I grew up among people who detested the Catholic Church. With one notable and noble exception: my paternal grandmother to whose prayers —I am certain— I owe my conversion. She was born late in the 19th century and lived to see the death of Queen Victoria, both World Wars, and men landing on the Moon. She grew up with the new century in a house on Montevideo Street, in what is now downtown Buenos Aires. She remembered a time when most streets were dirt paths flanked by “zanjas” (a trench or ditch) to collect the rain water. Before she reached the age of majority, the city was completely changed. There were four or five decades when Argentina was a vast farm, feeding Europe with all kinds of agricultural products. The standard of living of Argentines was among the best in the world. Back then Argentina did not produce poor people, so the poor laborers had to be imported mostly from Central Europe, Spain, Italy, Greece, Ireland, etc. Once they arrived here, they worked hard and soon prosperous Argentine citizens. The Director of the National College was French (Jacques), most bankers were English (Shaw, Tornquist) , tradesmen were Northern Italians —mostly from Genoa and surrounding areas— food trade workers were Spaniards from Galicia, etc. The Catholic identity of the country was strong but there were many new ideas coming in. Fascism, Communism, Anarchism, arrived undetected inside the heads of the poor Central European immigrants. Those ideas gave birth to the Progressive era. It officially started with the first Yrigoyen administration in 1916 and lasts until today. I call them derisively “the saviors of the Motherland” because that is what all of them pretend to be: “salvadores de la Patria” — I would not want them to save me from ruin, believe me.
Those were the days when Grandma was young. She was a frontier bride. When she was only 17 years-old, her father a recent widower, gave her permission to marry. The Spanish influenza was beginning to affect Buenos Aires when my grandparents decided to move south. They settled in a small town in Western Patagonia. My grandfather went there to administer a sawmill, my grandmother became one of the first teachers of the Patagonia. My great-grandfather returned to Glasgow where he died in 1931 of old age. He never saw his daughter again. At 17, grandma was fluent in English, French, and Spanish and could read, write, and talk in those languages like a native. Her abilities were not that rare among the inhabitants of Buenos Aires, where speaking French was de rigueur among the upper class, and English was absolutely needed to commerce with the country’s best customer, the British Empire.
By 1910, Argentina was one of the top ten economies in the world. Argentine pesos were backed in gold, silver, and Bank of England notes. International commerce was king.
Ah! but a National Bank filled with gold and silver ingots, resting placidly in a far-away capital was too much of a temptation for some. After half a century of uninterrupted prosperity, the Argentines got the Progressive bug that arrived at the same time with the deadly Spanish influenza: a pest upon a pest. In 1916, President Victorino de la Plaza ended his presidential term and welcomed Hipólito Yrigoyen, head of the Radical Party (a member of the International Socialist) to the Presidential Palace in Plaza de Mayo.
Ever since those days Argentina has been trying hard to make the Progressive square wheel work. The opulence of the early 20th century is long gone. Poverty afflicts more than 30% of the country (some say almost 50%) and people that can speak English and French are no longer common. In fact, an alarming number of Argentines have trouble communicating in Spanish, illiteracy statistics are scary, and teaching in schools is largely reduced to leftist indoctrination. Argentina is among the international top ranks in one thing though: taxation. Hardly a single peso changes hands without the government getting its cut. Even checks and ATM extractions are taxed! If this is beginning to sound familiar to our American friends up north, it is no coincidence.
Radicalism, Progressivism, Liberalism —it has many names— has conquered the world. The story began long ago. The Spaniards were barely beginning to conquer the Americas when Luther was successfully heading a rebellion against papal authority. In the centuries to follow, the rebellion was going to extend from the Protestant countries to the intellectuals of the whole world, not as a religious rebellion but as a rebellion against the prevailing establishment. That was simply an echo of the devil’s rebellion against God the Father. To this day Liberals of all kinds still consider fatherhood enemy number one. In the aftermath of World War II the Liberals were sitting on top of the world.
Then Jesus told his disciples, “ […] For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life? […]” — Matthew 16:24-28
That was an amazing accomplishment for the prince of darkness, who managed to destroy Christendom in under five centuries. He succeeded in leaving the kings and the nobility of the world emasculated or dead, the Church divided and confused, and nature itself at the brink of collapse. Liberalism of the left and the right were his main tools. He is a master of the false option: “Would you allow me to kill you, or will you kill yourself?” It is painful to contemplate how many fools are actually pondering that offer.
Now, here in the streets of Buenos Aires I hear people talk. It is amazing to hear how things have changed. Juan Peron is no longer idolized and — this astonishes me — today he is frequently cursed openly, something that would have been unthinkable only a few decades ago. Governments are still trying to make the square wheel of Liberalism roll and that will not change any time soon. One thing has changed though: almost anyone can see the solid wall of reality looming in the horizon, while governments keep advancing at high speed, flooring the gas pedal with abandon. Yes, Liberalism has conquered the world but now it’s time to pay that bill. Jesus put it in very simple words: conquer the world, lose your soul.
A growing number of Americans seem to be waking up to the fact that a country cannot get in debt forever, and cannot invite the rest of the world for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Argentina did that and the results are there for anyone to see. The global wild party that had its small beginnings in 1517 is now coming to a close. Liberal-Progressive movements like the Democratic Party in the USA, and the Peronist-Radical compact in this neck of the woods, are losing ground fast. They can still come back for a short time because their power is still formidable. And yet the writing is on the wall: “conquer the world, lose your soul.”
In its late stages, the forces of Liberalism are taking over the “high moral ground”. The conquerors of the world are now desperately trying to become a moral system that will judge everyone. Final judgment however belongs to God. The grand moral pretensions of Liberalism are a sure sign that their final days are at hand.
Let no one deceive you in any way; for [Christ’s] day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. — 2 Thessalonians 2: 3-4
Please remember to pray for (and if possible donate to) this ministry during the Lent season.