“…just as in the body natural [the actual physical body]…the heart is the source of life, having in itself the blood which it transmits to all the members thereof, whereby they are quickened and live, so in the body politic, the will of the people is the source of life, having in it the blood, namely, political forethought for the interest of the people, which it transmits to the head and all the members of the body, by which the body is maintained and quickened.” – Sir John Fortescue.
As Michael Hicks quotes in Richard III, the great medieval English jurist Sir John Fortescue saw “society as before the individual,” in stark contrast to the prevailing thought of the Age of Enlightenment in which we are so accustomed. The jurists of Fortescue’s day opted instead for a vision not too dissimilar to that of St. Paul’s vision of the Church; in which one unified body, composed of limbs with a specific function such that, “There is no member, however noble, that may say to the least and vilest of them all, “I have no need of thee”, for each has been allocated his office and function.”
The Body informs the Culture
If we accept this “Church” understanding of the nation, as a body, we must also accept there be a life principle that animates it. This is the soul, the formal cause of the body, “For man’s being consists in soul and body; and …the being of the body depends on the soul…” as St. Thomas Aquinas wrote. Likewise, the soul of a nation is composed of the traditions, religious presuppositions, and community that animates the body. The nation is also moved by it, the body politic helps inform the culture like the body informs the soul. And it is no wonder then, that when the body politic corrupts, it leads to the ultimate destruction of the culture.
On the fourth of December 1961, the contraceptive pill became “available to all”. With this wide availability, reproduction was amputated from intercourse at a civilizational scale. The body (people) followed the soul (new mōs) soon thereafter, . In 1962 the birth rate was 2.78, well above replacement. In 2018 it had collapsed to 1.68 births per woman. In this case, the correlation is causation.
To offset, which in this case, is the literal body politic from dying off, several governments have introduced a policy of mass migration. Indeed, the Office for National Statistics notes that “migration to the UK has been the major driver of population growth since the 1990s.” The doctrine of “multiculturalism” has been the main institutional coinciding justification and corresponding doctrine to this migration wave. But, what is multiculturalism other than the promotion of multiple souls for one body? The state of Britain in 2021, under the doctrine of multiculturalism, is suffering from a dissociative identity disorder. The body politic is simply unsustainable like this.
Two things have happened: the culture has been corrupted so that it promotes the death of the body politic, and the State seeks, it seems, to further degrade its culture by introducing multiple cultures (or it is so stupid it does not realize it is doing so). Where there are different values there is conflict, and where there are conflicting values in the one body politic, one can only foresee that the body politic itself will fracture as the culture, through multiculturalism, has fractured.
One may observe what has been described as the increased segregation of immigrants from the wider population. As Prof. Ted Cantle notes, “There is more mixing in some parts of our society. But there is also undoubtedly more segregation in residential areas, more segregation in schools, and more segregation in workplaces…That is driving more prejudice, intolerance, mistrust in communities.” Thus, the body politic has, in line with the fracturing culture, began to fracture itself. Had successive governments firmly pursued a policy of assimilation, whereby immigrants abandoned the salient elements of their previous culture – adopting the values and history of Britain’s culture as their own, this situation could have been avoided.
Over decades, the body replaces itself with new cells such that over time almost the entire set of old cells ceases to exist and is replaced with new cells. However, one does not say that one has a “new” body, one retains the same body just with new cells because the same soul is organizing it and giving form to the matter. This soul’s intellect may have grown or diminished in some way by its various experiences, virtues, and vices but the soul remains. Likewise, over decades and centuries, the entire population of a nation is replaced, but one says not that the nation has ceased to exist – the same basic cultural framework exists although it may have developed or diminished with the nation’s experiences across several generations.
The introduction of immigrant populations, due to the lack of births, has been part of the body politic being replenished. But is it a satisfactory substitute? A significant proportion of the immigrant population, coming from different body politics, has introduced into Britain’s body politic, not just new cells but new, as it were, cultural “souls”. Such a situation runs the risk of debasing the united, national body politic as nothing more than an abstraction to which no ultimate temporal allegiance is owed.
Under such an environment, this allegiance is instead seen to belong to one’s cultural community. This is a poison, a poison that will kill the body politic, present in the deep dislike or even hatred many children of immigrants feel towards Britain and the West generally, and one need only have ears to hear to know that is true. This is worsened by Britain’s vilification by frauds and firebrands keen on wrecking the nation by setting alight its history and throwing into rivers its monuments. They thereby wish to wipe clean its memory so that they can rewrite it according to their own pattern, establishing a new flimsy, unsustainable “soul”.
