Monday, December 22, 2014

A Liberal is Like a Christian, Only Worse

This subject of Inventing the Individual is too large for me to get my mind around. Normally, when I write, I like to do so from the center out. In this case, I need to start from the outside in. I have to pick a random spot at the periphery and try to start boring in from there. In so doing, maybe I'll even find the center -- the attractor -- at which point this rambly stream of consciousness will become more orderly. Don't count on it.

Perhaps I should begin with the idea that Christianity is the most important revolution in human history, and that Paul is its most important revolutionary. This is a consistent subtext of the book -- that Christianity initiated a turn in history that is still very much in progress (indeed it is progress). In Raccoon parlance, I would say that it is an extension the previous cosmic revolutions of existence, life, and mind, for it is the vertical prolongation of mind into spirit and God.

Which leads to one of my own conclusions, that some of the most important blessings Christ brought into the world are unappreciated and even unseen because they are so ubiquitous. So much of the context of our (western) world was only made possible by Christianity, and yet, because it is in the background, we don't notice it. One of these, of course, is "the individual." But with the individual comes freedom, equality, rights, dignity, consent to rule, civil society, the marketplace, and on and on.

Another critical point is that these blessings were and are very slow to come into being. It is not as if they occurred overnight; although the yeast came into the world some 2000 years ago, the bread is still rising.

Thus, it has been a gradual process of applying the moral intuitions and insights provoked by the Christian -- especially Pauline -- message. For when Paul says that in Christ there is neither slave nor free, nor male or female, this is every bit as world-shattering as contemporary revolutionaries who insist, say, that in leftism sex is just a human construct, so if you're a man you can shower in the girls locker room if you like.

In fact -- strange as it seems -- this left wing perversion of Christianity is unthinkable in the absence of Christianity, because it is just an inversion and prolongation of its egalitarian message. It has been clear to me for a long time that leftist moral appeals are rooted in a perversion of Christianity, but this book provides the full story (even if unwittingly) of how this came about.

For example, the last four months of police-bashing by the left would have no traction at all if it didn't appeal to some distorted sense of Christian morality. For if police are racists for whom it is open season on blacks, then it is as moral to kill them as it would have been for Jews to kill Nazis. A Marxist such as deBlasio is like a Christian, only worse (but from his perspective, better). Ideas and rhetoric have consequences.

Jimmy Carter too is like a Christian, only worse. Sultan Knish: "Carter couldn’t save the Soviet Union, but he did his best to save Castro, visiting Fidel and Raul in Cuba where the second worst president in American history described his meeting with Castro as a greeting among 'old friends.'” In turn, "Raul Castro called Carter 'the best of all U.S. presidents.'"

Castro is a revolutionary, as is Obama. In fact, Obama is our first revolutionary president, the first president who has overtly attempted to undo our original revolution, which was really the political application of the Pauline revolution (although I suppose that Wilson was a pre-Obama). Siedentop asks the question, "Was Paul the greatest revolutionary in human history?" You could say that the book is one extended and thoroughly documented Yes.

"Through its emphasis on human equality, the New Testament stands out against the primary thrust of the ancient world, with its dominant assumption of 'natural' inequality. Indeed, the atmosphere of the New Testament is one of exhilarating detachment from the unthinking constraints of inherited social roles. Hence Paul's frequent references to 'Christian liberty'" (emphasis mine).

This essential liberty is prior to our existence, and is the ground of being: it is "pre-social," and comes "to serve as a criterion of legitimate social organization." Therefore, anything that attacks or undermines it becomes false by logical entailment. If liberty is axiomatic, it is like dynamite at the foundation of tyranny, oppression, inherited privilege, etc. It may take centuries to blow apart the structure of lies, but blow it will. For "I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."

Beneath this cosmic subversion is "the invention of the individual, the introduction of a primary social role" which begins "to undercut the radical differences of status and treatment" of existing societies. This revolution "sent Europe along a road which no human society had previously followed," for from the perspective of the old orders, this dangerous message of liberty would have been regarded as the essence of dis-order and societal chaos. Which it still is by the left, hence their attempt to re-exert control from the top-down.

