How to say trebuchet

July 24, 2017 § 113 Comments

Modernity defends itself through equivocation: by asserting the truth of some basic superficially unobjectionable doctrines and — this is the important part — rhetorically rationalizing that these doctrines are what distinguish good, distinctively modern societies from bad, distinctively regressive societies.  The whole point of these modernist doctrines is to set up oppositions: freedom versus rule by a monarch, equality versus aristocratic titles and privilege, sola scriptura versus distinctively Catholic doctrine and practice, feminism versus patriarchy, consent of the governed versus congenital positions of servility and authority, etc. etc.

Liberals diligently drowning priests and nuns, beheading aristocrats, and aborting unborn children in mass-murder factories while working hard to make sure that nobody so much as thinks about actually punishing the murderesses never stop to ponder if the doctrines they assert actually genuinely support the blood and bone distinctions being made in reality by the sharp implements employed.

One of the ways we can help bring clarity to the situation is to craft accurate descriptions of these superficially unobjectionable doctrines; descriptions we can set on fire and lob over the walls into the motte where modern conservatives (those who work hardest to conserve modernity) live, breathe, and have their being.  I’ll start with a few, and encourage folks to improve upon them or think of others.

  • Freedom means that a free society puts the right kind of people in prison for the right reasons.
  • Equality means that every aristocrat, commoner, criminal, slave, proprietor, debtor, trespasser, invader, disrespecter of royalty, savage, apostate, and heretic gets what he has coming to him.
  • Sola scriptura means that every true doctrine of the Christian faith is consistent with the Scriptures as assembled into the Biblical Canon and interpreted by the Apostolic Church established by Christ.
  • Feminism means that women are people too. Female people, who go into an irrational hormonal storm every few weeks and need men to look out for them and tell them what to do.
  • Consent of the governed means that nobody has managed to assassinate the dictator.
  • Minarchy means we want everyone to get along and play nicely with each other, and unicorns that fart fairy dust.

Feel free to suggest your own in the comments.

 

§ 113 Responses to How to say trebuchet

  • Wood says:

    Rule of law means whoever wins the perpetual shouting match between right and left liberals.

    Respect for the rule of law means we don’t notice all the dead people.

    Pride means people are so proud of and comfortable with chosen sexual behaviors that we need the national guard shutting down cake bakers in the middle of nowhere who disagree.

  • “Feminism means that women are people too. Female people, who go into an irrational hormonal storm every few weeks and need men to look out for them and tell them what to do.”

    I’m going to have to quibble a bit here, zippy. Any man who would try to look out for a woman in the midst of a hormonal storm, let alone try telling her what to do, is deluding himself if he thinks he’s the rational one.

  • Zippy says:

    HAH!

    The important thing is to batten down the hatches and create a safe space.

    For the guy, of course.

  • LarryDickson says:

    Wood, I think you misunderstood Zippy (or did I?). He was not satirically stating the liberal’s beliefs, but stating his own beliefs using liberal terminology.

    As usual, Zippy’s counter-recommendations are a mixture of good stuff and strangely forced-in irrelevancies (like all the authoritarian monarchy stuff). But there is one caution I would like to make – to the fourth one specifically.

    It’s impossible to tell for sure through web monikers, but I strongly suspect most or all of the people on this blog are male. If so, preoccupation with “men [telling women] what to do” is unhealthy. When Saint Paul says “Wives, obey your husbands” it is wives that is in the vocative case – meaning this is a healthy subject for WOMEN to discuss. The correlative for men, with husbands in the vocative case, is not “Husbands, boss your wives around” – Saint Paul never says that. He says “Husbands, love your wives” and then goes on to make clear that “love” is meant in a demanding, self-sacrificing sense – NOT the self-indulgence so beloved of worldly men. THAT is the topic that is healthy for a group of men to discuss. Start with Malachi 2:13-16, wife of your youth, and Tobit 8:7, the opposite of lust is sincerity.

  • Wood says:

    LarryDickson,

    You are correct, and I was wrong. I did think about it momentarily before commenting but the “rule of law” thing just gets brought up too much to resist! But yes I muddled.

  • buckyinky says:

    “Equal in infinite human dignity” means making Christianity safe from the inner wife/child-beating monster in every husband and father.

  • Zippy says:

    LarryDickson:

    …preoccupation with “men [telling women] what to do” is unhealthy.

    Agreed, generally speaking, under healthy circumstances.

    Indeed in healthy circumstances it shouldn’t need to be said at all, because the fair and protected sex would know her proper place in the schema of reality, as obedient helpmeet to and treasure of her man.

    But, in the words of the Prophet Dorothy, we aren’t in Kansas anymore.

    You might find Dalrock interesting reading.

  • Zippy says:

    Wood:

    Your respect for the rule of law entry is more like the “opposite day” post, but it is worthwhile to frame a version here too. How about:

    Respect for the rule of law means obeying what the king has written down, in addition to what comes out of his mouth.

  • buckyinky says:

    Looks like mine’s more of an opposite day type also, didn’t quite grasp the concept.

  • Zippy says:

    It is a tricky mental transition that I have to keep reminding myself of explicitly. Combine that with the editorial weaknesses of my writing and it is easy to miss the distinction between (1) attempting accurate phrasing of the motte principle versus (2) describing the accompanying opposite-day equivocation.

    Of course this equivocal ambiguity is part of what gives modernity its power, and the whole point here is to defang it. So the ‘meta’ discussion is helpful too I think.

  • Zippy says:

    LarryDickson:

    … and strangely forced-in irrelevancies (like all the authoritarian monarchy stuff).

    What is strangely forced and irrelevant in noticing that the central point of political liberalism was to reject and rebel against the authority of kings and aristocrats?

  • There is actually very little editorial weakness in your writing, Zippy. These are very complex ideas to attempt to clarify. You do quite well,even when I disagree with you.

    What you would call “superficially unobjectionable doctrines,” I would just call crazy making, as in they mess with your head. One thing about the truth is that it can withstand objection and testing. It is the same on all sides. When you encounter a “superficially unobjectionable doctrine,” it is crazy making because several deceptions have to all be true at the same time. George Orwell captured the oxymoron, the paradox well.

  • LarryDickson says:

    Zippy said: “What is strangely forced and irrelevant in noticing that the central point of political liberalism was to reject and rebel against the authority of kings and aristocrats?”

    I think we have the nub of a misunderstanding here. Rebelling against kings and aristocrats was never the “central point” of liberalism (Jacobinism and the like), it was the convenient rhetorical target! Kings and aristocrats were such a hypocritical, bloated scandal that it was a piece of cake (nod to Marie A.) to use their status and behavior to sucker the masses into joining the mob. (Meditate a little on what Richelieu did.)

    The central point of liberalism was and remains to free the liberals personally from moral restraint. Please focus on the following clear fact: LIBERALS ARE LEGALISTS. Their priority always and everywhere is to gain control of the law. Then they use the letter of the law to exonerate themselves when they are pursuing their favorite vices.

    The opposite of liberalism is not embodied in kings and aristocrats. It is embodied in a mom and dad standing together with their arms around their children. Kings and aristocrats are one possible extension of that little family scene – there are several others – but all of them have to include moral restraint and duty based on the human natures of the people we love. And therefore, unavoidably, they must involve submission to the law of God, and self-limitation of freedom at the point where it violates the law of God.

  • Zippy says:

    LarryDickson:

    Rebelling against kings and aristocrats was never the “central point” of liberalism …

    I’m willing to let folks evaluate the veracity of that claim for themselves.

  • TomD says:

    Perhaps something could be said along the lines of “liberalism does to authority what protestantism did to the Church, liberalism tries to replace authority with law the way protestantism tries to replace the Church with Scripture.”

    And we can see that neither liberalism nor protestantism would be satisfied with the demise of their original “enemy.”

