Integral Catholic Political Economy:
"Where Two or More are Gathered Together in my Name,
There am I in the Midst of Them"
Evident from foregoing pages is the basic priority of the construction of a true social order, a building upon things that are closest to home, raising an edifice that can succeed the coming inevitable collapse of what we have at present, and prevent its consequences upon human lives and souls from being unbearable: the "strength" of the false system being by contrast entirely in that which is external, global and more-or-less alien in nature. Hence required is that we begin conversely to build up a relationship of trust with those near at hand, analogously to the building up of one's own interior upon fundamental truths, not only of faith and philosophy but also of those purely-natural but unique things one knows about oneself, which others cannot possibly know, and which although they might weather unimpressively in the gusty winds of advertising are nevertheless rock-solid in their implications toward personal solvency and salvation. So that in this alliance with those whom we know, and with that inner self which we know even better, there can be accomplished new and extraordinary things.
In this real-politik of which I speak there is one highly-dependable constant, a social adhesive in the form of a sort of positive fragility, a more consequential species of liquidity of the people and things one encounters in such a real world. As noted elsewhere in these pages everything truly perennial and genuine on this earth is also mortal, vulnerable, in a sense plastic, in happy departures from the inhuman purisms and rigidities of the modern organizational monolith, whose stark determinisms constantly threaten to crumble into a perfect powder of chaos. Real life by contrast being full of perishable contingencies which however readily assemble into resilient wholes, and often within surprisingly small amounts of effort and time. Thus does even the body politic readily realize the maxim of St. Paul, "my strength lies in my infirmities", the state giving random eventualities standing, mortal limitations being dealt-with, being congruencies which hold together a living world leagues apart from a modern system's categoricals, chiseled in stone. The whole body of providential disparities being bound together by a grassroots popular agency, if joined with an inseparable upward granting of limited but significant marks of honor, on a two-way street characterized throughout by love and mutual regard, and comprising the only real avenue for a genuine freedom's parade. Thus within this true progress do "we the living" and fragile build on those strengths which we actually and readily possess, rather than depending on a radical technological revamp of our physical existence which necessarily interrupts or discourages the spiritual and the socially-mediated, as if to build up some robot-ridden "heaven on earth" which easily becomes a nightmare of paranoia-driven surveillance, side-by-side with abortion and other multiplying forms of legalized and progressively-less-disguised murder. Instead in cherishing each frail or embryonic life but also building up that one man who is humanity, with his myriad personal and national tissues and tendons, nourishing him patiently unto "the perfect man, in Christ Jesus Our Lord". And in such an anatomy we easily find that those closest around us often possess precisely corresponding abilities and ineptitudes, counterbalancing opposites of our own, with such a reciprocity lending a unique operational freedom and a fitting agency to human mind, will and social-body alike. So that it is by this very essential sort of specialization, as well as by analogous ones mounting upward to greater levels of sophistication, that the polity is developed, perhaps achieving as well a true, uniquely-vigorous and incalculable technological advancement which fully serves human needs. (Note of October 2014: Since this writing of seven years ago the writer is considerably less sanguine about "technology" because of its built-in hyper-centralizing, individual-agency-inhibiting proclivities, of ready utility to that highly-identifiable global cabal which thinks it has an inherent right to divide and rule. After a point, indeed, the whole system of "do everything for you" which modern material progress represents—and which puts such power in so few hands—amounts to a demeaning mockery of human dignity and talent. If we could have both, material progress and individual liberty/agency, it would be nice, or at least convenient, but it becomes increasingly evident by the day that such a comfortable correlation has little place among mortal men who "work out their salvation in fear and trembling" most ably and fittingly by a free-agency given as much rein and as many avenues-of-expression as possible.)
Yet as might have been gathered from previous pages there is really no one precise way to bring about the non-totalitarian and fully-humanized improvements that such a genuine social adhesion so strongly enables: a change in attitude being most essential, able to build on today's preliminary, trial-and-error insights and realizations, hand-holds that they are for greater things to come, as we gain the courage needed to scale the conceptual and motivational slopes of such a polity. Hope and self-confidence of the humble kind indeed being a major part of the upward climb, and their lack largely accounting for all the nasty tumbles and backslides with which we are all so familiar, as well as corresponding successes of the foe. A movement toward the pivotal re-establishment of the age-old Western social definition of property, a major ledge to be gained en route to the looming summit above, being a means which plays out differently over time in each particular setting, as is appropriate to a human life which needs a provisional, collapsible and expandable stage in order to best accommodate the playing out of the earthly drama of the testing of souls, requiring as the latter does the greatest possible amount of practical personal freedom of action commensurate with that contest.
Too, the difficulty inherent in the making of definitive prescriptions is obvious when we consider that what we are most after is the application of a spirit, the spirit of Catholicism: something which of course depends radically and primarily upon the grace of God, as well as our correspondence to its sometimes almost infinitely subtle prompts, inspirations and demands. A true progress which is also and of course inhibited to the degree we resolutely refuse to enter the Catholic Fold. Nevertheless and as suggested all along Integral Catholicism, in the sense in which it is presented in these pages, is in some ways only the ultimate development of the truly-progressive instincts of nations, if indeed given a divine leading hand, having a dynamic which readily adapts and weds itself to the customs and usages of whole peoples. As for instance in the case of England even stubbornly clinging to the national fabric long after the Faith itself had been lost, with a marvelous English tradition of a unique freedom and equity which serves as a kind of last trench boast of a Medieval paradise lost, as well as an earnest of a future return to the mild and relenting confines of the Fold. These latter adjectives themselves being uniquely-definitive of the English character, an Island which was once indeed boasted to be the very “dowry” of Mary mild. Integral Catholicism allowing for a place-specific definition and adaptability so rich, indeed riotous, that it approaches the prohibitively-challenging to formulate, in a necessarily ad hoc fashion, specific applications of same. Yet on the other hand there is a need to show that associated principles and ideas are not unrealistic, that what has been written here thus far is not just so much fault-finding, being substantially directed at constructive goals that are readily-accessible to each and all, becoming progressively second-nature to those involved. Our timelessly-youthful approach hardly suggesting some stock-market-driven supply chain which works "without interrupting the flow of information, materials and financial funding" (Stadtler and Kilger, 2002), casting the specter of an inscrutable deus-ex-machina which even leading counter-movements tend to some degree to take for granted (http://www.maketradefair.org/). This techno-organizational labyrinth having facilitated the present crisis to such a degree that today's frequent calls for a first-world case-by-case examination-of-conscience is hardly a sufficient remedy, while as implied above the constant refrain among liberal reformers that we must "think globally" has had certain ramifications that have played directly into the hands of the same oppressive apparatus.
Plainly, what is needed is an economic system, a product development, which follow the dynamic curve of true human motivational potential, as well as of the realities of natural, esthetic and supernatural phenomenon on all planes: a lofty goal to which the attainment of a stable economic and political fulcrum at the local, even the micro-local, level is critical. While the first realistic beginnings of such a change, rather than drastic infrastructural or systemic modification, would be the careful fostering of a genuine local atmosphere, a nourishing medium in which the greatest number of positive and constructive initiatives could be expected to take firm root. The local venue being uniquely and exclusively capable of sustaining a strong counter-current against the linear path dependency discussed above, but requiring for this end a personal cooperation and even conviviality which are in fact major elements in such a dynamism. This kind of locally-distinct energy and vivacity that have traditionally been taken for granted in political and economic life the world over, its founding elements hardly legitimately subject to the blistering academic/media scorn to which they are in practice held up today: whose caustic qualities increase in direct proportion to the resistance posed by the locale-at-question to avant-garde Fabian formulas that change from year to year. A local rejuvenation being involved which starts not with stocks, bonds and brokers but with the individual friendship, acquaintanceship and family tie.
These humble yet truly-ambitious aims are of course easier spoken than done, especially when such natural dynamisms have been progressively sapped, uprooted, or allowed to die on the vine for generations, while the usual starting point for modern neighborhood revitalization, the grand and expensive promotion, is of little help to what is aimed at here. A good neighborhood ambiance being for the most part something created gradually and spontaneously with the passage of time, even if today this is obviously an agenda which must be speeded up. Yet excluded above all must be the introduction of such “alien vegetation” into the micro-local milieu as a well-paid “neighborhood planner” from a distant regional body or city hall: a figure—folksy, “clued in”, “laid back” as he might be—who typically absorbs in his/her salary and expenses "the last farthing" that might otherwise have been available for realistic levels of concrete local improvement. Rather what is actually required, according to the logic of distributism and as odd as it may sound, is that the neighborhood mostly be left alone: positive harm to natural multipliers of local and personal good being the prime legacy of modern a "urban development" bureaucracy, rather than simple neglect. While after a certain point some high-powered infrastructural vitamins might indeed be supplied to the same local community, these being in the direction of facilitating self-improvement, rather than through the usual hovering and heroic emasculation of the micro-local character.
Of course especially barren toward providing the necessary lively neighborhood atmosphere are today's stern and graphic preachments against anything from drugs and cigarettes to teen pregnancy: these likely-enough announced in eight-inch high letters from the sides of school-buses, or in Orwellian three-foot tall black-letter slogans from frowning billboards. Such devices, scarcely seen in the sedate boroughs of the more well-to-do, invariably serving as public brands of infamy for the local population, and thus having a shock-related way of withering the fragile roots of the subtle and organic, mostly motivational processes of which we speak. Vital elements largely dependent upon a confident and creative state of mind, very much after the manner of the spirit of entrepreneurship itself. A delicate vine, for all its hard-nosed Horatio Alger fictional representations, which needs much tender care, especially if it is to remain a positive force for good. Suggesting, particularly to those who have seen the lively, officially-untrammeled neighborhoods and micro-local business districts of the past, an informal and spontaneous social atmosphere in which people can easily and naturally become much better acquainted with one another, as well as with their mutual, reciprocal needs, abilities and aspirations. The aggressive and expansive sort of self-perpetuation of today’s ubiquitous official/corporate amalgam being by far the biggest hurdle in the way of true development, far more so than the many alleged attitude-problems of target populations, the absence of which real hurdle would go a long way toward allowing the neighborhood to become a dependable multiplier for citywide betterment, in those ways appropriate to it, according to its own inimitable terms.
There is all kinds of heavy artillery to be taken out of mothballs when it comes to the popular defense of neighborhood turf from official/bureaucratic Napoleons: for instance a twin-barreled benignly-construed race and nationality, providing vigorous starting-points for a crucial preliminary camaraderie and conviviality. Such natural social subdivisions deserving recognition as powerfully-motivating first principles of unity, while racial or nationality-related forces are also generally quite ready, especially if salt isn’t continually poured into old wounds, to foster the larger local or regional milieu: even as the direct (and again “heroic”) frustration of such natural things only keeps the neighborhood the play-thing of urban-official and corporate power-players.
Really, popular power blocs, racial or otherwise, are by definition not easily threatened by other lesser constituencies within their own secure bailiwick, with distributism adding a guarantee that the most significant kind of power inhabits the neighborhood, block or even apartment-building air, so that such communities of color or native accent, or a voluntary blendings of several of same, become real expressions of popular power, and not limp objects of manipulation. Indeed in the absence of the long-cultivated, academically-honored adversarial approach, let alone the newer "regime theory", both of which easily deteriorate into a spirit of stonewalling and reprisal, these racial or national social units could easily become so robust as to tolerate or even welcome other novel, constructive contributions, of any color or nationality, to the local scene. Even as they would no doubt tend by nature to retain their own distinct qualities: being far more likely to absorb the new element and its contributions than to forsake their own well-rooted identity. Such a “calcifying" into racial, confessional or nationality subsets, if approached in enlightened ways, being precisely the ingredient to bring life to a dying city, especially when others decidedly don’t obtain: while by contrast the radical and sanctimonious “diversity” and “toleration” purism of the present system, all the while its leaders live in various vacuum-sealed ivory towers, is a besetting source of racial bitterness, economic morbidity and despair. Even as rocket-science-level issues like the uncompromising preservation of racial or nationality purity must be confessed to be lost causes, given human nature and the myriad legitimate as well as coerced, unwilling reasons which brought diverse peoples here. People who can scarcely be sent back again. While finally, a truly-enlightened urban quilt-work would have no place for the separate toilets or restaurants of the past: part-and-parcel of the odd social paranoia investigated in chapter three, with roots in Gnostic/anti-matter creeds like Calvinism and related errors stubbornly investing the Catholic fold as well. Social pathologies which like the Indian cult-of-the-untouchables springing immediately to new life wherever capitalism places its cold hand.
In an unthreatened atmosphere differences of all sorts tend to coordinate with one another either efficiently or tolerably well, as has for instance been illustrated during the European centuries since the Wars of Religion: the Continent being not really a "melting pot" but a stew, in which constituent elements and minority nationalities have tended to respect one another quite well, especially when not being artificially heated to a boil-over by the alien forces of world finance. Even with more-notable degrees of harmony—at least until the Bush/Blair Reign of Terror—in those countries which have a recognized national religious cult and an overall defining nationality: these tending to provide solid parameters of predictability and trust. While it is by contrast the very anonymity of the modern power octopus which makes its grasp all the more deadly in the practical event, especially given the all-pervasive influence of world-directive organizations like the IMF and Masonry, constituent parts of an all-overseeing pan-Zionist Syncretism. So that it is rather the advocated confessional and cultural specificity that is most amenable to the central predictability principle of Hayek's understanding of law: a basic tenet in fact expanded by distributism into areas of life that are otherwise scarcely accessible, uniquely allowing for a host of benign familiarities among divergent groups, beyond which, in intimacy, the bulk of them may or may not choose to go. In the absence of which pedestrian informality the residents of neighborhoods do indeed tend to shrink back to defensive perimeters of all kinds.
