The daycare fractal of modern politics

January 24, 2016 § 17 Comments

The premodern politics of Christendom was a fractal of the family.

Modern liberal politics is a fractal of daycare. This facelessness of rule is supposed to be a good thing, because doffing your cap to a king makes you less than human.

Modern politics enforces freedom on everyone, telling everyone what they have to do in order to make sure that nobody gets to tell anyone else what to do.  The result is imprisonment in a comprehensively micromanaged hive, along with the relentless destruction of all virtue. Awareness of even the most basic virtue and vice is flushed down the memory hole, and evil becomes the new good.

Premodern politics expected virtue of everyone. As with all merely human expectations of virtue, this expectation was often founded in an incorrect understanding of morality or was simply hypocritical. The result was a mix of virtue and vice.

Those who make freedom the goal of politics, in so doing, craft a monolithic all-encompassing tyranny.  Those who make virtue the goal of politics don’t achieve it universally, but they make it possible for more people. And those who actually achieve virtue have a kind of freedom as their prize: because the virtuous man always desires the good, and it is always possible to do good and avoid evil.

§ 17 Responses to The daycare fractal of modern politics

  • GJ says:

    It’s the ol’ ‘those who would save their Freedom will lose it…’

  • semioticanimal says:

    It seems that freedom is proper end of politics. Freedom can be understood in two ways, as the capacity to choose and the habitual and firm choosing of the good. The saints (Bl Teresa of Calcutta comes to mind) exhibit this second sort of freedom because they have become laws unto themselves for their will is firmly oriented toward the good. At this state of holiness, the law no longer is seen as restriction, but freedom from evil and sin insofar as possible in this life.

    The first sort makes the will itself the ultimate good or rather the will is no oriented to the good known, but what will is oriented toward is good in virtue of it being the object of the will. The will makes things good.

  • vishmehr24 says:

    Zippy,
    You might grapple with more robust meanings and defenses of the political freedom such as one provided by Belloc instead of continuing flogging a moribund horse.

    Belloc situates political freedom in the context of the influence that subjects make on the political authority. IF you think that political freedom is evil, then perhaps you could tell us why subjects should never react on the political authority?

  • Zippy says:

    Vishmehr24:

    … perhaps you could tell us why subjects should never react on the political authority?

    I’m not sure what you intend that to mean. Perhaps you’d like to cite something I actually said to which you object.

  • Mark Citadel says:

    “Those who make virtue the goal of politics don’t achieve it universally, but they make it possible for more people.”

    Hence why there is not an idealism on the true right. We’re not looking for utopia, we just know the arrangement of the concrete and the ethereal which will yield the best fruit. There can be no improvement upon that.

  • King Richard says:

    Based upon feedback from outsiders the second most controversial statement I make as king is “there is no utopia”.

  • vishmehr24 says:

    Well, I refer specifically to the purported evil of the political freedom. You say that it destroys subsidarity. But the point is that subsidarity is valuable ONLY as a means to the political freedom.

  • Zippy says:

    Vishmehr24:

    But the point is that subsidarity is valuable ONLY as a means to the political freedom.

    If I am interpreting this correctly, when I point out that liberalism destroys subsidiary authority you reply in effect “good, that is what it is supposed to do.”

    Welcome to the world which your principles have created.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    What political bodies and systems do you have in mind when you refer to the politics of premodern Christendom? When I look at premodern Christendom politics I see fractals of animal kingdoms and paganism. Likewise, one could say that crime syndicates are fractals of families with a hypocritical mix of virtue and vice, but that shouldn’t commend the mafia or the Crips to anyone.

    Just so we’re clear: The idea of doffing my cap to my king doesn’t make me cross in the slightest. Daily I doff more to less.

    Modern liberal politics is a fractal of daycare.

    This is true, but hardly a feature of only modernity. Socrates/Plato favored an explicit connection in “The Republic”. In fact it was this bit which made me wonder why Everyone thought Socrates was such a smart guy if he was so dumb about raising families.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane

    What political bodies and systems do you have in mind when you refer to the politics of premodern Christendom?

    The middle ages specifically, but most human structures of authority for most of history would probably apply. The daycare fractal is an unnatural and constructed anomaly, not natural and normative.

    When I look at premodern Christendom politics I see fractals of animal kingdoms and paganism. Likewise, one could say that crime syndicates are fractals of families with a hypocritical mix of virtue and vice, but that shouldn’t commend the mafia or the Crips to anyone.

    That is exactly what I would expect a modern person to see and say, so at least you are reinforcing my stereotypes.

    This is true, but hardly a feature of only modernity. Socrates/Plato favored an explicit connection in “The Republic”. In fact it was this bit which made me wonder why Everyone thought Socrates was such a smart guy if he was so dumb about raising families.

    “Nothing new under the sun” seems to be a kind of default for you.

    The great thing about the claim that there is nothing new under the sun is that it is mostly true, as long as we don’t take it too seriously. I don’t suppose any reasonably informed person would deny that modern political insanity has some roots in Hellenism. Hell, they teach us that it does in grade school, or at least did when I was in grade school, and they aren’t wrong about the lineage – they are just wrong about what is substantively good and bad about it all. Democritus was a Greek, after all.

    “Nothing new under the sun” seems to be mostly a rhetorical device to say, in different words, “nothing to see, move along”. Or perhaps “see no evil”, or “lets just all stop thinking about this.” It is probably worth a moment or two of introspection about that particular rhetorical device.

    The roots of feminism (just as an example) could be similarly historically traced and tendentiously argued. So nothing to see, move along.

    As with nominalism, once we concede the frame we have already fallen on our swords and might as well not talk about anything at all.

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