  • […] Source: Zippy Catholic […]

  • Alex says:

    How about this:

    Freedom of Speech means you can say whatever you want without anyone being able to say anything about it.

  • Zippy says:

    Alex:

    I would suggest/modify as follows:

    Freedom of speech means that you have the right to say whatever you want to whomever you want whenever you want, unless it would be better that you kept your mouth shut under the circumstances.

    (Most of the superficially unobjectionable doctrines are tautologies).

  • Zippy says:

    (I did appreciate how you made the snake eat its tail there though).

  • Free market economics means that the only restrictions allowed on economic activity are those that are beneficial to society.

    [Nice! –Z]

  • John says:

    Weird…I’ve just noticed something.

    Let us take for granted that a society with aristocracy and nobility were to exist right now and were a good example of an inegalitarian one, or if you prefer, one that rejects equality.

    Yet it seems that even a society with an obvious hierarchy and nobility; with classes ranging from savages, slaves, commoners, nobility and king, that equality would still exist in it.

    Equality would exist amongst the commoners because all commoners share an equal status of nobleness and honor as common people.

    All of the nobility would have an equal status as nobility because they are by definition of a higher rank than the commoners.

    And most obviously, every slave and savage would be equal amongst themselves, their respective freedom that they have as slaves and savages respectively, and would thus be equal.

    It seems to me that a society with nobility doesn’t actually go against equality, it just moves it further down.

    I am reminded of how nationalism, which is in fact a left-wing position that only in the past 2 centuries is being considered right-wing, doesn’t actually go against equality but only relegates it down the line.

    Under even the most violent nationalism, the underlying assumption is that a group of people is equal amongst themselves and therefore should be kept homogenous and seperated from others.

    It doesn’t truly go against equality for it still has equality as an underlying assumption lying in there somewhere, and it seems a society that is a monarchy with nobility commits the same mistake and doesn’t in fact reject equality.

    What do you think?

  • John says:

    Another very interesting thing to take into account is the fact that modern Western societies tend to be individualistic in nature.

    They thus differ significantly from collectivistic agonistic societies of ancient times.

    During the time of Jesus, the entire world was a society basing itself on honor and shame, as well as a collectivist group mindset. Honor and shame was extremely important, and it is from this mindset that the very idea of nobility easily springs up; for under an agonistic paradigm every person would have an inherited amount of honor from birth, and would thus differ from others with more honor that they inherited from birth.

    This can be easily seen in Scripture; the example of Paul of Tarsus comes to mind, for Paul would point out that he was from Tarsus to show the amount of honor he had; in this case a high amount of honor simply because he was born in Tarsus.

    Thus, someone like Jesus, who was born in Nazareth, would be seen as a person with very low honor; a place like Nazareth in those times conjured up images of superstition and poverty and was by no means a sign of honor; in fact, it was a sign of shame.

    But what is intereesting is that this type of honor and shame paradigm carried on into the middle ages, and past it right up until about the 18th century, when the preconditions for the Industrial Revolution were set up; and with it, a large amount of free time and leisure, which naturally leads to an introspective mindset and an abandonment of a collectivistic-agonistic mindset.

    As moderns we thus tend to misread scripture with our individualistic lenses.

    But what troubles me is the fact that this seems to imply that, if we wish to go against modernity, we would have to reject this individualistic mindset and adopt the collectivistic and agonistic one, at least if you want to be a traditionalist who wants to wholesale reform society from the bottom up.

    Now, most modern day societies are still in the end collectivistic and agonistic. Japan is a prime example of such a society, and it is a society where the Gospel, as understood by ancient ears, can be heard again as well.

    But what I am really asking here is this:

    Does a wholesale rejection of modernity as Zippy describes it inevitably imply that we would have to reshape all modern societies into a copy of Japan?

  • Zippy says:

    John:

    Now, most modern day societies are still in the end collectivistic and agonistic.

    At the risk of not giving your comments enough thought, I would suggest –
    in response to this particular point – that what you may be seeing is, in words I’ve used before, the sociopathic tendencies in modern thought.

    Modernity proposes to abolish (various aspects of) nature which it sees as standing in the way of the emergence of the free and equal new man, self created through reason and will, emancipated from history, tradition, and the arbitrary unfairness of unchosen nature.

    But this project never actually succeeds, since the very nature of things (e.g. authority, objective morality, the Good, the True, the Beautiful) cannot be abolished. What it does instead is push those aspects of the nature of things underground, so that they manifest themselves sociopathically. Modernity cannot make them disappear, but it can mutilate them like a cubist painting or the person who used to be Bruce Jenner in its attempts to make them disappear.

    Silicon Valley, for example — one of the most liberal, advanced, wealthy, technocratic places on earth — is also a very tribal place and a very pagan-religious place (or at least it was in the 1990’s, and I assume it hasn’t change that much in this particular respect). You have to experience it to appreciate just how tribal and pagan-religious it can be.

  • Zippy says:

    John:

    Yet it seems that even a society with an obvious hierarchy and nobility; with classes ranging from savages, slaves, commoners, nobility and king, that equality would still exist in it.

    Along any given axes people can be grouped in common, yes. Some people have similar financial net worth and liquidity. Some people have the same number of children. Some people share the same field of expertise. Etc, etc., along every possible attribute that distinguishes one human being from another.

    “Equal rights” couldn’t be a self contradictory concept if its constituent terms were meaningless in the first place. The self contradiction arises from the meaning of one term contradicting the meaning of the other.

    People generally have no trouble seeing the meaning of “equal”, which means roughly “the same with respect to some attribute”[1]. But they have a hard time seeing that a “right” isn’t the sort of thing that can ever, strictly speaking, be equal: that a right’s very nature is authoritative discrimination. A right is ultimately the assertion of some specific, concrete discriminatory authority or other over subjects (those bound to obey the authority asserted). That is just what a right is.

    That’s why there are quite a few blog posts and comment threads here going over that very point from various angles, using various editorial approaches, dealing with various objections, fleshing out various implications, etc.

    I do try to keep the blog-as-a-form-of-writing approach simple in the sense of dealing with just a concept or two at a time. Sometimes that succeeds better than others I am sure.

    —-

    [1] Even here “equal” remains a rough guesstimate and can’t be taken too seriously. The Jones family farm may be ‘worth’ roughly the same as the Smith family farm in terms of potential to turn real estate into cash in the market right now, but that ‘equality’ is only along that particular attribute at that particular time and doesn’t reflect the true distinctions of actually different real things.

    I’ve also described (I think accurately) the ‘equality’ imperative as an imperative to ignore certain known, true facts. See e.g. here.

  • John says:

    @Zippy,

    Actually, what I mean when I say that most modern societies are still collectivist and agonist is the fact that much of Asia and Africa have that mindset.

    And because Asia and Africa constitute a technical majority in the world, it is technically true that a majority of societies today are collectivist and agonist.

    But this does not include North America, Europe and even much of South America because the West has almost completely abandoned collectivist and agonist attitudes.

    That is why most modern people in the West find the honor/shame society of Japan very weird or even inconceivable to believe.

    This is not to say the West has NO collectivist and agonist elements in it. It does have them but they are extremely small.

    An example of the remnants of collectivism and agonism can be found in the fact that people really like getting Thumbs Up and positive comments on social media.

    It reflects the fact that even Americans do tend to value honor and good image at least to SOME degree.

  • Rhetocrates says:

    The rule of law means submitting to the rule of some man or group of men who are vested in the majesty of the law.

    Free speech means that the sovereign, in his wisdom, has chosen to allow his subjects free reign over politically sensitive topics, so long as they don’t abuse the privilege overmuch.

    Freedom is the exercise of submitting oneself fully to the direction of the proper authority, who seeks the good of the subject, often against said subject’s base desires.

    ‘We the People’ are defined by a common bond of language, tradition, and blood, or we don’t exist as a people.