But once the ball began rolling and the yeast rising, it was very difficult to arrest. "Under way was nothing less than a reconstruction of the self, along lines more consistent with Christian moral intuitions." For if Christ is truth, then those many pretenders to truth are rendered transparently false. Every emperor is suddenly seen as more or less naked (an insight which, ironically, eventually came back to bite the church). Along these lines, Siedentop quotes the historian Guizot:

"With the church originated a great fact, the separation of spiritual and temporal power. This separation is the source of liberty and conscience," for it "is based upon the idea that physical force has neither right nor influence over souls, over conviction, over truth. It flows from the distinction established between the world of thought and the world of action, between the world of the internal and that of external facts."

Which leads to one of our most cherished pet ideas, that the leading edge of cosmic evolution is into and over this subjective horizon, into the cosmic interior. Among other things, Christ shows us the way into this interior, or rather, he is the interior made exterior, or word made flesh.


Blogger Van Harvey said...

"Castro is a revolutionary, as is Obama. In fact, Obama is our first revolutionary president, the first president who has overtly attempted to undo our original revolution, which was really the political application of the Pauline revolution ..."

Well, actually... oh, wait,

"(although I suppose that Wilson was a pre-Obama)."

OK, well, actually TR was, but I suppose Wilson was more aware of it. Anywho, OK then, carry on,

"... Siedentop asks the question, "Was Paul the greatest revolutionary in human history?" You could say that the book is one extended and thoroughly documented Yes."


12/22/2014 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"Beneath this cosmic subversion is "the invention of the individual, the introduction of a primary social role" which begins "to undercut the radical differences of status and treatment" of existing societies. This revolution "sent Europe along a road which no human society had previously followed," for from the perspective of the old orders, this dangerous message of liberty would have been regarded as the essence of dis-order and societal chaos. Which it still is by the left, hence their attempt to re-exert control from the top-down."

There's something that's always puzzled me in reading Aristotle's politics, and the Nichomachean ethics, especially regarding education, and that's how he goes Straight to the idea of the State having to be in charge. Yes, in his view the old chicken or the egg question is answered with Chicken, but still, anywhere else, in any other topic, he'd at least consider the alternative. And I suppose that's the answer, or really was an unseen alternative.


12/22/2014 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

I find it odd to defend the modern US police force. Certainly not all policemen are thugs, but the national trend is more and more brutal. I don't give a farthing if they are racist. They are paid to protect and serve, not to defend themselves and lie. Violent crime is on the downturn, but they act as though it has escalated beyond control. The trend is anti-Christian.

12/22/2014 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

"the national trend is more and more brutal. "

Evidence please (MSNBC doesn't count).

12/22/2014 01:20:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

John, ?

And just how effectively are they to protect and serve, if they may not defend themselves? I agree that lying is wrong, and would hope that the use of body cameras may have some effect (though bad cops will likely find a way around them) in reducing abuse of power by police. But they absolutely should be able to protect their own lives when necessary. Are we to become a nation that values tribalistic, escalating retaliation rituals over the Golden Rule?

12/22/2014 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

If police brutality were such a widespread problem, the left wouldn't have to lie about cases that have nothing to do with it. Same with racism.

12/22/2014 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Or "rape culture." Notably, it's not hard to find places in the world where all of the above really are problems, but the left tends to be rather quiet about those.

12/22/2014 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

There is no epidemic of police brutality, however there is an epidemic of leftist brutality and that is far more destructive than isolated cases of police brutality.

12/22/2014 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Which is why leftist politicians, their consultants (Sharpton) and their appointees oughtta be the ones wearing body cameras.

12/22/2014 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The Martin, Brown, and Garner deaths had nothing to do with race, but with being thugs, or resisting arrest, or being in ill health.

Conversely, the deaths of Liu and Romas had everything to do with race.

Leftist lies not only kill, but give permission to kill, because conferring victim status legitimizes violence toward one's imagined victimizers.

12/22/2014 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"This essential liberty is prior to our existence, and is the ground of being: it is "pre-social," and comes "to serve as a criterion of legitimate social organization." Therefore, anything that attacks or undermines it becomes false by logical entailment. If liberty is axiomatic, it is like dynamite at the foundation of tyranny, oppression, inherited privilege, etc. It may take centuries to blow apart the structure of lies, but blow it will. For "I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.""

