Author Topic: Political Traditionalism and Its Adversary, "Conservatism"  (Read 18239 times)

Offline mikemac

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Re: Political Traditionalism and Its Adversary, "Conservatism"
« Reply #105 on: September 03, 2016, 04:19:52 PM »
What do you say about the first part of chapter 1 of the pdf LouisIX?

P.S.  I just realized that your avatar is an image of a hero of the Vendee counter-revolution, Jacques Cathelineau, known among his followers as the Saint of Anjou.  A peasant who became the generalissimo of the Catholic and Royal Army.  Cool.
Like John Vennari (RIP) said "Why not just do it?  What would it hurt?"
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Offline Lambda Phage

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Re: Political Traditionalism and Its Adversary, "Conservatism"
« Reply #106 on: September 04, 2016, 12:10:22 AM »
My maxim is "The problem with traditionalism is that it's not actually traditional." That extends to Louis' "political traditionalism," which is not actually traditional but largely based on the writings of certain men in the last hundred years or less who had a deficient understanding of western political and economic history. They essentially created something and called it tradition. For more on such a phenomenon there is a scholarly book called the Invention of Tradition which discusses this at the nationalist level. For example, much of the BS that the Irish think is a part of traditional Irish culture is really just a bunch of BS made up sometime during the 1800's.

Boggles my mind how a traditionalist can essentially echo the USCCB's "The Challenge of Peace" despite the fact that it presents a wildly different understanding of the morality of warfare compared to the writings of Ambrose, Augustine, Aquinas, Vitoria, and Suarez. And how they can abhor capitalism when there is no better example of pre-modern capitalism than in the medieval Italian city states. But that's only part of it.

I posted this some time ago and was hoping I'd get a response from Louis but never did. The below illustrates the incongruity of simultaneously attacking capitalism and pleading for more equality, or economic justice or whatever socialist plea you want to make. And yes it is socialist, at the very least utopian.

Quote from: Lambda Phage

Exhibit A

This is a graph of average real wages across human history. By average I mean what the common man earned. Inflation and purchasing power have been accounted for (hence the term real). I made three modifications to this graph. I labelled the point at which Rerum Novarum was written, and I drew two lines. The red line marks the real wage below which, by Leo XIII's reckoning, the wage is probably unjust. The blue line marks the real wage below which, by the reckoning of liberals, socialists, and some traddies, the wage is still apparently unjust. Notice how, according to the red line, from approximately 1000 BC to 1891 AD wages were unjust. And according to the blue line, from 1000BC to 2000 AD, wages were unjust.

Exhibit B

A comparison of wealth distribution between pre-industrial and post-industrial Europe. The table shows the share of assets held by the Top 1%, 5%, and the Gini coefficients. Again, for those of you who do not know what a Gini coefficient is, 0.0 is perfectly equal, 1.0 is perfectly unequal (all the wealth is owned by 1 person). Inequality was at its highest in the pre-industrial world. The only socio-economic order more equal than modern capitalist society is the hunter gatherer model in which nobody really owned anything.

Exhibit C

Annual pretax earnings of an unskilled laborer relative to the average income. We see two things here relevant to the discussion. One: women made far less relative to men before the industrial revolution. This really is common knowledge by the way in economic history. Two: the unskilled laborer made even less, relative to the common man, before the industrial revolution compared to after.

Exhibit D

Comparison of equality in standards of living between preindustrial and modern society. Speaks for itself. Beyond just money, modern society is far more equal than preindustrial society. Whatever you think is wrong with modern capitalist economics was ten fold worse in agrarian and mercantile society.

Lastly, to illustrate the historical precedence (read: tradition) of low tax, free market economic policy:

Quote
Markets for goods, labor, capital, and even land were generally free. Indeed if we were to score medieval England using the criteria typically applied by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to evaluate the strength of economic incentives, it would rank much higher than all modern high-income economies - including modern England...

Pre-industrial societies were generally low-tax societies. England, in particular was an extremely lightly taxed nation. Before the Glorious Revolution of 1688-89 which established the modern constitutional democracy of Britain, the government expenditures of all types were extremely modest. In the years 1600-88 these averaged just 2.2 percent of national income...

Even allowing for the additional taxing power of the Church, all taxes collected in preindustrial England before the Glorious Revolution were typically less than 6 percent of income.

Graphs, tables, and the excerpt above were taken from Gregory Clark's A Farewell to Alms.