Perhaps most significantly of all, little expense is involved at many of the stages of such a micro-local self-development, since much use is made of basic structures and resources that are already in place: large outlays as noted above putting the quietus to many promising initiates before they get off the ground, most notably among the poor. People who on the other hand seem quite naturally able to associate, congregate and discuss in humble circumstances, natural adepts whom modern “linguists”, "communications experts" and other academics might well take under consultation, possessing far fewer of those many artificial social barriers that are often-enough endemic to the well-educated and well-to-do. Lower-class spontaneity and social fertility positively explosively in terms of economic multipliers however being inevitably, and indeed almost systematically, belittled by an uncannily-class-conscious human services bureaucracy, especially in its present universally-privatized state, often with a savage irony "putting in his place" anyone who dares show anything like a lively or friendly spirit at its various offices, in a solemn and inhibiting atmosphere also in many ways shared by those other temples of modern American neo-capitalist life, the mega-mall and supermarket. These being two good illustrations of what is lacking today: an atmosphere of trust, conviviality, even celebration, that which, with a moment’s reflection, is seen to be naturally inseparable from true economic vitality.
The much-made-over modern institution of “cool”, so profitable to global marketers with their alienating grease-mill discipline, might initially resist this better spirit, but I contend that such a resistance must in the end prove short-lived. Since human beings, as the millennia testify, are warm and convivial by nature, in vastly-divergent but interlocking ways. Of course the whole laissez faire spirit has no place here, one which despite its translated name has little to do with freedom but much with a sort of straitjacket constraint. True economic liberty being a very complex idea, since economies are by definition social in nature, and rife with interpersonal intricacies of all kinds. Capitalism, notably under bluntly-candid Neo Con forms, rather frostily discouraging the sharing of anything, even the time of day, let alone a truly-kind word or genuinely friendly smile, in a spirit too which especially tends to hoard all knowledge, as if some multi-million dollar patented process were invariably involved. An open candidness, shared knowledge and genuine acquaintanceship being however among the most powerful and enduring of developmental forces in local, regional and national life. (Note of October 2014: Of course to forestall such a truly-sound economic/organizational philosophy a synagogue-controlled world-system re-entrenches the desired bunker mentality through the strategic employment of any number of false-flag operations, thereby directly or indirectly inculcating a militant, indeed militarized mindset such as is seen in towns like Ferguson, MO. Productive in turn of a veritable state-of-war between races and nationalities.)
Thus do we suggest a course that mobilizes the real inbuilt potencies, and inseparable equities, of a society, and that attacks bigotry and other injustices at their weakest point, going well beyond the manipulable schemes of elites who thrive on a profoundly divided society. It being an associated fundamental duty of authentic government to guard the ability of various groups to maintain their own way of life, rather than prevailing upon them to quietly abolish all differences in the usual capitalist a-cultural gulag: that which is the modern establishment's invariable answer to every problem. The only realistic unity being that by which in-some-ways locally-sovereign cultural groups jointly arbitrate the common weal, since it is only when represented in small to medium-sized constituencies that the rights of the individual—he who alone can be the actual vessel or beneficiary of political freedoms—are at all capable of being maintained. These immediate and intermediate structures acting as natural coverts against the frigid blasts of bigger things, or even uncannily-intimidating smaller ones, like certain elite-controlled municipal or unincorporated subdivisions are more recently coming to be. Informal, indigenously-rooted elements being invariably considered by capitalist ideologues to be backward or degenerate, all the while they themselves will brook no interference with their own hoary and obscure motivating rituals.
Economy-minded, distributively-just Medieval authorities had few monies to throw around on some contemporary equivalent of bussing, mandated or irretrievably-entrenched, or some historically-precocious, log-rolling urban development program, and thus needed to see to it that all self-defining, naturally-cohesive groups were permitted those circumstances in which they could independently thrive, and contribute organically to the common good of the res publica. While bigots, who from my own research don’t really seem to have existed at all in those more enlightened days, would no doubt have been looked upon with a jaundiced eye indeed by higher authorities, in wanting to accrue a disproportionate and essentially prosperity-restrictive and divisive control over certain elements in the public domain. While in launching this true grassroots development, invaluable primitive first building-blocks could be made up of as few as three heads-of-household: three being in some ways an ideal number of families and/or persons for such a pioneering association, if a size not always adaptable to individual circumstances, and likely to expand rather quickly with time. But for starters the number three might have the best of socially-adhesive qualities, after the pattern of the Blessed Trinity, or like that strongest substance, the diamond, with its three-atom molecular structure. A size, too, less likely to attract negative official attention, as for instance from the occasional selectively-suspicious police patrols in poor neighborhoods. These groups could engage in every sort of good, constructive and legitimate cooperative activity, mounting a species of "human capital" ready imaginatively to adapt things and circumstances to constructive task, these often initially involving neither salaries nor overhead. Alliances infinitely mobile and adaptable in spirit and form. Suggesting again the analogy of those tiny, newly-invented green chemistry oxidizing molecules (in a program largely directed from the Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburg, as reported on NPR Science Friday, September, 2003). Diminutive chemical agents with the capability, if industrially developed, of cleaning up with incredible ease and swiftness previously-irreducible toxic elements in streams and even groundwater. Finding their social analogy in a similarly-tiny but powerful neighborhood, school or job-related social unit. And wherever its original cultural or demographic venue might have been, tending to issue in local-milieu constructive manifestations of every kind. (Note of October 2014: Since this book was first written emphasis has been placed upon a Frankpledge system—an organizational unit of ten heads-of-household—scarcely considered in those earlier days, when the author was thrashing about looking for a handy model of distributism on the micro-local plane. Actually, this was probably providential, since the springing-into-being of a frankpledge whole and entire, without such smaller preliminaries, would be unlikely to say the least.)
Already in this initial tiny numerical configuration, this natural venue of friendship and socioeconomic vitality, is there embryonic the formation of a genuine popular national fabric: political distributism being in essential ways personal/contractual rather than narrowly regimented toward some idol of organizational discipline. The advocated system displaying eminently humane elements from which naturally follow a broad and bracing social cohesion: a true society taking form initially through the gradual informal linking-up of many such cooperatives into larger but still-relatively-small wholes, with this original tiniest unit surviving to form a distinct and intact local lynch-pin of cooperation amid a larger milieu. These groups and individuals however best expecting but little from each other at first: rather living and let-living as the cooperative spirit gradually spreads, so that even if formal representation at the district or city-wide level is long in coming, being perhaps frustrated by the elite-sponsored, Fabian-Socialist-advocated city-council/city-manager form, this local organism could continue to strengthen and expand less formally, until it reaches a stature impossible to uproot or ignore. As for instance in ongoing bartering networks social, quasi-political and utilitarian, swapping the lending of labor, tools and equipment, the use of facilities and so on in return for needed advocacy, personal loans and other services of every description. A rudimentary social fabric eventually issuing as well in the publishing of various media and the gathering of investment monies in credit unions and other cooperatives. Again, ventures probably at first of an entirely-informal nature, as in the finanzas populares of today's Latin America and Asia in which shopkeepers, landlords, renters and laborers often in close acquaintance or kinship with one another bring a financial liquidity and economic elasticity to localities otherwise mired in deepest poverty (Carstens, Catherine Mansell, 1995).
It goes without saying that such a popular process is naturally accompanied by frequent recreational and cultural/intellectual-gatherings, whether in local parks, halls, basements, kitchens, living-rooms or studies, or best of all in a happy tandem combination of both public and domestic venues, with their differing levels of personal trust. True leaders ultimately being supremely-discoverable amid such circumstances and activities, having developed largely unsuspected skills in a socially-incubating atmosphere, things that are indeed naturally ambient to any neighborhood which in some way successfully skirts around the anti-social asperity of the corporate/official world. Even if among the more-educated and well-to-do a few eaves-dropping sessions, perhaps in some surviving ghetto café or bar, might be necessary to learn the finer points of such a personally-satisfying, constructive, non-aggressive and non-invasive social interaction. And although there will be suggested below more complex local institutions, these more closely-integrated with the broader regional economic life, yet these initial steps outlined here will be most critical, mobilizing informal neighborhood vehicles which will eventually provide the seeds of an enduring political/economic culture. Within which could later be formulated and more-elaborately-spelled-out certain legitimate policy-forming mechanisms, after which communities thus objectified and self-empowered could be expected to begin to breathe an organic life of their own. With its own drivers, multipliers and enablers.
Thus a third step—this local amalgam having as anticipated become impossible any longer for officialdom to ignore—would be to work toward the enactment of carefully considered and designed preferential treatment on behalf of local people and businesses. I say "work toward" since there are many judicial, legal, (note of 10/14: and Tea-Party-championed "constitutional") hurdles in the way of such a path, one which is nonetheless indispensable to the achievement of a permanent economic vitality. But certainly if eminent domain could be used so preemptively to sail over stout legal hurdles never cleared before, in order to further a corporate-rewarding veritable family-court-borrowed “best interest of the child” as applied to real property of every kind, then the same basic principle could be used infinitely-more-justly to promote the best interest of the local socio-commercial milieu: certainly a babe of far greater stature than the bathwater of corporate ambition. A judicial and statutory redesign for which such efforts as this book will hopefully help to form a motivational and conceptual stimulus, enabling a multi-level developmental effort eventually to have neighborhood, district, city-wide and regional manifestations, in those ways appropriate to each.
Such legally-established enablers as a preference toward local persons in licensing, housing, eligibility for jobs, exemptions of taxes on improvements—or in converse tax penalties for outsider franchises and business ownership—these are among needed legislative measures, while the list of similar possibilities is very sizeable. None of this requires an expensive, unwieldy bureaucracy, the idea not being to vitiate the free market, even if such interventionism is little objected to when it comes to present-day sweeping, Neo-Republican corporate exemptions and privileges—but rather in elemental ways to clear the way for neighborhood and district entrepreneurial activities. And surprisingly-often with little if any need to bring in outside sources of investment. By such means whole districts, cities and regions could eventually become wealth-producing and demographically stable, while also in due course exerting a “multiplier” effect on contiguous areas, and even on many that are far away. There being as well little public expenditure involved in such preference-oriented measures, but rather a great monetary and resource conserving.
Fourth in this list could come the extension of popular infrastructural enablers of various sorts, including more buses, mini-buses, limousines, and where appropriate and affordable even commuter trains. (The issue of the decay of the old coast-to-coast rail service—fatally abandoned in favor of an often criminally-corrupt, environmentally-disastrous trucking network—to be addressed in due time at higher levels of authority.) Welcome, too, might be the judicious introduction of small to medium sized parks where truly needed, and other measures socially and recreationally oriented, offering hospitable showcases of the local landscape which put out a welcome-mat for others, for reasons both commercial and civic, rather than being preserves of a kind of "outsider"-prohibitive, inbred neighborhood exclusivity, especially against the less-than-well-to-do. While such projects should be located on land that naturally suggests such a use, and whose public utilization will do little if any private harm. This element of infrastructure in particular needing to be very carefully weighed and considered: since it is here that many promising neighborhoods are seriously injured through nuisance or eminent-domain seizures of property, sometimes for the benefit of a bike path or pocket park, the kinds of improvements—granted, occasionally of value in their own unique way—that should if needed however come last rather than first. This according to a new, humbler, less-expensive but ultimately far-more-vigorous philosophy of development, one which might naturally render obsolete various stop-gap measures that are well-thought-of today. Since the most critical element of infrastructure is motivational, from within, in character, finding its starting-point at individual and small-group levels that thrive in a built environment whose familiar features are preserved as much as possible. Innately frail local organic strata that are highly-vulnerable to discouragement by sweeping and/or confiscatory measures.
But as noted, before such systemic changes toward a critical localism can be realized the very constitutional power to enact them must first be secured: the natural avenue of government having unfortunately been effectively barred for one by a radical land-use law in which the whole idea of property and constitutionality has somehow steadily become synonymous with corporate hegemony. Tear-choking patriotic songs, brass bands and ribbon-cutting ceremonies at the latest Walmart-opening notwithstanding. "Interventionism" being just as likely to be employed as "less government" in such a frustration of popular self-rule and commercial viability alike, with the judiciary no doubt continuing to ham-handedly throw fatally-imprecise but emotionally-loaded interpretive-darts far from the constitutional-issue bulls-eye. The new right-wing capitalism which for some years now has mostly driven the courts—as usual smiling up its amoral and quasi-patriotic sleeve—in all this showing itself a close cousin to the ultra-leftist Fabian Socialist "march through the institutions", in a deafeningly-unmentionable convergence which is generally as satisfied with legalized abortion as with clearly-unjust war. A spirit which actually found its first historical champion in Napoleon: that original in an uncanny line of military-dictators at the head of war-machines dedicated to "democratic rule", he who has today found his less-romantic but ultimately hardly-less-hegemonic alter-ego in George Bush Jr. (Note of 10/14: the same dictatorial executive is even more evident in Barack Obama). The cynicism of right-and-left-wing stage-front enemies—men-of-straw jovially making deals back-stage, equally allied in the pursuit of one radical, overarching global agenda—this having been seen too in the World War I transfer of funds across an otherwise-furiously-embattled Western Front, in a bulk-load of bullion to support a beleaguered Bolshevik Revolution. Or for that matter more-recently in Rowe vs. Wade: a revolutionary leftist decision with which American power-brokers of all persuasions have generally had few problems. A shared policy world having radically-interventionist roots in such property-law decisions as Hadachek in the early 20th century: in a developing view of the courts as sacred vessels of a bizarre, evolving American elite-catering/collectivist utopia. So that given such a court scenario it is likely that even the first formal steps toward solidifying traditional local socioeconomic viability might require a constitutional convention: a goal well worth keeping in mind, since the ability of a locality to further its own economic strength is positively definitive to any free society.
