A Breif Note on Incentives

Posted July 16, 2014 By John C Wright

The basic difference between Right and Left is that the Right understand the power of incentive to behavior. Whatever your reward, you get more of.

The Constitution — that ultimate rightwing instrument embodying our worldview — was set up to have limited powers, checks and balances, in order to limit the rewards of corrupt or dishonest behavior in office. It become in the self-interest of one branch to police and check the other two, because their self-interest suffered otherwise. Self interest, the bane of good government, became harnessed as its workhorse.

One thing the Founding Fathers could never have foreseen or imagined was the rise of an ideology that would motivated people to unselfishly and altruistically destroy their system of government and sell themselves into slavery.

And yet that is exactly what the rise of Politic Correctness does. Someone in the Legislative branch or Judiciary acts against his own self interest and takes one for the team in the hope of augmenting the Imperial Executive power to usher in the Party Policies and the sunny candy-colored Utopia of which all Lefties dream.

They are committing self sacrifice for the sake of self destruction.

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Thor Cropped of his Male Member

Posted July 16, 2014 By John C Wright

This organization once known as Marvel Comics was once known for producing funloving, loud and brash and well-beloved superhero comics. Now they are known for having once having had produced beloved superhero comics which are now made into successful movies for nostalgic geeks like me. (I stopped reading comics when they killed off Captain America during the Bush Derangement Syndrome story arc. Have they resurrected him yet?)

Aside from licensing intellectual property to way cool movies and way cool video games, these companies are fairly worthless, having fallen long ago in the Long March through our Institutions to the powers of Political Correctness, and thrown aside all modicum of story telling ability. Don’t believe me? Name a major character invented by Marvel in say, forty years, since 1974? Do you buy his title?

Marvel has apparently been jealous of DC’s rousing failure with their NEW 52, and decided to race them to the bottom to see who could go out of business first.

Here is the press release from Marvel Comics. I have not changed a word. This is not a parody.

Official Press Release

Marvel is excited to announce an all-new era for the God of Thunder in brand new series, THOR, written by Jason Aaron (Thor: God of Thunder, Original Sin) complimented with art from Russell Dauterman (Cyclops).

This October, Marvel Comics evolves once again in one of the most shocking and exciting changes ever to shake one of Marvel’s “big three” – Captain America, Iron Man and Thor – Marvel Comics will be introducing an all-new THOR, GOD OF THUNDER.

No longer is the classic male hero able to hold the mighty hammer, Mjölnir, a brand new female hero will emerge who will be worthy of the name THOR. Who is she? Where did she come from and what is her connection to Asgard and the Marvel Universe?

“The inscription on Thor’s hammer reads ‘Whosoever holds this hammer, if HE be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.’ Well it’s time to update that inscription,” says Marvel editor Wil Moss.

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Guest Post by Concept Junkie

Posted July 16, 2014 By John C Wright

A regular reader who is helplessly addicted to concepts did not actually intend this as a guest post, but merely a comment. Nonetheless, I thought it both wise and a testament to American ingenuity, so I here reprint it. Someone had the effrontery to suggest that it was a lack of technical ability rather than a lack of political will that prevented the Federal government from doing its job securing our borders.

Concept Junkie writes:

If we can put a supercomputer with high-speed telecommunications capability, access to global satellite positioning, various media capabilities and sensors, basically a Star Trek tricorder minus the made-up physics… into the pockets of almost everyone in the country, then it should be possible for the government to figure out how to screen and process an applicant for entry into the country with less paperwork and effort than it took to complete the Louisiana Purchase.

There are thousands of miles of border? The Chinese built a 1500-mile wall thousands of years ago, and we have a little more technology available to us these days.

We have literally dug a canal through a continent, dammed up rivers, brought mountains low and raised valleys. We smash atoms to power our XBoxes. We tease our cats with lasers and heat our Hot Pockets with microwaves. We harness quantum mechanics to look at pictures of Yvonne Craig. We have cars that can drive themselves. Any one of us can communicate with a significant number of the people in the world in real time for negligible cost. I could find a satellite image of your backyard in about 3 minutes if I knew your name and enough to uniquely identify you. My phone tells me traffic conditions for my daily commute in real time, and I never had to tell it where I work or live. I’ll read about a new book while eating lunch at work, buy it and read the first chapter on my tablet without leaving my seat (Amazon is proving very dangerous for me).

So I don’t buy that keeping the monthly number of people entering this country under the size of a small town needs to be “hard”. I don’t buy that we can’t screen these folks to find obvious criminals, communicable diseases or other problems with much more manpower and paperwork than it took our employers to do the same for you and me.

