According to Hoyt

I strongly recommend this piece, which my fan (Hi, Nate!) pointed out to me:

http://accordingtohoyt.com/2014/02/02/to-fear-a-painted-devil/

The incomparable and luminous Sarah A Hoyt remarks on the recent and unsightly kerfluffle between Mr Hines and Mr Larry Correia:

The funny thing, though, is that they are not only completely ignorant about us, and so unaware of it that the dime never drops, but that these demonization cycles seem to be coming closer and closer and get more hysterical.

The next person who disagrees with them or pokes the tiniest bit of fun at them will be declared “worse than Hitler” and they’ll call for his hanging.

I think I know why. Part of the reason the episodes are coming closer together and getting crazier is that they’re losing power and they know it. They convinced an entire generation of women that Heinlein should not be read. This was because “all the right thinking people know that.” This is breaking. There are enough blogs, and enough of us female Heinlein fans ready to tell them they’re idiots and then describe exactly in what part of their anatomy their head is lodged.

With Resnick and Malzberg the backlash was faster and louder and even a lot of their number thought (privately) that they were off their rocker. With Card, I think only the choir thinks he’s “a fascist.”

And with Larry… There is no word for this. It’s like a Chihuahua trying to hold onto a car by the back bumper. They have not only bit off more than they can chew, they’ve bit off more than they can… bite. In tactical terms it’s getting involved in a landwar in Asia or going up against a Sicilian when death is on the line.

But wait, there’s more. The other reason they’re getting crazier and crazier and trying to enforce group conformity more and more is that they are no longer in possession of the bully pulpit.

Read, as they say, the whole thing.

She also comments on a particularly tone-deaf troll attempting to establish his credentials as a conservative by claiming to be a fan of Heinlein and Orson Scott Card.

Like her, I would not describe Mr Heinlein as a conservative in any way, shape or form. He was a libertarian of the most libertarian stripe. Mr Card is a Mormon and announces support for certain teachings all Christians hold in common. Aside from that, I am unaware of his political opinions, having only read most of his books, starting with A PLANET CALLED TREASON.

Gentle readers, I am a conservative. I believe in immediate and foundational change (through lawful means) to restore the republic to her original constitution. Of course, I am referring to the Roman Republic, you young whippersnappers. This idea of granting Augustus all sorts of Consular and Tribunal powers is illegal and unsightly and nothing good will come of it, even if he is Imperator of the armed forces. And yet those Goths out of our lands! GIT OFF MY LAWN!

Just kidding. I am actually more conservative than that. I believe in immediate and foundational change to restore the world to her original constitution, which we lost after our two first unhappy parents were expelled from Eden.

But if a man is wishy-washy about overturning Griswold v. Connecticut, returning the gold standard, and repealing the popular election of Senators, I think he only counts as a semi-conservative or pseudo-conservative — just so you have a basis of comparison.

Seriously, does anyone aside from a brainless Political Correctoid think that ‘Harlot Happy’ Bob Heinlein was a conservative? If so, read STRANGER IN A STRANGE BED, his seminal work where he mocks monogamy and monotheism, or read IF THIS GOES ON.

About John C Wright

John C. Wright is a practicing philosopher, a retired attorney, newspaperman, and newspaper editor, and a published author of science fiction. Once a Houyhnhnm, he was expelled from the august ranks of purely rational beings when he fell in love; but retains an honorary title.
This entry was posted in Other. Bookmark the permalink.

83 Responses to According to Hoyt

  1. The_Shadow says:

    I’m rabidly for repealing popular election of senators (and putting teeth back in the 10th amendment while we’re at it), can certainly get behind repealing _Griswold_ as long as _Roe v. Wade_ goes first, but I’m dubious about the gold standard because technology could radically alter the availability of gold at any moment. One metallic chondrite is all it would take… that or nano-sieving of seawater.

    What does that make me? :)

    • You are a conservative but not an ULTRA conservative, as am I. That means you are not yet ready to enter the HALL OF CONSERVATIVES with other members of the League of Conservativism headquarters in Metropolis, namely, Superconservative, Nazi Hunter, Gold Bug, Mister Federalist, Charleton Heston, Green Crucifix, and Captain Constitution, but have to hang out in the club house with the other teen sidekicks, Young Republican, Bucky, Gold Boy, Miss Liberty, Shooty the Second Amendment Kid, Altar Boy and Bill O’Righty.

      Somewhere in a swamp, in a black domed armored hideout, lurks our enemies, the Legion of Left, consisting of the mad scientist and criminal genius, Barking Moonbat, along with his henchmen and partners in villainy, Red Scare, Inflationaire, Imperial President, the Secular Supremacist, Race Baiter and United Nations Man, Captain Planet, and the hideous and soulless Robot known as Materialist Man.

      Whenever the city is in danger or in need, the Police Commissioner flashes the Elephant Signal against a nearby conveniently low hanging cloud, and then Mister Federalists checks the superhero charter to see if we are actually allowed the power to do anything, and (as is usually the case) we are not, we urge the local authorities or the public to handle the matter themselves. What are they, children?

  2. Foxfier says:

    Oh, glee– two favorite blogging authors, in one post!

  3. Bob Wallace says:

    I remember reading “Stranger in a Strange Land” when I was 14 and thinking, “This guy is nuts…he’s some kind of whacko hippie.” At the time I had no idea how old he was when he wrote it. Conservative? Not even close. And when I read “Farmham’s Freehold” I thought he was close to insane.

  4. Orson Scott Card, like most Catholics of days gone by, is a Democrat of the old vein, back when the Democratic Party was for unions, for welfare, for minimum wage increases, for many borderline socialist policies. He simply doesn’t stand for some of those other things. This basically makes him a moderate, in the vein of Mark Shea, except without the “pox-on-both-your-houses” of Mark Shea. (Well, Shea’s more of a disappointed former Republican, and Card is more of a Reagan Democrat. Still, nobody reads Card because his books are politically conservative.)

    I don’t read Card much anymore because even when his stories aren’t Mormon stories his universes are Mormon universes, and after a while you start to notice. Much friendlier to me are sci-fi novels with atheist universes, because they usually still have order and organization, and that means God anyway, and it also means never looking beyond the material — and beyond the material is the most noticeable disagreement between atheists and Catholics.

    In fact, reading atheist sci-fi with a Catholic lens makes bad atheist sci-fi that much more easy to read. You can chalk up each little plot contrivance, each lucky coincidence, to the operations of grace and not the ineptness of the human author. Other atheist sci-fi doesn’t need this crutch, but artfully crafted atheist sci-fi is rare enough to ignore.

    • Shea may be “moderate” in terms of the Seattle scale, but in comparison with much of the rest of the country (what is often derisively referred to as “fly-over states”) he’s still pretty firmly left-of-center.

      Saying “pox on both houses” no more automatically makes one a moderate any more than saying, “Well I hope David & Goliath BOTH lose” would have made one a moderate in ye olden Israel vs Philistine arguments.