    Self-limiting authority is the wisdom of the sovereign who freely chooses in his authority not to trample on the immemorial customs of his subjects.

    Consent of the governed is full submission in all proper things to the secular authority, including serving as faithful subjects in the bureaucracy, aristocracy, or military, even if said authority is specifically hostile to your religion, stopping only short of allowing that authority to usurp Divine privilege.

    Pro-life is making sure every woman possible is attached to a man who takes it as a responsibility to see to her well-being, whether husband, brother, father, or son, and enacting social (and possibly legal) incentives to see it done in the majority of cases.

  • Noticing things is racism and sexism and all sorts of other bad things, mainly hate.

  • NoTrueCatholic says:

    This more of an anecdote, :
    I once debated someone who really wanted me to be for equality. I defended that outside the trivial meaning of it, I was not. But he insisted, despite being authoritarian, for aristocracy, patriarchy, that I was egalitarian. Not sure whether he was blind, stupid or insane but he did not seem trolling, and I left. So for someone, somewhere, egalitarianism Is to have aristocrats, patriarchs, without sarcasm.

  • Patrick says:

    Diversity means a place for everyone and everyone is in his place.

    There is no god but God, and Mary is His Mother.

  • Zippy says:

    NoTrueCatholic:

    So for someone, somewhere, egalitarianism Is to have aristocrats, patriarchs, without sarcasm.

    An egalitarian makes no distinctions at all. Including the distinction between egalitarians and non-egalitarians.

  • Zippy says:

    Patrick:

    Diversity means a place for everyone and everyone is in his place.

    This is good but examples could be added: prison for criminals, the closet for sodomites, monasteries and nunneries and asylums for the sexually incontinent, a separate country for heretics and infidels, etc.

  • An egalitarian makes no distinctions at all. Including the distinction between egalitarians and non-egalitarians.

    This seems to be a second objection to John C. Wright’s position that “monarchists” should just shut up. If he were really an egalitarian then he wouldn’t make any distinction between those who don’t reject monarchy in principle and those who do. Thus he really isn’t an egalitarian and he must himself place himself above or below his interlocutors.

  • Edward says:

    Freedom of religion means not obstructng anyone from practising Catholicism.

    Tolerance of homosexuality means having lenient prison sentences for sodomy.

    Marriage equality means all marriages are equally indisoluble.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @LarryDickson

    Rebelling against kings and aristocrats was never the “central point” of liberalism (Jacobinism and the like), it was the convenient rhetorical target! Kings and aristocrats were such a hypocritical, bloated scandal that it was a piece of cake (nod to Marie A.) to use their status and behavior to sucker the masses into joining the mob. (Meditate a little on what Richelieu did.)

    The central point of liberalism was and remains to free the liberals personally from moral restraint.

    I disagree, and your hypothesis supports Zippy’s description of liberalism as a metastasized and now incoherent monster.

    To the medievals liberty had a context: Keep the kings, aristocrats, and clerics from abusing their subjects. Today liberty is treated as an abstract idea in-and-of-itself and talked of as if it could exist without an overlord, but that is wrong. There must be an overlord[1] (legitimate, real, overt, or otherwise) to be freed from. Consequently: The search for overlords never ends because without them there’s no one from whom to escape; no one from whom to achieve liberty. In space no one can hear you scream, “Freedom!”

    All the overlords, kings, and aristocrats are dead or hiding. Liberty and liberals ran out of things from which to be liberated, but they just couldn’t give up on such a successful run. (The road goes on forever and the party never ends. Modern liberty was abstracted and is now set against morals generally. Since concrete liberty had been abstracted to Liberalism, then it began to fight against other abstractions (morals, authority, etc.); nevermind that there are actual consequences for abstract jihad.

    There is another discrete but thoroughly entwined thing at play here, and that is Modernity, separate from ideas about liberty from overlords, which follows from the writings of Machiavelli. He’s the devil who convinces kings, aristocrats, and so forth to be personally free from moral restraint; supposedly in the service of doing good to both the ruler personally and the subjects at large. (Though it seems to me that they didn’t need much convincing to ignore moral restraint. Machiavelli just gave them a snooty-sounding excuse.) When they heard about it,the subjects of these morally unrestrained princes in-pursuit of “good” thought that sounded like a tidy deal for themselves, too.

    As time went on, Modernity’s notion of amorality (you know…for the good of everyone…when you really think about it)[2] meshed perfectly with now-abstracted Liberalism’s jihad against now-abstracted overlords like morals.

    Anyway, that’s my current, recent, take on the history of modern liberalism; thanks to Zippy, and a bunch of history and literary podcasts and audiobooks.

    [1] I like the term overlord because it conveys distance between a supreme ruler (the man/men really pulling the strings) which is not conveyed by the more romanticized term king. King carries a meaning of intimacy and care between the ruler and his subjects…which is usually absent at those times when subjects start grumbling for liberty.

    [2] Yes, this is sarcasm.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    One of the ways we can help bring clarity to the situation is to craft accurate descriptions of these superficially unobjectionable doctrines; descriptions we can set on fire and lob over the walls into the motte where modern conservatives (those who work hardest to conserve modernity) live, breathe, and have their being. I’ll start with a few, and encourage folks to improve upon them or think of others.

    Ha! Zippy takes up the rhetoric arms race.

    It’s crazy how ideas move through a populace.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane Caldo:

    Ha! Zippy takes up the rhetoric arms race.

    It’s crazy how ideas move through a populace.

    I think, to be fair to myself (though I’m certainly not in the best position to make the assessment) that my blogging has always been about trying to make the truth as I discover/perceive it editorially clear to modern (including myself) folks who find the truth as I discover/perceive it wildly counterintuitive. And my editorial style has always (for better or worse) involved a certain amount of shock and awe, I guess.

  • Zippy says:

    Another take on equality, riffing on this old post of mine at W4:

    Equality means that authorities should take into consideration relevant facts and ignore irrelevant facts.

  • Zippy says:

    Can Caldo:

    The search for overlords never ends because without them there’s no one from whom to escape; no one from whom to achieve liberty. In space no one can hear you scream, “Freedom!”

    Yes — without a less-than-human oppressor there can be no emancipation, no Final Solution, on offer for the emerging free and equal new man.

    Which gives rise to more entries in our list of vacuous tautologies that right liberals employ to defend liberalism:

    Abuse is the use of power in a way it shouldn’t be used, and freedom is when the dictator crushes abusive husbands, fathers, property owners, and local authorities under a marching column of jack boots.

    License is the freedom to do bad things, and freedom is the freedom to do good things, and what we mean by “freedom” changes throughout this sentence.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Zippy

    “right liberals”

    One of the more recents keys to unlocking my own mind from its habits has been acceptance of the idea that sometimes a king or aristocrat must be deposed, or even killed, by his subjects. I won’t be surprised if that idea evokes “Duh!” from others, but in my mind that has always been something not to be done, ever. (Let’s call that the rightist part of me.) Therefore, for me, it was a reason to reject monarchies altogether. (That’s the liberal bit.) But sometimes it must be that a ruler should die, and that there are as many reasons for it as there are groups of subjects, and, respectively, what is important to them. English subjects, for example, are never keen on what they perceive as unfair taxes. For some reason it just drives them mad in a way which is different from other Europeans. But, look, if you’re an English king you’ve really just got to understand that and work with it if you want to keep your throne.

    I’m certainly not a fan of medieval monarchy. That was a really bad time to be a commoner. It’s war every year, and if not war then commoner-slaughtering raids from neighboring baronies. And everyone is small and weak because no one but nobles gets any meat. For whatever reason the English seem to be more accepting of that. Even today: Brexit happened as a response to European money issues, but there is no forceful and popular movement to stop the Islamic invasion. “You say Danelaw, I say Sharia. Meh.”

