June 27, 2009

What man...if his son asks him for bread, will give him subsidiarity?

A friend linked to an odd piece, A Credo for Authentic Conservatives and Other Sane People, by Thomas Fleming.

There's nothing in it that's exactly wrong, but it's weird. Kind of bloodless and gutless. Wishful thinking. There's no suggestion that conservatism is a noble cause that a person might risk their life to defend.

I think the peculiar thing here is that this is called a "credo." But credo means "I believe." It does not mean, "Gee, it would be kinda nice if everybody was sensible like me." Early Christian martyrs scratched "CREDO" in the sand of the arena, as the last quarts of their blood gushed out. That's "credo," friend.

"Credo" implies Truth. With the capital "T." Do you have Truth, sir? If a socialist or a jihadi puts a gun to your head and says, "recant," can you say, "shoot and be damned?" Or "Father forgive them?" One doubts.

Also, note that first section "E" I've quoted below. Elephant-in-living-room alert!!! Over large portions of the globe today, people are choosing NOT to propagate. All of Europe is in demographic collapse. Likewise Japan and other "successful" Asian nations. Whole societies are dying, Mr Fleming. Dying before your eyes. Your chalky philosophy says to this....what? Hundreds of millions of people are finding no reason to endure the suffering that investing in future generations involves. Your waxen ideas offer....what? What reason to suffer? What reason to sacrifice?

What demands do you make on people? The paradoxical thing is that people are at their best—and free-est— when they are servants. Servants of causes or beliefs that are bigger than the individual, and demand our sacrifice and devotion. (And, biggest of all, we are all called to be Servants of the Word.)

Of course this writer may have put the chewy stuff elsewhere in his writings. (If so I apologize.) But the flavor here is decadent.

....E. Human beings under most circumstances quite naturally seek to survive, thrive, and propagate, but they also protect the ability of their family members and friends or social allies (socii) to do the same...

... G Marriage and family are natural institutions fulfilling human needs; and, since each presupposes a hierarchy of authority, not only society itself but also social and political authority are natural, in the sense that they are the outgrowth of human nature and natural necessities. Thus there has never been a state of nature, much less of natural equality. In the most nearly natural human societies of which we have any knowledge, females defer to males, children to parents, young to old.

H The origins of the commonwealth, then, are much as Aristotle, Cicero, Thomas, and Althusius supposed: a progression from the �dyad� of the marital pair to the extended family to the village or tribal community to that confederation of different lineages, tribes, villages that is the commonwealth. Each society, of course, has its own history, but the general outline is clear enough.

I Since the commonwealth is an extension of marriage, family, and community, and since it exists, at least in part, to provide for the needs less perfectly supplied by lower forms of association, it can be viewed as relatively legitimate whenever it assists families and communities in their never-ending quest for food, shelter, and stability, but when it deprives these lower associations of the necessary economic autonomy to survive and propagate, takes away homes, or interferes in the relations between parents and children, husbands and wives, promotes adultery and abortion [Nota bene: I am not saying tolerates], it is acting illegitimately. Such infractions do not necessarily render a government illegitimate, but a systematic pattern of abuse—e.g., the liberation of wives and children, seizure of private property, confiscatory taxation�the legitimacy of such a government must fall under suspicion of acting tyrannically, far more so than when it merely deprives citizens of such civil rights as the franchise, jury duty, etc...
Posted by John Weidner at June 27, 2009 4:39 PM
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