      • Not that far left-of-center. He’s pretty determined to be an unclassifiable gadfly, in part because of his conviction that the Church is politically unclassifiable. (This is true, to an extent.)

        Disappointed Republican fits better, I think, because there are definitely leftist Republicans. Also, it avoids the tricky question of category and focuses instead on his genealogy, which is known.

        • It’s more than just the politics, he acts very much as a man of the left and less one of the right. (For examples you can read Thomas Sowell’s Vision of the Annointed.) Or Jonah Goldberg’s Tyranny of Cliches (and Shea suffers from so many cliches I wouldn’t recommend a drinking game while reading it). It certainly doesn’t help that he buys into so many caricatures of conservatism rather than ever investigating primary sources.

          However, in general political classification is easy. I’ll just quote a more eurdite person than myself:
          http://flit-tm.blogspot.com/2014/02/government-scoped-in-rational-world.html

          In a rational world, we would recognize that the vast majority are neither communists or anarchists. Most people believe that the communist principle that everything must be done by the government is not valid and neither is the anarchist principle that nothing should be done by it.

          As always, you can probably find someone, somewhere who believes in absolute anarchy or totalitarianism but once you realize that the Left-Right scale runs between those two. Start at one end then examine someone’s views. Every time they support government action (or nonaction) add/subtract their position on the scale as needed. The favor of larger government action (federal/world/etc scale) acts as a multiplier. Take their whole view. Just because in some cases a person may be libertine in their views, just means that they’re not as totalitarian as they could be (or vice versa).

          And I say this as someone who will freely admit they’re pretty far right. Probably more anarchist than our illustrious blog host but I’d still vote for Wright for office any day of the week.

          • I am highly suspicious of the whole Right-to-Left spectrum. I prefer the Nolan test, which is a two dimensional matrix, with a liberty versus state x-axis on economic issues, and a liberty versus state y-axis on personal vice issues.

            Better yet, I prefer a circular spectrum, with the Catholic Church at the center, an concentric rings around that leading ever further away into different brands of darkness, worldliness, socialism, occultism, nihilism.

            • Both these systems rely on applying arbitrary, relative values to disconnected issues. Not really a fan — but to each his own.

              • Pardon me, but did you just say that a political spectrum which judges things by how closely they adhere to Catholic teaching is arbitrary and relative?

                Allow me respectfully to demur. I submit that it is the only scale of the three discussed that even makes a pretense of being judicious and objective.

                Consider that the normal Left-and-Right refers to the degree of Progressive change versus Conservative resistance to change, which is by definition relative, since change is amoral and relative to an arbitrary starting point (usually the conditions the speaker knew in his use).

                Likewise, the Nolan test only measures two dimensions of liberty, the economic and the personal, and, against this is measured against an admitted arbitrary starting point.

                My scale, unlike these others is based on how closely the political leadership adheres in worldview and practice to eternal truths and divine law.

                You yourself may or not believe in such truths or such law, but it is a false statement (and insulting) to tell me that I am judging by my own arbitrary standard when I am going to great lengths to be objective.

                Saying I have failed to be objective is a fair statement; saying I being arbitrary and relative is when my judgement is very carefully calibrated not to reflect my own preferences, prejudices and desires, at least among Houyhnhnms is something of a sleight.

                • It is not rightness or wrongness which is arbitrary, but comparative rightness and wrongness. How do you weigh the wrongness of abortion against the wrongness of lying? Both are seriously wrong, but they are also of incomparable seriousness. At least, incomparable when they are reduced to a numeric value.

            • I used to be a fan of the 2-d matrix until it hit me that the multiplication effect of layers of government made it largely superfluous and can flatten the graph back into a line. (Which gets into the Burkean ideas I know Goldberg loves to talk about.) After all, how can one really be in favor of personal liberty if one is not for economic liberty? i.e. How accommodating can you be of personal vice if you’re regulating soda drink sizes?

              Though if we want to get our math geeks on, wouldn’t your Catholic circle also be easily folded into a line with the Church at one end and others out? Say we imagine a graph and the Church rests at 0. Would there be that much difference between +5x, -5x, +5y, -5y such that you couldn’t just put all of those points at 5 on the positive x-axis? ;)

              Though if we really want to get math pedantic, then I’d say I’m on the side of positive infinity (aka God) and against the negative infinity (Satan). Since none can actually “reach” infinity… it seemed appropriate this side of the veil.

              • That plus five and minus five — you can’t really reduce rightness and wrongness to particular values with any meaningful effect. You can say a thing is wrong, or that a thing is not wrong, and even to a degree whether a thing is more or less wrong than another thing, but you cannot get to the point of precision.

                Contraception is a grave evil, as is usury. If someone is in favor of one and not the other, is he at the zero point? No he isn’t. He is merely in harmony with truth on one issue and not the other.

                It is more meaningful to have a star chart — but even then there’s the question of how to how far to meaningfully extend out one point from center. Unless it were binary, on-or-off, even a star chart would not explain it well. And, even then, there’s the question of how to organize the issues so ideas are not reduced to meaningless dots.

                Perhaps TOF could weigh in on this. I’m not sure any meaningful graph could chart, without causing confusion, adherence even to clear Catholic doctrine.

                • I was joking & having some nerd fun with John, dude. Not unlike when Death Battle assigns a numeric value to Superman’s strength. Going on a rant about how one can’t assign values to fictional character attributes (just in case you feel the need to sound off on screwattack) is missing the forest AND the trees.

                  Besides, I know John’s secret. He prefers the Nolan matrix because he’s never given up the good-evil/law-chaos matrix of yore. ;)

                  (j/k, John, gamers unite!)

                  • I’m not sure why you’re reacting like that. I’m not sure any of that’s relevant.

                    Whether you’re joking or not, John does seem to believe this — when I pointed out his system was arbitrarily relative, he somehow thought I was being a relativist.

                    • Because the second you said “you can’t get to that point of precision” your entire comment became irrelevant. You’ve missed the point so bad one doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Like if a group of friends were all standing around going “what would you do with a time machine?” and a physics professor suddenly walked up and went on a lecture about how time travel is impossible and started reciting the math proving it. Dude, you’ve missed the point. You’ve missed it so badly there’s no salvaging your statement, no recovery from what you said, just delete the moment and do a reboot. Bow out or start over from scratch.

                    • Yeah, again, I don’t see how that has to do with anything.

                      Did you miss the part where he seriously proposed and defended the viability of charting political/moral realities? Somehow, an argument against the viability of charting political/moral realities seems, well, on-topic.

                    • It doesn’t matter whether you find any of it relevant. I was addressing John. Hence the reply and reference to terms he was using as well as little things to let him know that I was posting partially in jest and fun.

                    • I was also addressing John. I realize your comments were nested above mine rather than his, but because I was using your language to prove a point, they belonged in this nest and not above in a different comment field.

                    • but because I was using your language to prove a point, they belonged in this nest and not above in a different comment field.

