Wednesday, May 23, 2018

"Right Order" in Weigel's Book

When PJBuchanan was shredding George HW Bush in the primaries, my chilluns and I met him at the local airport with a series of little posters:  "Right Thinking" then "Right Order" then "Right for America."

Buchanan saw those and after a half-second, recognized the Thomas Aquinas formula in the first two, and flashed a VERY big smile.  After all, the third poster was PJB's campaign slogan.  Unfortunately, PJB did not prevail.  Nor did "Right Thinking" and "Right Order."

So we got Clinton, Bush Jr., and Obama.  That is what's called "punishment for sins."

While I'm not an overly enthusiastic fan of George Weigel, he's apparently hit the target with his new book The Fragility of Order.  

Here are a couple of pertinent snatches from an interview about the book.

...“Political science” has become a sub-division of statistics, rather than a sub-discipline of philosophy, and so culture has fallen through the floorboards in most political analysis. Much of what I’m doing in these essays revolves around the idea of restoring a culture-based analysis to our thinking about history and politics—which is of course a way of thinking I learned from John Paul II, who was convinced that culture (for good or ill) is the driver of history over the long haul....

Bannon and Weigel are very different people, but they agree here; Bannon famously stated that 'politics is downstream from culture.'  What Bannon did NOT say (and could or should have) was that 'culture is downstream from cult'.  "Cult" here is understood as right worship, and Weigel has something to say about that, too.

...The worship of false gods is the negation of true worship, and since we are made for true worship and find the truth about ourselves in true worship, the worship of false gods is humanly demeaning. Or in the case of the “secular project” of the moment, we end up demeaning ourselves by misconceiving freedom as sheer willfulness, which is a two-year old’s idea of freedom: I want what I want because I want it, and I want it now. Call it the worship of “choice.” That’s false worship because it ignores the really important question for human happiness: choose what?...

In fact, the worship of self, materialism, and envy which has reigned since the Advertising Age began back in the early 1900's has handed Marxist analysis its victories.  Marxism has always worked best when it has created "inequalities" and has done that with income inequality, educational inequality, sex-based inequality, and lately the phantasm-"gender" based inequalities.  Not for nothing is Envy a Capital Sin


...As I explain in several essays in the book, our politics are a mess because our political culture is a mess, and that’s because our public moral culture is a mess. And it will stay a mess until we recover the notion that there are truths built into the world and into us. Absent that kind of moral “order,” there’s only “your truth” and “my truth” and that leads inevitably to the dictatorship of relativism—another prescient Ratzingerian insight, thoroughly vindicated by recent Supreme Court decisions on marriage and by the Obama administration’s determination to force the Little Sisters of the Poor to supply abortifacients to their employees....

America has had several "revivals" in its short history.  Another one--right about now--would be a good thing, no?

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