Our parents’ generation talked a lot about the coming revolution, in whatever form they imagined it. The bloody rise of the proletariat and the end of class warfare, the spread of Western democracy and capitalism, the transcendence of the human consciousness through chemical or spiritual means, the economic and social prosperity promised by advancing technology, and others. Whatever the specifics of the aspiration, it involved an inevitable new world, a break from the dead traditions of the past.
None of these utopias have been realised; in fact, their failures have left us and our children saddled with spiritual bankruptcy, environmental crisis, constant desultory warfare, economic instability, and addiction to virtual stimuli. The current state of affairs cannot continue, whether we want it to or not. The question then becomes what sort of world we will build in turn to replace it.
C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity, writes:
We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.
The revolution to which our generation is called is a novel one, precisely because it must be a volte face. It is also far from inevitable. In order to restore human dignity, we must not only reevaluate the way in which we truly love our neighbour (and not some vague, impersonal ‘humanity’), but we must also return to the proper humility of man before nature and God. This can only be done through an exercise of intentional sacrifice. It will involve creating meaningful (and inconvenient) human relationships based around practical, geographical communities and a return to the true (and often inefficient) traditions and cultures which nurtured our ancestors. This is not a call for obscurantism or stagnation; rather it is a summons to progress based within the flow of our heritage, not a blind and headlong rush away from that wellspring and toward an unknown precipice.
This is a revolution of the spirit, but not of the Faith. This is a revolution of love, but not of sex. This is a revolution of relationships, but not of technology. This is a revolution of economics, but not of class. This is a revolution of politics, but not of the state. This is a revolution within tradition.