The International Fellowship of Chivalry-Now

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Chivalry's Lament, and Promise

We live in a cynical age.
     Leaders say anything for power. The media fawns over charlatans who breed nothing but discord. Freedom, with its grave responsibilities, has been replaced by license and entitlement. Truth has been divvied between extremists, who shape it to their will. Religion has sold out to the vaudeville chicanery of celebrity preachers. Precious democracy no longer sustains the good of the people, but a façade through which the powerful increase their power.
     Greed infiltrates everything, which puts the greedy in charge. They insist that the market decides our morality, that squeezing two cents out of a dollar is worth sending thousands of jobs overseas. The market they worship rewards complete lack of conscience, even as that same lack of conscience chokes the life out of everything we hold dear.
     We live in a cynical age, where virtue is considered naiveté, where the threat of global warming, even possible extinction, does not deter our most destructive habits. We prefer losing everything tomorrow than be inconvenienced today. The seeds of destruction have been sown in the decay of our own making. We watch in morbid fascination as they sprout and grow like weeds, and fail to pluck their insidious roots.
     Cynicism teaches that there is no good or bad. There is only win or lose in the competition for power. It tells us that our highest aspirations are selfish to the core, on equal footing with those of the rapist, thief or murderer. It suggests that chivalry itself is based on subtle forces of hierarchy and reciprocal altruism. With such carefully reasoning they make sure that cynicism prevails. This is their idea of freedom, and so it is, of a sort — freedom without dignity.
     Their philosophy of determinism, which dispels all guilt and directs hope to the latest fad or trinket, tells us that selfless principles are illusions hiding selfish motives underneath. How can we prove otherwise in a world already shaped by their vision? Where lies proof of something better? Have they won already?
     Their philosophy, however, overlooks a single fact, which happens to be the foundation upon which Chivalry-Now stands. It ignores our code of principles.
     Of course it is possible for cynicism to twist each principle by use of clever sophistry, painting bravery as cowardice, and generosity as ill intent - to everyone's detriment.
     The counter to cynicism, the proof of our genuineness, is simply this: our longing for something better; our longing for higher purpose and meaning, a higher moral consciousness of our own making that rises far above their expectations. Cynics have no riposte to this. We know first hand our longings to be true.

This desire remains a heartfelt struggle against the determinism they propound. Instinctive disdain for moral relativism is what draws us to Chivalry-Now in search of higher ideals. Here we find the truest call to freedom-and it comes from ourselves, from our natural rebellion to the limpid inertia of cynicism, where values have no substance.
We stand on the threshold of our next evolutionary epoch, where discontent with cynicism, politics, the media, organized religion, and even misdirected science pushes us toward something meaningful and grand.
This new epoch begins when we turn our backs on cynical values to confront the illuminating possibilities of our hero's journey.
The next epoch cannot be based in the amoral forces of natural selection, or the amoral forces of the marketplace. It will be based on freely made choices that transcend the soul-inhibiting shackles of the cynic.


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