1 September 2009

1939

The English novelist and Catholic convert Evelyn Waugh (he went to school in the college I taught at for three decades and then to my College at Oxford) began the Second World War enthusiastically in favour of a Crusade against the Russian-German Alliance. Now, spendidly, everything had become clear. The enemy at last was plain in view, huge and hateful, all disguise cast off. It was the Modern Age in arms.

When this conflict turned into a war in which Britain was in alliance with Stalinist Atheism, he felt it had become a sweaty tug of war between two indistinguishable teams of louts. Only the chill bonds of law and duty and custom kept him to his obligations as an army Officer.

I wonder how Catholic historians in a hundred years time will analyse the role of the Second World War in the decline of what I believe some neocon once called the old Europe, the Catholic and Orthodox Europe.

5 comments:

rev'd up said...

Mon Dieu! A hundred years is such a long time. When the Revolution is complete, will there be any Catholic historians? I fear they are nearly extinct now.

Independent said...

There has been a distinct increase in Catholic historians in the last twenty years with the conversion of so many formerly Anglican ones. One has only to mention Dr ER Norman and Dr Sheridsn Gilley to realise that fact. In addition are Prof Scarisbrick and Prof Duffy and other born Catholics who are eminent in their profession. All of these were from Cambridge.

Independent said...

Churchill is said to have said, apropos of his support for aid to Russian after the German invasion of that country ,that if the Devil were to enter the war against Hitler he , Churchill, would try to say a few kind words about hell in the House of Commons.

One might argue that Catholic and Orthodox Europe ceased to exist in 1933 or even in 1648.

Edward said...

This touches a problem that has haunted western nations since the end of the Second world War, the notion that Facism was a greater evil than communism. The attack on the USSR by Hitler made alliance with Stalin inevitable and essential,the west needed the Soviet divisions, this created the culture of 'Right is wrong', 'Left is good' that has moulded the western media and intelligensia ever since, to the detriment of culture and religion.

Michael McDonough said...

I lived near Rome in the late seventies briefly. I was always amazed and amused when I would see an argument break out among Italian 5-10 year olds, and the "nuclear option" was brought down: "Fascista!"