The Higher Chivalry of Catholic Christianity

In any reflective discussion of a man’s “chivalrous disposition” or of the “chivalrous ethos and attitude” itself, one is also soon likely to speak of “a man of honor” and even “the matter of honor” itself and perhaps even “honor’s” own etymological relation to “honesty” — and even as a form of “gracious but firm forthrightness.” However, today, one does not usually, or immediately, think of “Honor in Foreign Policy” or of “Chivalry in War.” Such concepts are often enough greeted with a pitying cynicism, if not with a scornful smile, and indeed as a delusional form of sentimentalism — at least that has been the case in my own experience down the years in the Military and in the Intelligence Community, and in some strategic involvement with U.S. Foreign Affairs. But, three thoughtful men of action and of profound scholarship have inspired me and have taught me otherwise: James Burnham; Captain B.H. Liddell Hart; and Major Maurice Baring (the close friend of Hilaire Belloc and G.K. Chesterton).

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