                      No, that’s why you use BLOCKQUOTE, like I just did. Nested replies mean you’re replying directly to the person above. Or if you nest reply to yourself that represents at least a continuation of your prior thought.

                      Like I said before: you interjected yourself into the wrong conversation. Bow out with dignity already.

              • My Catholic circle is circular because the number of directions in which a stumbling man can fall is 360 degrees, that is, in any direction, whereas the point at which he stands upright is always a point. The idea of putting ideas on a scale is misleading — it is in fact a Progressive idea, because they want to measure the progress of men away from reactionary thought (which they put to the right) and toward the progressive thought (which they put to the left) and so any motion from right-to-left is applauded. There is no endpoint to their thought, no rest. They are like Hegel and Marx in this. The history of thought, to them, is a linear progression from the benighted (rightward) to the enlightened (leftward).

                This requires, of course, that everything which opposes the socialist program of pacific vegetarian utopia be lumped together in an unsightly mass on the right: Monarchists and Imperialists next to Republians next to Libertarians next to Nazis, anarchists rubbing shoulders with totalitarians, even though these types of thinking are based on different political theories, and often antithetical political theories.

                Why any conservative, who stands for a definite set of principles and ideas (that is, the Enlightenment ideas of limited government as set forth in the writings of the Founding Fathers) would use this left-right terminology to describe himself, or to describe anything, is utterly beyond me. It is a socialist idea through and through, based on socialist assumptions and ignoring the very reality (a Monarchist is not a Republican is not a Nazi) which makes Enlightenment-style limited government political theory make sense.

            • The_Shadow says:

              I remember once taking an Internet test on a two-dimensional chart – don’t remember if it was the Nolan chart or not.

              I was outraged when it put me almost smack-dab in the center, but slightly toward the ‘totalitarian’ end. Until…

              The same site also listed famous people with where they would fall on the chart. And I noticed that the spot I’d ended up was precisely where they placed Pope John Paul II. Good company, I’d say!

              I think the test regarded opposition to abortion as ‘totalitarian’, as being against personal liberty. If that’s the definition used, I’ll wear it proudly.

          • Meh. Most discussions of “Left” among those who are “Right” are roughly synonymous with “Personal vices I abhor.” This applies the other way around, too, where “Qualities of the Right” as described by the “Left” are basically apolitical personal vices.

            This includes the essay our host wrote regarding “the restless heart of darkness.” It is essentially a treatise on sin — and I believe our host recognizes that, now that I consider the title.

            Challenge: What are vices of those who are “Right”? What are virtues of those who are “Left”?

            (You two may well have an answer for this challenge — I really do look forward to it, without a hint of sarcasm.)

            • Vices are merely virtues misapplied. That leftists desire orderly life, free of want or danger is understandable and I can applaud that. That they want nobody overlooked or suffering from any corner of the world is a noble desire. They long for things to mean more than just the material world we see, and that their spirits aren’t completely dead is gratifying.

              But then, that’s why the joke always goes: “Conservatives think Liberals are wrong. Liberals think Conservatives are evil.”

              That actually makes another handy guide. Ask leftists the same question and see if you can get answers. The further from the middle they are, the less feedback you’ll get (if any).

              (and yes, that’s something else I hold against Shea, he so rarely finds anyone disagreeing with him to be just “wrong”, they always seem to end up being evil…)

              • Implicit in your comment, and that joke, is that the accusation of another man being evil is worse than accusing a man of being wrong. Some things really are evil, however, and some men really are evil. It does not seem to be a salient point.

                • (this is the moment when I wonder if I’m communicating with an alien or not…)

                  Uh… yes there is a difference.

                  Say I come across a body on the ground and there is another person sitting on the chest of the body, slapping their face. “What are you doing?” I ask. “I’m performing CPR!” they say. Well…. no that is wrong.

                  Say I come across a body on the ground and there is another person on its chest, pummeling his skull with their fists. “What are you doing?” I ask. “I’m trying to kill him,” they say. That, is evil.

                  Hint: If I try explaining to the person how to resuscitate the body by applying chest compressions in such and such manner with such and such rhythm, one of the above examples will probably heed my instructions, and the other won’t.

                  Or to use another example that’s a favorite of Buckley: Pushing an old lady OUT of the path of an oncoming bus vs pushing an old lady INTO the path of an oncoming bus. You can’t say “they’re both equal” or “I’m a moderate and I find both instances of shoving old ladies abhorrent!” without coming across as an idiot. Now the first example could end up being wrong (maybe they had bad eyesight and the bus is able and about to stop) but it’s not evil.

                  • That’s not the point. The point is that you’re appealing to a standard and finding them in violation of that standard. Meanwhile, your opponents agree with that standard. Funnily enough, they also believe you in violation of that standard.

                    Therefore, this is not a meaningful difference of moral principle between you and your opponents.

                    • You can’t see any difference between making an effort to save someone vs making an effort to hurt someone?

                    • Obviously I do. But that is irrelevant. That there is a difference between saving someone and hurting someone is a moral principle. It is a moral principle everyone agrees on.

                      THEREFORE, POSSESSION OR NOT OF THIS MORAL PRINCIPLE IS NOT A MEANINGFUL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LEFT AND RIGHT.

                    • Seriously, have you been to planet earth?

                      See, the point of the joke isn’t that one side posses the moral principle or not. The point of the joke is whether a side, SEES THE OTHER SIDE as possessing the moral principle or not.

                      Conservatives believe Liberals at least have the principle, Liberals believe Conservatives do not.

                      Here’s where I’d normally insert a parable or thought experiment attempting to further emphasize the point but we’ve now established that only confuses you.

                    • No, I understood the joke, and your the irrelevant thought experiments. That’s why they are irrelevant.

                      Conservatives believe Liberals at least have the principle, Liberals believe Conservatives do not.

                      … and this is only as true as the same thing the other way around. Liberals, not being demons, also believe Conservatives at least have the principle, and point at certain fools among Conservatives to demonstrate that Conservatives believe Liberals principleless. Conservatives, for their part, point to certain fools among the Liberals to demonstrate that Liberals believe Conservatives are principleless.

                      It all boils down to an exactly symmetric, exactly equal descriptions, and neither one of them with any extra truth value. Where true, these accusations do not describe Left or Right but merely fallen humanity. It does not describe ideologies to any specific degree, but only ideologies in general.

                      Reframe: The contention at hand is whether there can exist a personality- and morality-driven description of the other side which is not basically a false overestimation of one’s own moral value.

                      “We have some peccadillos, but those guys are depraved.”

                      Conservatives believe Liberals at least have the principle, Liberals believe Conservatives do not.

                      Like it or not, the joke is making such an accusation against Liberals, and that is exactly the sort of accusation Liberals make.

                      That is, for anyone who believes the possession of moral principle to be a moral matter and not a matter of mere knowledge.

