Friday, August 5, 2016

Small Countries Are Beautiful

A reader email to the normally unbearably cuckish Rod Dreher's latest post — Benedict Option Countries:
    You often write about how Europe (or at any rate, Western Europe) is a generation further down the degeneracy route.

    However, there are exceptions[: t]he European microstates (Andorra, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco and San Marino – I leave the Vatican out).

    In all these countries abortion is only allowed to save the life of the mother (Monaco is an exception and in 2009 legalised it for the “hard cases”: rape, incest, serious foetal defect). None of them have same sex marriage (though some have domestic partnerships open to all). Malta only allowed divorce in 2011 (the referendum was 53% in favour the change – picture that: only 53% of the population wanted divorce to be allowed). None of them have euthanasia.

    These countries have done rather well at resisting “social progress”. In all of these countries the Catholic Church has a great influence and the mass attendance rates are high. Monaco and Liechtenstein have catholicism as their State religion and the monarchs there do retain some power. When they had a referendum on abortion the Prince of Liechtenstein said he would veto any relaxation of the ban on abortion. He also said that if the European Court of Human Rights held that they had to allow same sex adoption, he would just ignore the ruling.

    I was wondering if they could be seen as a model for what a BenOp could look like (or indeed if the BenOp could consist of just moving there).

    I was wondering if the size of those countries might also be a factor in explaining the difficulty of progressivism there. In a very small country where everyone knows everyone else, people can have a genuine experience of communities. This might make liberal individualism less appealing.
Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching Chapter 80, here translated by Lin Yutang, comes to mind:
    (Let there be) a small country with a small population,
    Where the supply of goods are tenfold or hundredfold,
    more than they can use.
    Let the people value their lives and not migrate far.
    Though there be boats and carriages,
    None be there to ride them.
    Though there be armor and weapons,
    No occasion to display them.
    Let the people again tie ropes for reckoning,
    Let them enjoy their food,
    Beautify their clothing,
    Be satisfied with their homes,
    Delight in their customs.
    The neighboring settlements overlook one another
    So that they can hear the barking of dogs and crowing
    of cocks of their neighbors,
    And the people till the end of their days shall never
    have been outside their country.

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Blogger Paul said...

Can I take Monaco? I'd like Monaco. One can't get closer to God than tanning with near naked women on a Mediterranean Monaco beach. And so much good food just a short drive in any direction. And mostly white people. Sounds like first rate BenOp Christianity to me.

August 6, 2016 at 8:18 PM  

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