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Migration and the Limits of Charity

Posted July 14, 2014 By John C Wright

A reader with the name of Meunke asks:

I’m really confused about this immigration question. I can understand how many want to assist the suffering of others who are seeking a better life. As a Catholic myself, I can’t helped but be moved to pity at the plight of these people, particularly the children.

Then again, I can’t quite get behind the idea of many that, if we are to be truly generous, we should make no attempt whatsoever to prevent or slow ANYONE who wants to come to the US by any means, in short, simply pretending that we have no borders at all, or if they exist, they are meaningless.

The latter seems particularly dangerous to me. Most of these immigrants don’t come here to be US citizens, they come here to earn some money for a better life of some kind. This of course matters a LOT, particularly if you don’t have any money and no real way of getting any in your own country. Most have family they are trying to support back in their home countries. Just stop by any place that does Western Union transfers on payday and see. These people (again, yes, exceptions can be found) don’t want to ‘become American’. How this shakes out is that you have large and growing sections of population that don’t really share much in common with the rest of the country. I personally have never automatically believed that ‘diversity is strength’. If that were always so, then Kosovo, northern Ireland, Syria, etc would all be havens of solidarity. Maybe things will work out great. I sincerely hope so.

So, directly to my question: What is someone like myself to think of this immigration issue? I know very well that what one’s government wants is NOT always in accord with what we as Catholics must do. We MUST feed the hungry, clothe the naked as they are made in the image and likeness of God. Does this mean we must NEVER turn away anyone away. Must we abandon any borders or control to do this?

My reply:

Allow me in answer directly to quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which contains teachings on social justice conservatives find distasteful:


V. Justice and Solidarity Among Nations

2437 On the international level, inequality of resources and economic capability is such that it creates a real “gap” between nations. On the one side there are those nations possessing and developing the means of growth and, on the other, those accumulating debts.

2438 Various causes of a religious, political, economic, and financial nature today give “the social question a worldwide dimension.” There must be solidarity among nations which are already politically interdependent. It is even more essential when it is a question of dismantling the “perverse mechanisms” that impede the development of the less advanced countries. In place of abusive if not usurious financial systems, iniquitous commercial relations among nations, and the arms race, there must be substituted a common effort to mobilize resources toward objectives of moral, cultural, and economic development, “redefining the priorities and hierarchies of values.”

2439 Rich nations have a grave moral responsibility toward those which are unable to ensure the means of their development by themselves or have been prevented from doing so by tragic historical events. It is a duty in solidarity and charity; it is also an obligation in justice if the prosperity of the rich nations has come from resources that have not been paid for fairly.

2440 Direct aid is an appropriate response to immediate, extraordinary needs caused by natural catastrophes, epidemics, and the like. But it does not suffice to repair the grave damage resulting from destitution or to provide a lasting solution to a country’s needs. It is also necessary to reform international economic and financial institutions so that they will better promote equitable relationships with less advanced countries. The efforts of poor countries working for growth and liberation must be supported. This doctrine must be applied especially in the area of agricultural labor. Peasants, especially in the Third World, form the overwhelming majority of the poor.

2441 An increased sense of God and increased self-awareness are fundamental to any full development of human society. This development multiplies material goods and puts them at the service of the person and his freedom. It reduces dire poverty and economic exploitation. It makes for growth in respect for cultural identities and openness to the transcendent.

2442 It is not the role of the Pastors of the Church to intervene directly in the political structuring and organization of social life. This task is part of the vocation of the lay faithful, acting on their own initiative with their fellow citizens. Social action can assume various concrete forms. It should always have the common good in view and be in conformity with the message of the Gospel and the teaching of the Church. It is the role of the laity “to animate temporal realities with Christian commitment, by which they show that they are witnesses and agents of peace and justice.”

 

***

My comment:

Likewise with this teaching that the rich nations must help aid the poor nations and reform institutions that sustain that poverty, so too the rich nations have an obligation absorb a reasonable amount of immigrants who wish to come here and become Americans, speak our language, adopt our culture, and vow on their lives to defend our Constitution.

I do not read the Catholic teaching as a suicide pact saying rich nations must welcome hostile populations in limitless numbers from poor nations bent on fundamentally transforming or abolishing the institutions which make us Americans, suckling on the public teat, and aiding the growth of the World Caliphate or (what is much the same thing) the Democrat Party.

The Good Book says we must care for widows and orphans and the stranger.