                    • It all boils down to an exactly symmetric, exactly equal descriptions, and neither one of them with any extra truth value. Where true, these accusations do not describe Left or Right but merely fallen humanity. It does not describe ideologies to any specific degree, but only ideologies in general.

                      In other words, you see no difference between the governor of the state of New York saying:

                      “Their problem isn’t me and the Democrats; their problem is themselves. Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right to life, er, pro-assault weapon, anti-gay — is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are, and if they are the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”

                      vs some random no name saying the same on some barely trafficked blog in some remote corner of the internet? In other words, you have no sense of history.

                      Reframe: The contention at hand is whether there can exist a personality- and morality-driven description of the other side which is not basically a false overestimation of one’s own moral value.

                      So your description of both sides is a false overestimation of your own moral value. Congrats on sawing off your own tree branch.

                    • Well, no. I have no estimation of my own moral value. If pressed, I would admit an estimation of myself worse than my estimation of you.

                      I can fairly conclude that am the worst sinner I know of. In fact, that’s the only fair conclusion.

                    • Well, no. I have no estimation of my own moral value. If pressed, I would admit an estimation of myself worse than my estimation of you.

                      I can fairly conclude that am the worst sinner I know of. In fact, that’s the only fair conclusion.

                      Yes that would be why you spent so much time confessing the sins of others rather than your own.

                      Your actions make you words hollow.

                      Oh and that old joke about sitting on the fence between God & the Devil (turns out the Devil owns the fence) applies across many points of life. Straddling the middle doesn’t always mean you’re not on either side.

                    • … ?

                      My whole point here is the logical error in this particular argument based on this particular generalization of moral values of persons in corporate. Personal sin, the only kind of sin there is which can be confessed, has not entered into my argument at all. Original sin is a whole different kind of thing, as it describes a quality of human brokenness.

                      Maybe this will more easily explain the point: So far in this thread, there has been no generalized account of the moral qualities of a major particular political class’ attitudes towards another which is not equally applicable when the roles are switched. The reason is that all that this many people have in common is not personal sin but original sin — they all lack certain positive qualities of humanity, like perfect reason, perfect control, &c.

                      Does that help?

                    • Maybe this will more easily explain the point: So far in this thread, there has been no generalized account of the moral qualities of a major particular political class’ attitudes towards another which is not equally applicable when the roles are switched. The reason is that all that this many people have in common is not personal sin but original sin — they all lack certain positive qualities of humanity, like perfect reason, perfect control, &c.

                      When a group grows large enough, yes you’ll be able to find any conceivable sin within its numbers. That doesn’t change that the group as a whole’s general trends.

                      i.e. Two groups of 1000 people. One group are cops, the other group is a thieves guild. Now if the former has 3 members which also steal things, while the latter has 997 members that steal things, arguing that “both are thieves guilds” will get you exasperated expressions in most social situations.

                      Yeah, you can probably find rightists who think leftists are evil, but usually they are either 1) former leftists (meaning old habits die hard) or 2) isolated cranks. You want to find leftists that think rightists are evil? Turn on the TV. Pick a channel at random. (Though they do have an entire news channel devoted to it.) Just compare reactions to say… Russia’s Olympic opening ceremony to Marget Thatcher’s funeral.

                    • Having listened to folks of varied political persuasions, I have not noticed a great difference in how often emotion or tribalism substitutes for thinking, how often accusations spring forward based not on analysis but stereotype, from jumping to conclusions. There are different ways of cloaking the same impulse, maybe, and that does sometimes happen on the level of partisan Kool-Aid, for the Kool-Aid is a matter of tribes and each tribe has a culture, but I’m not convinced that there’s any measurable or meaningful difference between the impulses of Right and Left.

                      As a matter of policy, the Left definitely vouches for worse moral sins than the Right. However, this thread is about discourse, or so I recall.

                    • Having listened to folks of varied political persuasions, I have not noticed a great difference in how often emotion or tribalism substitutes for thinking, how often accusations spring forward based not on analysis but stereotype, from jumping to conclusions

                      Is this true for Communists as well? Are they just as reasonable and sweet as Jeffersonians? What about Nazis? Are National Socialists not one whit less or more courteous, rational, and nonpartisan as anyone else?

                      Or are you merely playing a game of moral equivalence? In a group of one thousand police officers and one thousand members of the Thieves’ Guild, one is sure to find thieves among both. Let us say three out of a thousand among the police and 997 out of a thousand among the guild. Would it be a correct statement in that case to say that one has not noticed a great difference between them?

                    • Truly, it is as you say. Thieves Guilds and the Policemen’s Union are going to vary. That is not really my point here. Allow me, please, to reframe it.

                      Ideology is merely secondary, and only in rare cases requires a kind of fanatical devotion (as in Fascism), and rarer still an explicit denial of God. (As in Communism, Nazism.)

                      All other things being equal, the more idolatry an ideology requires, the more acute the sins of its votaries. Here we agree.

                      Here is my point: Behaviors you mention are not a function of devotion to Leftism in particular. They are a function of devotion to any false god. This, really, is the useful observation. As I’ve mentioned before, your series on Leftism is wonderful, except for that it isn’t about Leftism but about sin.

                      This is not really a criticism: It is a compliment. You have a more universal message than a merely modern political one. If rephrased and reframed slightly, you have a timeless message, for all human history wherever people have lived, rather than one tied to a particular hiccup of modern politicking.

                      Challenge: What moral markers does “Leftism” possess that “secular worship of the creature” or “hardened, radical, tribalistic ideologue” does not?

                    • “Behaviors you mention are not a function of devotion to Leftism in particular. They are a function of devotion to any false god.”

                      I don’t disagree with this. I am not sure why you think I might.

                      Challenge: What moral markers does “Leftism” possess that “secular worship of the creature” or “hardened, radical, tribalistic ideologue” does not?

                      I do not understand the challenge. The Leftist is, in effect, a modern version of the Gnostic heresy which places Man and God as enemies. It is the heresy of placing secular concerns above spiritual concerns.

                      While, as a science fiction writer, I can invent any number of other possible or imaginable worldview which might arise to oppose the Christian worldview, in real life, in this world, there is one major and one minor opponent to the Christian worldview which bids fair to becoming the dominant default worldview of the world: the great Satan is Leftism and the lesser Satan is its ally and cousin and catspaw, Mohammedanism. Communism is Leftist, National Socialism is Leftist, and modern Jihadists use classical Leftist techniques, whiny victimology combined with political terrorism and random violence.