If you want to talk about quality of life, life expectancy, exposure to disease, nutrition, etc, capitalism similarly has delivered far more than any other system. Some idiot on this forum posted a few months ago that he is distraught over the fact that he can no longer drink from the wild waters because of pollution from industrial society. That idiot is completely unaware of the fact that his ancestors similarly would not have been able to drink from the wild waters. The vast majority of natural fresh water on this planet that is not fit for consumption is not fit for consumption because of the fact that fish, birds, and other animals shit die and rot in said water. Before industrial society, human beings would also shit in said water. When you spend your life in the comforts of a temperature regulated building typing on a computer, you forget that. There's a reason the medievals made great advances in the art of distillery and brewing - because at the point in time when people dumped their buckets of human shit in the local river, if you drank water you died. The fact that we can consume as much clean water as we do is thanks to water treatment brought to you by none other than industrial capitalism.
 
BTW Louis, Pius XI was pope less than a hundred years ago. In the grand scheme of church history, that's pretty recent.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2016, 07:59:08 AM by Lambda Phage »
 

Offline james03

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Re: Political Traditionalism and Its Adversary, "Conservatism"
« Reply #107 on: September 04, 2016, 02:43:10 PM »
Quote from: John Lamb
Yes, but isn't the problem that what's optimal for the market may not be optimal for men? If the end of the market is the optimization of profit margins, human happiness is just an accident that may or may not result from the optimization of profit margins. It may be optimal for the market to reduce a good portion of the populace to slave labourers. Isn't that what free market liberals are doing on the international scene, e.g. when they outsource their manufacturing to Chinese sweatshops? The market may also be blind to the destruction of other goods not directly related to profiteering, such as the preservation of the local environment, of local customs and traditions, and public morals (e.g. the pornography industry is wonderful if you idolize markets, but not if you care about public morals).
Thank you John for adding to the discussion.  Yes, you are right.  I've used the porn example in the past: IF society demands porn, then you will get the highest quality porn, with the cheapest price, available to the most people with a free market.  The market is an economic system, and that is all.  It is the best economic system and is basically a statement of Prudence.

My argument is that it is up to THE CHURCH to influence what society demands, and yes the local government should support the efforts of the Church (assuming you have a Catholic confessional State).  Furthermore it is Traditional Catholic belief that the Church and Catholic laity should provide for relief of the poor, not the government.  I've provided my sources for that.
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Offline james03

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Re: Political Traditionalism and Its Adversary, "Conservatism"
« Reply #108 on: September 04, 2016, 02:48:14 PM »
Quote
In fact, "social justice" (socialis iustitiae) appears no less than nine times in that encyclical.
And it was written in 1931, if my memory is correct.  I can dial it back a little earlier, to around 1890 or 1900.  That was when Pesch hatched the concept.  To claim that this is the Traditional Church teaching is ridiculous.  It comes from Pesch.

Now note, there IS a Catholic concept that would comport to the literal meaning of Social Justice:  If a poor man were to sue a rich man, and lost not due to the merits of the case, but because the court favored the rich man, that would be an offense against Social Justice, or more specifically Distributive Justice.  I agree that concept is ancient, but that's not what Pesch is talking about.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

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Offline james03

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Re: Political Traditionalism and Its Adversary, "Conservatism"
« Reply #109 on: September 04, 2016, 02:58:06 PM »
Quote
The Marxist theory of labor value is false for the reason that Dr. Jones provides: equal labor does not necessarily produce equal goods. However, the idea that value is totally subjective I find even more unsatisfactory.
That is true, but it appears like you are trying to set up a false dichotomy (or maybe you just thought it needed to be mentioned.  If so, I agree.)

The opposite of the Labor Theory of Value is not that value is subject.  The answer lies in first recognizing that labor is not the source of value, but is a COST.  However there are other costs, such as CAPITAL, KNOW HOW, and ORGANIZATION.  The economic problem is allocating the production (which is called "profit") to the various costs.  As far as the source of value it is a mix of Objective facts (on goodness) and subjective opinion.  The subjective opinion can be quite bizarre at times.  Why did people value a cabbage patch doll at $100?  Why did people value tulips at $10,000?  I don't pretend to answer it.  But agreed it is not completely subjective, maybe not even by half.  I value food because of the goodness in the nutrition.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 

Offline james03

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Re: Political Traditionalism and Its Adversary, "Conservatism"
« Reply #110 on: September 04, 2016, 03:05:07 PM »
Quote
Also, Dr. Jones is aware that Marx's version of the labour theory of value is false, or what he calls "exaggerated". He says the following:

Then he is bouncing around with his thoughts.  Heinrich even emailed him to comment on his statement that "all value comes from labor" and that this was Marxist.  Maybe I'll search for the post.

Note also that Jones refuses to say that CAPITAL also provides "value" (in reality it is just a cost), instead using the ambiguous term "creation".  What the heck is that supposed to mean?  It is interesting that Jones can't even acknowledge that capital is part of production.

