Skip to comments.Revolutionary Logic and +Arizona's Letter
Posted on 03/29/2006 6:41:22 PM PST by sionnsar
I want to go back to a point I tried to make in yesterdays column about the revolutionary dialectic because I think its important for every orthodox Anglican in the Episcopal Church to know the basic methodology of revolution.
I should start with the difference between strategy and tactics. In warfare strategy refers to the process of thinking through an entire conflict and defining an overall plan of action. It involves identifying the key objectives and goals necessary to gain victory and providing a basic outline of moves and advances to obtain them.
Tactics, on the other hand, refers to more contingent movements and initiatives made in response to opportunities or actions on the ground. Tactical movements are done within the framework of the larger strategic goals.
A relatively recent example of the interplay between strategy and tactics might be the American Pacific island-hopping campaign during World War II. Strategic planners identified the islands (the key objectives) which needed to be captured in order to advance on Japan and mapped out the basic route of advance from island to island. But the actual battles for the islands themselves (the actions against and reactions to the enemy on the ground) were tactical affairs.
Sometimes a tactical retreat is necessary in the process of obtaining strategic victory. Lets say an imaginary strategic plan calls you, as commander, to capture an entire chain of islands. After a long series of battles you accomplish this strategic goal only to discover that you have overstretched your forces. To rectify the situation you pull back from one or two islands in the chain to solidify your position. This is a tactical retreat. It is not a defeat. Even though youve pulled back from two islands, youve still advanced your position. You are closer to achieving strategic victory than you were before you launched the attack. Now all that remains is to marshal the necessary forces and retake the few remaining islands.
A tactical retreat in this case actually advances the cause of strategic victory.
Now, lets turn for a moment to a very basic dialectical outline.
First, there is forward movementa thesis. Second: the forward movement naturally stirs up a pushbackan antithesis. Third: the conflict between the thesis and the antithesis results in a changed state of affairs called the synthesis.
Many philosophers/thinkers in the 19th and 20th centuries believed that this basic dialectical pattern undergirds and explains the movement of history, nature, religion and science. Most assumed that the dialectic inevitably results in positive syntheses or progress and that over time dialectical progress would ultimately lead humanity, nature, science, etc. into some form of future utopia.
For Marx, the dialectic of history explained the progress from the feudal economy of the middle-ages to the industrial/capitalist economy of his day and, in the same way, the historical dialectic necessarily entailed a future communist economy or workers paradise wherein laborers would become the collective controllers of the means of production. For Marx this utopian future was inevitable. Having discovered the supposed dialectical nature of history, the outcome of history was inexorable; a matter of scientific fact.
So whats the connection between strategic/tactical thinking and the dialectical process and whats my point in bringing all of this into a simple discussion of Anglican politics? Well, lets turn briefly to VI Lenin. Lenin was a Marxist thinker but he believed the historical dialectic could be hurried along toward its natural goal by violent revolutionary action. Marx was something of a revolutionary too as were most Marxists, but Lenin was far more radical in his methodology. Lenin believed violent action could speed the progress toward full communism first by destroying the established order (thesis) and then by quelling the natural reaction (antithesis) and thus establishing a far more advanced resulting synthesis. In other words, he believed the dialectical process could be quickened by the infusion of strategic revolutionary violence. Thus, Lenin blended violent strategy/tactics with Marxist philosophy and changed the world (for the worse).
So what? Progressives of course are not necessarily Marxists or Leninists, but from them (consciously or not), most have derived a fundamental faith in the dialectical progress of history (like Marx) and a fundamental belief that this progress can be hurried along by strategic (non-violent of course) revolutionary action.
Bringing this whole thing to bear on our current situation: to Anglican revisionists, the end of Anglican (indeed Christian) history in the realm of human sexuality and hence the goal of progressives is full inclusion. This is the utopian future they believe inevitable. And yet, it must be brought about by strategic revolutionary action.
In the course of this strategic action there will naturally be some pushback. Counterrevolutionaries (reactionaries) will arise and, of course, will cause some tactical retreats.
But the dialectic allows for that.
The key is, as with any tactical action within a strategic plan, to advance the overall strategic goal, to advance the dialectic forward.
Now, look back to the recently published letter from the bishop of +Arizona purporting to detail the report of the Standing Commission on the Anglican Communion. What do you see?
I see a few tactical retreats in response to a relatively strong counterrevolutionary pushback. There is, for example, the call for a temporary moratorium on same sex blessings.
But the report's proposed synthesis is most definitely an advance. VGR remains in office. There is NO disavowal of any future consecration (just the encouragement to be cautious). And there is no substantive recognition that the bonds of affection have been broken, just repentance for unspecified actions that have caused pain.
If the bishops letter is an accurate portrayal of the report, then the committees suggestions represent something like a tactical retreat within a larger strategic advance toward the larger inevitable dialectic end of full inclusion.
If the orthodox buy it and then the Communion as a whole, the next revolutionary step will follow in short order and the dialectic will progress.
The orthodox voices referring to this report (as it has been related) some sort of step forward are right, but not in the way they think. It is one more step toward a fully realized revisionist paradise.
The only way to stop it is to stop it.
The American strategy during the early years of the Cold War vacillated between Containment and Rollback. Containment finally won out. Containment meant disallowing ANY further advance of Communist revolution. It entailed our involvement in some very difficult and controversial regional wars, but the world-wide impetus for violent Communist revolution ultimately died out as the truth about the workers paradise was ultimately revealed to be a lie. Containment worked.
At the very least, our strategy now must be similar to the Containment strategy. We cannot allow the revisionist cause to advance. We must demand and fight for full compliance with Windsor. Giving a strategic inch in exchange for a tactical retreat simply invites and provides rationale for future revolutionary action.
But if we can stop it here and stop it now we buy time for the revolutionary impetus to die; for the Church and the world to see the lie behind revisionist thought and the long term spiritual/physical result of homosexual behavior.
As I argued yesterday, we must insist upon, demand, and fight for full compliance. Without it, the Episcopal Church will finally be lost.
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