                      I am using the word “Leftism” to refer to a rather complicated tangle of modern beliefs and nonsense-phrases. The Ideal Leftist does not exist, but we call various groups and people Leftist the more closely they approach the ideal.
                      1. The Ideal Leftist is nihilist in metaphysics, that is, he says reality is what you make of it;
                      2. he is relativistic in ethics, that is, he believes in no fixed standards of right and wrong;
                      3. he is irrationalist or romanticist in logic, that is, he says human logic is deceptive, conditioned by genetic or neurological or social forces of which the logician is unaware, ergo only emotion is a proper tool of cognition;
                      4. he is socialist in economics, that is, he says the state must run the economy by fiat and command;
                      5. he is totalitarian in politics, that is, he says there is no recognized sphere of privacy into which the state cannot reach in order to carry out works for the public good, including press, private speech, thought;
                      6. he is subjectivist in aethetics, that is, he says beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or worse, he is a deconstructionist, and says that works of art are all of them propaganda meant to confirm and spread an oppressive social order
                      7. he is an atheist in religion, that is, no matter whether he says he is ‘very spiritual’ or not, he rejects the supernatural as anything aside from a private opinion or a private hobby.

                      So, are we clear? That is what we are talking about. Any real person whom we call Leftist will have five or six of these traits, but not in a consistent or logical application, and will apply their standards to some things and not others as mood or fancy or necessity requires, or whim or fashion dictates. Logic is not their strong suit.

                      But I can think of any number of secular philosophies or worshipers of creatures or ideologues who do not fit this pattern of Leftism. They merely stand no chance of taking over the world and replacing Christianity. Aristotelians, for example, or Deists, or Wicca or Stoicism, all have views of the world that cannot be described as what I call Leftist.

                    • I am glad we agree, and your description is both apt and enlightening.

                      In that case, my main criticism is that you’re appropriating a term originally invented to describe a very particular and very specific and very different idea, which today is still widely used in a very different way. By the choice of term, “Leftism” clouds the issue, preventing the all-important idea from being communicating properly, or effectively, or efficiently.

                      In the original sense, it referred to unseating the existing authority, a kind of revolutionary impulse. Trouble is that this does not apply to all things certainly evil, as there is a just and righteous kind of revolution. In its early history, it meant a range of political beliefs from support for a republican form of governance all the way to systems that actually fit your description. Very early on, it also would exclude god-king monarchies which can also fit your description.

                      Meanwhile, there is no modern sense of “left” or “right” which is anything more than a vague emotion or feeling about a kind of politics. This is appropriate, of a kind — but it means you’re using a popularly vague term when you mean to be very exact in your meaning. In expressing your idea you’ll constantly have to bring to mind your unusual definition.

                      I realize I’m arguing against using a particular term, and this does not have any bearing on the idea you’re expressing. It does have bearing, however, on your means of expressing it.

                      Please use a less-loaded and less merely modern and less popularly-vague term to more effectively communicate the paradigms of the Nothing Sophotech, of the fallen angels, and of Adam’s sin. “Ye shall be as Gods” is a more succinct description of the Leftism you describe, and more to the point, and without the baggage associated with the reality “left” is applied to these days.

                      There is a shared impulse behind all of your points, if I’m reading it correctly, and it’s that in all things the “Leftist” for lack of a better term seizes for himself what does not belong to him. Man is not bound.

                      More than anything, then: More descriptive than “Leftist” would be “Undoer.” Even when he tries to make, he can only mock. His force is entropy. He seizes upon anything in a moment, but when he gazes upon what he seizes, it unravels. He asserts things only to deny other things. Heaven forbid he should look in a mirror, and so he doesn’t.

                    • By the choice of term, “Leftism” clouds the issue, preventing the all-important idea from being communicating properly, or effectively, or efficiently.

                      Brother, I have racked my brains trying to come up with a clear and clean term to describe these people and their philosophy. The problem is that they are liars, and change their name every twenty to forty years, so that by design all names for them are misleading. I have taken to using Bruce G Charlton’s phrase ‘Politically Correct’ since this best captures the belief in the subordination of truth to political expedience, but the problem there is that many who suffer from the political correctness disease assume, when reading those words, that the author is talking about someone else.

                      But, no, my definition is not unusual at all. I mean the Democrat party in America, and their philosophical counterparts in Academia, in the Courts of Law, and in the Media. I mean the default moral and mental assumption, the secular outlook and belief in Hegelian evolution, which is behind all modern thinking not deliberately Jewish or Christian.

                      It still refers to unseating the existing authority, but now we are dealing with the moral authority of belief in an objective moral code and the logical authority of belief in an objective reality, rule not created by the will of man. Most Americans do not realize that this is the philosophical groundwork of their popular belief in self-esteem and in the relaxed standards imposed by the sexual revolution because most Americans are not philosophically minded enough to follow a thought to its roots. This does not mean they are not subjectivists, it just means they do not realize that there is any serious objection to subjectivism.

                      Please use a less-loaded and less merely modern and less popularly-vague term to more effectively communicate the paradigms of the Nothing Sophotech, of the fallen angels, and of Adam’s sin. “Ye shall be as Gods” is a more succinct description of the Leftism you describe, and more to the point, and without the baggage associated with the reality “left” is applied to these days.

                      This comment is incomprehensible to me. I do not disagree with it, I simply do not know what you are talking about. More than once in these essays, I have pointed out the relation between the nihilism inherent in Leftism and the believe which I quote directly from Robert Heinlein “Thou Art God.” I am not using a “loaded” term that I can see. Please point out to me what you are talking about.

                      The problem with an invented term like “Undoer” is that it would be useless to communicate what I mean. I mean the Democrat party is evil because it kills babies in their mother’s wombs. Is that unclear what I am talking about? We need to rise up in a revolution and drive them away from the control they have gained over our laws and customs, our media, our education.

                      Their revolution was accomplished entirely be propaganda and persuasion and an endless series of lies over years and decades and centuries. We conquered the pagan Roman Empire by means of prayers, persuasion and martyrdom in a span of time not much longer than their victory.

                      I am talking about Leftists. I am talking about the people who call themselves Progressives, Democrats, New Dealers, Socialists, Communists, Radicals, Revolutionaries, and so on. I am not talking about Libertarians nor am I talking about Conservatives.

                      Whatever the personal flaws and shortcomings of someone who believes in liberty, limited government, chastity, patriotism, and the free market, his sins may be worse than those of Stalin, but his philosophy is coherent with Christianity and can coexist with it, if kept in proper subordination.

                      No one should play the game of moral equivalence here. The Rightwing may be stupid for betraying Conservative principles, but at least is has principles that are good and just and wise and holy. When he sins he betrays what he stands for. The Leftwing is evil, and knowingly evil, deliberately evil, and it exalts and glories in that evil, in the name of being Pro-Choice, which means, Pro-Infanticide; they favor the sexual revolution to the point of forcing public approval to acts of sexual perversion; they favor totalitarianism and socialism, and they are against human nature, human reason, and insane as it sounds, they are against reality. When he sins he upholds what he stands for.

                      Conservatives, whatever else our faults, do not assert things only to deny other things. We assert truths we hold to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, etc. Leftist simply do not believe these things. They believe man was made by social forces to serve society, to serve the collective. They believe in individualism and independence only in matters related to sexual perversion and drug abuse, that is to say, only in matters where the individualism is self destructive and leads to the disintegration of the old order.