Ironically, our hegemonic court-and-legislative scenario does indeed end in all the appearances of being "the people's market choice", or some such Neo-conservative circular-logic catch-all, with "the tail wagging the dog" in popular perceptions that are molded apace with the latest radical revamp of law and landscape alike. In a humanity which is by nature vulnerable to its external environment: that susceptibility which is likewise a chief source of both its genius and its downfall. A People now however growing deaf to any different drummer under the inescapable percussions of a corporate-outsourced media/educator band. (Note of 10/14: happily there has come about an awakening of the American people evident in particular on the call-in shows of C-Span, with callers who aren't so easily put off all the "patriotic" brainwash, nor so easily "put in their place" by some "expert" as they were when these gloomy lines were written. We hope that our National Anti-Sodomy Crusade has had something to do with this, having displayed our candidly-worded eight-inch-letter signs in twenty-six states so far.)
But on the other hand there is being preached here no gospel of despair, quite the contrary, since the belief is advanced throughout these pages that the overwhelming advantages of distributive justice, human reciprocity and true and positive organization must eventually prevail, as if by a force of nature, and a fortiori of grace. Especially if its advantages are openly advanced and better understood. The present sustained-irrationality being only perpetuated at great cost, through mass-misinformation and other unnatural forces, in an uphill battle of a kind of material, spiritual and psychological attrition which doesn't shrink from genocidal false-flag operations to spark another lucrative war, to make everyone forget the latest larceny back at home. Yet there is a preternatural logic involved here which must eventually fail, under the skies of a good God.
As a major, concrete, constitutionally-mandated first step in a positive direction, neighborhoods must be allowed first choice of a substantial percentage of local jobs, at all levels technical, laboring and supervisory, including access to valuable and necessary training: this later perhaps in easily-accommodated arrangements with local community colleges and universities. It being from such a level that truly-dynamic networks of regional, national and international trade, advocated here, would begin to take shape: not primarily for their own sakes but rather mostly as nourishers and integrators of a local economic milieu which has found its productive strengths and true needs. A configuration for which in the next chapter there will be suggested a tentative, adaptable political/economic structure to correspond to these unique potentialities. While in urban areas a corollary advantage to this spatial understanding of employment would of course be a dramatic reduction in commuter traffic as well as of the noise, pollution, waste and down-grading of prime lands that freeways bring with them like a pandemic. The bulk of this modern-day stampede being of course bound up with the daily work-and-school related commute.
Tailor-fit to the poorly or selectively informed, that most-formidable constituency of the New Right, is the standard media-charge of "Marxism" or "socialism" against such a commercial localism: the cynical lie here being uncovered when we realize that Marxists have always been the very first to advocate a boundless labor market, supported by an international finance which keeps the totalitarianism-catering yin/yang of Capitalism/Communism energetic and well-fed.
It is indeed in this circular logic of over-dependency on the school bus and auto, one of the least intelligent and most onerous material and psychological burdens of our time, that the noted “market-oriented popular choice” argument is most rigorously polemicized: in the advancement of a kind of anti-matter ecosystem all of its own, one which destroys rather than sustains life and health. The whole nightmare being actively promoted by self-advancing developers, petroleum producers and highway officials alike (Gerken, D.J., The Urban Lawyer, 2000), as well as by the many up and down stream commercial parasites of which such an anti-system is a fruitful source. Such a deadly mistletoe on a once-beautiful tree now however no longer even providing the jobs of which it was once a much-touted source: this kind of toll-way-ridden determinism—essential however to the peculiar all-points transport-mobilities of a police state—being stoutly maintained amid the near-total absence of any practical, patiently-fostered alternatives. (Note of 10/14: job-creating aspects of this modern maze of highways have been further dramatically eroded by a wholesale privatization of whole transportation systems of various states, in a trend—but like the legalization of unions of sodomites—which is doomed to embrace all the states, if things continue as they are. Privatization producing low-wage jobs and the exclusion or impoverishment of the poor from good-quality pavement through the levying of huge tolls, or else brokering various forms of massive public indebtedness, yawningly "put on the tab" in bond issues of growing size.) The excuse for neglect of low-cost public transit being that noted infrastructure seldom makes a profit: thus totally ignoring the real purpose of this and related economic tools, as being primarily generators of efficiencies, whose purely journal-entry deficits are paid for many times over in the tax revenues of activities and enterprises thus nourished or brought-into-being.
Of course the whole argument against intelligent infrastructural development is riddled with neo-capitalism's defining cut-and-run funds-managed short-termism, with its inevitable local agitators, who often stop critical legislation at the eleventh hour and by a hairs-breadth, or manage to slip in a parallel freeway cheek-to-jowl with the needed bus or light-rail in contested bond issues and political platforms alike, no doubt invariably having much-stouter ties to the corporate world, or to private equity finance, than to suddenly-championed local middle class communities. While transit is of course far more positively useful as an economic, social and cultural coordinator than as a means of conveying whole weary neighborhood populations across urban areas to unnecessarily-distant jobs, and testy and uncontainable children to unnecessarily-distant schools.
Yet, incredibly, viewpoints and options opposed to an intensifying use of the private auto are often branded as various forms of deindustrialization: even though this latter devolution belongs entirely in the bailiwick of capitalism's yin/yang fellow travelers, the less-than-zero population-growth fringe-radical elites and academics. Here being encountered again a false-identification phenomenon met with today in so many guises, as in World War II impersonations by Yugoslav-communist Partisans, who dressed as Croatian Ustashi to slaughter and kill. This confusion of the good with the elite-world’s many perverse varieties of bedfellow-bad being a collusion which always comes out smelling like a rose. Bearers of an irreligious agenda whose kinship with “born again” Beltway look-alikes will be found out too late by a highly-vocal Christian-Right. Radicals whose idea of the good life—one perhaps most popular among the children of major oil-industry investors—not infrequently involves some rehash of primate-like boomer sex and pot-smoking idylls alike.
The localism of our past is often attacked as having been privilege-oriented and ward-heeling in the actual event, but just like its forerunner in the Medieval town or city the most glaring of such abuses came about well-after vigorous prior arrangements had fallen into decay, their original vitality having long-ago escaped living memory. So that the rejuvenation of the local milieu, like all long-neglected things, would take some determination to see it through to a renewed good health, while resisting at all costs inevitable elite counter-measures of deep-pocketed, loudly-polemicized proportions. Not the least of compensations for such initiatives would be to occupationally replace those non-resident invaders who mostly staff the shops and businesses of poor neighborhoods, invariably commuting from some “better side of town”, and to fill their places with duly-remunerated, neighborhood-shop-patronizing local employees. Bringing to an end a phenomenon which typically accompanies the conventional, poorly-conceived redevelopment of commercial and governmental districts alike. People whom the locals are likely to see only as they pass by on the sidewalk, in a dream-like world of “success” behind plate-glass windows, or perhaps more commonly in entries and exits from windowless steel-and-concrete bastions of much-sought-after status: the skills necessary to such employments, sometimes not really difficult to master, hardly being attainable in today’s hermetical economic-segregation, one marked to a degree by a newly-conceived, socioeconomically-institutionalized race/nationality prejudice. If the same locals, indeed, are allowed the privilege of remaining in the area at all, their very houses being likely-enough to be condemned and cleared away, and to be replaced by a luxury complex or a parking lot. (Note of 10/14: The poor are being hustled out of their neighborhoods now in record numbers, in a real-estate industry which has learned incredible new tricks that make maneuvers of the '08 housing crash look like child's play. Thus are housing units sometimes gutted of their plumbing if residents don't "get the message" of dramatically-increasing rental prices, and move away, so that the units can be "legally" upgraded, "gentrified" for some newly-arriving luxury set.) Thus do invading “hard workers” get to skip the long commute after all, and the "distasteful" sight of despised locals struggling to make a dime. Tiringly-familiar scenarios like these implying a long-standing, regressive/systemic relationship which contributes to the perpetuation of vicious circles of poverty, both spiritual and material, and this on both sides of the question.
Among the perversities of modern employment that such a localization would bring to an end would be notorious "one factory town" monopsony, a complex anomaly most often found in more-isolated areas: one by which one or two (uncannily-cooperative) larger firms have at their disposal a local pool of unemployed and semi-employed labor to use as temporaries in times of upswing. This while their typically-high pay scale attracts others, often working generously-conceded overtime and coming from many miles away. Commuters thus easily able to afford to rent an apartment or motel room for work-week stays, thus occasioning much marital infidelity as well. Outsiders thus joining an arbitrarily-designated local regular workforce, all of course draped in the standard deification of “hard work”, initiative, “single mother heroism”, and so on. This inscrutable industrial mechanism being one of the major means of a homogenizing, "industrial psychology" oriented behavioral control in such areas, with the typical geographical isolation of many-a “factory town” being indeed and ironically quite ideally favorable to the ongoing behavioral-experiment obsession of the present-day corporate world. The sort of human engineering that could be significantly reduced by a simple legally-mandated prioritization of hiring, and equitably-upheld retention, of the same local pool. This far-more-rational kind of policy clearly gravitating against the undisputed reign of local industrial/political "big shots" as well, that abuse namely for which past distributive systems are so frequently and falsely held to account by political science authors. Such a local hegemony being seen for instance in the packing of local institutions with the creatures of these monopsony corporations: firms of course hardly distributive in character. Employing as they do the methods and values of global capital, inevitably gaining multiple advantages of all kinds in such a "fish-in-a-barrel" scenario, productive of a self-satisfied, effete local leadership, on the one hand, and many-a local slum, dive and dream-shattered substance-abuser in otherwise magnificent, socially-and-entrepreneurially-promising natural settings, on the other. Here too being provided yet another illustration of how modern flaws of local life are to be associated with the decay of its most-native elements, rather than with itself per se, within an economic milieu which needs no lumbering bureaucracy to monitor it, with the local labor force itself being powerfully motivated toward that end. Providing as well a pointer toward the kinds of policies to be pursued whenever it is at all possible: those that, once established, tend by nature to be self-sustaining and self-monitoring, although not really privatized or deregulated in the prevalent senses of those words. So that this sinking of deep roots on the part of local life would no doubt finally take pride of place away from above-noted mega-store ribbon-cuttings and grand opening ceremonies, or even tidy corporate donations to local charities: the urgency of the latter being likely to diminish by way of the removal of some of the worst of the self-perpetuating market failures that are the real root causes of district and neighborhood dysfunction and poverty.
As noted, today's combined onslaught against the most-energetic of local wealth creators involves the joining of forces of global investment and the local city council and zoning board: with these latter generally anxious to bow to the newer and bigger development, be it residential, industrial or commercial. Especially-unique urban or even rural localities being prime targets of sophisticated global business strategies, places often of historical interest, perhaps centered around an art district or other multiplier of local commercial and community life: these however being robbed of their function as direct and indirect generators of local employment, in an aggressive alliance which spreads an irresistible tide of economic panic before it like a plague. Upon the heels of which follows that social cynicism, much considered in these pages, which puts the last nails in the coffin of local popular vitality. With the "new jobs" that giant enterprises bring to the neighborhood rather quickly thereafter being seen for what they are, with their inevitable temporary-employment and Christmas-present, no-notice downsizing packages and proclivities. Far-and-away negatively-compensating for short-term visual-impressiveness and tax-base advantages. With inevitable disastrous long-term fiscal and socioeconomic effects often being difficult to demonstrate amid the all-too-temporary media/city-father euphoria, and in any case to be found in the bailiwick of some future local administration. So that there is facilitated exponentially the piecemeal or wholesale buyout of real estate and other closely-associated phenomenon, against which local businessmen typically have no effective weapons.
As noted above, self-righteously quashed by stern justices of higher courts—amid resonating cries of a wounded “free enterprise” over which multinational corporate lobbyists and attorneys howl most pitifully—is the advocating legislative favoring of local ownership of businesses: as in the attempt in the Northwest in the 1980s toward local regulatory defensive measures, courageously mounted against the same sorts of synchronized outsider-assaults. Rational measures aimed at the preservation of the multi-dimensional uniqueness of the historic district involved, the whole reason for its original strength as an economic generator. The courts, to whom free enterprise is today almost always thought of in global, sanitized terms, and best symbolized by giant earth-moving equipment, predictably taking their standard Neo-Laissez-faire position that guarantees the triumph of multinational "developer" firms and other corporations, producing as a predictable end result the glitzy chain-restaurants, chain-art-shops and other “tourist industries” with which bored and irritated vacationers are so familiar. All with their irresistible market power and short-term stockholder-profits that radically abstract from any local economic or commercial needs (Wilchins, Julie L., 17 n3 415). No doubt with new “shoppers’ worlds” suddenly cropping up as well and at a convenient distance away: the speed-of-shopping and temporarily-lower prices of the mega-mall being sustained by the progressively longer laboring hours and smaller real earnings of those employed in the area. This sort of development fits uncannily well with the oddly closed-circuit world of today's global-market scenario, gradually producing in all our cities a sort of corporate-collusive monopsony and indeed an atavistic segregation and ghettoization all their own, while transforming such unique and vital downtown areas into narrow, oddly-suburban-flavored rows with few ties to their local surroundings. All together amounting to a bizarre new inner-city suburbanization, that by which as noted above city parks and other long-standing local venues are almost-violently commandeered by that novo-riche who have only yesterday gentrified the surrounding originally-mostly-humble homes of forgotten laborers, in a process of course oilily helped-along by sycophantic planners and managers at city hall. In the midst of which multiple related phenomena you must ultimately come to realize that there are individual persons very much in charge at the top, "pulling strings", directly attaining gigantic personal interests in it all, despite the alleged sanctifying signature anonymity said to be definitive to the whole "free market", laissez-faire idea. This fact calling-gravely-into-question in turn today's worshipful prostrations before the increasingly-frowning deity of liberal democracy, since economic and political aspects of this whole libertarian notion upon which modern governments are founded are intricately and inseparably co-joined: in a fusion, a collusion for-personal-gain which we indeed labor to demonstrate in this book.