Amen brother! The real cause of leftism is to extinguish liberty and the individual for collective slavery.

12/22/2014 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

...from the perspective of the old orders, this dangerous message of liberty would have been regarded as the essence of dis-order and societal chaos.

Heh. I was reading a fairy tale/ children's story last week, written by an Englishman back in the 1800s. It was quite clear that he detested American-style individualism, and government, and Republicans. Not because he was a leftist, but because he was an old-order Anglican. He saw America as the very definition of dis-order and chaos.

12/22/2014 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Jimmy Carter too is like a Christian, only worse.

Compare that to W., who dressed up as Santa this week and had his agents dress as elves, in order to visit sick kids at the hospital. I can't think of a single thing I've heard about him since his presidency was over that has inspired anything but admiration.

Somehow, I can't see the Obamas living so graciously when their term is up.

12/22/2014 03:37:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I am sure he will surpass Carter as America's Worst Ex-President. Which is appropriate, since they are one and two as Presidents as well.

12/22/2014 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

So now Jesus' conception is a rape narrative. Which is only 180 degrees removed from the reality of the revolutionary impact Christianity has had on women in the west, as per Siedentop.

Waiting for Salon to publish that article on Muhammed the child rapist.

12/22/2014 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Courageous, like Sony.

12/22/2014 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Rest in Slack Joe Cocker. The best concise collection of his finest work is the Anthology, especially disc one. Even better is the out of print box, which has twice as much coverage of the prime years, before he blew out his voice. Other collections have too little of the early years and too much of the later years.


12/22/2014 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger John said...

A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State
By Johm Whitehead.

I've never watched a minute of MSNBC.
You folks are a bit quick to smell lefty. I am not one.

12/22/2014 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Aye! Cooncur, Joe's early years were his very best. R.I.P. Joe.

12/22/2014 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger John said...

Also, my own experience in simple speeding tickets. In the 80's, very polite cops. Today, mean. It's anecdotal, but all of my friends share the same.

12/22/2014 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"We've reached peak Salon." Ace

Salon is the voice of the asylum. Not just insane but anti-sane. And evil.

12/22/2014 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

John "It's anecdotal, but all of my friends share the same."

I've no doubt.

Personally I thought I caught more than a whiff of Rothbardian libertarian, but I could be wrong.


12/22/2014 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

John, No one is saying there isn't problems in some places with bad police procedures in those places, or problems with verifying the right addresses by SWAT teams in some places, however, relatively speaking it isn't a national epidemic.

What is a national epidemic is rogue organizations such as the IRS, EPA, and a lot more of the numorous govt. organizations that are trampling our Rights.

12/22/2014 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

No, I don't think you're a lefty, John. Libertarian or at least a regular Reason reader, maybe. But if you're arguing that the police shouldn't be allowed to defend themselves, that's kind of wacky.

There are lots of good points to be made against the increasing militarization of police departments (how many small towns really need grenade launchers? Then again, how many small towns have big meth problems?). If you want to argue against no-knock raids, I'm pretty much with you. And swatting is obviously a real problem that can potentially result in innocent deaths.

That said, now that police departments are on notice that, for instance, responding adequately to "protesters" exercising civil disobedience by looting and pillaging will result in bad publicity for responding officers and departments, what suggestions do you have for both the police who are expected to "maintain the peace" and the civilians who would prefer not to have their businesses sacrificed because "black lives matter"?

12/22/2014 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

John Whitehead. Not a paranoid crank. Not at all.

12/22/2014 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Seems perfectly sane and cool-headed to me.

12/22/2014 05:26:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

[Backing away slowly, avoiding eye contact, loud noises, and sudden moves...]

12/22/2014 05:27:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

We need more Americans who are concerned about impurification of our precious bodily fluids, or mercury fillings, or vaccinations.

12/22/2014 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

You can pick. up The End Of Man and Grasping At The Wind for 1 cent by John Whitehead.

Grasping At The Wind..pretty much says it all.

12/22/2014 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, but man ended back in 1986.

