Friday, March 13, 2015

Putin, Ferguson, the unthinkable, and more


  • Tsar Vladimir Putin. A article for the new Cold War, now that the left hates Russia for not being liberal. He's not a monster. A reason he's in power is the Russians love him; after all, he saved the country from the rich gangster looters under Yeltsin after Communism fell. Bet his love life is complicated. (Action-packed but he knows he's a sinner.) And over there, politicians want their pictures taken in church lighting candles in front of icons. Imagine that: the Russians like being Russian. He's certainly popular over there. I don't think that "regime change" will be easy to accomplish in Russia as some in the West seem to think. As for sanctions crippling their economy, as I understand it, the average Russian (outside of a few cosmopolitan cities) never really had that high of a standard of living in the first place. It's not so easy to take away something from people who've never had it in the first place. "I don't think that 'regime change' will be easy to accomplish in Russia as some in the West seem to think." None of our business and you know my line: they're not Communist anymore and I don't think they want to force us into schism; they just love being Russian. The people from Russia I used to know were like that. Your second point is good; hadn't thought of that. I hope Putin's a new Constantine for Russia. (As I would welcome a caudillo here.) The bad part is this is why the Russians hate the Ukrainian Catholics (not a problem since Russia doesn't have the Ukrainian Catholics' land anymore): the latter are "Russians" (but don't call them that!) who don't answer to the tsar or Comrade First Secretary. Non-Catholic Byzantines, the Orthodox, think their kingdoms, etc. are the church. Russians have a deep, dark history of anti-Catholic animus, at least in the higher echelons of their culture. It's no secret that they don't like Catholics and no surprise that Catholics both tend to fear and loathe Russian power and control (at least in Eastern Europe). When the whole Ukraine crisis broke, I noticed that there was a lot of fear and apprehension over Putin coming from Catholic websites and news sources. I thought it strange that people who are usually beating the drums for peace would suddenly start pushing for aggressive solutions to this dispute. Given the deep and lasting hostility of Russia towards all things Catholic (i.e., Western), maybe it's not so hard to understand why most Catholics react to a resurgent Russia as they do. But often those Catholics, including Metropolitan Sviatoslav, have hitched their wagon to Western progressivism (liberté, egalité, fraternité), not the faith. I'm not buying it, and defending Russia, because I'm Catholic. And the left isn't really for peace. They're weirdly nostalgic about World War II, the draft and all, when they handed half of Europe to the USSR, even while at the same time they're Sixties anti-military, looking down on conservative types who gravitate to the military (and have done so since the Sixties?). Plus: as part of the government, our military isn't really conservative.
  • That ginned-up race riot in Ferguson has shot two cops.
  • The unthinkable: what if the official church OK'd divorce and remarriage by giving such people Communion? Concretely: if the Church issues a wannabe formal statement in which what was formally condemned is now formally approved, this statement is heretical and is to be rejected by every Catholic, and that’s that. But how do we know, then, which one is the right statement? The right statement is the one that is in line with the Depositum Fidei. The wrong statement is the one that isn’t. It’s not complicated. Just go wherever that depositum is still taught, be it a diocese or the SSPX. The sedevacantist scenario can happen; so far it hasn't. Obviously the answer is not to join a schism that thinks Western Catholicism is graceless and communes the (church-) divorced and remarried.
  • Unz Review, home of Steve Sailer:
    • Do many neocons just hate all Europeans? An American caricature of conservatism that fits some: They see America and Israel as the true West and Europe as a backwater. With the possible exception of the UK. American conservatism's attitude to Europe is complicated and confusing. On one side, beyond the American right, are reactionaries, royalists who reject the American experiment. On the other, for much of American history, Americans have feared and disliked Europe (until World War I, the British were a threat that could reclaim us), a populist strain you hear from parts of the right today. But you also hear it because liberals often are internationalists who think they're cultured and cosmopolitan vs. hick American conservatives. (Liberals say they love humanity but hate their own people; conservatives love their own people first.) Socialist, secular modern Europe is more liberal than we are; American liberals imitate that. Further complicating things, and part of Europe's appeal for American lefties now, is: American conservatism is in some ways on par with classical European liberalism (laissez-faire economics, somewhat libertarian strain as well). European rightists are far more approving of the welfare state and government centralization. I think you can describe that as Europe's social conservatives seeing the role of government as a kind of noblesse oblige, social responsibility, something Christian. Limousine liberalism like what Lord Mountbatten meant when he called himself a socialist (he certainly didn't want to stop being a nobleman). Like one of history's jokes, Protestant individualist America (which, to be fair, created a great home for Catholics before Vatican II ruined everything) ended up more conservative and more religious. In general, in Europe the center-right parties tend to have Liberal Conservative or Conservative Liberalism as their ideology, which is essentially similar to American Conservatism I believe. There is nothing like Christian Democracy in the American political system that I can think of.
    • When Tokyo Rose ran for president. It's probably true we abandoned hundreds of POWS in Vietnam. Was McCain a collaborator? Maybe.

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