  • Aethelfrith says:

    I’m not sure what relevant post to post this under, but one right liberal promises to slaughter some other right liberals in the name of liberalism:

    http://voxday.blogspot.com/2017/07/all-americans-are-now-antisemites.html

    Supreme Dark Lord‏ @voxday
    We don’t give a damn what you think. Americans killed their British brethren for those rights. Americans will kill Jews for them if need be.

  • itascriptaest says:

    @ Aethelfrith,

    Vox Day is a good example of how evil and dangerous the so called “moderate Enlightenment” of Anglo Saxon countries is. I only wish more Irish, Germans, Italians and Slavs swamped this country and snuffed out the “traditonal rights of Englishmen” if favor of a continental style European state.

  • donnie says:

    I’m certainly not a fan of medieval monarchy. That was a really bad time to be a commoner. It’s war every year, and if not war then commoner-slaughtering raids from neighboring baronies.

    I’m no medieval historian but I’m fairly certain this is a false depiction of medieval life. For one, the life expectancy of commoners actually increased after the fall of Rome (from 28 to 30 if I recall correctly) due to the fact that you became less likely to die in war. Wars were still common but they were a lot smaller in scale and actually occurred less often then they did in Roman times.

    Again, not a medieval historian but this is what I remember from my elective classes in college. Maybe someone more knowledgeable can confirm.

    The popular perception of a medieval serf doing back-breaking labor nonstop and handing over nearly all his hard work to his uncaring lord is mostly a fantasy. Yes, the work was hard; every man, woman, and child had to do his part and it was grueling. However. A medieval serf could not be forced off the land, worked about 30 days a year for his lord (how many days do you and I work for the IRS?) and was forbidden from working on Sundays, Holy Days, the festival seasons of Christmas, Easter, and midsummer, and various other times of the year. This is a pretty interesting article, in case you’re interested to learn more.

  • donnie says:

    I only wish more Irish, Germans, Italians and Slavs swamped this country and snuffed out the “traditional rights of Englishmen” if favor of a continental style European state.

    Unfortunately, (and it pains me as an Irish Catholic to say this) you have to scratch the Irish off that list. Part of the many problems with the Church in America from the 19th century onward stems from the fact that Irish Catholics were more than eager to embrace Americanism, as Pope Leo XIII called it.

  • Ioannes Barbarus says:

    >Equality means that authorities should take into consideration relevant facts and ignore irrelevant facts.

    This is the best one. What a gem. Hope it makes it’s way into the OP or another post.

  • Aethelfrith says:

    @itascriptaest,

    I don’t take anything Vox Day says too seriously since, if he was so concerned with English rights (“rights” in the pre-Enlightenment sense, you understand) and Englishmen, he would protest the American Revolution just like any other internet-dwelling Tory. The man is literally a professional troll.

    But just as Canada shows, being a throne-and-altar traditionalist three hundred years ago doesn’t guarantee you’ll be one today. See also: the Russian Empire.

    Really, the problems the western hemisphere face now are identical to the ones the empires of Europe and Asia faced over a millennium ago. The reason for the lack of disturbance (from a European point of view) is due to the two continents being insulated by the world’s two largest oceans. The Pilgrims and the other colonists never foresaw that because someone was able to migrate there once means that someone will do so again.

  • King Richard says:

    “I’m certainly not a fan of medieval monarchy. That was a really bad time to be a commoner. It’s war every year, and if not war then commoner-slaughtering raids from neighboring baronies. And everyone is small and weak because no one but nobles gets any meat.”
    This.
    Again.
    Even the BBC is trying hard to dispel these myths.
    I suggest ‘Lord’s Rights and Peasants’ Stories’ by Teuscher and Grace; ‘Lords and Peasants in a Changing Society’ by Dyer as a start.
    Analysis of contemporary reports and stories, archaeological research into middens and such show that the medieval peasant had a rich and varied diet. One scholar pointed out that a medieval peasant in Essex in the 14th Century had more calories and much more variety than a working-class Brit in Essex until the 1980’s. Peasants had access to pork, beef, mutton, many types of poultry, and fish (with eel ponds being amazingly common in England)and only lacked access to deer and boar (in general) because the nobility wanted to *hunt* them. While red meat was not as common as in contemporary times, one has to wonder why the Church had to frequently remind the peasants not to eat it on Fridays and fast days if they never got it….
    Analysis of thousands of femurs across Europe showed that in the 14th Century the average peasant was about as tall as the average European citizen of the 1970’s/1980’s with the same genetic background.
    The incidence of war was much lower in the medieval period than you seem to think and with the Pax Dei and Treuga Dei peasants were excluded from fighting.
    Since the feudal systems of Europe were based on land, peasants, even serfs (who were very rare and essentially vanished everywhere but Russia by the 15th Century), had rights to a land and a place for a home. In England the lowest rank of peasant was really the Cottager; he was only entitled to enough land to feed himself and his family. Higher levels of peasants had land for excess to generate income through trade. Cottagers could ‘cure’ their positions in a number of ways. But the villein (the most common type of peasant throughout the area) could not be dispossessed from his land by his baron. He also had rights to forest land for forage, wood, and some forms of hunting; grazing land for herd animals; ponds and waterways for fishing; etc.
    Villagers were administered by the peasants with their own courts ruling on matters that affected them, only going to the baron when it involved his lands or something similar. There are many recorded cases of peasants telling barons and even dukes to keep out of the village courts and the nobles either apologizing or being ordered to butt out when the peasants appealed to the king.
    And my favorite thing to point out to Libertarians – the taxes were much, much lower. You owed some labor (on bridges, ditches, walls, and such) and a percentage of your output (crops, barrels, etc. or a cash equivalent) that came to about 10% of your labor.
    And this is without discussing free cities, the monastery system, etc.
    The rights of peasants (a right to land, protection, to have their own courts, etc.) were extensive enough that there were a number of revolutions in the 16th and 17th Centuries where the common man rose to to *re-introduce* the feudal rights that they were losing!
    So….
    Maybe it wasn’t so bad

  • itascriptaest says:

    Aethelfrith,

    I don’t take anything Vox Day says too seriously

    That’s true and a lot of his predictions have been proven incorrect over the years.

    But just as Canada shows, being a throne-and-altar traditionalist three hundred years ago doesn’t guarantee you’ll be one today. See also: the Russian Empire.

    Well, the Tories are arguably the first right-liberals. In the American revolution Locke was the most cited figure by both rebel and tory writers.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Donnie

    I’m doing and have done my research, and am aware of the general schedule of life in the medieval era. Most of my sources are friendly to the medieval period. They generally flout the term Dark Age, and are part of the contemporary surge of medieval rehabilitators.

    I’ve never known anyone, ever, to suffer through a raid, or a siege, or an interdict, etc. Medieval people did.

  • Zippy says:

    I wonder what histories of the Current Year will read like in 500 years. Will they make it sound like everyone endured robbery, terrorist attacks, war, etc?

  • King Richard says:

    Cane,
    And yet you make ludicrous statements such as,
    “…everyone is small and weak because no one but nobles gets any meat”
    Betraying a near-total ignorance of the topic. For example, if the peasants never got any meat, why do so many homilies to the peasants of the era stress the need to abstain from meat on fasting days?
    The rest is about as bad.

  • King Richard says:

    Zippy,
    I suspect it will depend on who is writing.
    If the history is written by someone from, oh, the Middle East, Africa, lots of Asia and South America or someone with a broad education it might mention all of the sieges, raids, aerial assaults, and food interdicts that have been going on around the world for the last century or so in places like Ukraine, Syria, Somalia, Vietnam, Burma, etc.
    If the historian is a provincial American or Canadian that isn’t widely read they might mistake the fact that no one has bombed their sub-division for a global lack of such violence in democracies around the world.
    I guess we’ll need to wait and see.

