Richard Fernandez on Michael Walsh’s book: The Fiery Angel

The recursive references are intentional for Walsh’s goal is to demonstrate that culture — religion, the arts, language itself — are the core libraries of civilization built in a stack one upon the other. His thesis is that culture stores and slowly modifies a civilization’s foundational libraries — its attitudes toward eternity, dominant narratives and ultimate ground  for hope — which eventually underpin our entire world. To illustrate the unbreakable connection between the elements, the book examines two historical sequences showing how culture, politics and war are linked.

Beaumarchais–Mozart–The French Revolution–Beethoven–Napoleon.

Count Gobineau–Father Jahn–Wagner–World War I– Communism and National Socialism–Hitler.

Walsh convincingly demonstrates that culture anticipated and even precipitated great events. There should be no surprises there. It seems self-evident that culture, especially language, art and religion, provides the “framework” for the more “practical” functions of civilization. Indeed it would be shocking if they did not. Yet it is even more shocking to realize that many believe the exact opposite: that Western culture is irrelevant — or worse, antagonistic to our modern conveniences. The deliberate Leftist amputation of culture from Western civilization and its replacement by a Woke prosthesis is the second great theme of Walsh’s book.

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