(Note of October 19, 2014: Staggeringly like the case of 9/11, of immense interest on the global scale where all this economic tyranny most essentially originates is the statistically-impossible demise of two Malaysian jumbo-jet airliners within a few months of each other: one of them never-to-be-found but providing lucrative "search" earnings for some no-doubt-Haliburton-connected "search company", obviously on a series of fantastically-profitable wild goose chases, ignoring photographic evidence of a much-more-logical but less-remunerative crash-site. While the other was simply shot down, as assiduously-quashed forensic evidence conclusively proves, by a type of anti-aircraft weapon only used by the Ukrainian army. Obviously, the murderous intervention of our own black ops people, intimately allied to Kiev, being supremely evident here, indeed with the very term "black ops" with all its heinous meaning now having become a celebrated 007-evocative household cliché, thanks to our "all options on the table" iron-eyed under-secretaries and generals. All this as proven by a forensics of which so much is made in domestic crime but which is roundly ignored over international sprees of that errant relative, Uncle Sam. Why the downing of these mammoth civilian-carriers, with so many innocent lives on board? With thousands of relatives left disconsolate, traumatized, their lives become a veritable extended funeral? Because Malaysian courts over the past year or more dared to try Bush and Blaire for war crimes in Iraq, and only yesterday finally found them guilty as charged. Thus in a globalization indeed do events in Malaysia come full circle, around the globe, to go-into-the-mix of American Russia-frustrating involvement in The Ukraine, duplicating in all essentials the nefarious case of 9/11. A few weeks or months before which genocidal debacle the world had been warned with laconic harshness by a then-reigning globalist female apparatchik that "there is no alternative to globalization": a decree uttered in the midst of mounting militant resistance to the whole ugly and unprofitable idea. So now is the world given another gruesome object-lesson, using Malaysia and its once-vibrant international-carrier economy as the current whipping-boy, that one doesn't interfere with the "freedom loving" projects of the big boys, let alone convict them of any crimes. And finally, were you to dig deep enough, you would find the tiringly-familiar central Synagogue connection in all this skullduggery, as in the case of a bloody, genocidal Bolshevik Revolution 93% of whose Commissariat was Jewish in origin. Insider-group market and political dominion being the chief motivator of Judaism in a nutshell.)
Even if many of the old commercial buildings are kept, in such a downtown development, these are likely to have been bought up by the same corporate or corporate-connected outsiders, and perhaps somewhat-gaudily embellish according to their period of construction, so that adjacent residential blocks and streets that haven't been thus worked-over, and which once formed a loose-knit organic whole with the entire district, tend to deteriorate rapidly as a consequence. Especially since after a decade or so of brisk profits even the typically theme-oriented and privilege-catering chain establishments are likely to finally move away to greener pastures, having made the forecasted killing in more ways than one. Since that interconnected, indigenous, domestic-turf-like quality which originally attracted their predatory attentions, and which had given the district its organic, multi-class drawing-power, has been sapped if not entirely destroyed. Easily leaving a vulnerability to crime and other disturbing aspects of economic insecurity in its wake.
Here of course the standard chain-letter kind of economy is in evidence throughout, only surviving by knifing its way through increasing numbers of such highly viable and sustainable, but by nature fragile and vulnerable, local commercial and/or industrial generators, each typically of its own unique description. A throw-away scenario gaining momentum today, excused with vague projections of further streamlined remakes of some future time, in a Religion of America policy-world with a strange new commercial brand of eschatology all its own, as we gradually reach that point on the graph at which the parabolic line of the revenues necessary to sustain such a cannibalizing, debt-leveraged economy begins to parallel the vertical axis in a race toward infinity. Even as the corresponding point on the horizontal, measuring the number of jobs and enterprises involved, gradually diminishes toward a mere handful.
In stark contrast, although there is no time to lose yet hurry isn't really the atmosphere evoked in measures advocated here: indeed a medieval-flavored, much-go-getter-despised lumbering stability is the best friend of the economy here described, our approach requiring none of the wasteful, ill-considered, often-enough graft-laden land use and public works policies of the past 50 years and more. The pace of truly-locally-determined decision-making, once enabled, being far more steady and rational, the multipliers of local organic wealth-creation steadily enlarging themselves, at a sane and natural pace, as time goes on. As there is a deeper satiety being served, of which material development is servant rather than lord, motivating community developing instincts and organs of socioeconomic and political life, these having found their true-north bearings in the market and policy-making worlds, steadily coming to function with a minimum of assistance, and certainly of interference, in a kind of solid but unassuming progress which has however too often called forth the equally-relentless reaction of bulldozers, as in those “convention center complexes” or other "urban renewal” projects, issuing from a wounded, excluded city hall. Or for that matter in less developed countries calling forth the bayonets and fire-bombs of especially idealistic but ironically-well-financed revolutionaries: these the kinds of reactions which however the gradual institution of the principles of distributism would make less and less likely as time goes on. (Note of October 19, 2014: Indeed, we envision the stolid sorts of societies that would come from a modern-day application of perennial principles of distributism—and a-fortiori of Integral, densely-institutionalized Catholicism—to prove invincible against all the intimidating "star wars" gadgetry of the modern synagogue-controlled ruling clique. Since as suggested above their entire global apparatus is based on the most artificial, insincere and impious of principles, things which must inevitably eventually fail. As "man lives not by bread alone, but by every word that cometh forth from the mouth of God", and even nature must ultimately rise up and reject such a perverse and counter-intuitive scheme.)
Advocated multiplier-oriented means would favor the creation of neighborhoods and districts with the mix of uses and income levels that characterize the healthy urban fabric described in 1961 by the urbanist Jane Jacobs, and could eventually far surpass them, in burgeoning localities enlivened with a sense of exuberance that would make a trip across town to the crass commercialism and increasingly cheap and defective product quality of the mega-store or the indoor mall a less and less attractive prospect with each passing year. While also and as indicated favoring a trend toward demographic stability, this in sharp contrast to the transitory populations the same writer could see were a death-sentence to the many still-vital neighborhoods of the early sixties when she wrote her seminal work (The Death and Life of Great American cities, New York: Vintage Books, 1961).
Another fabricated systemic imperative, cherished in planning circles and productive of readily-cranked-out, outwardly-impressive results, is the notion that a district or neighborhood can be a sort of station on the railway of personal success (Hoch, Dalton and So, 2000). Here a highly-familiar concept inseparable from false and simplistic solutions to much more complex urban issues, guaranteeing for one that each such community, whether of a higher or a lower economic bracket, used by some age, income or nationality group as a stepping-off point to higher future achievements, will remain effectively under the power of city-wide and other elites. While such a utilitarian function is also usually short-lived, at best a sort of Russian-roulette, a mere neighborhood subsidiary to the multi-national block-busting described above, easily bringing with it the transformation of many such districts from a humble-but-productive ambiance to one that is crime and vice ridden. While by contrast and much like individual persons true neighborhoods and communities, as opposed to these hasty fabrications, have many direct and indirect self-defensive mechanisms against economic and moral enemies of all kinds: foils which are elemental parts of their basic, vital identities, and critical to their future sustainability: this against villains which tend to hide especially well in today's urban thickets of corporate/official-pre-engineered circumstances. Rather indeed would the neighborhoods and micro-locales espoused here fulfill all the vital functions of a social, personal organism: both those specialized and more standard and generic in nature. Complex, living communities invariably having myriad nooks and crannies for every economic constituency, including those headed toward upward mobility: the latter in such a familiar venue being uniquely able to live in that sort of thrift which is most in accord with their aspirations, and this in far more energetic and enjoyable, and less promoter-exposed, circumstances. Communities not designedly mainlined in some trendy, eagerly-marketed direction: schemes which however in the event serve rather more as ample milk-cows for real estate and other middle-men concerned. The local venue thus retaining its venerable weather-marked character, its interesting multi-class composition, its well-known faces and landscape: all of which will retain the wiser upwardly-mobile in the course of their higher flights. (Note of October 19, 2014: Thus did the old and well-beloved Richard Daley of Chicago live in such a local community, somewhere by the river on the south side of town, hardly needing to join the trendy crowd out in ritzy suburbs more to the north.)
But instead does the profiling of local populations by way of “throughput” calculations (ibid)—these being measurements of transience or turnover, "type" of resident, and so on—and the using of the results for the allocation of services—tend toward the calcification of neighborhoods into lifeless and defenseless functional stereotypes, and inevitable inert objects of bureaucratic turf enlargement. And once again as always, each subtle, locally-sophisticated popular impulse toward a diffusive development likely to be countered by radical city-hall initiatives toward the huge, warehouse-like and bulldozer-excavated: those kinds of “forward-looking visions”, namely, induced by the extractive, privatizing draw of the multinational supply chain, a large percentage of which have few significant qualities of local wealth creation and sustainability. So that ultimately and unavoidably no neighborhood will be a whole, complete community; while insult is added to injury in an outward appearance more and more artificial and unearthly as time goes on.
Hence do such areas, if not ultimately evolving into a vast frontier of stores or storage houses with few people or services, become more or less exclusively designed either for "starter families”, retirees, the single and unattached or some such category of dwellers: with priceless neighborly friendship and hospitality, the very life of a community, finding less and less ground on which to stand. A population-serving full range of services and economic generators, things that grow best in a spontaneous, in some ways random fashion, being inevitably stifled by a planning that is sweeping and dictatorially-direct, and driven by various private-elite "visions", herd-managed portfolios and avant-garde determinisms. Even as it all continues to be noised as the "popular market choice". The multipliers of deep and sustained economic development, necessary to any genuine market, however and by contrast finding life only amid the relatively-informal cooperation and interaction of perennial populations, in an atmosphere of fertility which is gravely vitiated whenever local popular energies are thus artificially divided and re-channeled. An anomaly however presaged long ago in the precocious social engineering of the proto-capitalist ancient Greek polity, in which natural socioeconomic constituencies were in some cases systematically broken up into artificial, easily-manipulated political blocs: productive of violent confrontations of athletic-game-associated Reds and Whites. (Note of October 19, 2014: Apologies that recent research of mine fails to disclose the actual colors involved, which may rather have been Reds and Blues.) A phenomenon today marked by equally-bizarre, media-cultivated loyalties and other disturbing anomalies presently unfolding in hometown and nation alike.
As noted, such localities, having been "sanitized" of most indigenous economic life, are thereafter chained, for anything like a variety of services, to the usual mass multinational forms, as decided by market-freedom paragons ten or even twenty years in advance, down to survey coordinates on the all-determining development "map" in the municipal planning department. Freeways being prearranged and shopping pre-channeled, typically-enough to one or two far reaches of town, to enclaves with a specialized environment all their own. And the vicious circle is then closed in the socio-commercially-sterile, physically and morally unsafe cityscape upon which the multinational corporation thrives, everywhere finding new places to employee the noted inevitable, stock-holder-owned security firms, now with trebled staffs in view of the new self-serving "terrorist" official/corporate paranoia. Inbuilt present-day dangers profitably joining hands with highly-imaginative, uncannily-rewarding frenzies, providing new ways as well to treat customers like aliens or cattle, sometimes barely falling short of chutes and electronic prods. These areas often likewise being spatially punctuated by the typical homogenizing governmental service entities, likely to be largely staffed by corporate-outsourced employees, and of course like so much else in such a scene only open during regular hours and thus of no help at all to safe sidewalks at night. Concocted being an unsound mega-scenario which perpetuates and multiplies itself ad infinitum for the profit of a diminishing few, while the whole generic spatial and organizational grid tends, finally, to promote that gradually-predominating over-emphasis upon "services" which is not at all, contrary to the usual hopeful proclamations of economists, a natural progression, but rather the sign of a geriatric, in fact terminally-ill spatial/socioeconomic tissue, a dismal climax to once-vigorous multi-class enterprise cultures. Revealing itself in turn in a universal, ironclad, bi-polar fissure of backward and elite nations, both conditions in the end perhaps equally-unenviable, that now engulfs the entire globe.
Yet neither of course is an airtight compartmentalization of totally independent neighborhoods the idea here, since in the projected scenario there will always in any case occur a multi-faceted cross-culturation as a result of daily contact between vital, economically-sustainable areas and social groups such as are here being described, each attracting by the very uniqueness of the other’s developing socioeconomic and architectonic identity. Development following Poincare's elsewhere-quoted axiom that development or discovery is most potently realized by a juncture of realms "furthest apart". The kinds of things which "life is all about", but which the third-handed "portfolio management" industry finds curiously backward and distasteful. While the logic of invariable upstream, downstream, input and complementary industries, if not distant then either just across such a boundary or only remotely-close-at-hand, would likewise favor a healthy influx of buyers, expediters, consumers and other visitors from outside the immediate community. Here too and as suggested above, would commerce build toward a genuine national and international trade: upwardly, in tandem and by stages, rather than preemptively, in a perverse downwardly-disabling, private-vision, command-oriented thrust. Distributism rather truly nourishing the local and micro-local milieu instead of onerously crushing it, in an interwoven configuration which richly and feasibly takes in the needs of progressively-broader regions: this within a true market-rationality which is hardly predictable, let alone determinable, in its final contours and forms, but which can however quickly and marvelously coalesce under an imaginative transport and communications, in a very real sense whether or not it is state-of-the-art. Especially when there are likewise put in place distributive legal, monetary and finance instruments to be considered below. For, again, we are speaking here of a true popular emporium, and not an expensively-promoted and unnaturally-sustained cannibalizing of local infrastructure, resources, talent and wealth.