  • TomD says:

    For what it’s worth, I was interdicted for a time.

    I got better.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane Caldo wrote above:

    One of the more recents keys to unlocking my own mind from its habits has been acceptance of the idea that sometimes a king or aristocrat must be deposed, or even killed, by his subjects.

    This is where the Just War doctrine comes into play. The first part of the JWD requires (in my own phrasing):

    1) Lasting, grave, and certain damage perpetrated by the aggressor/tyrant. (All three must be independently satisfied).

    2) Reasonable chance of success.

    3) Reasonable expectation that war will not result in greater evil and suffering than that which it proposes to stop.

    4) Competent authority: war must be waged by a leader with the standing and authority to wage it on behalf of the community the common good of which he represents and over which he has authority.

    Few wars meet these criteria, and even fewer rebellions. This is especially the case given the last, often ignored criteria.

    The second part of the JWD can be summarized as “war must be prosecuted through moral means”. It is not the case that just cause for war implies that “anything goes” in pursuit of winning the war.

  • Wood says:

    Zippy,

    Your last comment on JWD is interesting to me in light of the fact that so much “conservative” discussion of war centers around self-defense. I imagine self defense falls under criteria 1, but still the difference in focus is interesting. Probably another weed of mine to pull up.

  • Zippy says:

    Wood:

    Self defense can be a helpful angle of approach, but war is generally on the premeditated end of the scale: the invasion of Normandy, not George Zimmerman defending himself against an aggressive six foot two hoodie-wearing thug on a dark sidewalk at night.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @KR

    Cane,
    And yet you make ludicrous statements such as,
    “…everyone is small and weak because no one but nobles gets any meat”

    As Zippy might say: I’m perfectly happy for everyone to do their own research on medieval diets and then draw their own conclusions.

    Betraying a near-total ignorance of the topic. For example, if the peasants never got any meat, why do so many homilies to the peasants of the era stress the need to abstain from meat on fasting days?
    The rest is about as bad.

    Because as we all know: Clerics always preach from the pulpit hard truths on controversial topics. We know this because the tradition continues today, and every Sunday, every priest today preaches against divorce, usury, submission of wives and children, fornication, and all the other sins actually rampant among the members of their actual congregations.

    @Zippy

    I wonder what histories of the Current Year will read like in 500 years. Will they make it sound like everyone endured robbery, terrorist attacks, war, etc?

    I think it will be comparable to how Rome is remembered now: Rich, powerful, peace within, war without, decadent, and dissolute.

    Whatever you do: Do not tell King Richard about that JWD thing. Right now he is imagining a stableboy brush down his heavy war-unicorn. You will crush dreams.

  • Zippy says:

    As usual, though, improvements due to technology (the roots of which historically come from medieval universities) are not the same thing as improvements due to political philosophy and/or structure. The Middle Ages were no utopia, especially technologically speaking, and ‘normalizing out’ technological differences to solve for politics in isolation is probably just a game of storytelling.

    In any case the future isn’t the past and technological knowledge isn’t going away, whatever happens in the realm of politics.

  • King Richard says:

    Cane,
    I teach Just War Theory with a mandatum from my Archbishop; an Archbishop very well aware of my micronational activities. Especially since I sometimes coordinate with the archdiocese on our work with those seeking asylum from religious persecution [a key part of what we do].
    “…every priest today preaches against divorce, usury, submission of wives and children, fornication, and all the other sins actually rampant among the members of their actual congregations.”
    The priests at the parishes I attend do, although I cannot be everywhere at once. Which parishes to attend when you participate in the Mass?

  • King Richard says:

    Zippy,
    Agreed; the Agrarian Movement’s great fault is society isn’t agrarian any more and won’t be anytime soon barring something so serious the rest of their agenda is meaningless.
    What I find worthy of emulation from feudal societies were the concepts of subsidiarity, solidarity, and the personal accountability of leaders. The direct, personal relationship of leader to subject (relatively) is a bonus. I believe these things are technology neutral.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Zippy

    As usual, though, improvements due to technology (the roots of which historically come from medieval universities) are not the same thing as improvements due to political philosophy and/or structure.

    Agreed.

    In any case the future isn’t the past and technological knowledge isn’t going away, whatever happens in the realm of politics.

    …and in 2453 Fort Worth–the last holdout of the human defense forces–fell to the sharia-friendly autonomous search engine, Al-Gorithm.

    @KR

    The priests at the parishes I attend do, although I cannot be everywhere at once.

    So my point stands. Thanks for sharing.

  • Ian says:

    Zippy,

    4) Competent authority: war must be waged by a leader with the standing and authority to wage it on behalf of the community the common good of which he represents and over which he has authority.

    Few wars meet these criteria, and even fewer rebellions.

    I’ve sometimes wondered how a rebellion can possibly meet this criterion: Who would be the competent authority to lead a rebellion, given that in a rebellion you are waging war against your legitimate authority?

    Does it just mean that in the case of a rebellion, it must be led by someone in a subsidiary position of authority (say, in the case of the U.S., a state governor), rather than by some random citizen or subject?

  • Ian says:

    Donnie,

    Thanks for the link to the article on the pre-industrial workweek. Very interesting.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Ian

    I’ve sometimes wondered how a rebellion can possibly meet this criterion

    My first thought was a military coup would meet the requirement of a competent authority; depending of course on the rest of the requirements.

    But the main thing the JWD makes me wonder is not how are the requirements met, but: Who decides whether the requirements are met?

  • Zippy says:

    Ian:

    Does it just mean that in the case of a rebellion, it must be led by someone in a subsidiary position of authority (say, in the case of the U.S., a state governor), rather than by some random citizen or subject?

    I believe so, or a coalition of them, acting on behalf of their subsidiary communities. The idea of a generic justification for any Tom, Dick, or Harry to organize a rebellion is (morally) a non-starter.

    Escape from persecution is different, but involves actual personal persecution and actual escape not armed rebellion, regicide, etc.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane Caldo:

    Who decides whether the requirements are met?

    God, when He judges whether you will spend the rest of eternity in Heaven or in Hell.

  • King Richard says:

    Cane,
    You made no point

  • Step2 says:

    Ian,
    Does it just mean that in the case of a rebellion, it must be led by someone in a subsidiary position of authority (say, in the case of the U.S., a state governor), rather than by some random citizen or subject?

    Alternatively, invoking the 25th Amendment requires the VP and a majority of the Cabinet, and then if contested a 2/3 majority of each house of Congress.

  • Hrodgar says:

    Cane:

    Do you have a source for the “everyone was small and weak” claim? Not that I’ve examined this specific topic in much depth, but such cursory research as I’ve done indicates that the average late medieval height was probably only a inch or two lower than Current Year, and actually a couple inches taller than it would be a couple centuries later (based on skeletons; the indicators previously relied on usually have other explanations, such as the smaller door frames being for heating efficiency, small armor being for rich kids that saw little action before outgrowing it and thus being in better condition to survive, etc.).

    Also, when and were in the medieval period? Perhaps part of the problem is faulty generalizations. I get the impression that the late medieval period was much more prosperous not only than the earlier medieval period, but also the Renaissance and early “Enlightenment” when cooling temperatures and the wars of religion had taken their toll, particularly in the Germanies. I’ve also read accounts indicating that England immediately before Henry VIII’s mucking about had a much more healthy populous than both France of the same period and England under Elizabeth I, and that the elimination of Lenten fasts under Henry made a drastic difference in the price of eggs, at least.

  • Zippy says:

    Step2:

    Alternatively, invoking the 25th Amendment requires the VP and a majority of the Cabinet, and then if contested a 2/3 majority of each house of Congress.

    That made me laugh; but obviously — or at least this should be obvious — following some set of formal procedures can’t alone determine the morality (either way) of a choice to rebel.