It does not say that if a countless number of, let us say, Babylonians, want to move into Jerusalem and outnumber and displace the current population, that this is the purpose and pleasure of the Almighty.

We Christians are supposed to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. That means we help the poor until it hurts, but it does not meant that we set ourselves up to be chumps for con men. If you don’t know whether the bum on the streetcorner panhandling is going to spend your money on drink, don’t give him money. Call him by name, walk with him across the street, and buy him a meal at a burger joint. It takes more time and effort and more love, but that is how you act charitably without being a chump.

The difficulty is learning how, with caution and discretion, to find the solid ground between these two evil extremes.

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They have an engine called the Press

Posted July 14, 2014 By John C Wright

Ransom, the Director at St Anne’s, explains to Merlin the Magician why it is that modern people cannot overthrow their evil rulers: “They have an engine called the Press by which the people are deceived.”

That goes double when the Press is discussing Catholic matters; triple when it is an English paper; and quadruple when the paper is aligned with that faction calling itself Liberal, Leftist, Progressive, Socialist, Social Justice Warriors, Gnostics, or Morlocks or the Nameless Slaves of the Dark Lord. They change their name once a generation. It is not hard to see why.

I am told that the Telegraph is what the English call a conservative paper, so only assume a triple layer of deception.

Compare this (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/3295124/Vatican-bans-rogue-angels.html):

THE Vatican has banned the veneration of angels who do not appear in the Bible in an attempt to ward off the influence of New Age religious movements and other angel-based cults.

Prayers to disputed celestial beings such as Uriel and Jophiel – viewed by some as the angels of peace and enlightened understanding – were proscribed in a 300-page Directory of Public Piety, published last week by the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship.

The document makes it clear that all veneration and prayer should be directed solely towards Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. The aim of the directory, say its authors, is to distinguish between acts of piety which belong to “true faith” and those which are merely “pseudo-spiritual experiences”.

Chapter six deals with angels, delivering a stinging rebuff to followers of Uriel, Jophiel, Chamuel and Zadkiel, who enjoy a burgeoning reputation in New Age religions but make no appearance in the New or Old Testament.

[...]

The Vatican directory states, in unequivocal language, that “the practice of giving particular names to angels, with the exception of Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, is to be disapproved of. Popular piety towards the angels, which is legitimate and healthy, can nevertheless sometimes lead to deviations”.

[...]The directory reflects unease in Rome about the role of angels in rival and often obscure Christian denominations.

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Progress!

Posted July 12, 2014 By John C Wright

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay

I have just this moment sent back the final draft of One Bright Star to Guide Them to the editor. In the modern, fast paced electronic age, that means this novella (17000 words) will probably be published this month, maybe this week, instead of ten months from now.

Of everything I have written, it is my personal favorite. Now, that may or may not be a good sign. I seem to recall the favorite thing C.S.Lewis ever wrote was my least favorite of his works. Well, we shall see.

Here is the editor’s book description. I hope he does not mind if I unveil it slightly early:

Once as children, long ago, Tommy Robertson and his three friends, Penny, Sally and Richard, passed through a secret gate in a ruined garden and found themselves in an elfin land, aiding a bold prince against the forces of the Winter King. Decades later, stout and settled in his ways, Tommy is long parted from his childhood friends, and their fantastic adventures but a half-buried memory.

But on the very eve of his promotion to London, a silver key and coal-black cat appear from the past, and Tommy hears himself summoned by the fair and ancient words to serve as champion against the unconquerable Knight of Ghosts and Shadows.

The terror and wonder of Faerie has broken into England, and his eyes alone can see it. To gather his companions and their relics is his quest, but time and weariness have changed them.

Youth is gone. Perhaps they are too foolish, too worldly-wise, too old. But dark things from young stories grow older with the years, and darker yet.

ONE BRIGHT STAR TO GUIDE THEM begins where other fairy tales end.
Brilliant and bittersweet, the novella hearkens back to the greatest and best-loved classics of childhood fantasy. John C. Wright’s beautiful tale is not a subversion of these classics, but a loving and nostalgic homage to them, and reminds the reader that although “ever after” may not always be happy, the road of Life goes ever on and evil must be defeated anew by each and every generation.

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The Ultimate Ground

Posted July 11, 2014 By John C Wright

Every worldview has an ultimate ground or foundation. A coherent worldview (that is, a philosophy or theology) will identify their ground as an axiom, or a given. Incoherent ones will not identify it.