Notably missing too in the proposed configuration would be the once-universal educator-and-social-worker-endorsed idea of the necessity for people of all descriptions to have a “down in your face” involvement with one another: this a hold-over from boomer-generation "touchy-feely" sensitivity-sessions and pot-sessions, these however having long ago given way to things more frigidly "cool". The groupie-mania a one-time all-but-mandatory social milieu which ironically-enough laid the groundwork for the blunt sadisms and cadaver-obsessions of our increasingly-morbid cop-show, documentary and “real adventure” media: since an over-intimate crossing-of-lines, a radical "socialization", demonstrably destroy the last real bonds in any society, these by nature complex, subtle, delicate rather aggressive or invasive in character. Natural likes and dislikes, attractions and dis-attractions rather always needing to be reckoned with, and given a loose rein on which to bolt or shy. Not to mention the Christian need to distinguish between good and bad companionship, definitive to sacred confines of the human soul: the trespassing of which ironically but inevitably produces an irritable, belligerent, anti-social environment of the profoundest kind.
Little place, then, would there be in the micro-localities considered here for the media and counselor cultivated verbal confrontation which was so central to the 60s and 70s USA: an inseparable popular counterpart to the televised assassinations and bizarre media-rapes of the era’s future-defining sense of no-return. A courtesy-denuding formative-period that would prove fruitful in limply-malleable employees, reflex-customers and blind followers alike. Rather would the advocated system uniquely favor a free and benign sociopolitical life and employer/employee relations: these based on natural, un-manufactured patterns of mutual identification, character-attraction and need, a sane ambiance for one in which people learn to distinguish the path wherein peaceful and productive prudence lay. Mostly requiring a simple civility and an unthreatening manner, allowing unavoidable antipathies to be robbed of occasions for rubbing-raw. Very often too, by such indirection, finding out that original negative personal assessments were badly mistaken. Since despite the expectations of counselors, social workers and expanding groups of the effeminate, people are not at all perfectly and instantly able to externalize their inner selves: hardly a desirable eventuality to the sane and mature in any case. While equally giving pause to thinking minds are schools at all levels which have similarly become diploma-mills for a sort of self-advertising marketer's degree, as a twin major to the program ostensibly pursued. All the while this "selling yourself" mania flies in the face of the sober fact that those hardest to “get to know”, quite to the contrary of such jerk-knee promotions, often make the very best of friends, and most-cooperative of employees or associates. Such a discovery too being the almost-forgotten fruit of humble civic virtues like neighborly patience and verbal and gestural self-restraint. While by contrast today's "profiling" obsessions, over the guy or gal down the block branded as "a loner" by neighbors nearby, can often be self-fulfilling prophesies, as the whole suspensive imbroglio involves a near-intolerable strain, under attentions that are quite easily noticeable, for the one thus focused upon. (Note of October 21, 2014: there is the further distinct possibility of another kind of 9/11, of false-flag operations carried on by "national security" or synagogue-commissioned black ops people, whereby the quiet or reclusive, once the very fountainhead of leadership, insight and invention, are systematically targeted in this way, as being innately dangerous to be around. Indeed, this invention of "incurable conditions" was a central project of a morbidity-breeding Sigmund Freud, himself a sexually-perverted multiple-psychotic, and beyond any question a central kingpin of turn-of-the-nineteenth-century Zionist humanity-suborning plans. Hence almost predictable is this characterization of suspected mass-killers, when taken into custody, as being loners, suggesting to the writer the distinct possibility that numbers of these "maniacs" are deliberately inserted plants in the social fabric, committing bloody acts in theaters, on sidewalks, in malls, this in order to powerful gravitate society away from the one-time-prodigal production of fruitful and independent—and thus necessarily solitude-treasuring and uniquely-"different"—souls and minds.)
Related to this broad issue of self-projection within the distributive milieu, even so rudimentary an element as the right of individual physical self-defense needs reassertion, since each of us is in a very real sense a state unto himself, meant neither to trespass nor to be trespassed upon, with a sovereignty which is the origin and basis of all others. This ultimate independence being however that of which the modern system is the penultimate sworn enemy: a sanguine personalism being in fact the most fundamental end-products of a polar-opposite distributism. A sovereignty that is not at all supposed to be curtailed by society, whose only legitimate function is to magnify our individual agency, not to diminish it. Else we be better off to go back to hypothetical prehistoric, pre-political caves. The state being commissioned to enable a bringing-into-full-expression of advanced individual potentialities which would otherwise be buried under the all-engrossing concerns of primitive survival. Thus if a society becomes invested by a motivation that works at cross-purposes to the utmost civilized freedom of action and agency of each person, boons which in turn tend to increase both the liberty and the security of others rather than harm them, to that extent it becomes a contradiction in terms. This whole liberty-enabling orchestration which is true government, according to the same analog employed in chapter two, requiring that the densely-packed carpet of custom and law be passed down to the future citizen to tread upon “lest he dash his foot (or unimpeded liberty) against a stone”. While to the degree such a solicitude is wanting, among the range of official functions, to that degree institutional and governmental legitimacy is by nature lost.
The answer of course and as elsewhere suggested is not to go into standard yin-and-yang hypnotic considerations of “the eternal dilemma of the public versus the private good” or an even-more-commonly-appealed-to “law and order versus individual freedom”: considerations which too often today conjure up the multiplication of jingling handcuffs and sliding cell doors, oddly-happy sounds to some ears. In flights from which after a certain point even the most confirmed agnostic would gladly trade the proportionally-much-less common and more charitable Medieval Inquisitorial cross-examination. While it remains true, after needless pains to all concerned, that there really are answers to this riddle: solutions which have been elaborated and applied with success throughout the civilized ages.
Obviously, something like defense over ones own person is a perfectly-natural and indeed essential concern, as well as one with unique ramifications, tending for one thing and by the nature of the case to require potential exercise in the here-and-now, on those hopefully-rare and in better circumstances even hypothetical times when necessary. The policeman being for one thing unable to be everywhere at once. Thus presenting one of many compelling reasons that rights and prerogatives of self-government, often at once rudimentary, subtle and difficult to put in precise terms, are not simply and without qualification "handed over" to others: rather does one allow others to instrumentally exercise them, as long as they are able, and do so with at least a tolerable degree of wisdom and prudence. An ability to choose, especially concerning certain things, the very nature of which requires that the reins of government be close enough to hand to be able to thus in some way rein them in; while otherwise self-government is only so much rhetoric or wishful thinking. This right to our own personal defense against aggressors being a particularly fundamental one, closely associated with those of thinking, feeling, doing, and of bestowing our loyalty on the state: even Christ's own incomparable meekness having had a certain limit to it, with our Model of that virtue consistently conducting Himself with the utmost virility and noble circumspection before His many and frequent accusers. Providing us with our own model for a gracious and fitting school, neighborhood and workplace comportment. While in any case turning the other cheek is one of those voluntary counsels of perfection which is not morally required of the laity, among whom in many cases it would be entirely out of place or even positively wrong.
Society has of course not at all become less violent, let alone less warlike, since such basic rights have become so hamstrung as to be essentially outlawed in practical terms: mounting crimes and prison-populations proving illusory the threadbare arguments of the behavioral zealots and bureaucrats who brought about such prohibitions, and others more-or-less closely-related. (Note of October 21, 2014: This dense thicket of legal strictures against self-defense being increasingly attended by New Church pulpit and TV-counselor talk-shows in which any least stirring of anger is regarded as a terrible crime, even a terrorist threat: indeed the better contained allegedly all-the-more-dangerous, said by owl-eyed prognosticators to indicate "a ticking bomb". While all this overwrought agony as intimated above only sets the stage for an increased frequency of violent crimes, by frustrating any natural expression of displeasure, or even of generally-quick-spent but scarcely harmful bouts of rage. Meanwhile today’s increasingly-menacing combativeness grows apace, being witnessed in the already-noted and implacable verbal and psychological warfare of school, workplace and even home: with violent antipathy going underground, as it were, fearing any sanction-attracting open expression, becoming sulky, underhanded and morose, personified in the many aggressive drivers one meets on the way to and fro. A gamut of penalties held in mounting apprehension ranging from demotion to loss of employment to psychiatric evaluation to an "assault" charge term in jail, painting a picture entirely foreign to the milder and more light-hearted social ambiance of the Mid-Twentieth Century, sometimes viewed through the eyes of newer generations, as on old film noir productions, as a kind of volitionally-free-flying paradise lost. A relatively-more-personally-sovereign time when, for all that, actual fighting was not all that common, and shootings relatively unknown. While the likewise typically civil and courteous public atmosphere of densely-populated places like Western Europe or Japan give the lie to the usual facile justifications for present anti-social trends here, in a postulated population-increase-related friction. Ever-sardonic, irritated or even belligerent Americans by contrast having oceanic elbow-room in terms of people per square mile compared to both of the above.
Actually, it is my experience that those societies which most foster genuine personal sovereignty see the least amount of violent crime. While by contrast the sanction-laden solicitudes of our "libertarian" judicial system over exasperated gestures or sharp words, in laws regarding assault and battery, “terrorist threat”, and so on—most if not all of these being felony offenses—paradoxically brings with them a burgeoning social aggressiveness and perfectly-criminal use of force as a constant companion.
Of course and as noted above by the very logic of civilization—in its freeing of the individual person from more primitive engrossments—physical self defense should seldom be necessary, and likewise there will always be those too weak to defend themselves: provision for whom is one of the central marks of a civilized land. In our distributive model too individual acts of charity, chivalry and all the other virtues are given added scope: indeed as an integral part of the very same truly-civilized way-of-life, a traditional scenario which, granted, hardly suggests some vaguely "guaranteed" positive behavioral outcome such as the social workers and visionaries of the past century have ever assured us they were preparing. But with equal consistency failed miserably to achieve.
What is actually needed in self-defense, 99% of the time, is not the threat, let alone the use, of violence: an honest and open smile was once the standby measure for most tense situations, and the main element in the old virility. A confident buoyancy bred on the very retention of such primary rights, and of the social environment which they both assumed and helped bring into being. Indeed the loss among the people of those to-some-of-us-well-remembered masculine smiles—the broader the better—has been concomitant in time, as if by a law of nature, with the loss itself of that good and truly-pacific environment, and the corresponding rise of today's ever-mutating sarcasms and demeaning body-language, touched upon above. An underhanded aggression which bullies others psychologically—very much like Talmudic injunctions about never letting the goyim walk in front of you, or never giving him unencumbered conversational rein, and on and on—another source of which "one-upmanship" is no more exalted than the gang-related sociology of the typical sitcom, if passed on reverentially by the graduates of collegiate social worker and education departments. A mean and petty spirit which cowers behind the letter of overt-behavior-restrictive laws, thereby preventing more above-board, even more charitable attempts at overdue rebuke, let alone honest retaliation, while providing too a leading element in the modern socio-legal environment which has been fundamental to a burgeoning prison population and homosexual movement alike. This latter positively thriving on endless shades of carefully-disguised intimidation, and other forms of legally-unassailable behavioral morbidity, all this mostly aimed at bringing down the most-worthy, which, like the angels that visited Lot, are by far the badly-named "gay's" most-intended target. All such inverted frustrations or false-applications of the law being of course positively foreign to its spirit in any civilized land, among a humanity which generally-speaking values the self-same universals, if within a broad range of traditions and degrees of institutional resonance. The sinister social environment of the cannibal society encountered by many-a missionary, one which finds many striking parallels in our own of today—a main coup of which was to cleverly beguile an enemy with overtures of friendship into an ambush, with his corpse to supply the main course at the next communal meal—this being a good measure of the degree to which mankind can depart in practice from the true purposes of society and law.
Of course the cannibal sociology of capitalism, for all its gross or suave personal aggressiveness, has no use for the genuinely-confident bearing of the real men and women who used to be everywhere so evident forty or fifty years ago, amid a social life which was mild and above-board and in which the predatory was driven back to the skid-rows and dark alleys where it might be said to “belong”. Men who peopled my boyhood, who were indeed the very guardians of mid-century Civilization, as much as such expressions were themselves destined to fall into mockery and disuse. These true men, with their honest speech and behavior, never in my own experience actually having come to blows: being supremely able to settle altercations by a wry smile or perhaps a raised brow, or as a last resort a few sharp or well-chosen words. Generally-speaking easily forgotten and forgiven, sometimes even gratefully-remembered, exhortations which are now replaced by radically-different phenomena. Today's once-quickly-and-easily-settled conflicts rather frequently becoming major events in personal lives which gravely affect mind and soul, home, neighborhood and work environment alike.
How many verbally or physically battered wives, or abused children, or addictive habits or other social and personal maladies—extremely or relatively rare only a few decades ago—are not the indirect result of these and other pent-up frustrations? Concerning a boss or co-worker, or some mean but perfectly-unassailable spirit behind or in front of some counter? Especially within an institutionally-imposed atmosphere of a behavioral conformity which seldom allows an honest sentiment to see the full light of day. A provocation, intentional or not, its impact thus subliminally amplified, which of course and by definition imparts a note of irrationality to the affected party, that same quite-normal anger which is touted as the "original sin" of the strangely-inhibited modern mass-hedonistic morality. And from out of which milieu of an artificially-sustained repression comes every sort of bizarre reactive gesture, or full-blown sickness, both personal and social: maladies to which a well-remunerated modern behavioral health establishment then dutifully informs many that they are inherently prone, this in the logic of a social control with a third-round sadism all of its own.
