The first I heard of Quadrant was in the Seventies and that was through a miscellany of liberal journalists’ casual slurs about CIA money and James McAuley’s 1950’s editorship. I reckon it was the Adelaide Advertiser’s resident “foreign affairs” columnist who alerted me, a self-important little bloke called Bill Guy who kept lacing his articles — always brimful of undergraduate anti-American pieties — with this accusation. I remember that he and other communist auxiliaries such as Mark Aarons on ABC radio in a programme called Broadband were always telling us about the money that this journal had received from the Congress for Cultural Freedom, expecting to elicit the usual bien-pensant faux indignation from readers and listeners and usually succeeding in doing so.
I was a law student then and my reaction was –well done, Mr. McAuley! And thank you, Mr. Foster Dulles.
In the Fifties we were at the acme of an undeclared war with a regime that was murdering its own citizens and exporting its totalitarian virus to every part of the world. If Quadrant got a few bob to help increase its circulation in the West’s increasingly subversive and intolerant intellectual environment, then that was a very good thing, or so it seemed to me. Surely we see now that one of the reasons the leftist clerisy assumed control of all our public discourse in the Seventies (never to let go of it) was because such cultural counter-intelligence operations were no longer being run.
McCauley was a warrior in defence of Christian civilisation. Thank God for him and those like him in the Church and the professions and all of our other institutions. It meant that I had the chance to be schooled in my cultural inheritance and was still able to breathe its air and that has made all the difference to me.
It wasn’t until well in to the Eighties that I began to actually read Quadrant, and once started I have never stopped. I recall it did me the favour of identifying the then-ubiquitous phenomenon of anti-anti-communism. Some things must be named before you can see them. I also remember an editorial’s acute observations about how we became uncivilised, untethered from our roots — incrementally, never suddenly — and that while those small, creeping degrees may be scarcely noticeable at the time, each advances the process of unravelling the individual soul and the civilisation.
By the time I was reading Quadrant regularly someone had invented the expression “the culture wars”. If it wasn’t Prime Minister John Howard who did so, it was certainly a meme that became associated with him. But it didn’t denote what was actually occurring. There was no war. War requires actual antagonists when there was but one long, unappeasable assault by the Left on everything dear to our cultural memory or emblematic of who we were. Some of those who could see the unifying imperative behind all the “reforms” of our institutions and all the frenzied dismantling of our standards of speech and behaviour and all the radical recalibration of our norms published their anxieties and warnings in Quadrant. But the great mass of those who knew or ought to have known what was happening, and especially any vestigial conservative political forces in the country, convinced themselves and most of their constituents that all that really mattered in government was monitoring and managing the indices of our prosperity. Leftist political parties were content to join in that pretence because they knew that the real work of cultural deconstruction was going on not in the parliaments but in the schools and the mass media and the theatres and the professions (and their professional associations particularly) and in other clerisy strongholds.
This assault peaked with the desecration of the sacrament of marriage in 2017 and its predicted sequel, the attack on our remnant liberties by the alphabet people and political parties in their thrall. Those parties are, of course, Labor, Greens and, sad to say, maybe two-thirds of the Liberals. The enactment of abortion up to the moment of birth and laws banning conversion therapy in most states followed soon after.
This has been a period of precipitous civilizational decline.
I HAVE been referring here to the times before our Fall, and all I have written so far has been but a somewhat discursive recollection of my links with a journal for which I have great respect and affection and in which I am about to make an explicit call for revolt. Were I living in Germany in 1933 and had just witnessed the Enabling Act transform my polity, I could not in conscience have returned to the pursuit of Weimar era habits and distractions.
Strictly speaking, we fell in March 2020 when COVID arrived in earnest, but I date it from my acceptance that my fellow citizens would never stir. You cannot wake someone who is pretending to be asleep. The truth is that whether through cowardice or prolonged conditioning the vast majority of Australians, including many of my close friends and even family members, have manifested since then the absence of any kind of allegiance to their country or their heritage.
Most of those I live among have no desire at all to recover the freedom to speak or to assemble which has been taken from them. What would they have to say anyway? The only public utterances to which they now aspire are those to be roared as part of a crowd at the bread-and-circuses events, such as the football, which they are occasionally granted permission to attend. Then they replace their masks for the drive home past empty shops on patrolled and near-deserted streets.