I give him credit for acknowledging the difference between vineyards, but note he provides no theory of value to explain anything.  The COST of labor for a vineyard in France is much cheaper than the COST of labor for a vineyard in Iceland, using his example.  Actually it is more correct to say that the CAPITAL required in Iceland is much higher.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 

Offline james03

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Re: Political Traditionalism and Its Adversary, "Conservatism"
« Reply #111 on: September 04, 2016, 03:18:52 PM »
Quote
argued back then as LouisIX is now that ultimately the two liberalisms lead back to each other: on the leftBozell it strengthens the state while destroying communal institutions such as family and church that protect the individual from the state and on the right it atomizes society as it works to build individual rights at the expense of communal institutions such as family and church.
  This is a helpful statement in that it is a problem statement, which is a necessary step.  But it offers no solution.

This is precisely what Pope Leo was addressing.  The answer is subsidiarity, which is a natural check on central State power.  If you want to discover why the US was so successful economically, look to the 10th amendment, which was subsidiarity codified into the highest law of the land.  Push the power down to the local community and minimize the central authority, all the while the Church is involved at every level providing moral guidance (the missing piece in the American system).  In such a system you do have healthy individualism, but you also have strong local communities.  The central State becomes a court system, similar to what God set up in Israel.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 
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Offline LouisIX

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Re: Political Traditionalism and Its Adversary, "Conservatism"
« Reply #112 on: September 04, 2016, 08:21:55 PM »
Quote
In fact, "social justice" (socialis iustitiae) appears no less than nine times in that encyclical.
And it was written in 1931, if my memory is correct.  I can dial it back a little earlier, to around 1890 or 1900.  That was when Pesch hatched the concept.  To claim that this is the Traditional Church teaching is ridiculous.  It comes from Pesch.

Now note, there IS a Catholic concept that would comport to the literal meaning of Social Justice:  If a poor man were to sue a rich man, and lost not due to the merits of the case, but because the court favored the rich man, that would be an offense against Social Justice, or more specifically Distributive Justice.  I agree that concept is ancient, but that's not what Pesch is talking about.

But, of course, even though you claim to have known that this was indeed a term with Magisterial precedent, you pretend as if it isn't the case and assume that, on a Catholic forum, my usage is entirely at odds with the papal usage. That seems disingenuous to me.
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Offline LouisIX

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Re: Political Traditionalism and Its Adversary, "Conservatism"
« Reply #113 on: September 04, 2016, 08:23:54 PM »
If you actually read Rerum Novarum, you will see a whole slew of citations regarding the the "State" or "public authority" and its necessity in aiding the poor to bring about a more just economic order. This idea that Rerum Novarum is like a GOP document which condemns public involvement with the poor has no basis in the actual text.
IF I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
 
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Offline james03

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Re: Political Traditionalism and Its Adversary, "Conservatism"
« Reply #114 on: September 04, 2016, 08:38:07 PM »
Quote
But, of course, even though you claim to have known that this was indeed a term with Magisterial precedent, you pretend as if it isn't the case and assume that, on a Catholic forum, my usage is entirely at odds with the papal usage. That seems disingenuous to me.
  I have acknowledged many times that "Social Justice" and "Solidarity" (you forgot about that one) was injected into Catholic thought since the time of Pesch, which puts it around 1890-1900.  In QA, the influence on Pius XI can be seen, though he is cautious about it.  In the 1937 encyclical he embraces it, though he spends only a paragraph espousing fascism, which again comes from Pesch.

My point has always been that "Social Justice" is not a Traditional Catholic concept (per the meaning currently given to it) and is a novelty from Pesch.  Paul VI dives whole hog into it with PP, and its been down hill ever since.  JPII was a bit more cautious because he was anti-communist.  Instead he favored more the "virtue" of Solidarity, again from Pesch.
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Offline james03

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Re: Political Traditionalism and Its Adversary, "Conservatism"
« Reply #115 on: September 04, 2016, 08:43:20 PM »
Quote
If you actually read Rerum Novarum, you will see a whole slew of citations regarding the the "State" or "public authority" and its necessity in aiding the poor to bring about a more just economic order. This idea that Rerum Novarum is like a GOP document which condemns public involvement with the poor has no basis in the actual text.
  Interested readers can reference back to Page 3 of this thread to see my citations.  Yes, Pope Leo does refer to the "State", as in equating those who want "State" relief of the poor to "heathens of old", and putting forth collective bargaining as a solution to economic injustice as a way to prevent undue influence of the State.