The Culture Informs the Body
Yet, it is not always top-down. The strand of corruption which led to the collapse of British births, arguably began when the Church of England approved the use of contraception at the Lambeth Conference in 1930. The late Andrew Breitbart noted that “politics is downstream of culture”, and what is the supreme informer of culture if not the nation’s religion? St. John Henry Newman noted of the idea of God, and through him of religion, this:
“How can we investigate any part of any order of Knowledge, and stop short of that which enters into every order? All true principles run over with it, all phenomena coverage to it; it is truly the First and the Last…” – St. John Henry Newman.
As Newman shows, what has driven the corruption of society has been the culture and what has caused the corruption of the culture is the collapse of religion and morals.
It was Thomas Aquinas who divided the soul into three parts: the vegetative, the appetitive, and the rational; the appetitive is higher than the vegetative and the rationale being the highest of the three. Similarly, we may divide the culture into three parts: popular culture, high culture, and religion; the high culture being superior to the popular culture and religion being higher than both former ones and thereby informing them both.
In the high culture, we include philosophy and the like which then trickle down into the popular culture. However, even with this pipeline, the religious ethic of the culture remains all-encompassing. In our secularized society, the religious ethos occupies intersectionality’s putrid power theories, scientism, nihilism, and beastly licentiousness which usurped the Christian religious framework which had dominated the West for centuries.
Irrespective of theological truth considerations of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, we may, arguably, trace the radical individualism in the high culture to the changes in religion which the Reformation wrought. The Five Solae, of which Sola Scriptura is one, divorced the individual from the governance of the Catholic Church and left him alone to make his own judgments about faith divorced from an institutional arbiter truth. Whether for wheal or woe is not our present consideration. This arbiter of truth, before the Reformation, been the Catholic Church. One can see this idea’s introduction into religion being translated into the of the high culture, whether rightly or wrongly, such that now-former Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, in the spirit of the Enlightenment, can make such an extraordinary statement as thus: “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” What we see now in the culture comes from the high culture which adopted ideas from religion, and these ideas exploded into the popular culture. Certainly, Voltaire seems to have traced the Enlightenment’s ancestry, whether rightly or wrongly, to the Reformation when he wrote:
“Religion may be purified. This great work was begun two hundred years ago: but men can only bear light to come in upon them by degrees…It is time…that theology should be banished as well as judiciary astrology, witchcraft, demoniac possession, the divinatory wand, the universal panacea, and the Jesuits.” – Voltaire.
The soul in man is tripartite and so is the soul politic and corruption in the higher levels descends into corruption in the lower levels. Corruption in religion, the highest element of the soul politic, eventually leads to corruption in the body politic, and so visa versa. Should Britain, and more engrossingly, the West, seek survival, we must once again acknowledge the limbs of the nation as Paul understood the limbs of the Church. The Enlightenment tradition of radical individuality is insufficient, and it is destroying us.
 Sir John Fortescue, quoted in Michael Hicks, p. 23, Richard III, The History Press. 1991, 2016.
 R.F. Stanley, p. xxx, Introduction to Aristotle, Politics, OUP, 2009.
 Cf. 1 Corinthians 12:12–31; Romans 12:3–8; Ephesians 1:22–23.
 St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I-II,2,5 in Peter Kreeft, A Shorter Summa, 1993.
 The soul is the organising principle of the body and as such the body is contained in it, not the soul in the body. See St. Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologica for this.
 This trend arguably began in Britain with the Church of England’s Lambeth Conference of 1930.
 “temporal” because the highest allegiance is eternal and spiritual and it belongs to God, not men. Cf. Acts of the Apostles 5:29; Marcus Tullius Cicero, De Officiis Book I.160.
 i.e., The Marxist riots of 2020 and the destruction of Edward Colston’s statue.
 St. John Henry Newman, The Idea of a University, 25–26,36 in, p.1, The Heart of Newman, Ed. Erich Przywara S.J. Ignatius Press. Reprinted 2010.
 St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Prima Pars, Q. 78 Article 1.
 Voltaire, p. 450, Voltaire’s Letters, in The Critical Review: Or, Annals of Literature. Volume 26. 1768.