Netflix, full bellies and a warm place to defecate. That is all most want these days, is it not? To be frank, we have never really been asked to aspire to much more than that by any of our political leaders for a generation or two at least. Even as they destroy our liberties we must concede that Prime Minister Morrison, the two spinster premiers, Beijing fan boy Daniel Andrews et al have always had the measure of the moral and intellectual decline of those they govern. They know better than anyone the effectiveness of the two or three generations of post-Christian social engineering their own political class has administered. Seen from the perspective of their view of us, this has been their effortlessly easy putsch.
In truth, it merely required the dissemination of three seminal lies by the leviathan collaborators in broadcasting, newspapers and social media. These lies are:
1/ PCR tests are reliable indicators of infection by the virus. They aren’t.
2/ The virus is far more dangerous than a worse than normal season of influenza and respiratory infection;
3/ the risk of dying or being seriously ill as a result of infection by the virus justifies embarking upon experimental genetic therapy.
From the outset of the pandemic hysteria the one form of diagnosis of the virus permitted by law has been the PCR test. But it only detects dead or remnant viral material. It cannot tell you whether such material is or ever has been infectious. It frequently involves amplifications of the nucleic acids it targets to levels that nobody even contends will tell you anything meaningful about the presence of the virus. Yet the results of such tests are transformed by the functionaries of the vast medico-bureaucratic complex into the “cases” which appear on the teleprompters read by witless TV celebrities to terrified breakfasting golems. This is alchemy not science. Accumulations of these cases — by this stage called “clusters” — are then trotted out at press conferences by courtier chief medical officers to justify each fresh tranche of tyranny.
Thus has a State of Emergency been imposed and then, I fear, been made perpetual.
WHAT to do if you are not prepared to accept this masked, technocratic, hyper-medicalised and fascistic dispensation as a permanent one? The answer for any person of honour is, obvious: you must reject and rebel. But what form should that rising take in a polity whose religious and cultural roots have already been extirpated? That has been a question I have been considering for some time.
I made some significant changes to how I lived when we were about a month in to the COVID hysteria. I recommend them to all insurgents.
First, get rid of your television. Don’t just put it in the shed. Don’t give it to the Salvos, where it will end up cursing some other poor bastard’s life. You must completely de-commission it, preferably by putting a boot through it. It is the main artery through which the enemy pours its propaganda into the body politic. The pernicious reach of a thousand Lord Haw-Haws in your home can be extinguished in an instant by this single action. Then, resolve never again to read a mass-circulation newspaper or lend any credence to talkback radio.
Next, I ceased to meet or even talk to old friends whom I knew would turn out to be collaborators. I made this decision very early. Blokes with whom I went to school, saw regularly through the 45 years that followed and had supported through divorces and deaths of parents and other crises and who did the same for me, I cut them straight away, right at the time the “flattening of the curve hoax” was being promoted. Anyone who faithfully carries any part of his inheritance in his heart intuits these things clearly and at once. I knew that these mates were lining up to consent to the hundred other humiliations quisling bureaucrats had prepared for them. It was as if all of my capacity to let ride the ways they had disappointed over the years with their lack of fealty to the things we had treasured in our youth vanished in an instant. All of them would have submitted to the mask. You might be thinking me very harsh but I know I made the right decision. It straightened me up. It also made me more vigilant of the many acts of cultural defenestration I had permitted others with whom I had been associating to wink at over the years. There would be no more of that. And rest assured, I wielded an even sharper knife during the self- inventory that followed this culling of friends.
I show you the times. Look out of your window if you need corroboration. I show you what you must do to get yourself in order if you want to be of any value in the fight to preserve what is left of your heritage. Here are some other ways to ready yourself for that fight.
Relinquish all of that unseemly longing for the return of unregulated visits to the theatre or the cinema and those beloved restaurants. Accept that never again will such things be free of petty invigilation and that on the worst case outcome they will only be possible if you keep having mRNA booster jabs — now the case in Israel, where three shots are now required even as officials moot lifting it four. If you are wary and reluctant to be inoculated with treatments whose long-term effects remain unknown, as am I, you need to accept that governments intend to make you a pariah for not having a “COVID passport” and be prepared to forfeit such pre-Fall pleasures as dining out. Keep your self-respect instead. Read that long-neglected Cervantes or C.S. Lewis on your bookshelf, help out at a refuge for the homeless or visit your sick grannie. Australia is teeming with sick grannies, so I’ve heard.