                    • This comment is incomprehensible to me. I do not disagree with it, I simply do not know what you are talking about.

                      Term: Left, Leftist, Revolutionaries, &c.

                      I know you mean the people who call themselves revolutionaries, and your calling for a revolution does not mean you are one of them. However, political labels, meaning no one thing, do not illustrate this very well at all, up to and including the labels of “right” and “conservative.” Another part of the problem is that there’s a distinction between those who label themselves a thing and those who actually are a thing, and yet there are those who label themselves Democrats even today who are genuinely, in reality, what you’d identify as conservative. (Against abortion, &.)

                      Nominalist seems to fit better, if I understand nominalism properly, for they are labelers and libelers. “Unreality principle” is also nice to describe the reality.

                      TLDR: If your purpose is to ignore the labels people use and look at the reality, can we can agree that we should not describe that reality by labels people use?

                    • I still do not understand the comment. The purpose of language is to communicate. Any word used to describe the Leftists will be inaccurate because they label themselves with inaccurate words in order to deceive people. “Leftist” is, of all their terms, the least deceptive. It does not imply that they favor progress, as the word Progressive implies, nor that they favor liberty, as the word Liberal implies, nor that they favor society, as the word Socialist implies.

                      As I said before, using an invented term to refer to a group that already has a name is pointless. What you gain in accuracy, you lose in readership. If I wrote a screed denouncing ‘nominalists’ nine out of ten readers would have no idea who I meant, and the remaining tenth man would assume I was referring to the partisans of a debate over the meaning of language with raged in the Thirteenth Century.

                      However, from time to time, I used the term “Politically Correct” since that is the only accurate term they have ever invented for themselves. Unfortunately, they now all deny that this term applies to themselves, and they say it applies to conservatives. Other times I used the terms “Nihilist” when I need a bit more accuracy, or “Modernist” when I am talking about the nonpolitical aspects of Leftism.

                      I don’t understand your point. I am not writing a paper for the Linnean Society. I am not inventing new taxonomy. I am talking about the great antichristian spirit of the modern age which we all know. I am talking about Leftists. We all know what that means. It is not an inaccurate term.

                      In each and every essay, I repeat until I am sick of saying it, that not all Leftists agree with all the philosophical and pathological points of Leftism. (Usually I add that no one can agree with ALL the points, since they contradict each other.)

                      The terms you recommend are not any more accurate, and they have the disadvantage of being entirely invented, which means my essay can only be read by a small circle of friends who share my private vocabulary. When times like that arise, and I am only addressing people familiar with my personal verbal quirks, I call the Leftists by their true name: Orcs.

                      If your purpose is to ignore the labels people use and look at the reality, can we can agree that we should not describe that reality by labels people use?

                      While I understand each word in the sentence separately, taken as a whole, I am baffled. What in the world are you talking about? What topic is this sentence on? I cannot tell if you are being serious or sarcastic or what question you are asking.I cannot tell if you are saying that I am ignoring the labels people use and that I should ignore those labels, or if you are saying I am ignoring the labels people use and I should not ignore them; or if you are saying I should ignore the labels people are using and I should not; or if you are saying I am using the labels people use and I should ignore them.

                      So, no, I do not agree that you and I should not describe reality by the labels used by one group or another. What does that have to do with anything? I am trying to be clear and reach a wide audience that speaks my native language correctly. The word “Leftist” does not have any positive or anti-Monarchical connotation in America. No one thinks of the Whigs versus the Tories in my country.

                      Are you not from America? Do they use the term “Leftist” to refer to someone else in your country?

                      In America it is used to refer to con artists who pretend that care for the poor and downtrodden requires the abolition of the Constitution and the Free Market and all normal standards of language and sexual mores and the creation in its place of an all-powerful Federal government which will create laws, market phenomena, language, and sexual mores by fiat. No one but the very naive believes this pretense.

                      Asa always, when debating word use, let us fly to my dictionary:

                      Leftist
                      1. a member of the political Left or a person sympathetic to its views. 2. of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or advocated by the political Left.

                      Fair enough. Next let us look up
                      Left
                      — the complex of individuals or organized groups advocating liberal reform or revolutionary change in the social, political, or economic order; the radical or progressive wing; having liberal or radical views in politics.

                      This is exactly of whom I speak. So the dictionary confirms my use.

                    • I’m happy to break it down, though you seem to understand what I mean early in the comment, as you express the observation that Leftist, though used deceptively, is the least deceptive of the terms.

                      If your purpose is to ignore the labels people use and look at the reality …

                      You loathe Political Correctness, yes? Political Correctness as you define it is an exercise in hiding what things are by calling them something else. That is, sticking a label over a thing so we think that thing is something else.

                      Your goal is to cut through the obfuscation, blow away the smokescreen, and reveal a thing for what it is.

                      … can we can agree that we should not describe that reality by labels people use?

                      Using deceptive labels which even today are used a variety of different ways, such that “left” has been rendered meaningless — note, please, that the dictionary definition you’re providing itself refers to the left.

                      —-

                      Leftist is the least deceptive of the terms in one sense. By itself, it does not suggest anything. It is morally neutral. It is not, directly, a lie.

                      Here is the problem: Leftist as the word is used is much more confused than “leftists” themselves. What, really, are the defining characteristics of Leftist political policies? Definitions found on a Google search for “Left wing”:

                      1. “members of a liberal or radical political party, or those favoring extensive political reform.”
                      2. “Left wing beliefs are usually progressive in nature, they look to the future, aim to support those who cannot support themselves, are idealist and believe in equality. People who are left wing believe in taxation to redistribute opportunity and wealth – things like a national health service, and job seeker’s allowance are fundamentally left wing ideas. They believe in equality over the freedom to fail.”
                      3. “Votes for fairness, helping those who cannot help themselves, positive role models, champions of downtrodden. Inclusive. Community based on ethics. Support workers. Empathetic.”

                      The first one is from a dictionary. The others are what people actually believe.

                      No one but the very naive believes this pretense.

                      Maybe. But then, all of a sudden, you have this:

                      Leftist
                      1. a member of the political Left or a person sympathetic to its views.

                      If nothing else, by using a vague term, you’re including parts of the reading audience who are not actually Leftists as you describe them.

                      Anyways, I’m not sure there’s anything more to add on my behalf but this:

                      HAVE YOU SEEN THE LEGO MOVIE YET? Man, that movie has no right to be as funny as that. You owe it to yourself and your kids to see it without any spoilers at all.

                    • Again, I am simply baffled. If I invent a new term to refer to the Left, no one will know of whom I am speaking. The lack of scientific precision here is not a problem because such precision is a chimera: it does not exist. The descriptions you quote from its sympathizers are precisely what I identify as the sheep’s clothing hiding the wolf and so must be included, or else anyone I warn about the wolf will not look for something in a white and wooly sheep’s coat.