Rather would a simple confidence in being able to defend ones own peace and self-respect promote a basically-harmless expression of same, thereby helping to relieve many-a mountainous inner burden. A partial self-policing—functionally proportional to the citizen street-sweeping and façade-washing that prevails in places across the Atlantic—that would promise to radically diminish present numbers of professional and law-enforcement functionaries. While finally and as suggested above the same kind of freedom of expression would also make possible much of the time the discovery that the subject of our irritation meant no harm at all. This business of the candid, at times unavoidably immoderate, expression of feelings being a necessary avenue and vent toward mutual understanding and truly normal and pacific social relations between fallible human beings. Who are not simply minds without feelings, as an underlying Puritanism of the USA, noted in chapter three, would seem to believe. These candid exchanges, of course only where really required, providing a good way to become acquainted with the customs and purely-individual quirks and peculiarities of others: sometimes by the same avenue finding out totally-unexpected affinities which would normally be lost amid the ironclad “correctness” of today. And thus in turn arriving at a genuine personal understanding, or even friendship. Or at the very least a very-concrete "sense of belonging": something which the professionals, even those with six or seven digit incomes, are seldom able to attain themselves, let alone afford to others.
But today, too typically, confinement of some kind is the result if one reacts in the old-fashioned, time-honored way, even so far as a mere reflex and perhaps entirely-unintended “aggressive gesture”, the kind of more-or-less involuntary thing to which human frailty is so prone. A detention which will be attended by the many dislocations and tragedies that “getting into the system” entails. And then too the occasional irritations and inevitable enmities of imperfect people in an imperfect world—commonly-enough heightened rather than helped by the breathless efforts of behavioral scientists—no longer being allowed any more-innocent outlet—eventually escalate, here and there, into the shootings which have become so significant a part of modern life. So that again the mammoth system is fed with new "intake", creating in turn the miserable kinds of jobs that are its special forte, and the investment income and remote control that are its raison d’etre.
Of course it goes without saying that it is the poor who are today increasingly held to the strictest account for every show of honest feeling, however subtle or muted. The rich often doing things much worse with a growing impunity, without further inquiry being held as having been "in the right" in virtually any dispute. Indeed and ironically, and for all the squad cars, prisons and professional/academic hyper-ventilators, it may be getting to the point today that the wealthy can virtually or literally "get away with murder” in many disputes or jealousies, especially if the target of their ill will is near-destitute or homeless. In a growing loss of civil rights of every sort among the poor.
Many of the most trying problems faced by today’s planners, related to age-groups, newly-arrived immigrants, single parents, and so on, would find their solutions, sometimes relatively-easily, through the localization advocated here, among groups who “have a handle” on their circumstances and wants from countless separate directions. This not by way of categorizations often imposed on those in embarrassing circumstances but rather of the sustained contact of well-acquainted, sometimes closely-associated personalities in day-to-day life. The kind of acquaintanceship, easily-accessible to new-comers and given much scope in many practical ways, which would promise to reinforce itself, as in a fairly-recent past, naturally and voluntarily as time goes on. Among people who needn't be reminded that the earth is a place of trial, yet who also know that our civic duty is to shelter each other from the harsher extremities that can be involved in "being put to the test".
Is there anything so senseless as the kind of "boot camp" atmosphere of so many of our social agencies—with their narrow bureaucratic focus on the impersonal—one in which friendly relations with the public, as noted above, are rigidly forbidden as a matter of policy? Or on the other extreme and in other circumstances the startling polar-opposite tendency that doesn’t stop short of a violating, even tactile familiarity, or the kind of over-intimate and sustained eye-contact which amounts qualitatively to much the same thing. Both these oversteps being imposed upon those in positions of significant disadvantage. Things quite distinct from the traditional kindliness or entirely proper marks of a universal token-familiarity, whether of Croats, Italians, Scotch Highlanders or Vietnamese villagers. Extension's of perfectly-innocent warmth to total strangers, a noble gift from out of a timeless way of life with which too many of today’s Americans, unlike the majority of mid-century, are typically unacquainted. A spirit which blends well with a lively and humane commerce, basic elements of popular life all of which have for decades been branded as backward by an inescapable mass media. Dooming to a calculated “phase out” incalculable social adhesives of every kind, found wanting due to their native scale-containment and relative-un-manipulability.
Akin to the noted invasions are today’s many psycho-erotic films full of subtle or obvious themes and undercurrents which threaten to overturn the most basic tenets of civilized life, or alternately to fancifully retrofit all earthly existence to some truly-backward and tyrannical era from out of the past. Creating a social ambiance all of its own kind, of the new and bizarre blended with the old and corrupt, one which is experiencing a promotional “coming out” in universities and colleges across the land. Campuses beyond question serving as experimental behavioral models destined to be applied to the whole nation, and adapted to every conceivable circumstance. The on-campus brazen, open soliciting of sex by male homosexuals having for one gradually become the new hallmark of American college life, individuals who seem to have little time for anything else yet who commonly get top grades, first choice on work-study positions and internships while in school, as well as top jobs when they graduate. These "men" with their capers, and middle-school-level bicycle wheelies, often-enough concentrically targeted upon some innocent, attractive male. Boorish irruptions with which anyone who regularly steps on these campuses is entirely familiar, bizarre things taken as an entirely normal "given" by the academic authorities, themselves still quite commonly found to be moral bomb-throwers from out of the 60s. Achieving perverse new things on campus, as in the case of abortion-advocacy and the other socio-moral revolutions of past decades, well in advance of a much-exaggerated societal acceptance.
Such was indeed the setting in which this writer's own phone call was received after assault and battery at ASU by sodomite activists at one of their perfectly-timed-and-organized but carefully unannounced flash-rallies. One which took place right in the entryway of the student union, with the most blatant sorts of physical aggressions in connection to a down-in-your-face display of nude pictures. This wild pursuit continuing for some twenty or thirty yards down the broad walkways outside, no doubt with potentially-HIV-infected saliva striking the faces of many. All of which could of course, in the modern infantile, Sesame Street collegiate intellectuality, be transparently and circular-logically defended as an unavoidable and unintended byproduct of the press of the crowd. In a rally no doubt lasting no more than half-an-hour, but complete with a lurid rock-band blaring fit music for full effect, up on a wooden platform somehow rapidly folded out, as if the event were an invasion of a foreign beachhead with inflatable rafts and all. This well-planned travesty being then predictably treated by said dispatcher as a hallucination, in typical sardonic/bureaucratic tones: simply because no permit for the activity had been solicited, nor had the authorities themselves taken formal notice of its excesses. The Bill of Rights apparently having been suspended for all on campus except the homosexuals, and some few others thus equally "correct".
Because of such a lavishly-bestowed license at these universities an all-encompassing eroticism now favors the interpretation of the most innocent of friendly gestures as an accosting toward some sexual episode, in a lechery-marketing which easily intrudes itself as well into the surrounding social and commercial milieu. On campus typically requiring that the morally-motivated become a kind of hermit, especially if considered attractive: a quality which, again, to the sodomite increases in direct proportion to one's moral innocence. As in the noted case of the delivering angels sent to Lot, who were also ironically the very ones divinely-commissioned to deliver to the men of Sodom their just deserts. Moral goodness too drawing the unsolicited attentions of both sexes and a vast gamut of age categories. While on the other hand and ironically-enough the least display of a traditional simple friendliness of male for female can now easily be interpreted as being unlawful, in the growing dominance of certain radical-feminist ideas, and the normalization of sodomy in tandem with a de-normalization of genuine and heterosexual courtship. (Note of October 22, 2014: As my wife and I have often remarked, sodomy isn't really even sex properly-so-called, but only a sort of repugnant mutual-masturbation). All the while in disturbing ways genuine new-found women's rights are ironically experiencing a subtle-but-rapid erosion: suggesting, again, that we have lost contact as a society with a certain touchstone, a first principle which accurately evaluates the purpose and meaning of every act, impulse or institution. "If the inner eye be dark, how dark then the darkness be."
In the advocated self-determining neighborhood context many of the sorts of problems, not a few of them officially-generated, that keep planners and psychologists alike on pins and needles, are found not to be problems at all, but only more opportunities for the intensification of a true unity and interdependency, one based on the above-noted defining contingency and indeed ultimate frailty of a shared human lot. Which it is highly-counterproductive to consistently treat as a disease, a social dysfunction or fertile ground for some bizarre new sex form. A fragility which even the healthiest and best-placed inevitably experience at the beginning and the end of life, and often-enough during frail or uncertain periods in between.
Things do indeed go wrong in the advocated perennial, localized environment, just as surely as they did under the demesne lords and among the peasants and clerics of Western Medieval times, in a system which however continued unimpeded its ongoing and constructive work without needing a whole army of breathless behaviorists to keep it intact and functioning, such as our present system supports in droves, in a modern America robbed and beaten innumerable times, and left in the biblical ditch to die. Since at the heart of any genuine community is a cohesiveness which in many ways assembles itself of its own accord, and mostly on its own terms, in an impromptu sort of spider web of associations. And which is set horribly awry by point-proving, ham-handedly-intervening hands. Diffuse relationships to varying degrees either intimate or perfunctory, yet amenable to the more staid and formal framework of valid laws and institutions: as among groups of any combination of ages, sorts or size gathered together for the first or the fiftieth time. A reciprocal engagement unique and specific to place, time and personal peculiarity which tends to densify with the passage of time: a reality which the heavier elements of law or convention are not at all meant to tidily sweep aside.
If the newly-arrived Middle Eastern immigrant or relocating New Yorker to some big city, for instance, were received by this sort of jointly-embroidered community, perhaps of his own nationality or general socioeconomic/cultural milieu, he would tend to be welcomed, indeed even by the city at large, as a potential augmentation of the common urban and neighborhood fortune: rather than being regarded as yet another feared rival in the generalized struggle between the marginally-disenfranchised and the completely-so. In that ambient sense of social rejection which is today so common. For there would be implicit a significant representation economically and politically and from the very beginning: instead of the typical requirement, especially among minorities, of having to wait long decades for the formation of a nonetheless perfectly-fragile economic or voting constituency. The fostering of a good neighborhood, too, being quite commonly only an elaboration of an at-least-vaguely-pre-existing community life, grafting on new elements like tiny contributory twigs or buds. “A tree (which) grows in Brooklyn”, one which the more it is thus fleshed out the more sturdy and vigorous it steadily becomes.
Here, too, are we speaking of “turf” in its most environmentally-sound sense, with the kind of personal self-identification to people and surroundings which could easily favor the most ambitious kinds of habitat preservation. A configuration which gravitates little if at all toward subdivision plats and other sweeping and incurably-artificial landscape redesigns. With their wildlife extinctions, toxic surface runoffs and other notorious phenomena. Of course, if no attempts are made at the advocated multi-class consolidation then the perpetual golfers and oil barons will impose their own kind of ready-made substitute, steadily changing unique areas into sterile, environmentally-disastrous uniformity. As for instance in the present-day defenselessness of historic buildings and urban open spaces before vested interests in the transportation bureaucracy and private development: intimidating forces—given a trebled lease-on-life by the Bush Administration—which can together and in relatively-little time remove a park or landmark from protected status with an inexorability surpassing that of the Early Modern divine right of kings. (Urban Lawyer, 2000). The same kinds of people also reestablishing—in their jocular, grid-iron-pep-talk sort of way—urban racial and economic divisions which had for decades been dying a gradual and happy death.
Twelfth and thirteenth century monarchs, rather than being elected for short terms of office by class or ideology oriented power blocks, owed their positions to no one person or social unit, and were thus ideally placed to guard the rights and prerogatives of discrete localities, nationalities and cultural groups, and not just some few skillfully-manipulated and ironically-conceived major "minorities". Organic groups which were often extremely loyal to throne and commonwealth in return. Such monarchs thus possessed the kind of independent moral and practical authority that enabled them to champion many legitimate causes, both large and infinitesimal, and this often with little real, effective or sincere opposition, while also having plenty of self-interested reasons for doing so. Provided no threat was involved to the peaceful tenure of noble estates, or to the rights and privileges of various popular associations. Governing elements generally marked by the same sort of identification of the public with the private good. The conflict-oriented paradigms of Marxism and Capitalism, in which individuals, branches of government and classes are pictured as constantly warring against one another's interests, of course sharply precludes any such a cooperative spirit, this in doughty unison with the many historians who continually deny that it ever existed in any age. But it remains true that, as noted in previous pages, even on those occasions when the odd monarch here and there was tempted to pursue the strictly-self-interested course that such ideologues regard as axiomatic, ringing him round with their inherent limitations on his sphere of authority were legal and property-related charters and conventions: flexible, developing constitutional instruments, with precedents in pre-existing if less formal arrangements, passed down “in perpetuity”. A fundamental institution that materially prevented him in most cases, without grave risk to his own interests, from damaging the free and productive forms already in place. Authority being everywhere recognized in medieval times as being a biblical “building up”, and as being intrinsically invalid when exercised in any sort of overbearing or preemptive “tearing down”. (October 22, 2014: Here indeed another great blessing of a system built on the law of God, with its "constitution" to be found in same. There being an unshakeable inbuilt equity in such a regime, while present-day libertarian notions would give any fanatical bloc which has enough clout the power to completely revamp everything at will, according to its own twisted image and likeness.).
Direct royal command powers, then, were customarily reserved for matters at the larger national or interregional level: but even these invariably required the cooperation of noblemen and others for their successful consummation. And furthermore to the extent that these royal actions affected local arrangements or conditions they typically received a joint ecclesiastical and nobility mediated adaptation to the customs of the locale, while anything not open to such a process would have been an anomaly unlikely to be allowable under the unique pale of Medieval law and practice (see Mariana, Obras, ed. 1950; Reynolds, Susan, 1997). Indeed, there were gradually introduced exceptions to this rule—like for instance the levies of special direct taxes which were increasingly expected of lords and subjects by late Medieval monarchs—first requested and finally demanded. Exactions that had few if any precedents, and that in the beginning usually required the threatened use of mercenaries: providing highly-significant historical antecedents to Bush’s policy-ramroding Blackwater-type Wall Street traded troops, backed of course and in each case by the easily-obtained but dearly-remitted monies of global financiers. But the point is that while the system was in full force such direct royal fiscal demands—infallibly signaling the gradual advent of other encroachments of every sort—were almost non-existent, and their frequent late-medieval appearance represented a corruption in the whole distributive Medieval philosophy of government, as toward an absolute state or corporate/bureaucratic complex such as we have today. Hence progress cannot always be assumed to have taken place, just because one thing happens after its predecessor, while the true progress of genuine Christian Civilization is indeed guaranteed to at last triumph, in hearts, minds and societies, if amid occasional temporary reversals.
