August 5, 2018 § 17 Comments
I’m not a historian, let alone a historian of Catholicism. But I know enough to be familiar with what has sometimes been referred to as the ‘pornocracy,’ the rule of medieval Borgia popes more interested in their mistresses and political power than in their often neglected job as appointed guardians of the Faith.
I am not a sociologist either. But I’ve noticed that when heterosexual sins are condemned, the response of people who indulge in them tends to be something on the order of “Meh.” By contrast, I’ve noticed that practicing homosexuals tend to find it utterly intolerable that anyone, anywhere, in any context, might slightly disapprove of their sexual behaviors. As always there will be many individual exceptions; but I think there is enough truth in this observation to create a social gradient.
So I guess it should not be surprising that the thing that really contrasts the old pornocracy to the new, the medieval heterosexual clerical cabal to the Current Year homosexual cabal, is the accompanying internal assault on moral doctrine.
July 31, 2018 § 14 Comments
Liberalism treats the question of what authoritative discriminations in particular are just, as if it were a question of whether authoritative discrimination in general is just.
July 23, 2018 § 29 Comments
To say that Bob has the freedom to do X is to say that Bob has the authority to do X.
To say that Bob has the authority to do X is to say that anyone who acts in a way contrary to Bob doing X may be punished or face consequences for that interference.
To say that anyone who acts in a way contrary to X may be punished or face consequences is to constrain people through authoritative discrimination: to classify people along some attribute or behavior and discriminate against them based on that attribute or behavior.
So freedom means constraining classes of people through authoritative discrimination.
July 20, 2018 § 39 Comments
July 20, 2018 § 4 Comments
The negative precepts of the natural law are universally valid. They oblige each and every individual, always and in every circumstance. It is a matter of prohibitions which forbid a given action semper et pro semper, without exception, because the choice of this kind of behaviour is in no case compatible with the goodness of the will of the acting person, with his vocation to life with God and to communion with his neighbour. It is prohibited — to everyone and in every case — to violate these precepts. – Veritatis Splendour
Abstractly speaking an authority can take either a “whitelist” approach to property exchanges (only approved transactions are endorsed and enforced) or a “blacklist” approach (transactions are presumptively endorsed and enforced, but exceptions apply).
As a practical matter though the latter is the only real possibility for actual finite human authorities. Any attempt at the former proposes to actualize a potential infinite, and thus in practice would become a perverse and sociopathic version of the latter.
So blacklists it is. There is good reason why categorical commandments take the form “thou shalt not.”
(Originally a comment here).
June 24, 2018 § 46 Comments
You can tell that you are still suffering from liberal commitments when you find yourself suggesting that modern liberals, left liberals, or whomever are distorting a good tradition of political freedom: that left-liberals have a deformed or inauthentic understanding of political freedom and equality before the law. If this is you, you are almost certainly a right-liberal.
June 15, 2018 § 33 Comments
It is worth emphasizing that personal guarantees on invested capital (usury) are indeed very bad business in entrepreneurship, where capital and labor/expertise come together to produce objectively valuable goods and services. Personal guarantees are a huge red flag that the contracts and capital structure are dysfunctional and should be re-worked before a deal is inked, or that perhaps the deal is no good at all on any terms. It is a naive and foolish business practice to give capital to a business partner under a regime of personal guarantees.
Usury is great business though when the objective is to sell things to consumers (e.g. college degrees in grievance studies fueled by five dollar lattes); things that they cannot afford without selling themselves into slavery, at prices massively inflated by the ready availability of usurious loans.