12/22/2014 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Mercury done by mercenaries!

12/22/2014 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I must've missed the end of man in 1986. Apparently so did man as such.

12/22/2014 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

He writes for HuffPo, which is like MSNBC without the dignity and sobriety.

12/22/2014 05:41:00 PM  
Blogger son of a preacher man said...

Reminds me of when i over heard a co-worker say to her husband just after she gave her account to a cop of an accident that involved me, them and the other guy who was not paying attention...

"He [the cop] seemed a little rude."

"Well honey you have to realize you are probably like the 20th jerk he has had to deal with today."

12/22/2014 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It's no joke. It is extraordinarily difficult to be a police officer in this leftist paradise. I've evaluated a fair number of them for stress over the years, and in each case I end up telling them something to the effect of:

"I don't know how you do it. I would have shot the son of a bitch."

12/22/2014 05:48:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Hey, Son, you stole my comment!

12/22/2014 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

this piece captures perfectly what I said about how leftist lies are lethal. Lies = death, one way or the other, sooner or later.

12/22/2014 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger John said...

I see now. It's a club.

12/22/2014 06:18:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Entirely beside the point.

Your first comment was a strong statement. You have done nothing to either clarify or back up your contention that the police neither deserve defending, nor ought to be allowed to defend themselves. You provided a link to a website run by a guy who, frankly, seems a tad dodgy. That most everyone here sees it that way is not an indication of clubbiness so much as an indication that he comes across as a crank.

There are plenty of ways this could be a constructive discussion, and you seem intelligent enough to make it so. Why not try it, instead of pouting because we didn't find your go-to source to be particularly credible? You must have other sources for your opinions. Or better yet, some thoughts of your own that might be well-served by being fleshed out by a bit of friendly argument.

12/22/2014 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Apropos, this excellent piece by John Hayward:

"The presumption of innocence is highly inconvenient for social crusades; it’s the antithesis of collective political “justice.” The current demonstrations against police officers include explicit calls to deny them due process (sometimes escalating to simply calling for their summary execution.) The Obama White House is said to be thinking about stripping police officers of grand jury protection, since those procedures have such a disappointing tendency to review evidence and decide charges are not warranted. The mob wants this because they are said to have “lost confidence” in the legal system. In other words, their ideology has revealed who is guilty, so legal proceedings based on overcoming the stout hurdle of presumed innocence are mere trickery to frustrate the righteous crusade."

12/22/2014 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger son of a preacher man said...

I would never join a club that would have me as a member.

12/22/2014 07:26:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Is reality now considered a club?

12/22/2014 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger John said...

Here's an argument.
Schuon was a Muslim. Loved Islam. Had 4 wives. Had an Islamic funeral.
And yet, if you go back and read here, people love him, except for the Islam. Which you all cooncur is more or less Satanic.
Or in other words, he's a tad dodgy.
And yet, anyone else that's dodgy, unless someone in the club brings them up, is immediately considered suspect, without looking into it.
I have met people like you'all. In Utah, and among the Amish. Great folks, but completely mentally trapped. It's fine. Carry on!
I have read countless of Bob's blogs. And the comments. It's an interesting club.

12/22/2014 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Anyone else notice that when John disapproves of you, it's like you're mormon or something?

Quiet John, members only response.

12/22/2014 08:48:00 PM  
Blogger John said...

Good point Van.
You drink wine, so you can't bring anything to the club!

12/22/2014 08:51:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

John, You still haven't backed up your initial statement.

Do police have a right to defense? Why or why not?

12/22/2014 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Ok, all skate!

Oh, BTW, I take it I scored on the Rothbard libertarian?

Yeah, I did.

12/22/2014 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger John said...

I never ever, not once said that police don't have a right to defend themselves. We all do. It isn't their job, though.

12/22/2014 09:07:00 PM  
Blogger John said...

Hardly, Van. But nice try! I prefer Dionysius and Plotinus.

12/22/2014 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Um, John? I don't think they read authors who post on

Nice try though.

12/22/2014 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

And Julie, seriously, if Cops want to defend themselves, they've got to do that on their own time.


12/22/2014 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger John said...