                      I am criticizing the Left. Everyone knows what I am talking about when I use that term. I am not criticizing man’s sinful nature in general, but the specific sins of godless pride and self-righteous hypocrisy and bone-deep dishonesty (not to mention willful economic ignorance) involved in secularism, socialism, nihilism, Gnosticism, totalitarianism, social engineering, eugenics, Newspeak, baby-killing, uglification, riot, tumult, Gaia-worship, sexual perversion, infantization of adults, adultification of infants, animalization of humans, humanification of animals, masculanization of women, feminization of men, the ironic (considered every part of human nature is held to be in need of change to something else) cult of self-esteem — and all the other idols and shibboleths of the Left.

                      If the reader’s idea of what ‘the Left’ is happens to be vague, that is because it is, by its nature, a cloud or a smokescreen or swarm of semi-unrelated ideas. The idea will not be vague to anyone who actually reads what I write by the time he reads to the end of any article I write. What is at the heart of the ideas, the self-destructive nature, the antichrist spirit, the nihilism, the arrogance, the hypocrisy, all this I describe in painstaking and repetitive detail, over and over and over.

                      So, your advise is of no use to me. Thank you for your concern. I cannot do as you ask.

                    • I understand the difficulty. This is the problem:

                      Everyone knows what I am talking about when I use that term. … The idea will not be vague to anyone who actually reads what I write by the time he reads to the end of any article I write.

                      This first idea is false. Not everyone knows what you mean. That is, those who agree with you or frequent this blog have an idea — but is that the wide audience you mean to address?

                      The second idea is true. Anyone who reads through and things critically will know what you mean — but where are these virtues found when liberal education has fallen apart and been replaced by “Leftist” education? If someone tainted by but not enthralled by “Leftism” stops by, it will give the wrong impression, and, because of the taint, he will leave. Better to approach him so that he is interested in staying — give him a reason to want to keep reading. Otherwise, you’ll only ever reach the choir.

                      You could always call a spade a spade, and say that it is a nameless enemy. There is the philosophy in a nutshell, and, as a bonus, it appropriately fleshes with scriptural usage of naming things.

                      You might as well outline a standard introduction for essays of your usual sort. I’ll edit them together, so you see what I mean:

                      “Our enemies are nameless. They are many; they are legion. They are devils, either from before man was, or men who wish to make themselves devils by their own action, by a sort of suicide. I will not them the courtesy to name themselves, for they have no names which are not deceptions …”

                      … seguing, somehow, into this …

                      I am not criticizing man’s sinful nature in general, but the specific sins of godless pride and self-righteous hypocrisy and bone-deep dishonesty (not to mention willful economic ignorance) involved in secularism, socialism, nihilism, Gnosticism, totalitarianism, social engineering, eugenics, Newspeak, baby-killing, uglification, riot, tumult, Gaia-worship, sexual perversion, infantization of adults, adultification of infants, animalization of humans, humanification of animals, masculanization of women, feminization of men, the ironic (considered every part of human nature is held to be in need of change to something else) cult of self-esteem …

                      “These beliefs are contradictory, and nobody can hold them, and they cannot coexist perfectly. They have no single identity. Therefore, I will give them no name but the Nameless.”

                      I am using the word “Nameless” to refer to a rather complicated tangle of modern beliefs and nonsense-phrases. The Ideal Nameless does not exist, but we call various groups and people Nameless the more closely they approach the ideal.
                      1. The Ideal Nameless is nihilist in metaphysics, that is, he says reality is what you make of it;
                      2. he is relativistic in ethics, that is, he believes in no fixed standards of right and wrong;
                      3. he is irrationalist or romanticist in logic, that is, he says human logic is deceptive, conditioned by genetic or neurological or social forces of which the logician is unaware, ergo only emotion is a proper tool of cognition;
                      4. he is socialist in economics, that is, he says the state must run the economy by fiat and command;
                      5. he is totalitarian in politics, that is, he says there is no recognized sphere of privacy into which the state cannot reach in order to carry out works for the public good, including press, private speech, thought;
                      6. he is subjectivist in aethetics, that is, he says beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or worse, he is a deconstructionist, and says that works of art are all of them propaganda meant to confirm and spread an oppressive social order
                      7. he is an atheist in religion, that is, no matter whether he says he is ‘very spiritual’ or not, he rejects the supernatural as anything aside from a private opinion or a private hobby.

                    • I have already explained why coining a neologism is counterproductive. Enough has been said.

    • John Hutchins says:

      I don’t read Card outside of the Enderverse anymore because he seems to enjoy writing disturbing descriptions of sex; as well as lifting wholesale the plot from the first half of the Book of Mormon, or Joseph Smith/church history, or similar things about as subtly as a sledgehammer to the face.

      • Odd you should mention that — it was the Enderverse where I first came across the Mormonisms. (Cosmology in the last two books of the original four of the main series, if I’m not mistaken.)

      • Ah, but my experience with Card was the opposite. When I read his Homecoming Saga, I knew I was reading the Book of Mormon account of the flight of the Lost Tribes of Egypt to the New World, but his skill at story telling made the story enjoyable. When I tried to read the Book of Mormon back in the day, I found it to grate on the ear so badly with its faux-Elizabethan ‘Ye Olde Englishe’ as to be verily unreadable, nay, comical. If you want to read elevated archaic English done right, read E.R. Eddison. Joseph Smith had a tin ear.

        • John Hutchins says:

          The Bible in Hebrew does the exact same thing in terms of using archaic language (poorly in some places); (also, most translations of the Bible into English, including the KJV, are using archaic language for the time they are translated). I assume you don’t reject large portions of the Old Testament because the faux ancient Hebrew grates on the ear as to be comical, but rather accept it due to the message that it contains.

          • I am sorry if my opinion offends you, but the difference between the King James Bible language, which is one of most poetical, strong, resonant and finest things ever written in the English language, and the cheap and awkward attempt to copy that language by Mr Smith is profound and remarkable … and sad.

            I have seen the same things dozens of time in fantasy literature, between fantasies written (usually by Englishmen) with an ear for correct archaisms and fantasies written (usually by Americans, and tone-deaf ones at that) who drop in an occasional “verily, forsooth” or “’twill be no lark, milady” and think that makes them sound all Middle Ages and stuff. They would do well to read Ursula LeGuin’s ‘From Elfland to Poughkeepsie’ on proper use of archaic language.

            Mr Smith is soundly in the “verily, forsooth” camp, he makes small grammatical errors, he introduces anachronism (including a quote by Shakespeare, if my memory serves — forgive me, but I laughed when in a document allegedly translated from the Reformed Egyptian death was described as the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns. So Hamlet was from Reformed Egypt was he?), and it is just a wreckage.

            I say nothing about his theological beliefs: that is a separate question. I intend no insult to his person nor to your noble denomination. But, I hope you will pardon me if I am overly sensitive to this question. My poet’s ear soul makes me react to nuances of writing muggles might miss. One of the greatest personnel annoyances to me in becoming Catholic is the leaden prose used to translate the Bible and the Liturgy.