I would never equate RN to a GOP document as the GOP supports monopolies (though there are a lot of good GOP guys, maybe half).  However RN was considered as a sell out to capitalists, and Pius XI felt it necessary in QA to defend Pope Leo from the charge.  If you are curious, find it yourself in QA.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 

Offline LouisIX

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Re: Political Traditionalism and Its Adversary, "Conservatism"
« Reply #116 on: September 04, 2016, 09:01:56 PM »
Quote
If you actually read Rerum Novarum, you will see a whole slew of citations regarding the the "State" or "public authority" and its necessity in aiding the poor to bring about a more just economic order. This idea that Rerum Novarum is like a GOP document which condemns public involvement with the poor has no basis in the actual text.
  Interested readers can reference back to Page 3 of this thread to see my citations.  Yes, Pope Leo does refer to the "State", as in equating those who want "State" relief of the poor to "heathens of old", and putting forth collective bargaining as a solution to economic injustice as a way to prevent undue influence of the State.

I would never equate RN to a GOP document as the GOP supports monopolies (though there are a lot of good GOP guys, maybe half).  However RN was considered as a sell out to capitalists, and Pius XI felt it necessary in QA to defend Pope Leo from the charge.  If you are curious, find it yourself in QA.

All of the following are from Rerum Novarum.

"The richer class have many ways of shielding themselves, and stand less in need of help from the State; whereas the mass of the poor have no resources of their own to fall back upon, and must chiefly depend upon the assistance of the State. And it is for this reason that wage-earners, since they mostly belong in the mass of the needy, should be specially cared for and protected by the government."

"Whenever the general interest or any particular class suffers, or is threatened with harm, which can in no other way be met or prevented, the public authority must step in to deal with it."

"Justice, therefore, demands that the interests of the working classes should be carefully watched over by the administration, so that they who contribute so largely to the advantage of the community may themselves share in the benefits which they create-that being housed, clothed, and bodily fit, they may find their life less hard and more endurable. It follows that whatever shall appear to prove conducive to the well-being of those who work should obtain favorable consideration. There is no fear that solicitude of this kind will be harmful to any interest; on the contrary, it will be to the advantage of all, for it cannot but be good for the commonwealth to shield from misery those on whom it so largely depends for the things that it needs."
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Offline james03

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Re: Political Traditionalism and Its Adversary, "Conservatism"
« Reply #117 on: September 04, 2016, 10:49:14 PM »
This is the lead up to his call for collective bargaining.  He starts with a strong statement for property rights and goes on to call on limits to government.  Then he mentions the need for government to look over the rights of the working class.  Then he arrives at his solution to current problems (which he lists), which is collective bargaining.  Here he mentions that the right to collective bargaining is rightly protected by the state.  It is a well balanced approach.  No where does he call for redistribution of wealth or a minimum wage.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 

Offline james03

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Re: Political Traditionalism and Its Adversary, "Conservatism"
« Reply #118 on: September 04, 2016, 11:09:38 PM »
Here's the context you left out:
Quote
36. Whenever the general interest or any particular class suffers, or is threatened with harm, which can in no other way be met or prevented, the public authority must step in to deal with it. Now, it is to the interest of the community, as well as of the individual, that peace and good order should be maintained; that all things should be carried on in accordance with God's laws and those of nature; that the discipline of family life should be observed and that religion should be obeyed; that a high standard of morality should prevail, both in public and private life; that justice should be held sacred and that no one should injure another with impunity; that the members of the commonwealth should grow up to man's estate strong and robust, and capable, if need be, of guarding and defending their country. If by a strike of workers or concerted interruption of work there should be imminent danger of disturbance to the public peace; or if circumstances were such as that among the working class the ties of family life were relaxed; if religion were found to suffer through the workers not having time and opportunity afforded them to practice its duties; if in workshops and factories there were danger to morals through the mixing of the sexes or from other harmful occasions of evil; or if employers laid burdens upon their workmen which were unjust, or degraded them with conditions repugnant to their dignity as human beings; finally, if health were endangered by excessive labor, or by work unsuited to sex or age - in such cases, there can be no question but that, within certain limits, it would be right to invoke the aid and authority of the law. The limits must be determined by the nature of the occasion which calls for the law's interference - the principle being that the law must not undertake more, nor proceed further, than is required for the remedy of the evil or the removal of the mischief.

Basically dangerous work conditions, illegal strikes, threats against property, immoral behaviour, the mixing of sexes at the work place, child labor, not following religion, things like that.

Immediately after this we get your quote on the State looking out especially for the poor.  No where does Pope Leo recommend income redistribution.  In fact, he eventually talks about equitable wages, and that is where he proposes collective bargaining.
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Offline Lambda Phage

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Re: Political Traditionalism and Its Adversary, "Conservatism"
« Reply #119 on: September 05, 2016, 07:18:52 AM »
In QA, the influence on Pius XI can be seen, though he is cautious about it.  In the 1937 encyclical he embraces it, though he spends only a paragraph espousing fascism, which again comes from Pesch.


Which of course, we now know is completely possible, given the pontificate of Francis and the extent to which the Holy Spirit has permitted undue and nefarious influence to enter into the texts of papal documents.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2016, 07:21:33 AM by Lambda Phage »
 
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