Contrary portraits of rape and pillage as being regularly perpetrated on peasant populations during Integral Catholic, distributive times are as suggested a fantastic fictional institutionalization of what were relatively-rare periods of anarchy, of which today there are by contrast many more, both in war and in peace. Whether in occupied territories like Iraq, or locally-contained as in the after-dusk non-man's-land of many an American suburb and city alike: with a here-and-there supposedly-dropping crime-rate no doubt among other things being connected to a system which more recently records no crime in the robbery, rape and even increasingly the murder of the homeless and others on the fringes of desperation, or the countless criminal oversteps of homosexuals in school or workplace. While playing a part too is the fact that so many are already in prison that it is hard to conjure up many real or imagined new miscreants to fill eagerly-anticipated new prisons of the standard neo-con prison-industry lore. Medieval disorders, by contrast, having been brought about by a host of largely-unavoidable circumstances: in interludes like the ineffectual reign of Stephen in early twelfth century England—or of a later Richard II—these becoming much more common in much-later centuries. As for instance in the mass genetically-motivated rapes recently perpetrated by Serbs upon Croatian womanhood, whether young or old, nuns or matriarchs, being easily matched however by those perpetrated upon Parisian women by the occupying Nazis, in the days just after the Blitzkrieg, or as mandated by Russian communist commanders for three whole days at the end of World War II upon the women of Vienna. Or for that matter by the first occupying American troops on the Japanese island of Honshu. Rapes which in the case of the Serbs were meant to insinuate a nationality blood strain not previously significant, and thus pretend to make more plausible imaginary irredentist claims. Serb wrongs with unseemly haste now all-but-absolved-and-forgotten by a supposedly hovering and solicitous global media/corporate/government. An indulgence which however blends well with a growing child-prostitution and other forms of "white slavery" across international borders, aberrations in which a sizeable number of the wealthy and well-placed of a corrupt global system commonly indulge. Thus too is a massive institution of casual sexual exploitation seen here today in the most commonplace of settings, as in an above-intimated “employment” of the underprivileged or homeless, or of poor unlicensed contractors: an institution unfathomable in scope and depravity. The best- or most-poorly-kept of secrets, depending upon your helpless or well-to-do position or point-of-view. A barbarism prevalent in quaint Western mountain village or sprawling Eastern city suburb alike. Slavery, as Jefferson indeed noted, and in fact personally experienced, morally destroying the slave-owner at least as much as the slave: even as many historians have an uncanny knack, for all their archaeologically and statistically based hairsplitting, at confusing more-recent enormities with the generally mild and reverential Catholic social order of eight or ten centuries ago.
As suggested it took a sustained assault on the distributive system, on the heels of the High Middle Ages, to make centralized governments, and centralizing economic institutions, more prevalent than they had previously been: while within the same picture of an earlier and milder time, of an organic and legitimate authority rather than one based on the inordinate power of money and arms, nobility was in most cases a flexible and popularly-responsive instrument of government. Which however doesn’t prevent it from coming in for perhaps the biggest portion of anti-Medieval-Catholic black-legend targeting: with even the Early-Twentieth Century Catholic distributist writer Hillaire Belloc seeming to attack the very estate itself of nobility in lengthy passages of his biography of Cardinal Richelieu (1929), and in so doing opening a floodgate of career-rewarding anti-traditional cynicisms to be indulged in by many other Catholic authors today. Belloc charging the aristocrats with the looting of Church properties, and the forming of alliances that ran counter to the latter's interests: a nobility thus held as having "jumped the fence" and operated more or less hand in glove with the worst of Reformation forces let loose across Europe during the Renaissance. But such an alleged aristocratic treason must be put in its contemporary context at a time when a whole European society had gradually undergone a change in moral and functional composition after the thirteenth century, so that what almost invariably resulted among the peerage was a gentry in name only: with the bulk of these aristocrats ultimately becoming mere passive holders of land and wealth, rather than remaining constituent parts of a living organism dedicated to the common good. Indeed the labors, multiple wounds, military-campaign-related illnesses and imprisonments of a Louis, a Lion Heart, a Baldwin or a Joinville would hardly have recognized a peerage in which coats of arms and titles by the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were routinely bestowed as political plums upon wealthy rent-farmers, money-lenders, mercantile traders and the like. Generally-speaking with many coveted privileges and only ceremonial duties being involved. These same men in turn subsequently being depended upon as sources of royal financing: at times indeed by way of peremptory royal confiscations or forced loans but far more often in terms far-more-beneficial to the lender himself. An often-desperately-impecunious royal treasury being privately financed at exorbitant rates, analogously in many ways to our present-day Federal Government, as mercantile-era policy goals became increasingly extravagant, and one king was more and more bound by deadlines of the fanciful but inescapable fiscal world of his father. Public revenue becoming a source of enormous private fortunes in tax-collection ventures of every kind, in a gradually-widening orientation toward popularly-impoverishing "economic rents" which would begin to undermine the Spanish monarchy even in the time of Ferdinand and Isabella. These sorts of collections being primitive forerunners of modern bond-ridden currencies and a whole range of arbitrage-related practices, going a long way toward preventing that throne from ever really becoming fully established, just as expanded versions of the same practice are presently undermining the future of the United States. A habitual financial irresponsibility, no doubt with remote roots in the ceaseless need for revenues during the centuries-long Re-conquest, rendering Spain insolvent before it was even properly born, this in particular by way of what would soon become for many nobles their chief form of income: the debt instruments juros and censos (Lynch, John, 1992). Bonds and notes however quickly to be succeeded under the foreign Habsburgs by an unprecedented "species of open and permanent credit" levied for one thing on the Spanish sheep-growers association, the Mesta (ibid), thus with stout nails securely closing the coffin of Spanish unity and solvency. This while a more-complicated, all-encompassing public-finance rentier institution in France eventual spelled the demise of the French throne much more so than did the ideas of the philosophes (Collins, James B., 1995). These latter indeed when seen in this light being likely loan-collectors of a whole new type, in the creation of incendiary ideas as formidable as a whole army of mercenaries, more regularly commissioned with taking debts out of royal hides. In this case with these celebrated philosophers effectively pulling the cord on the Guillotine for both king and queen.
For any comprehensive understanding of such a nobility we must also consider the late eighteenth century mandating by the Bourbon Charles III of Spain of the documentary tracing of titles for the recognition of the ownership of estates and the privileges that went with them, a measure taken during roughly the same period in other parts of Europe. One which would radically favor those who had bought their titles, complete with stirringly-preambled bills-of-sale, and to disqualify many of those whose ancestors had won them in grueling, obscure, largely-unheralded defensive and constructive efforts during the early medieval and largely-unrecorded nascent organization of European states.
Thus is it within the totality of the change away from earlier sanguine and stable forms, with many-another diluting element as well, that you have an accurate picture of much of the “nobility” of Early Modern times, an ailing condition which in fact signaled its passing as previously defined, according to the above-noted dissolution of critical foundational institutions that the capitalist system brings in its wake as night follows day. Noblemen across Europe during the same centuries rather in large measure finally becoming an indistinguishable part of the effete crowd of courtiers and favorites in more or less permanent residence at court, often enough amid the most shameful excesses and dishonors (Norwich, 1996). Being indeed the universal moral grand-daddies of the present-day lobbyist/protégé milieu of Washington D.C., London, Tel Aviv or Beijing. A refusal of which companionship might in such times easily-enough bring a clever poisoning or other underhanded assassination: as in the case of one Croatian Ban, holder of an office which under the empire of the Austro/Hungarians represented the legitimate but seldom-honored sovereignty of the Croatian throne, still constitutionally-intact from High-Medieval times. A true nobleman who refused to be the casual consort of Maria Teresa. While the depravity to which these courts had descended is equally illustrated by the case of an illustrious elderly Spanish grandee whose drink was shamelessly poisoned by the notorious foreign second bride of Ferdinand of Aragon, this only moments after he had deftly parried one of her characteristically-vicious verbal attacks. While to absent oneself from such a court was generally speaking at the very least to lose many advantages, and eventually, directly or indirect, even ones titles and lands.
Such a devolution of a once-vital class is in a certain sense only a symptom of the progressive separation of land from wealth: a founding disease of capitalism and root cause of modern disorders. Land as noted above necessarily needing the fertilization of the close-at-hand, entrepreneurial application of financial, material and human capital if it is to produce abundance. True wealth being more than anything else the concatenation of human efforts, of human capital, working its good effect upon material things. Land however rather being fated to become the lowliest pawn in the power-plays of international finance that it is today, and a venue for the dire miseries of farm workers, while already in the sixteenth century Spanish Habsburg estates began to lay fallow while their owners went on extravagant yuros and sensos funded jaunts and spending sprees: each vast holding acting as a sort of bond-issuing, coupon-redeeming central bank all-its-own. Hardly can we be surprised, then, that such a false breed of “noblemen” as described above would have abandoned the interests of the Church and of good government, especially in those in-large-measure post-Catholic times when to do otherwise might easily have involved drawing and quartering in places like England, or the loss of ones property and wealth elsewhere.
Political science texts, if they deal with it at all, will invariably identify distributism with bossism, but this is hardly a fair assessment; while the journalist Chesterton spoke to a degree of true distributism in the first decades of the twentieth century: if however largely in an over-casual style which corresponded rather poorly with the deeper subtleties involved, in an irony and jocularity which too often fatally deflected brilliant flashes of penetrating genius into realms of lesser provenance. But it was such rough contemporaries of Chesterton as Amintore Fanfani of the University of the Sacred Heart at Milan and Father Fahey of Ireland who have been among the system’s more cogent expositors. Yet even many modern scholars in social history, were they to follow the train of their own research to its logical conclusions, rather than continuing to insert fanciful anti-Catholic hypotheses at its most critical junctures, would probably wake up someday and find themselves distributists of the first order, thus claiming as most-congenial-colleagues such Medieval and Early-Modern writers as Aquinas and Bellarmine, while finding their incisive observations memorialized in the inspired and well-reasoned logic of papal encyclicals and decretals of the ages. Unveiling for us a unified philosophy which takes in the length and breadth of immemorial human and Catholic social thought. Its definition—which bears repeating and which is recognized by all genuine distributists—being that smaller—even tiny—social, political and/or economic units, rather than being preempted by powerful forces, must be recognized as possessing the most substantial authority and responsibility over the widest possible range of things that naturally fall under their purview. Again, this hardly means that there is no higher authority left at all: lower and more-basic levels however as much ceding as submitting to those above; and these latter exercising more of an expediting than a dominating task. The whole rather having what might be termed an inbuilt functional proportionality of jurisdiction.
Within such a genuine real politik the social body finds a striking analogy in the Blessed Sacrament, or the Body of Christ, in which the reception of each communicant of the Body living, whole and entire finds a parallel in a local milieu possessed of a similar holism on its own political plane: in a sense containing in itself the functions and prerogatives of higher levels, of the entire body politic, even having inputs into those purview proper to the national policy-making level, such as inter-regional commerce and national defense. The local by its what-might-be-called originality of jurisdiction having a constituent say-so in these higher matters-of-state which absolutely cannot be legitimately thwarted or denied: since for one thing the local milieu is the only capable transmitter of the individual human person’s political voice, bearing within itself uniquely the imprint of his otherwise-nonexistent volitional power. As well as the only serviceable retention-pond for his inalienable option if not to combatively oppose a war then to withhold support or consent. The waging of war thus hardly being justly a mere discretionary tool of central government, as it has largely devolved today. (Note of October 23, 2014: Thus a standard EWTN caesaro-papist capitulation in ever-dismissive words of one of their studio pseudo-priests, to paraphrase, "Of course, the waging of war is a matter into which we have no input, being entirely up to the state." Does the state, then, itself basically only an organizational template or idea, have a mind and will of its own, to be able thus manfully to bypass all of us in such an important debate?) A false regal privilege which however even the liberal Mariana, formed as he was under an all-powerful Spanish Habsburg dynasty whose pretensions he in many ways despised, seemed to take so for granted as not to even merit discussion: so far had the Church's surrender gone already by his time, being leagues below the virilities of a Hildebrand or a Boniface VIII, with respect to the church/state or "lay-investiture" controversy. Although even he very likely assumed a sort of tacit consultative element, taken for granted as not even meriting mention, a survival from Medieval times still to a degree inherent in many of the forms of his time.