  • Terry Morris says:

    Step2:

    Alternatively, invoking the 25th Amendment requires the VP and a majority of the Cabinet, and then if contested a 2/3 majority of each house of Congress.

    Zippy:

    That made me laugh; but obviously — or at least this should be obvious — following some set of formal procedures can’t alone determine the morality (either way) of a choice to rebel.

    If it’s constitutional it must be moral. Otherwise it wouldn’t be constitutional. Duh.

  • Zippy says:

    I just fished this comment from SPAM.

  • I may not have suffered a siege but in my lifetime 1000s of civilians were killed when two planes piloted by muslim terrorists crashed into skyscrapers.

    I doubt the medieval peasants had to worry about that one.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Hrodgar

    Do you have a source for the “everyone was small and weak” claim?

    An Internet search reveals almost exactly what I’ve learned as far as medieval diets are concerned. I don’t have a direct source which compares contemporary heights with medieval. It’s just biology though: Less meat means less size and strength.

    Specifically I was referring to everyone among the non-nobles. Knights and above had regular access to meat. The limit wasn’t from days of fasting, but because of two main things:

    1) increasingly strict class limits on who could hunt, where, how, and with what.
    2) decreasing access of the non-nobles to pasture land as the aristocracy grew.

    Based on your questions, I think we generally agree when is the medieval age.

  • Zippy says:

    The competition seems to be between “use Google” and King Richard’s comment (with two book references and other concrete specific investigable claims) that I fished out of SPAM above.

    So that gives two starting places for evaluating the disputed claims, for those interested in doing so.

  • Zippy says:

    For example, this specific concrete claim can presumably be investigated:

    Analysis of thousands of femurs across Europe showed that in the 14th Century the average peasant was about as tall as the average European citizen of the 1970’s/1980’s with the same genetic background.

    From context it appears that KR is saying that this comes from one of the two books (which are available on Amazon) that he mentioned; though I’m not sure about that and he’d have to clarify. This is just a combox, and in general comboxes and blogs can provide entry points for doing your own due diligence but not much more than that.

  • King Richard says:

    “An Internet search reveals almost exactly what I’ve learned as far as medieval diets are concerned.”

    Or, shorter – ‘no’.

    “It’s just biology though: Less meat means less size and strength.”

    That’s not biology.
    Working with refugees and stateless people for the last 20 years has forced me to learn about stunting.
    The two primary causes of stunted physical development are maternal nutrition during pregnancy and malnutrition during ‘the first thousand’ – the 1,000 days from birth through toddlerhood. Access to protein for the mother is important during pregnancy, but protein is not solely from meat. Legumes/beans, nuts, dairy, eggs, etc. are all important dietary protein sources then and now. These were all staples of the Medieval peasants’ diet (as mentioned in the books I listed as well as other sources). Fish is very protein rich and was a staple in much of Europe, too.
    In the 1,000 days protein is important, but not as important as non-staples that provide the micronutrients like zinc that are critical to early bone and muscle development with fats for brain development close behind. Peasant children in Medieval Europe had *better* access to a widely varied diet rich in micronutrients than modern European children until the 1980’s!
    Sheer access to calories during puberty (a teen needs about 2,500 a day during adolescence as a minimum to meet raw caloric needs) was not an issue except during famine with the typical peasant having access to 3,500-4,000 calories a day during non-famine times.

    We’ll just skip that the hunting bans concerned mainly deer, boar, and bear while peasants raised sheep, pigs, cows, ducks, etc.

    -‘Food in Medieval Times’ by Weiss Adamson
    -‘Fast and Feast: Food in Medieval Society’ by Heinisch
    -‘Food in Medieval England: Diet and Nutrition’, Serjeantson & Waldron

  • Zippy says:

    I suppose the subject drift was inevitable, given the post title. But I guess this gives rise to another entry in our list:

    Malnutrition means not having the same simple-carb health destroying food choices available as a Current Year hipster.

  • King Richard says:

    The height information is from a series of academic papers (I will see if I can point to some not behind journal paywalls) but here is a good metadata analysis quote from another site,
    “A study conducted at Ohio State University, based on skeletal data from 30 previous studies, showed that men living during the 9th to 11th centuries had an average height of roughly 5’8”. Average height then steadily declined until it reached a low point of 5’5½” in the 17th and 18th centuries, rising again through the 19th century and only reaching previous heights in the first half of the 20th century.”

  • King Richard says:

    Zippy,
    You beat me to it, but – sorry for the topic shift

  • Zippy says:

    We love topic drift around here, as long as it follows naturally from the original.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @KR

    First of all, I should say that my education of medieval life is centered on England.

    “A study conducted at Ohio State University, based on skeletal data from 30 previous studies, showed that men living during the 9th to 11th centuries had an average height of roughly 5’8”. Average height then steadily declined until it reached a low point of 5’5½” in the 17th and 18th centuries, rising again through the 19th century and only reaching previous heights in the first half of the 20th century.”

    (Others can find an article–which uses the exact same text KR used–here: http://www.encasedinsteel.co.uk/2012/07/27/were-people-shorter-in-the-middle-ages/ I strongly encourage all to read it, and other sources.)

    This sounds absolutely correct to me because in the 9th through 11th centuries England was ruled by the Anglo Saxons. The system of royal forests (the rules about who could hunt what, where, and with what tools) wasn’t introduced into England until the end of the 11th century. Those came with the Norman conquest. Before then, there weren’t class restrictions on hunting forests, use of hawks, class restrictions on prey, etc.

    And here’s more from the same article that you either quoted, or which quoted verbatim the exact same studies which you quoted:

    Stories of when the Normans came to Ireland in the 12th Century indicate their surprise at how tall the Irish were. Anecdotal? Yes. But accurate? Perhaps. What was different about the Irish compared to the Normans?

    Similarly, though much later, the first European settlers in the Americas wrote about how tall, healthy and well formed the natives were. Why might this be?

    Largely it was nutrition. The Irish at the time had a largely cattle based economy and lifestyle. Plenty of protein, fats and dairy produce.

    The native Americans had a largely hunter gatherer diet which meant plenty of plants and animals.

    The typical European peasant would subsist on grains, porridge, bread, pottage (a sort of stew/soup with vegetables and pretty much whatever else is available – all boiled long enough to get rid of any pesky vitamins or nutrients), turnips, cabbage, occasional meat, eggs or cheese. A little fruit if any were in season, and of course a fair bit of ale every day.

    A European nobleman might have meat, fish or fowl with pretty much every meal. Dairy products such as cheese and butter would be more common to the wealthier family and a very few vegetables (which might have been roasted rather than boiled). Some fruits if in season. Richer nobles would have spices and sugar also. And of course wine. Lots of wine.

    Specifically: After the Normans conquered England they instituted forest laws, and the diet of commoners suffered. As the continentals gained power during the medieval age, people–especially the non-nobles–shrank. The longer the medieval period went on, the shorter people became.It’s exactly what I said.

    And so the tall and strong Irish benefited from a lack of the medieval forest program, and the lack of class restrictions on hunting.

  • Hrodgar says:

    Re: Cane

    “decreasing access of the non-nobles to pasture land…”

    I’m fairly confident that at least in England (with which I’m much more familiar than continental Europe), that was largely the result of policies began under Henry VIII and his successors, and took quite some time to reach completion; Chesterton is complains of it as of an ongoing process many centuries later. At most this places the beginning of the process at the very end of the medieval period, and I hesitate to grant it even that, given that the schism of England cemented the shattering of the Christendom that defined the Middle Ages.