Thomas Sowell posts regularly on Lew Rockwell. Rothbardian pacifist hack that he is.

12/22/2014 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

My daughter is a cop. She's also a human being. Human beings who have to deal with all sorts of people as part of their job, sometimes not in the best circumstances, can sometimes get short on patience which can seem cranky to someone who doesn't know that they had to deal with 10 or 20 other jerkwads that day. But on the other hand, a cop is a welcome sight when they're in trouble and need their help.

She has put herself in danger to help make our community better many times, including working undercover in drug inforcement for 3 years - 3 years that her mother and I worried constantly that some lowlife would discover who she was and hurt her.

People who think cops are the bad guys or maybe that the cops should be more cheerful every minute they're on duty are at best confused but more likely worse than that.

12/22/2014 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Posts on? Or is carried by? Though I do believe Walter E. Williams does, so, yeah not exactly a litmus test. Still, using Dionysius and Plotinus as a dodge on your economic & political leanings... pretty lame.

So I'll stick with my diagnosis until you manage to not sound like it fits you so well.

We'll nighty-nite, don't let the Mormons bite.

12/22/2014 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Okay, at this point it's just entertainment, but for clarity's sake, I'm going to sum up John's points so far:

1) Police should not be defended, nor defend themselves, because their job isn't defense. Plus, cops today are dicks.

2) As a source, see this guy who seems like a crank. And my friends who get pulled over.

3) You all disagree? This must be a club. (Instead of defending or clarifying the initial statement, he went with the ad hominem. One that isn't even an insult as such.)

4) Then changed the subject, defended the crank by noting that Schuon, too is a crank, but he gets lots of love here.* (As if all cranks are the same and should all be accepted the same way.)

*nota bene, I'm pretty sure not everyone here has all that much love for Schuon. They just don't let it stick in their craw the way John does.

5) But back to the original point, police have a "right" to defend themselves, but it's not their job. (Which clarifies precisely nothing.)

6) Thomas Sowell posts on Lew Rockwell, therefore anyone else who posts on Lew Rockwell is totes legit. (So, now it's okay to be a club?)


So: Poorly made point, backed up by ad hominems and non-sequiters, then reinstated.

But somehow we're the mean girls because none of that flies here.

Well, alrighty then.

Actually, this isn't all that entertaining. How about some Christmas music?

12/23/2014 06:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Stu said...

Is "Salvation is from the Jews" by Roy Shoeman worth reading? I recall you may have referenced it a while back when discussing the Arc of Salvation. At least, the content sounds familiar.

12/23/2014 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Stu! Long time no see. Good to see ya. :)

12/23/2014 06:48:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

Radley Balko-Cato institute/Fox news among others. More "credible" source, I suppose.
Never said all or even most cops are dicks.
My general point is that I don't see any reason to defend certain tactics just because liberals criticize aspects of them. It's a bit like defending prohibition because liberals are against drunk driving, or the war on terror because liberals are against it. It's a false dichotomy.
I would love to see an analysis of "Understanding Islam" by Schuon here.

12/23/2014 06:55:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

No idea why it matters, but, as an Orthodox Christian, I am theoretically a Monarchist, of course.
As for economics, whatever system produces beauty, such as the Cathedral at Chartres. I prefer the methods of Don Colacho rather than silly affirmations of the divinity of the free market. A pure free market has never existed, and never could.

12/23/2014 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Stu-- Salvation is From the Jews didn't do much for me. It was one of those one-idea books, the idea being that salvation is from (i.e., through) the Jews. Which I already get, so I didn't need the full treatment. Maybe some readers will be shocked to find out that Jesus was a Jew.

12/23/2014 07:10:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Christian monarchy is heterodox in the extreme, as we will no doubt get into via Siedentop. That monarchy dominated the east was a weakness, not a strength, of Orthodoxy (instead of fighting for they autonomy, they were often tools of the state, which I would say qualifies as ironic in a Rothbardian Christian). And economies do not produce beauty. They allocate scarce resources that have alternative uses.

12/23/2014 07:17:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

john said "I would love to see an anal..."

