and consuming maybe 2200 calories. Now I'm drinking only water and green tea, and am down to about 900 calories (and down almost 100 pounds so far).
Before Obama I didn't know a .22 caliber cartridge from a .308 .. now I'm much more knowledgable (and practiced) in this area.
Thank you Prez Obama for inspiring me to no longer be a sheep! Hopefully this country is becoming full of wolves!
Don’t you know it’s not polite to bleg, mate?
Seems like a Phariseeical approach.
Didn't they use to make wireless modems about ten years ago?
The monastic system has done exactly this for about 1700 years. Those who are monks and nuns set themselves apart from society deliberately. Most reform movements started in the monasteries as well.
In an inverse sort of manner, The Age of Obama has inspired me also. You have the right ideas though, like the Boy Scouts say; Be Prepared! Congratulations on your 100lb loss! Did I read that right?
Compliance with Tyranny is Treason.
Conservative “Sheep” Vote for Sheepdogs.
Liberal “Sheep” Vote for Wolves.
Wow! Congrats on your will-power and your ability to get in shape.
It hits home for me because I drink too much diet coke and I could stand to lose about 35 pounds.
I thought I was the weakest-willed person on earth .. but that was just the carbs exertiing their influence. (I broke the back of carb dependence by switching to fresh fruits).
No, it’s only a one-page article. The comments go on for three pages. They are interesting. Looks like a good group over there.
The real congratulations should be for the amazing woman who has now entered my life. Truly my dream. It would not have happened had I remained the "sheep" that I was. :)
I’ve had much the same experience. Radicalized wolf.
Problem is you are one in a 1000 and i am one in a 1000 and you are there and I am here and there is a gulf of separation between us and all wolves.
To make any difference there has to be some sort of concentration of power.
You vote there and I vote here and ok...we did our bit but that voice is lost in the takers votes.
The internet helps, no doubt.
Obviously after the 2010 midterms, we know there are more wolves than thee and me. But I do not know how to effectively and realisticly harness the power of “Hell NO!”
In my opinion, Rod Dreher is the male version of Peggy Noonan. He has some very warm and earnest sentiments, and when he’s writing about those, he’s an extremely endearing writer.
On the other hand, he has hysterical moments, and then his writing is just ditzy. A quality they seem to share is the apparent belief that if everyone else simply felt (notice I didn’t say “thought”) as they do, everything would be wonderful.
And apropos of the posted article, this may be the first time I’ve seen the word “bleg,” and I profoundly hope I never see it again.
Congrats, Mrs. Obama, at least, would be pleased with 1/2 your program. I’m just joshing around, I too need a program of personal transformation, so I truly do admire what you’ve accomplished.
Isolationists don’t get much done nor do they wield much power over their surroundings or neighbors. Essentially this is a call to give up.
I haven’t heard his name come up for while since he was laughed out of the room for his attempt to turn conservatives into eco-nuts and his term “Crunchy Con”
I'm going beyond trying to "change" things though, and am now largely focused on surviving that which may happen. Within 12 months I guarantee you I'll have purchased property and started providing employment in some nice, tropical location, and will be doing plenty of business (and fishing!) there. I've already picked the location (well, actually, my "mate" has).
Isn't it empowering, though, to go through this transformation? I spent years and years dreading to try to take the first step, and yet it was so easy, and the rewards are just insane. I'm glad to have you as a kindred soul! :)
BTW, I don't think I've mentioned it on this thread, but I have a book coming out in a couple of weeks entitled "When There is No FEMA" ... keep an eye open for it ... it is a book for wolves. :) (almost 3 years in the writing)
So, how can I help you start your transformation to “wolf”? Send me a private message if you like. We wolves need company, and if the transformation you need is similar to that which I needed then I’ll be happy to share some positive thoughts.
Well, you see, he thinks of himself as conservative, and so if he’s into health food, that makes it a “conservative” thing to do, and therefore everyone should do it. A person very confident of his own rightness about absolutely everything.
Congratulations, FRiend on your transformation. I’ve taken a couple of steps already. We’re moving to a small town in north Florida before the end of this year. I now possess more firepower than I ever personally carried while in the Marine Corps, and, while I’m in surprisingly good shape for my sedentary lifestyle (I inherited really great genes) I want to be better in that regard, and will begin that transformation as soon as we have resettled.
Excellent - another wolf joins the pack!
Breakfast today was a bowl of cereal with almond milk. Lunch was 4 oz of Quinoa. Dinner was a protein shake. And a few chunks of melon before bed. And as I sit here typing this I feel the change - and it's really so very nice.
In my case I had to be patient, and strip away one behavior at a time. The last behavior I stripped away was changing my nighttime meal to a protein shake. I thought that would be difficult, but it was really no problem at all.
It's amazing the mental strength one finds ... there was a time I thought I had the weakest willpower on the planet.
Once again, welcome to the pack! :)