Mark Shea on Politics

I'm in conductor mood at the minute--buses, not orchestras--and would direct you to a seat near the great Mark Shea, who is a Catholic person. So are a billion others, of course (including myself), but Mr Shea points out in the American context how hard it is to be Catholic and political. No one can excommunicate themself, of course, and everyone is to a certain extent a bad catholic--but what gives when the choice is between narcissists and randroids with anger issues like Santorum or Gingrich, as representatives of the 'torture' side, or sundry abortionists and God-hating pagans and Satanists on the other?

The debate plays out here between liberals who think they are Tories and liberals who think that they are socialists when, in fact, they both seem like nothing so much as a crusade against decency, commonsense and the Western tradition. Give me fifty-eighters like Habermas and the Pope over soixante-huitards anyday, frankly. I'm sick to the back teeth of the cisatlantic social science class and their wannabes.

Anyway--the Shea quote that got me going;
But rejecting the evils which the Thing that Used to Be Conservatism is coming to embrace does not mean embracing the evils that the Thing that Used to Be Liberalism has been championing for decades. It means returning to the Tradition and rejecting twaddle and sin as best one can, whoever is pushing it, while trying to preserve, as best one can, the fragments of Catholic teaching that still remain in both debased political movements in the hope that someday, people will wise up, reject the garbage our demented system offers us and save, like Robinson Crusoe, those fragments of Catholic teaching still honored in both parties from the shipwreck our political culture has made of itself
My one cavil is that I would specifically like to place the blame in a nexus of commerce, the professional academy, and the media-political class, rather than just 'political culture' but I'm off out so I can't be bothered. Happy Saturday everyone!


Anonymous said…
Sometimes I am tempted to give up electoral politics completely, but on the other hand it is difficult to escape the consequences of the actions of the political class and this fact is what essentially keeps me voting.

Perhaps if I weren't such a useless city slicker I would move “off the grid” and live as a kind of anarcho-traditionalist and avoid government and corporate entanglements as much as possible.

But then again, the sight of a hammer makes me break into a cold sweat, so I am stuck. However, I do have a lot of respect for people who basically try to develop a kind of Christian counterculture. Maybe we need more of that.
Martin Meenagh said…
We are in agreement, as usual John-except that I think that peak oil and a very drawn-out stagflation are going to drive large numbers of people 'off the grid' in the coming years. It's interesting how the process of social isolation is now going beyond individuals to groups and is becoming one of social segregation. Huge numbers of people just do not understand or talk to others and hang around with, or are electronically directed to, people who are in lockstep with them. The notion of universal things and a common culture seems to be slipping away.

I've been reading a lot of Habermas lately, especially on religion and the need for tradition to ground an individual precisely so that they can reach out, and convey lessons, to others. Perhaps the inevitable rise of social ownership and co-ops as the money runs out will help sponsor that process. In the face of the particular 'bstard austrianism' which grips people at the moment, however, I am not tha hopeful because it works very well with informaton technology.

Many thanks for your comment.

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