    Regarding your source: I just now went to Google and typed in “How tall were people in the Middle Ages?” The first three results:

    “Myth debunked: Our medieval ancestors were just as tall as us says a new study”
    -Daily Mail

    “Men From Early Middle Ages Were Nearly As Tall As Modern People”
    -Science Daily

    “The Average Height of Humans Over Time” from which comes the following passage: “Perhaps surprisingly, research by a team from Ohio State University suggests that people living in the Middle Ages — between the ninth and 11th centuries — were taller than those living in the early 19th century.”
    -LiveStrong.com

    So I’m going to have to ask you to be a bit more specific. Which internet sources are you relying on? Because the ones I’m seeing directly contradict your claims.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Hrodgar

    See my comment above.

    I’m fairly confident that at least in England (with which I’m much more familiar than continental Europe), that was largely the result of policies began under Henry VIII and his successors, and took quite some time to reach completion;

    No. Forest laws began with the Norman conquest, and reached its height (largest amount of land and restrictions) under King John in the 1200s.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Hrodgar

    As for sources, I have few links to give. Most of them have been podcasts and audiobooks.

    Modern Scholar audiobooks:
    The Medieval World, Parts I & II
    Masterpieces of Medieval Literature
    Christianity at the Crossroads
    Epochs of European Civilization: Reformation to the 21st Century

    The History of England Podcast
    Anglo Saxon England Podcast (same fellow)

    Terry Jones’ Medieval Lives

    My Internet searches have just been to confirm various bits of information. None of the authors above seem to have a grudge against medieval man. In fact they are keen to rehabilitate him as “not so-bad a chap”. I think they are (rightly) reacting to the over-dramatic movies and shows of the past 30 years; where everyone medieval wears brown leather, lives by torchlight, and is never free of mud.

    But (even as a fan of medieval themes, fantasy, etc.) there is such a thing as going overboard the other direction.

  • TomD says:

    We love topic drift around here, as long as it follows naturally from the original.

    Staying on topic means don’t inorganically drift from the topic.

  • King Richard says:

    Cane,
    But the Continent didn’t have the forestry laws; the decreases in size there were mainly later in time and concomitant with industrialization and Democratization.
    Further, your original quote,
    “I’m certainly not a fan of medieval monarchy. That was a really bad time to be a commoner. It’s war every year, and if not war then commoner-slaughtering raids from neighboring baronies. And everyone is small and weak because no one but nobles gets any meat.”
    Seems to be an interesting contrast to,
    “Those came with the Norman conquest. Before then, there weren’t class restrictions on hunting forests, use of hawks, class restrictions on prey, etc.”
    So are *Monarchies* such that ‘peasants don’t get meat’ or are *some English kings* such (if you don’t count fish, etc.)? After all, the Saxons had kings! How about the Polish monarchy and the szlachta? Will you address the rights of the villeins in England to land and such? The peasantry of, oh, Germany or France? The level of taxes then compared to under Democracy?
    [Folk songs about ‘Good King George’ and his lower taxes were popular in America in the 1790’s-1810’s….]

  • King Richard says:

    Back to the original query;
    “Support of Democracy’ means that we must respect the results of Democratic elections unless the prime ministers want to do business with Democracies we don’t like; then armed coups that seize control of the elected government are ‘Democracies'”

  • King Richard says:

    Zippy,
    Granted. My greatest self-delusion is probably that I have few illusions about the realities of monarchism.

  • Terry Morris says:

    Zippy (from the linked entry Watch What You Catch In Your Filters):

    I would suggest that drawing conclusions about how normal, functional people think and behave from the population caught in this filter is similar to going down to the local psychiatric ward and drawing conclusions from observations there about how normal, functional people think and behave.

    Who said anything about drawing conclusions about normal, functional people from Facebook postings? Ha, ha.

  • King Richard:

    I think that formulation is more like the Opposite Day statements. The one for this query would be more like “support for democracy means respecting the aggregated will of the people, except when the aggregated will of the people is evil”

  • Zippy:

    Wouldn’t that formulation of malnutrition be more like the Opposite Day statements? It should be more like “Malnutrition is when you don’t get enough of the nutrients needed for a healthy human life, but those nutrients can be obtained in many ways other than the Current Year hipster’s simple carb health destroying diet.”

  • “Who said anything about drawing conclusions about normal, functional people from Facebook postings? Ha, ha.”

    Wait……there are normal,functioning people in the world? Where are they and how do I meet them? 🙂

    A bit of trivia from medieval times, childbirth and infant mortality rates were actually much lower among the peasants. They had children at home, often with dad and a female relative helping. The well off had access to doctors and midwives, but before germ theory and good hand washing, doctors and midwives tended to spread disease. So your medieval medical care, usually reserved for the nobles, could kill you you much faster then nature would. So, we really have to dig beneath the surface to attempt to judge quality of life for peasants in medieval times.

  • Zippy says:

    TimFinnegan:

    I’m having a hard time with a not-opposite-day formulation. Maybe “malnutrition means eating a less healthy diet than most medieval European peasants.”

  • Zippy says:

    King Richard:

    The “filters” post reference was probably too oblique. When I don’t have time to say a lot I sometimes say too little.

    The main thing I had in mind is that something that happened only in England can’t be the cause of physiological changes in the population all across Europe. Unless it was a contagious disease or something, I suppose, but forest laws restricting the hunting of certain animals in England obviously cannot cause reduction in average height all across Europe.

  • King Richard says:

    Zippy,
    I was too brief, too. I caught the reference, but also found it cause for self-reflection.

  • Zippy says:

    The bad thing about monarchies is that many of them are terrible. Anyone who thinks that denying this is foundational to at least my understanding of things has made a mistake.

    One could say the same thing about husbands and fathers: many of them are terrible.

    Yeah; so what?

    What I reject is the syllogism that starts from “some kings are terrible” and concludes “therefore mass murdering soul destroying liberalism is an improvement over monarchy”.

    If you can see why one might reject “all babies should be taken from their parents, raised in state run daycare, taught the virtues of gay sex and abortion from an early age, and raised to see [blacks/Jews/whites/racists/Christians/some other untermensch oppressor who is in the way of freedom] as subhumans who need to be gassed into oblivion” as a conclusion from the premise “many fathers are terrible” then you might be able to follow my own reasoning.

  • Zippy says:

    (And by “state run daycare” I mean “public school”).

  • King Richard says:

    Not too long ago I encountered someone who asked [paraphrase],
    “How can monarchists think a monarchy can solve everything?”
    Of course, we don’t. I’m not even claiming it will solve *anything*. Monarchism is more akin to taking the maintained bridge as opposed to the rickety one, or driving on a narrow, winding mountain road and deciding to not go too fast, or (for the Game followers) deciding that marrying the five-times-divorced woman with bipolar disorder is a bad idea.
    Now that I think of it, being anti-Monarchy makes perfect sense for the MGTOW crowd, doesn’t it?

  • Zippy says:

    Maybe the average height decreased across all of Europe because less war meant that more short people survived and reproduced.

  • Zippy says:

    King Richard:

    “How can monarchists think a monarchy can solve everything?”

    This question arises from the modernist mindset that any Final Solution is better than no Final Solution; which is the prescriptive version of the mindset that any theory, no matter how manifestly and atrociously bad it happens to be, is better than no theory.

    “What is the alternative” is one of the most destructive questions ever asked, at least when it is asked under the implicit assumption that “I don’t know” is an inferior answer to any positive answer.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Zippy

    What I reject is the syllogism that starts from “some kings are terrible” and concludes “therefore mass murdering soul destroying liberalism is an improvement over monarchy”.

    Sure. And so I’m glad I didn’t make such a syllogism. What I said is what I said. Though I would amend my comment to say that I’m certainly not a fan of feudalism.

    But let’s have a recap here: I said (among other things) that medieval commoners suffered a poor diet, and so because of that were short and weak. King Richard replied that was “ludicrous” and that I suffered from “near-total ignorance”. He then quoted a website, in defense of medieval peasant diets, which drew on studies of Anglo-Saxon knights–nobles–of the 9th through 11th centuries.

    In other words: I spoke of short, weak peasants, and their lack of meat. He countered with tall, strong nobles and their abundance of meat.

