Monday, July 16, 2012

Unsurprisingly, distributists say Rothbard opposed Catholic Europe
Seems that most in the church, from the monarchist/fascist SSPX to mainstreamish Euro social democrats (including the reigning Pope?) to the old union Democrats to the ’70s liberation theologians fear political and economic liberty (so Protestants have long feared the church; scratch a mainliner and find a nativist scared of the papist boogeyman, accusing the church of trying to deny them contraceptives*, and trying to hold onto WASP power); at least the trads and Novus Ordo conservatives are grounded in doctrine (original sin and concupiscence; that is, they’re really Catholic). Obviously I don’t think the faith and liberty are mutually exclusive; I’m somewhere between Burke and the more libertarian than thou (I’ll read anarchists but don’t necessarily buy it; left-libertarianism reads like an obnoxious adolescent defiance to all authority; narcissistic). Or as Mark in Spokane wrote as a compliment, I’m really a conservative after all (though at least functionally small-l libertarian).

(Him on libertarians: big on rights but not on duties; selfish, a criticism you read a lot.)

From what I remember reading the relevant parts of The Betrayal of the American Right (well-done history of postwar American politics), Rothbard didn’t really attack the church but pointed out a neocon game plan that politicians have tried to this day (such as Santorum and now-Catholic Gingrich): wrapping neoconservatism (rewarmed Trotskyism/secularized Jewish messianism?) in the trappings of the church and Old World aristocracy (CIA agent Bill Buckley’s manner including his Euro aristocrat friends as window dressing); now, family values (cynically using the babies to cadge votes while of course the Rockefellerish Republicans will keep doing nothing or even promote the killing).

Catholic Social Teaching/political opinion: sanctified welfare state (be it a king, a dictator, a social democracy or a republic), not necessarily with a state church anymore, whose enlightened leaders promote both family values and peace. The only things covered by doctrine are the ends, family values and peace. (The state can’t define marriage opposed to the natural law; don’t steal/defraud workers; don’t murder babies; don’t start wars.) The means aren’t, though many churchmen try to convince you otherwise.

Like there’s no such thing as Pentecostal physics, there’s no one Catholic economics or politics.

My line to distributists/romantic arts-and-crafts third-wayers: make a good product in mass quantities that people want, and we’ll talk.

There’s of course lots to be said for the Catholic culture of contentment with just enough vs. greed/selfishness, of quality of life with family and community first. But what drives the innovations so life’s no longer nasty, brutal and short, doing everything from inventing the car to discovering penicillin to beating an enemy who doesn’t fight fair (nukes as deterrent) to putting a man on the moon (whether needed or not, pretty neat)?

America at its best: the best of Protestant culture (that creativity/inventiveness) but religiously neutral so Catholics get liberty and its benefits, without selling out, where we were around 1960.

*It’s really about forcing the church to pay for others’ contraceptives, in other words, the left doesn’t believe in religious liberty and it’s the old Protestant American dream of cutting American Catholics off from Rome (like the king tried to in England and Mao in China) and protestantizing them. (Historically why the left loves public schools.)

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