Let us look briefly at the ultimate ground of Leftism, Libertarianism, and what is called Conservatism, but which might more properly be called Federalism, Republicanism, or Constitutionalism.

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Matt Walsh checks his Cisgender Whiteness

Posted July 10, 2014 By John C Wright

This is the best Matt Walsh column EVER.

http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/07/09/ill-check-privilege-check-assumptions/

Mr Walsh receives an unintentional self-parody email from the lunatic asylum placed in the middle of the fever swamp in the Eighth Circle of Hell (Which, if you recall your Dante, is the home of the Left: Panderers & seducers, flatterers, simoniacs, soothsayers, grafters, hypocrites, thieves, false counselors, sowers of discord, falsifiers):

I read this email from a reader, and now I’ve spent the whole day checking all over my house to find my privilege. I don’t know, I must have misplaced it:

Hi Matt,

First I’d like to say that you are the absolute worst. I’ve got you blocked on Facebook and I’ve unfollowed anyone who Retweets your horrible bull sh*t. I think you’re a genuinely bad person who somehow stumbled upon a way to make a lot of money writing hateful sh*t on the internet. Congrats. You’re one of the internet’s most famous douchebags. Your mother must be so proud. I just want to tell you that the world has had enough of cisgender white guys whining about all of the evil women and minorities. Even though I’ve done everything to avoid your articles, for some reason I still come across them. I decided to read your last couple of posts, and all I saw was a privileged white middle class man telling women how to live our lives. You’ve been so protected and coddled that you don’t even realize how stupid you sound.

It’s easy when everything is handed to you in life. It’s easy when you don’t have to worry about rape, discrimination, microaggressions, and systematic oppression.

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Fairness in Fiction

Posted July 9, 2014 By John C Wright

I recently wrote an article in this space on the difference between propaganda and art. Like a philosopher, I attempted to divine the first principles or essential of both species, and to define them.

But it occurs to me that the philosophical approach is exactly backward when discussing art, since art is based on the intuition that grasps an abstraction by means of the concrete. All art is this attempt to find an ideal, such as, say beauty, by means of a perfect example or counterexample, such as, say, a marble nude.

Therefore to aid our blind and groping search for truth during the thunderstorm and shipwreck of life, let me offer, by way of seeing eye dogs, some examples of works which I hold cannot be propaganda, merely because they so adroitly tell both sides of the argument.

I will not use examples from Shakespeare or Milton or Herman Melville because I am a philistine who only reads the juvenile trash called science fiction. Although, actually, I have read those books, and those writers allow each man to have his full say, from Yago (whose motive is as impossible to discover as the Nolan’s version of the Joker from BATMAN) to Captain Ahab to Lucifer.

Indeed, Milton allowed Lucifer so eloquently to plead his case that some famous men were deceived into thinking the author was of his party. (I will not embarrass a famous name by calling anyone an idiot, but I will mention parenthetically that on midnight of the full moon, rain or clear, summer and winter I paint myself from head to toe with blue woad and stand naked in the town square screaming ‘William Blake is an Idiot!’ at the top of my lungs until the constables can subdue me with truncheons. )

Now that the bone fides of both my expertise and sanity have been established, let me mention some works which I think exemplary in telling both sides of a question. I will deliberately select authors who write works not to my taste to show the reader I am not merely flattering these stories.

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Reviewer Praise for AWAKE IN THE NIGHT LAND

Posted July 9, 2014 By John C Wright

The Rolling like Sisyphus has given my work high praise indeed in what he says is the world’s shorted book review. I will quote the whole thing:

http://bbq22.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/the-worlds-shortest-book-review/

Just as with movies, I don’t review books much in this space, and by “much” I mean not at all. I think I sort of slammed Ulysses once in passing, but that’s about it.
Which is odd, since I am an avid reader still (though long train commutes do make reading a bit more practical).
That being said, VD’s Castalia House press has published quite possibly the most profound, interesting and all-around perfect book I’ve read in a long, long time.
And that book would be Awake in the Night Land by John C. Wright.
I was already a huge fan of Wright’s Golden Age books, so I had been looking forward to Awake… for a while now.
Through four beautifully written novellas that detail the final days of Man, Wright weaves an overarching tale of the human capacity for perseverance in a world where, frankly, humanity no longer belongs.
I’m not going to get into the details, because it honestly wouldn’t do the book justice. Awake in the Night Land is genuinely more than the sum of its prose, characters, ideas and plot.
If the last graph of The Last of All Suns doesn’t get you, chances are you have no soul at all.

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