What I'd like to see, is if you have a point to make, especially one you think might challenge prevailing views here, that you'd have the balls and decency to make a reasonably full argument, and defend it if need be, rather than gloming together a hash if quips and snideities and then taking (the probably sought after) offense when your prissyness isn't praised.

"No idea why it matters..."

No doubt, but it explains much, thanks.

And what Julie said, in full.

12/23/2014 07:19:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

What I would like to see is all of Schuon's books published and widely available in Muslim countries.

12/23/2014 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

I'd like to see Schuon's books widely read anywhere.

12/23/2014 07:36:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

I dare say Cutsinger is a Monarchist. As was C.S. Lewis. Oh, well. I wonder what every pope and patriarch up until WWI would have said about momarshy being heterodox. Hysterical.

12/23/2014 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

Monarchy. Sorry about that.

12/23/2014 07:39:00 AM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

No one mention the secret handshake, John may still be lurking.

12/23/2014 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

By the way, I haven't been offended or taken offense at anything here, Van. You do, however, misdiagnose things I say.
My saying you all have a club is not snide, just accurate, in my opinion.

12/23/2014 07:42:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

My point in bringing up Schuon, is that you quote him extensively, as though he is an authority, and yet reject 99% of what he taught. You can do what you wish, of course, but I can also criticize it.

12/23/2014 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

John said " but the national trend is more and more brutal "

More brutal than what? More brutal than when?

As I stated earlier, I'm the father of a cop and I take great offense at your unsubstantiated generalization. It may be a popular sentiment in your yoour circle but it's shameful.

12/23/2014 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

Brutal as in Brutish. More than before, more than in our past.
Your daughter being a cop is great, and as I said, I am not saying the first thing about individuals. I know amazinf cops, and I know innocent people that have been assaulted by cops. Changes nothing.

12/23/2014 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I'm sure I don't reject 99% of what Schuon taught. Probably not even 50%. But there is no doubt that I reject some of his principles. For example, I am a trinitarian where he is ultimately a Vedantin of the Shankara school. Or, I believe Christianity has much more of the fullness of truth than does Islam.

12/23/2014 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

No one can deny that there was much more violence, murder, and brutality in the past. That's one thing I don't understand about the traditionalist idealization of it.

12/23/2014 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

"The ideal political system is the Holy Orthodox Empire ruled by a Holy Orthodox Emperor." - Fr. Seraphim Rose

12/23/2014 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Argument from authority is what Christianity is here to save us from.

12/23/2014 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

His path was Sufism within Islam. You think Islam is false and dangerous.
He believed the most authentic example of the primordial tradition was the Plains Indians.
You believe they were savages.
You prefer the modern world. He preferred the ancient world.
You think Christianity is the religion that cures religion. He thought it was one true expression of the divine, among many many others.
He was a monarchist. You think monarchy is heterodox in the extreme.
You accept evolution, more or less.
He said it was heresy in the extreme.
And so on.

12/23/2014 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"A pure free market has never existed, and never could."

Well, not with that attitude.
That's like saying individual liberty and God given rights can never exist.

12/23/2014 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

The only way we even have knowledge of The Christ is from authorities-the apostles. The argument from authority is the very basis of the Christian Tradition. Upon this rock, etc. They were witnesses.

12/23/2014 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

If I keep responding to comments, I'll never finish this post!

But: I do not think Schuon's version of Sufism is false and dangerous except to orthodox Islam. Yes, I do believe cavemen were savages, by definition but also by an abundance of evidence. I definitely prefer the modern world, or I would be camping in the back yard while knocking a couple of rocks together and trying to catch a squirrel for breakfast. I also like living past 30. I certainly don't equate Christianity to far less sophisticated religions, I don't want to be ruled by Obama, let alone a king, and creation makes no sense whatsoever in the absence of evolution. Rather, we are left with the occasionalism of Islam, which is a metaphysical non-starter.

12/23/2014 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Dude, those are eye-witness authorities, not people telling me to stop reasoning about reality.

12/23/2014 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

God given rights, though noble and goods to be sought after, are, in the end, rights that are won.
Jews in the gas chambers could be saved by God in the next life, but their God given rights in this life were non-existent.
This leads me to believe that God is interested in the salvation of the soul more than political rights.