If you drink, never drink to forget the shame our leaders are inflicting on this nation, making us a laughingstock across the world. No, if you take a drink, bend the elbow for the reasons Falstaff gave — to dry up all the foolish and dull and cruddy vapours which environ the brain in days like these or to expel pusillanimity and cowardice from your heart and effect the warming of your blood! Seek the company of strong and hearty people. Return to your roots; get to know where you came from and who you came from.
If you have never been to a Christian church start going now. Avoid the mainstream churches (and Uniting most of all, it goes without saying). These are our Vichy churches. They were mostly captured by the enemy a long time ago. These are the folk who have, in compliance with the medically perverse and contradictory commands of the State, shut their doors or locked the Communion wine and wafer away from the flock or stopped singing or sung only with masks and who would stand on one leg to pray if that were mandated by secular authorities. They render unceasingly to Caesar because they have done Caesar’s work for Caesar’s coin for decades. Jesus overcame the world but they are content to be its servants and its students. Instead, find a pastor at a smaller church who hasn’t bent his knee. There are a blessed few left. If you can’t find a faithful church then just read your Bible and talk about what you are reading with the strongest Christian you can find. Start with Judges 6 and 7.
The needed revolt of which I am speaking will be natural consequence of your refusal to comply with the Lie in any and all of its manifestations.
ONCE you no longer participate in such idiocies you will find yourself brought to communion with those who have done the same thing. You will begin to share strategies for obtaining daily necessities; the legal and practical unenforceability of so much of this network of coercion will become plain and your spirits will rise. You will contemplate the loss of employment or a straightening of your finances with equanimity at first, then growing resolve. Much of what you jettison from your life through these new exigencies you will realise ought to have been let go long ago. They are the objects and habits and attitudes that have distracted us all from making a proper reckoning of our personal and civic decline.
Then get to all the rallies and meetings you can. They have been going on around you for many months. It’s just that the bought-and-paid-for broadcasters have never told you. My favourites are the “pop-up” ones where we meet at short notice outside, say, the office of a union that promotes mandated jabbing of its members even though the recusant nurses and ambulance drivers and those who care for old folk are frightened and will lose their jobs. The pleasure of naming and shaming the quislings within those buildings cannot be overstated. We have met outside the Health Commission, the inside of the building sprawling with obscenely overpaid management, and chanted our defiance and our anger in the richest Australian demotic!
The important thing however is to get to the rallies during those times when public assembly is outlawed. And it has been, repeatedly, in a nation with our tradition of free assembly and protest and under the cover of the weakest pandemic in the history of the human race.
Turning up for these events is what will test the mettle of your pasture.
Tens of thousands of brave men and women have done so in Melbourne and Sydney already. Your obligation to join them the next time can only be described as a duty. We in South Australia have to date been spared the brutality and lawlessness of the Victorian and NSW police forces. We were freely settled in 1836. No redcoats marshalled us in our formative years. The tradition here is that the authorities accept that the trust and co-operation of the citizenry is what leads to effective policing. Our present Chief Commissioner has plainly operated as a brake on the zealotry of our Health Commission fascisti and as a foil for our Premier’s cowardliness during this year and a half, but the commissioner’s respect for Sir Robert Peels principles of policing surely won’t spare us much longer.
Taking to the streets is necessary because so many Constitutional remedies have been rendered useless by Morrison’s strategy of delegating all control and authority to the states and their madcap premiers, the PM’s role seemingly no more than enduring their blame-shifting abuse while plunging the country further into debt to underwrite their follies.
It is in the streets that we will have to confront and defeat this madness.
We didn’t ask to be born in this time. That the lineaments of the evil going on around us became so clear so suddenly has left many of us unable to find our bearings. But faith and fortitude are returning to the honourable among us.
I read a book by Malcolm Muggeridge when I was 17 in which he said the most important difference between men was that some saw life as a process while others regarded it as a drama. The truthfulness of that remark struck me with the force of a revelation. It is now being lived out in front of me.
The “process men” are ascendant all over the world just now. But I think that can change if we care enough to change it.
Stuart Lindsay is a retired Federal Circuit Court Judge