    Maybe the average height decreased across all of Europe because less war meant that more short people survived and reproduced.

    First KR pronounced that all European medieval peasants were tall based on studies which concluded thatearly medieval English knights were tall. When he wants to (errantly) use data from the English to support a thesis of all medievals: He does. When he wants to say not everyone was English so the studies don’t matter: He does. Now you’re proposing that perhaps declining height isn’t a metric of health at all. Meanwhile, KR proposes

    “But the Continent didn’t have the forestry laws; the decreases in size there were mainly later in time and concomitant with industrialization and Democratization.”

    which is false twice over. There were forestry laws (though they weren’t called “Forest Laws”) in (at least) France and the Holy Roman Empire. This makes perfect sense as it was a Norman from the Continent who introduced Forest Laws into England. Second, nutritional decline takes time. The health of a current generation depends (among other things) on the diet of the previous ones. Health declines more the longer the medieval period continues. The low point is the beginning of industrialization and democratization, but that is exactly what one should expect when observing a change in course from decline to ascension.

    Today we are probably nearing some high point of industrialization and democratization and what I’ve read (though not studied) is that every day hundreds of thousands of people are lifted above sub-subsistence poverty. More people eat more and better today (in terms absolute and by percentage) than ever before. That doesn’t mitigate abortion and all other sins ascendant with modernity. And it doesn’t mean that monarchs can’t rule well; possibly even better than democracies. But we should at least be clear observers. Whatever future forms of government we try to enact should strive to attain the good.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane Caldo:

    Sure. And so I’m glad I didn’t make such a syllogism. What I said is what I said. Though I would amend my comment to say that I’m certainly not a fan of feudalism.

    My comment wasn’t intended as specifically directed to you, though it is certainly understandable that you might take it that way in context.

    Though I would amend my comment to say that I’m certainly not a fan of feudalism.

    Noted. I’m not a fan of describing the comparison as one of fandom, for what it is worth.

    Lets suppose though that we stipulate a both/and resolution here. That is, we stipulate:

    1) Modernity brought abortion, pervasive mass murder, a constant state of global high tech war, soul-destroying dystopia, massive apostasy, and the other sorts of things we discuss here, on both a global and microcosmically comprehensive scale when compared to the (late) middle ages.

    2) The (late) middle ages in Europe wasn’t in a constant state of famine like modern Africa but it didn’t provide nutrition quite as well or as democratically as modernity, at least in England.

    Which of those seems to you to be more important for the good of souls, even stipulating your contentions about nutrition?

  • Zippy says:

    Cane Caldo:

    In other words, if the answer to the question is “what (nutritional) alternative do we have to modernity?” is “who knows?”, does that constitute any sort of endorsement of modernity?

    In still other words, isn’t it true that what you are really (and specifically, especially given that you objected to my other comment if it is construed as against your view) objecting to is late medieval food technology as opposed to feudalism?

  • Zippy:

    What I reject is the syllogism that starts from “some kings are terrible” and concludes “therefore mass murdering soul destroying liberalism is an improvement over monarchy”.

    Of course, as you have pointed out many times, even a return to monarchy won’t help at this point if people won’t repent of liberalism. All we’d get is a liberal monarchy, which might have worse consequences than a liberal democracy (though I don’t really know which one would be worse in actuality). If the solution does not include a sufficient percentage of the population repenting of liberalism, it isn’t really a solution at all.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    @Zippy

    In other words, if the answer to the question is “what (nutritional) alternative do we have to modernity?” is “who knows?”, does that constitute any sort of endorsement of modernity?

    Of course not.

    In still other words, isn’t it true that what you are really (and specifically, especially given that you objected to my other comment if it is construed as against your view) objecting to is late medieval food technology as opposed to feudalism?

    Sheesh. No.

    This particular aside started when I said that I had become convinced (thanks to you and some historians) that monarchs and monarchy could be a good, and that it wasn’t the case that it should be treated as utterly sacrosanct, as I had reflexively though. Then I pointed a handful of things which I would not have liked about medieval monarchies; using feudal England[1] as my talking point. Then KR said that was ludicrous, and that I had near-total ignorance of medieval diets. What followed from me was a successful defense of what I had said. No more, no less.

    Before feudalism–before the Normans conquered England–there were monarchs, and yet the people of England could use bows and hawks and clawed dogs and whathaveyou to hunt whatever, wherever; provided that it was not on land owned by someone else. English (Anglo-Saxon) tradition was that the land belonged to the people, not to the king specifically; e.g. the English were not feudal.

    After feudalism, English commoners suffered poor nutrition specifically and directly because of feudal laws which arose from feudal concepts of property. We know this for several reasons, but most conspicuously because wherever there is not feudalism, the people are bigger and stronger across the classes and time with the same technology, or less technology in the case of the American Indians.

    [1] I should say that this isn’t even correct. England wasn’t yet a nation. “Norman Empire”, and then “Angevin Empire” are more correct to say than “England”; as they ruled England, large swaths of modern day France, and by fiefdom Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. It is a large area of the medieval world.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane Caldo:

    Cool.

    TimFinnegan:

    In a way a liberal monarchy is worse — the same way in which right-liberalism in general is worse. It both preserves liberalism and provides an illiberal locus of blame for liberalism’s failures and atrocities.

  • King Richard says:

    Cane,
    You wrote,
    “He then quoted a website, in defense of medieval peasant diets, which drew on studies of Anglo-Saxon knights–nobles–of the 9th through 11th centuries.”
    This is at best incomplete. I posted names and authors of a number of books on the subject *and* quoted a statement that was also included on a website: the quote referenced all of Europe via meta-analysis, not noble Saxons. You *want it to be* about only Saxons nobles, but that is not the case.

    You continued,
    “First KR pronounced that all European medieval peasants were tall… ”
    False. I stated that European peasants of the Medieval Period were roughly as tall as people of the same genetics were in the 1960’s/1970’s. Go back – it is written down in this thread. Some of the sources mentioned the 19th Century; I did not.

    You continue,
    “When he wants to (errantly) use data from the English to support a thesis of all medievals: He does.”
    This did not occur.

    You wrote,
    “which is false twice over. There were forestry laws (though they weren’t called “Forest Laws”) in (at least) France and the Holy Roman Empire. ”
    Hint: the opening paragraph of a Wikipedia article is not a substantive source. Two of the books I listed, though, are. If you had read them (or the rest of that wikipedia article!) you’d know that the Forestry Laws of England were in place for a rather short time, historically. Put in place weakly in ~1080 the forestry laws did strengthen for a few decades but were weakened by the Magna Carta in 1215 and the Charter of the Forest reduced the royal forests to very restricted areas and limits so that the common man had access to the forests for everything but hunting deer, boar, and wolves and the penalty for actually hunting them was a fine. The Charter of the Forest was signed originally in 1217 and by the year 1300 very few lands were covered by the Charter in any way.

    To sum up: Your claim is that because of an English law in effect for about 135 years and that never covered more than 1/3 of Britain in any way and that (while mainly about preventing agriculture and deforestation in certain locations, it also) provided fines for the hunting of certain game animals therefore in monarchies [another quote from you],
    “…everyone is small and weak because no one but nobles gets any meat.”
    You’ve already excluded the Saxons (who had kings) while trying to pretend that a quote about an analysis (which you haven’t read!) of various studies that variously covered all Europeans was only about Saxon nobles. The Carolingian and Merovingian laws of Forestry were primarily about setting aside timber lands for future fortifications with some restrictions on the hunting of deer, but were much, much more limited than the British Forestry Laws

    I get it – you were making an emotional appeal by referring to a common myth. Sure. I see it all the time.
    Maybe you should think about that.

  • King Richard says:

    “What followed from me was a successful defense of what I had said.”
    And *I* believe in fairy tales?!

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