12/23/2014 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

John said " Brutal as in Brutish. More than before, more than in our past. "

Based on what? This is just another generalization based on nothing more than your opinion, an opinion apparently formed in a groupthink tank.

As long as we're debating opinions, here's mine. I think a basic awareness of history would show that the police force has, at times, been (mis)used for brutal (i.e. brutish) coercion. The trade union riots of last century come to mind. Furthermore, it is my opinion that the political correctness influence on our culture has made everyone a little more brutish and that, with the exception of outliers, the police force is less so than your average Joe Citizen, especially when compared to those on the left.

12/23/2014 08:20:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

People have no God-given rights? Now you're just spouting absurdities. To which you have the right to spout.

12/23/2014 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

Yes, exactly, Bob. To me, that's 99% of Schuon. Or 90 something.
That's all I'm saying.
It makes me uncomfortable to say that things sages and saints have strongly believed are heterodox.
That's all.

12/23/2014 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

Well. We can say that we have them.
To exercise them, that's a different matter. Saying I have God -given rights in the Gulag is absurd.

12/23/2014 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

We slso have knowledge of Christ from the Holy Spirit, revelation and experience.
The Apostles would bethe first to say that the only trustworthy authority comes from God, not man.

A republic is still the best political system in the history of man, as is the US justice system the best system of justice in the history of man.

It's not perfect, but nothing else comes close.
Leftists and other misguided groups think they can create a perfect political and justice systems by using failed ideologies and failed ideas, and tearing down our liberties for the common "good," and therein lies the rub.
Beware of any groups that need to lie in order to create perfection because it only ends in tyranny.

Tyranny by democracy or a monarchy is still tyranny which is why our Founding Fathers created a republic.
Tyrants despise liberty for all which is why they hate individuals and prefer the collective.

12/23/2014 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

john said "Monarchy. Sorry about that."

You should be, or as The Colonies said to King George: "Bite me."

"My saying you all have a club is not snide, just accurate, in my opinion"

And in my at least equally valid opinion, you are a twit. Something you validate by even associating an economic system with divine authority or as a means to producing beauty. And given your immature and weak longing for monarchy, twitiness seems very fitting.

12/23/2014 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

john mumbled "Saying I have God -given rights in the Gulag is absurd."

Saying that they had anything less, or (by obvious implication to any non-troll) were less, because they were in a Gulag, concentration camp, etc., is deeply ignorant, at best, and obscene on the face of it.

What a twitty troll.

12/23/2014 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

When asked to provide more than opinion to support his scurrilous claim the police force is becoming more and more brutal, John said

" crickets "

which is fine, and actually preferable.

Moving on.

12/23/2014 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Speaking of Jews, individuality, authority, and monarchies...

If memory serves, Israel wasn't meant to have a king. The rule of law was really all that was necessary. They ended up with a king, because the people sat around and whined about how all their neighbors had one. And they got what they asked for, good and hard.

To the extent that this nation modeled itself after the rule of law, it was very, very good. But if we demand for ourselves a tyrant, we are sure to receive one. Good and hard.

I know what system I'd prefer.

12/23/2014 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

...and again, what Julie said.

12/23/2014 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

As to the idyllic days of yore, that reminds me of a book I haven't read in a while: The Good Old Days, They Were Terrible!

12/23/2014 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

Monarchs, in almost every dynasty, have been so mediocre that they look like presidents.

Being of "divine right" limited the monarch; the "representative of the people" is the representative of absolute Absolutism.
--Don Colacho

12/23/2014 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

"I can't make my own argument so i desperately swipe from others" - john

12/23/2014 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

Pretty decent others, though.

12/23/2014 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

You do understand that even the most respectable thinker is fallible, right?

It is possible to have the deepest respect and admiration for someone and yet still believe that sometimes, they are wrong, maybe even deeply so. Further, it is even possible to respect what seems wrong, knowing where the person comes from, because the preponderance of their work is so very right.

In other words, frankly I don't care what the illustrious Don had to say about monarchy vs. American-style representation, nor do I care particularly about Schuon's choice of Islam over Christianity.

