Christendom College's Fascist Heroes
The nominally Catholic, but fascist clique we describe here, traces its intellectual roots directly to the 1930s pro-Fascist alliance between the "Nashville Agrarians," heirs of the Ku Klux Klan, and the "Distributist" movement founded by G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc. This alliance, and its continuation in the post-war "Conservative Revolution" associated with the Buckley family, is described in detail in "Seduced From Victory: How the Lost Corpse Subverts the American Intellectual Tradition" (EIR, Aug. 3, 2001).
The religion of the Agrarian/Distributist alliance was outlined by Agrarian leader John Crowe Ransom in his 1930 book, God Without Thunder. He insisted that all religions should abandon any idea of a benevolent God, especially the Christian notion, which he derided as the "half-man, half-god" Jesus Christ, and revert to the pre-Christian notion of the "God of Thunder," a terrible scourge rather than benefactor of humanity. Any notion that man is made in God's image, or shares in God's creative capacity, was to be banned.
As the Catholic arm of this movement, the Distributists attacked the Renaissance which promoted the Church as a moral institution, in favor of the "Donation of Constantine" myth that the Church, by gift from Emperor Constantine, was authorized to rule the Western world.
In furtherance of their program of re-establishing the Empire with the Roman Church at its head, the Distributists attacked the founding of the United States as a heresy, in such works as Christopher Hollis' The American Heresy. They worshipped Italy's Benito Mussolini and Spain's Francisco Franco as the heroes of the new empire. Although various Distributists at times expressed concerns about the direction Hitler's Nazis took, they applauded the Nazis' attacks on the civil rights of Jews, and insisted that all nations should revoke the citizenship of Jews, as incapable of loyalty to any nation other than the (then non-existent) "Jewish" nation. They endorsed Hitler's "Distributist" economic policies, and consistently, through at least 1939, were against any American or European opposition to the military conquests of Mussolini and Hitler.
The fealty of our present-day "Christendom" clique to the Agrarian-Distributist alliance is indicated by the following:
- Christendom College named its student lounge "Chesterbelloc," in honor of Distributism's founders.
- The Christendom-associated Triumph magazine features coverage of the Agrarian-Distributist alliance. This includes works by and about Agrarians Richard Weaver, M.E. Bradford, and Christendom College co-founder Frederick Wilhelmsen, as well as works by and about G.K. Chesterton, Christopher Hollis, Hilaire Belloc, and other Distributists. Astoundingly, the nominally "Catholic," Triumph also features Distributist ally Ezra Pound—who was, as Triumph's Jeffrey Hart admitted, a self-professed enemy of Christianity, a polytheist, a mystic, verging (at least) on Satanism. Yet Hart asserted that Pound "closely approaches orthodoxy." Although many Distributists today attempt to evade, or explain away their heroes' Fascism, Hart asserts that post-war readers judge Mussolini unfavorably only because he lost the war, and that we should honor the earlier Mussolini, "the effective man of action of the 1920s."
- Frederick Wilhelmsen was a founder both of Christendom College and the Nashville Agrarian pro-Confederacy Southern Partisan magazine.
- Thomas Fleming, founder of both Southern Partisan and Southern Patriot, board member of the pro-secessionist League of the South, has been featured at Christendom as a speaker on "Liturgical Music."
- Daniel Krotz, co-founder of the American Chesterton Society and Managing Editor of its magazine, Gilbert!, is also on the board of the current Agrarian organ, the Agrarian Foundation.
- F. Reid Buckley and other top Buckley family retainers, including Russell Kirk and M.E. Bradford, were among the key founders of Southern Partisan.
- In 1999, William F. Buckley's Intercollegiate Studies Institute re-published the joint Distributist/Agrarian manifesto, Who Owns America: A New Declaration of Independence, for the first time in 63 years. The edition's Preface was by Edward S. Shapiro, a regular contributor to both the Southern Partisan and ISI's Modern Age magazine.