            We recently updated the translation of the liturgy, and managed to squeeze what little poetry there was out of the language and replaced with more accurate, flat-footed language. I still cannot bring myself to say ‘Lord, I am not worthy you should enter under my roof’ which is like the stumbling, grindingly literal Google-translate version of the clearer and more beautiful ‘Lord, I am not worthy to receive you’ (using receive in the older meaning of the word, as receiving a guest, not as in catching a football). And as for replacing the poetical ‘everlasting’ with the bland word ‘eternal’ — ugh!

            When it comes to translations into English, the Anglican rite has us beat hollow.

            So, again, I mean no insult to a stern and honest denomination which I frankly admire, but the Faux-Shakespearean forsoothery of Joseph Smith makes it unreadable to me.

            For what it is worth, I do not much like our Catholic Douay–Rheims translation, either.

            • John Hutchins says:

              Yes the KJV is very well done, in terms of poetry; but in doing that it actually kills the voice of some of the writers (for instance Mark), while also capturing more of others (such as Isaiah and Ecclesiastes).

              Joseph Smith being unlearned, and therefore making it easy to be offended for a word appears to be part of the point, and doesn’t mean that the book is not actually a translation, or even accurately translated in the sense of capturing the message.

              • As to whether it captures the message, I have no opinion. My comment was aesthetic. Mr Card has summarized the Mormon epic in an easily readable fashion where the Mr Smith, to me, at least, was unreadable. Call me overly sensitive to inaccurate archaism if you like. I meant and mean no disrespect. Mormonism is a demanding denomination, and, unlike too many of my weak kneed Christian brothers, is unafraid to stand up and be counted for Christ, and counted against the World, the Flesh and the Devil.

                We do not agree on matters of theology, of course, but when all the lights are going out all over the world, and the sewer tide of secularism is rearing to engulf us may not be the time when agreement is necessary.

                Let me emphasize that: I look at politicians who are allegedly Catholic, who have not been forced to walk barefoot through the snow, much less been excommunicated or even censured by the Church, and this grieves me like a beam in the eyesocket. Whether or not the Mormons have a mote in theirs, I cannot see, because there is a freaking BEAM sticking out of my eye.

            • We recently updated the translation of the liturgy, and managed to squeeze what little poetry there was out of the language and replaced with more accurate, flat-footed language. I still cannot bring myself to say ‘Lord, I am not worthy you should enter under my roof’ which is like the stumbling, grindingly literal Google-translate version of the clearer and more beautiful ‘Lord, I am not worthy to receive you’ (using receive in the older meaning of the word, as receiving a guest, not as in catching a football). And as for replacing the poetical ‘everlasting’ with the bland word ‘eternal’ — ugh!

              With respect, here you speak far out of your depth. There’s more than just the Ordinary at stake here — and the example you mention rather specifically invokes scripture only in the version you don’t like — because there’s also the matter of the propers of the Mass.

              For example. And again. Part of the problem of the old translation was that it really was not a translation. It robbed what richness the Novus Ordo had for a mess of glossy feel-goodery.

              If your point is that you don’t like it, then that very well might be true. If it is that it is less poetic, that might be a conclusion you draw from your standards. However, liturgy is at heart about submission to received traditions, and this attitude is a sign of apostolicity. Liturgy forms you — if you don’t like it, well, frankly, begin by assuming that’s your problem.

              With study, you can get into arguments about liturgy which are relevant. Studying the forms of the Roman Rite are basically necessary to have an informed opinion on the matter. It is by the Rite you judge the Rite, not by some ephemeral and modern assumptions.

              Principle: Eternal things are not measured against modern things. Modern things are judged by eternal things.

              • Pshaw and stuff. Translations can either be faithful or beautiful. The choice to jettison the beauty in order to get a technically more accurate translation was at best a necessary evil. If I walk into a cathedral and I see a stained glass window that is improperly or clumsily executed, this is hardly a matter where I must fight back my Luciferian pride and submit meekly to the shepherd of the Church.

                Neither is this. It is a matter of taste, nothing more, not a moral issue. In my case, the matter is moot. I go to a Latin-language mass.

        • I thought his storytelling was pretty bad in that one, but then I only got halfway through the first one. Characters were doing things that didn’t make human sense, and the situations were not just alien but unbelievable. I didn’t find out it was a retelling of the book of Mormon until after I walked away from it. (I try not to read the backs of books or the inside cover notes until I’m done.)

          • Tastes differ. I loved the scene where the brothers go to kill the crippled brother, and his robotic wheelchair talks to them, and then they realized it is the world-brain that controls their lives talking. Great stuff.

            Orson Card really has a thing for heavily dysfunctional families. That is one part of his writing that is too sour for my particular light palate, but at least he is serious about the dramatic effect he attempts. He is not a cowardly writer. He puts his shoulders into the swing.

  5. LugoTeehalt says:

    I would not describe Mr Heinlein as a conservative in any way, shape or form. He was a libertarian of the most libertarian stripe.

    I agree he was not a conservative. Before I read Patterson’s biography I would have agreed he was a libertarian. However, Patterson’s biography contained a lot of material on RAH’s 1930s and 1940s political views, of which I was previously unaware, that convinced me he was a creature of the Left.

    • RAH’s earlier views, especially the economic nonsense we read in BEYOND THIS HORIZON, where the world government inflates the currency to give each citizen a free stipend — yes, that is clearly leftwingy. Let us say, then, that he was leftist economically (at that time) and socially (at that time and ever after). His attitude toward self reliance, guns, self-defense and civic militarism is Libertarian.

  6. Robert Mitchell Jr says:

    I must reinforce Mrs. Hoyt’s point, that they are losing. They are losing control of the bully pulpit, they are losing control of the “narrative”, they are losing the budget battle, they are losing the battle to control the guns, they are losing the battle for Life, and the one true victory they have had, the ACA, has been as ash in their mouths (And just might turn into a real victory for us if we can get the Democrats to start taxing insurance to pay for “ObamaCare”. It would be glorious if two of the Democrat’s sins negated each other!). They can’t even keep control of Wisconsin, the home of the Progressive movement. Now is not the time to preach “DOOOOOM!!!”.

  7. Boggy Man says:

    Hello everyone.
    I apologize for posting off-topic but I need some help. My father Thomas Buckley has been hospitalized with what is either a large tissue infection, or an aggressive lung cancer. I’ve never spoken with a better group of people than on this blog, and any prayers on his and my mother’s behalf would be greatly appreciated. Thank you to all.

  8. In a group of one thousand police officers and one thousand members of the Thieves’ Guild, one is sure to find thieves among both. Let us say three out of a thousand among the police and 997 out of a thousand among the guild. Would it be a correct statement in that case to say that one has not noticed a great difference between them?

    Just wanted to say that this moment ^ when John thought something I said bore repeating, is now one of the highlights of my life. :D

    May someday I be called a worthy student.

Leave a Reply