You say are an Orthodox American. That is quite a bold way to live Christianity here and now; I imagine there are very few people who live that way who are not convinced of the rightness of Orthodoxy. Why on earth would you *not* be at least a slightly at odds with Schuon over Islam?

There is no one good, nor perfect, except God. What does that mean for us in relation to each other? We must find the good wherever it is, and leave the rest aside.

To do otherwise is to court madness.

12/23/2014 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Reading all the comments in the past at one shot rather than as they happen, it seems like John is lashing out. Repeat defender. Maybe he's going through something. His first comment sounded that way. Got that vibe.

12/23/2014 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

john whimpered "Pretty decent others, though"

They are, in their own contexts. Your attempts to extract them into your own, however, simply serve to make your attempted points even smaller.

You seem to have a very 'cargo cult' view of things, a 'if it appears so, then it is so', which I suppose goes very well with worshipping kings.

Smaller and smaller.

12/23/2014 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

One last comment in thos post.

Dear John, read this:

12/23/2014 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger John said...

I completely agree with the article, and found it interesting.
The points there are not at all the ones I am referring to, which are better stated here:

12/23/2014 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Key phrase in the Fox story: "But as politicians keep passing new criminal laws, police find new reasons to deploy their heavy equipment."

Chasing, blaming or fearing the police, is not only attempting to wag the dog, but letting it escape to run wild.

Whatever laws get passed, the police will have to use force to enforce, and there will no doubt be more than enough chance and circumstance to keep the news cycle churning, and the real cause left unmolested fire some time to come.

12/23/2014 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

John, citing an article by John Stossel, not exectly the paragon of conservatism, FoxNews masthead notwithstanding, who gives anecdotal evidence from a WaPo reporter and Bill Maher, is not very convincing. No where did the article connect the proportionality of the ramp up of police tactics it sought to report with actual facts. And therein lies the problem of your misguided opinions, they are founded on OpEds - not facts.

12/23/2014 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Ebony, I'm reminded of a link I saw recently on Vanderleun's sidebar, The Gell-Mann effect.

I'm with Van, and with another post that was going around the blogosphere in the wake of Garner's death: Laws should be passed with the awareness that people may die during enforcement. Are we really willing to make the selling of individual cigarettes an arrestable offense? Then we are tacitly agreeing that it is an issue worth using deadly force over. Whether the police are "militarized" or whether they are armed only with a sidearm in such instances is essentially moot.

12/23/2014 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Heh, this could lead to some laughs. I had a moment and googled John Stossel and Rothbard, and you know what? Apparently I belong to a cult, the anti-rothbardian cult.

And here I thought I was the only one who realized he was a quack.

Tom Woods (who quacks often, especially on Nullification) is going on about, skimming the first portion, seemingly 'If you're not in Our cult, You're In A Cult!'.

Should be fun reading, Woods Is good for that at least.

12/23/2014 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger EbonyRaptor said...

Julie, I agree that the law prohibiting the selling of individual cigarettes is ridiculous, but once it's a law then it needs to be enforced. The police are not supposed to decide if it's a good law or not, they're tasked only with enforcing it. If the perpetrator peacably complies, then there wouldn't be a need for escalated enforcement tactics. If the perpetrator resists then everything up to and including lethal force may result.

This is all about lack of respect for authority. Anyone who respects authority would not resist arrest and therefore would not be subject to violent enforcement tactics. Those who don't respect the police as the government authority on the street understand that resisting arrest could result in harm to them and they choose to do so at their peril. Whatever happens is their responsibility, not the police.

12/23/2014 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The real problem is that high taxes on tobacco in NY naturally create a black market. Cigarets from low-tax states come in by the truckload, and people like Garner sell them. He was selling them outside a store where the guy played by the New York rules and sold expensive cigarets, and this guy was undercutting his business, so he called the cops.

Liberalism is a massive project of creating unintended consequences that liberalism proposes to rescue us from by laws with new unintended consequences.

12/23/2014 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Like how prohibition created organized crime....

12/23/2014 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I might add that the black market for cigarets is a serious problem to greedy statists, because it denies them revenue. That's the real reason for being so aggressive about it.

12/23/2014 04:19:00 PM  

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