The International Fellowship of Chivalry-Now

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The Message is Clear —
  What's the Solution?

We've heard the complaint that our culture is failing us.
     We hear it from conservatives and liberals alike in their own separate mantras. We hear it from the pulpit. Sociologists tell us the same, while psychologists thrive on the effects of cultural deficiencies. Idealists point to the past for remedies. Cynics shake their heads about the future. Individually, we sense that something is lacking — and then refuse to investigate, bobbing in the current that leads to doom on many fronts.
     Deep in our hearts, we hope for a leader who can make things right, a savior or prophet who will free us from our responsibility. We hope for some global conversion, or some scientific discovery in the knick of time, or just for sanity to reassert itself. In the meantime, war kills, the hungry starve, and the world's climate seethes menacingly with protest.
    
In moments of frustration, we look for someone to blame. Unfortunately, the very ones we point to, point back at us. We all share the blame.
    
The sustaining arguments are ridiculous, yet remain unchallenged:

  • Why should we fight for cleaner air when the Chinese aren't? (So much for world leadership.)
  • We're only giving people what they want.
  • Some tiny, impoverished, backward nation, halfway around the world, can destroy our entire way of life.
  • Let's burn as much oil as we possibly can so we don't run out.
  • God gave us the right to poison the environment. Those who think otherwise are sinners.
  • We can win the "war of ideologies" with guns. (Do we still believe that might makes right?)
  • Increasing taxes will solve all our problems. (Expensive programs usually fail.)
  • Decreasing taxes will solve all our problems. (The free market is not the answer.)
  • Economic growth will solve everything. (Even in a world of limited resources, exploding populations, and cheap foreign labor?)
  • If we refuse to speak with nations who are hostile to us, they will eventually turn around. (Cuba never understood its part in that equation. Neither did Iraq, Iran, or North Korea.)
  • Freedom and individuality come from propagating a homogenous, lock-step, political mentality.
  • Patriotism has no relationship with the welfare of people or the environment. It has to do with flags and international belligerence. If you don't like it, leave it. Your opinion means nothing.
  • Western freedom can and should be imposed on other cultures.
  • Purposely dividing people for the sake of political power is somehow justified in a democracy.

When we complain about our broken culture, we forget that we are part of that culture, which is why we grudgingly sustain it. Our beliefs, our goals, our values, are what make the culture what it is. Our complaints about serious problems are half-hearted, and our actions almost nil.
     Most of us want others to change first, and then we'll follow. Some want others to change while they remain the same. Walking cell phones don't have to change, or even notice what is happening all around them. Like successful business people, they are too connected to the way things are. Religious fanatics turn to fanaticism for their excuse. Techies lose themselves in technological distractions. Everyday people become fair prey for the media's obsession toward celebrity and entertainment.
     And so we complain, but do little to change things. Forests burn from even a slight rise in global temperature. War decimates hundreds of thousands of lives. Corrupt politicians are revealed by the truckload. Killing students on campus becomes the latest mode of expressing one's frustration. The church provides unscrupulous people with the means to become wealthy.
     All this, while the majority of us keep busy filling our shopping carts and saying nothing of value on our cell phones.
     Perhaps, in our willful ignorance, we deserve what is coming. But do the innocent who have little choice?
     The central message of Chivalry-Now is that it doesn't have to be this way. There is more to us as human beings than surrendering to complacently destructive consumerism. We can stop being pawns of ubiquitous marketing propaganda and the media that feeds on it. We can bring integrity back to politics. (Why not?) We can look at the natural world and find it good enough to protect, in and of itself. We can find ways of shaping our culture to be more humane. We can take the beam from our eye before plucking the splinter from our neighbor's. We can let celebrities indulge their ruinous lives without surrendering to the demeaning, voyeuristic obsession first hand.
     We can say no to the brainwashing of our values. We can put reality shows aside and partake in reality first hand.
     Chivalry-Now offers a simple catalyst for change.
     In respect for personal freedom, it offers no formula or method to follow. Instead, it appeals to what is best in you already. It asks you to question things on your own, partake with an open mind on the quest which is your life. Follow no one. Discover truth and goodness for yourself. Tap into ideals and wisdom from the past, but don't limit yourself to them. Be creative in your thinking. Strive for personal authenticity. This was the moral trajectory of western culture before it was diverted following the Age of Enlightenment, and what we need to reclaim.
     We offer the 12 Trusts as a culturally indigenous reflection of male ethics — something rooted in who we are already. This explains their almost spontaneous appeal, and profound tug of conscience. They represent our best values from the past, a safe harbor from the cynicism and consumerism that distort our values at every turn. They confirm the best strivings of our soul.
    
Chivalry-Now offers a web site designed to instigate thought, and an open forum where people can connect and share their concerns. We also recognize people's commitments through the institution of knighthood. As time goes on and our membership increases, we hope to do more — all the time treading lightly to give freedom its due.
    
In this way, we hope to restore important elements to our culture that were lost.

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