It will doubtlessly be countered that the logistical chains and strategic timetables of “modern war” simply cannot tolerate this kind of approach, but here again we meet with a circular logic: much as Bush’s Iraq invasion and its dire consequences are used to justify bi-polar contradictions like the contemplated defensive attacks on other lands like Iran and Somalia. All this evoking images of breathless date-rapists, ever claiming—convincingly to most of our "enlightened" judges—to have been brazenly "provoked", with these italicized words indeed violently rejecting any such form of consecutive ordering, being an obvious semantic contradiction-in-terms. For by definition war cannot be demoted to a function secondary to, contingent upon, most everything else, being rather the decision par excellence, and if it has thus escaped the deliberations of the people then we are in the grips of a tyranny indeed: one global in its grasp and power. While furthermore the exercising of this local consultative privilege does not at all render war's prosecution chaotic or untimely, but rather organic and coordinated, in a potentially far-more-swiftly responsive mechanism than what obtains today. Since for one thing in distributism—which radically inhibits the control of a central media or propaganda bureaucracy—we are speaking of a cumulative buildup of true information with respect to the intentions of other powers, so that within its embrace there can be no question of the prompt willingness of the local milieu to fight in and contribute to a just war. Here being indeed a holistically-conceived discretionary power which although indeed led by the national popular assembly and the head of state travels like a surge of adrenaline through every vessel of a reciprocating body politic, a moral conviction identical to that which strengthens the arms of a just man in a just defense of home, family or helpless neighbor. Here being as well, in this closest approach to the “perfect knowledge” of the economics books, the sanguine motivational partner to the "control of the purse-strings" of local and regional representatives in the moot, the later cortez or the embryonic estates general. That to which indeed the decision to wage war was in every event closely tied.
This kind of coordinated social organism is the natural province of a true nobility, or for that matter of genuine authority of any kind, while under any other setting these tend to become oppressive, or conversely a mere ornament. Christ's own words, finally, rather obviously pointing to this configuration, with the local or "least" indeed being treated as the "greatest" and most-consequential; such a social organism's subtle reciprocations not however being entirely new to humanity, Christ rather bringing to pre-existing political realities and mutualities the graces of a Redemption that renders them more sublime, vigorous and richly sustainable, harnessing them to things infinitely beyond their native ken. Even as the neglect-of or presumption-upon such heavenly boons can result in that "perversion of what is best" such as constitutes a glaring tendency in Western history: this in wrongs and oppressions which, traveling along potent rationalities and other stout tendons of the Christian global interface itself, quickly achieve fantastic and perverse amplification. Thus perhaps forecasting an eventual passing of the torch of Christian leadership to Russia: a persecution-tried and heroic people ideally suited to reintroduce the practical as well as spiritual boons of Christianity to mankind. Christ manifestly not having come to establish a brutal centralized rule. This Russian “standing in the breach” being achieved by way of her final accession to Catholic Faith, predicted by Our Lady at Fatima, Portugal, in October, 1917. The bulk of the West having gone the haughty, degenerate and ungrateful way of an ever-symbolic Israel. (Note of October 23, 2014: Since this writing this interpretation of the Fatima Message, of Russia as savior of both Church and state worldwide, has become central to our entire Crusade.)
Once distributism is established as the modus operandi of a system then violations away from its central, delimiting tenets—as toward over-extensions of a monolithic, un-participated power—tend to stand out in bold relief, setting off alarm-bells of all kinds: being an organizational form that is quite self-policing. For in such societies the whole issue of over-extension is taken very seriously indeed, especially as habits and vehicles of popular and official vigilance become “entrenched” over time, as existed in abundance in noted Medieval "customs and usages". All of this in turn and as noted only insuring the continued honoring of a sort of elaborate unwritten constitution all its own, one far-too-well and concretely spelled out to be confined to any one document.
Hence is the sovereignty of the human person—the main citadel being defended here—a fragile treasure which must be safeguarded in civic forms and social arrangements of a great degree of multi-level elaboration or density. With the most local venue being a sort of inner garment of authority, that for which higher levels are only a further and more specialized tunic or guarantee. An inner social existence which is dear and familiar to the citizen—indeed a defining part of himself—and in which he must in all justice be allowed his proprietary place. Regional levels properly serving to facilitate and coordinate this intimate popular agency, adding to it a further enabling depth and range. The national milieu protecting and defending the local and regional like a final overcoat against a cold wind. The undeniable higher honor accorded to more upward or outward levels having its sole constitutional origin and validity in this sedulous, sometimes-heroic harboring of the living, local and more-intimate popular body-political well-being.
It goes without saying that such accountable systems must by definition be personalized: being necessarily well-coordinated expressions of custom-ordained bonds of loyalty and distributive economy. While furthermore upon reflection it becomes equally plain that such a system should be secured at all cost: even of the giving up of life itself, to insure the happiness of those we leave behind. Providing for them a dense plethora that the care of the all-determining human person critically requires. As was the case with the above-noted truly-representative assemblies across Medieval Europe: like the Cortes of the various Spanish localities, principalities and kingdoms, or the Zupas of the Croats. Being unique expressions of socioeconomic ties between man and man, reciprocally and in the most sanguine of ways serving the regional and national common good. Here, in this coordinated mutual functionality—in a continuum down to the individual personal level—is the reason that these older bodies were largely free of the irresponsible air of chaos or abandon that regularly reign in today’s congresses and parliaments, where by contrast a simple realistic engagement with an issue is often an insuperable challenge, and where the only long-standing relationships, no doubt in a special way in the USA, tend too often to be between legislators and elite interests that are indifferent or even hostile to the popular good. While by contrast these more-perennial sorts of representative bodies were regularly able to withstand unreasonable royal demands of all sorts, this by way of a resonant, deep-rooted strength, as noted above being the sort of indigenous authority held by the above-cited Spanish Jesuit theologian Mariana to be the most sacred, as well as in a certain very real sense the root of all others (Obras, Edicion Atlas, 1950). While likewise being invoked by him, at the price of a severe censure, in opposition to the centralizing usurpations of a then-reigning Habsburg throne.
Quite misleading are the predictable charge that these sorts of organic, localized constitutional bodies were inseparably tied to backward systems of compulsory labor, or the "chaining" of young men and women to a trade or "place in life" over the generations. This common indictment—much like that against the “tyranny” of the nobility—being far-and-away more applicable to a later and degenerate time. Even if the Medieval system did make such an occupational handing-down a very agreeable possibility to one at the threshold of life, an opportunity such as is in fact seldom available to a youth of today. These trade and craft arrangements on the other hand having been more recently discovered as loosely-construed powerhouses of contemporary divergent creative and entrepreneurial activity (Nicholas, 1997; Hilton, 1992). It rather having been the international traders, whose commercial heirs would later found the Enlightenment democracies, who would in the late thirteenth century work toward the rigid tying of a man to his appointed task. Much as he still quite typically remains to this day: loud praises of modern liberties notwithstanding.
Granted, there is something of the laborious in any attempt to reestablish these ruddy institutions-of-old, but the same must be said of anything worthwhile on this globe, among men stricken by a lethargy-and-mediocrity-breeding Original Sin, and thus needing to urge and discipline themselves and one-another at every turn. But is there anything new in any of this, or must we regard as "more realistic" the onerous prices exacted, and obscure wishes and rituals entertained, by Jews and Bonesmen who presently rule our world, and as Don-Quixote-illusory any attempt at something leagues above? You, dear reader, the only entity involved that has a heart and mind, be the judge.
Joining the torrent of wild accusations against all things Medieval is the allegation by modern historians and political scientists that the era's popular assemblies were "backward and obstructionary": yet when we ponder the facts of history we discover that what was typically-enough being obstructed by these political descendants of the tribal democracy of the moot were the self-same vaunted schemes and ambitions of monarchs over which modern textbooks overflow with contemptuous era-denigrating rebukes. The examples of Phillip the Fair, as well as that of most of the earlier Habsburgs, come readily to mind: the latter being in a constant battle of wills with the German Diet over the extension of dynastic territories, this in typically-jury-rigged Habsburg claims to various distant lands which read like a riveting déjà vu to what was to come under Bush and Obama in the USA (Coxe, William, vol. I, reprint 1971). Such scholars, in the midst of their ringing condemnations of these constituent chambers, thus revealing as well an unaccustomed diffidence over what is in many ways the very definitive essence of democracy: namely the ability to withstand the demands of rulers in effective, above-board, indeed-where-necessary-"obstructionist" ways. Modern libertarian academics thus ultimately and incredibly becoming implicit champions of absolute rule, with the logical-enormity of the excuse of a putative intermediary political-historical necessity—with Marxist dialectical determinism thus seen as imbedded in practical workings of time—of some sort of a divine right authority. This before self-government could properly "come of age". To be crowned finally, with due pomp and circumstance, with a ceremonial apotheosis of an anything-goes, natural-law-denying "rule of law".
Thus for instance the incredible obsequies so commonly bestowed by standard Anglo-American historians on Elizabeth I or Henry VIII of England, plainly alleging somehow that their sanguinary rules were identifiable with the progress of political freedom, with similar praises being lavished as well on Peter the Great of Russia, he who first introduced that land to genuine serfdom. A previously-unknown condition which some three centuries later would lead directly to the communist revolution. As if to postulate a kind of painful-but-necessary adolescent trip-to-the-woodshed for mankind, before his accession to an ultimate and for-the-most-part unmistakably-American sort of political/institutional adulthood. Such a surrender to the high-theory of the Marxian thesis/antithesis dialectic however and at essence only being another wearyingly-familiar mechanism of elites with entirely-pedestrian aims and ambitions, backed by rent-gouging financiers and lofty academics who demonstrate little real confidence in the self-governing instincts and instruments of the common man: the advocacy of which is scornfully dubbed as “populist”. A rather modest title assumed to epitomize all degrees of chaos and irresponsibility. (Note of October 23, 2014: Of course, we do have to be careful how we use this in-itself-unthreatening word, as today's well-financed promoters of every chaotic or nihilistic new trend will quickly expropriate the term, like dogs on a bone, claiming that by thus revisiting the idea we supply them with expanded license for their (3% "popularly demanded") sodomy-"marriage", pink-haired perversion or Pict-like painted-over nakedness. Rudely carrying off the word itself while completely disregarding voluminous measured qualifiers of pages that went before.)
Here does academia entirely abandon its true political function, being properly only the servant of complex democratic processes of the corporative whole, indeed according to the Savior's example and injunction. Acting as a fund of information, of wisdom, of well-researched historical precedents, but hardly the Enlightenment-inspired technocrat who always commands. That fallacy which is at the basis of most modern, incurably-Fabian political philosophy and educational theory alike, of the rejection of the input of the common citizen, of the community wisdom of the commons, of the agora, in a tabula rasa as luridly illustrated by that last most sanguinary of centuries: one thoroughly dominated from the start by just such experts and academic ideologues. Men from Friedrich Nietzsche to Herbert Spencer to Milton Friedman who directly or indirectly tipped the scales in favor of trade-rape or Napoleonic, unjustified war. While it is generally from among those who dwell far from elite realms, and deal day-to-day with the human aggregate, whether in organizationally complex or ordinary ways: it is these sometimes-indifferently-educated persons who most often have the greatest ability to formulate and work toward community goals, who are trained in the school of daily inescapable reality, who can sense the subtle complexities and give-and-take opportunities of what is involved. Common men to whom the scholar or technician should be a source of specific knowledge, to be weighed and applied at their own discretion. It being sheer folly to make political judgment the exclusive realm of the specialist, one who all-too-often today exclusively lives and breathes the stifling atmosphere of incurably-path-dependent computer-modeled analysis. (October 23, 2014: The latter's celebrated variegate and time-series projections were hefty provenders of the catastrophic crashes of '98 and '08, with its many "models" creating surreal financial worlds highly manipulable from on high, in dead-ends, like the even-bigger-one now approaching, to which most of those involved are entirely blind. The sole nihilistic "exit" built into the mix—and even this doesn't "work" forever—being a fantastic amplification of false-flag-induced unjust war.)
Perhaps most significantly of all the Medieval bond between man and man, this volitional reality which was the very life's blood of the era's corporative endeavors, was in a fundamental sense between equals: being essentially contractual in nature, a form in itself egalitarian, even if special honors remained the ordinary embellishment of higher realms. This in stark contrast to modern corporation/wage-earner or official/citizen relationships, these being increasingly open-ended examples of subjection. The contract or charter having in some ways been tribal in origin, and yet possessed clear antecedents in ancient Roman law and relations with client states, while operating, finally, as a readily-accessible sort of “original document”, with respect to ones liberties: a term for that invoice or receipt which in accounting roots an abstract numerical calculation to a real and ruddy world.
As noted above, to be once again independent yet interdependent, in the practical way of distributism, learning the old and almost forgotten, some would say forbidden, arts of free and mature interaction and association, is not really going to be easy: rediscovering thereby a living whole which seemed to have breathed its last free breath upon experiencing the first cold blasts of early-modern motivations. Uniquely its own having been the manner of accession to public life, the loosely-coordinated approach: elements peculiar to the very soul of early and high medieval times. And although there are contained in these assessments some exaggerations—as of ourselves as being much more different from our ancestors than we really are—yet at the very least we can hope to rediscover the era's essential organizational and attitudinal tools, and to translate these into the dialects of our own times and circumstances. But once we breathe this “free air”—much like that of the Medieval city where the phrase originated—it is manifestly not to be traded for any other.
Needed is a perennial approach to organization which is yet innately congenial to technological and other improvements of any sort. (Note of October 24, 2014: Again, we are less sanguine about "progress" now than we were when this was written in 2007.) With no need of pageants or jousting tournaments, there would yet be reproduced that arrangement whereby the landowner/nobleman—by definition and as noted above representing a limited, locally-rooted kind of authority—one who was often also an entrepreneur of sorts—was required by the monarchs—as well as by the social, political and economic realities of the times—to contribute to the public weal—to become an organic part of the workings of the state. He and his estate being for one thing an outsized beneficiary of many of the latter's boons, the solicitude of its police and military, and the like. This term "the state" indeed traditionally signifying not some Orwellian/bureaucratic octopus, as it looms ominous in modern-day minds, but rather simply man as he organizes himself naturally, into an independent sovereignty, from place to place: the term otherwise having no legitimate meaning at all, if many interloper-friendly illegitimate ones. Adapted to our own terms and enriched by our own ingenuity this arrangement would require that anyone who owns an enterprise or wields economic influence that is so powerful as to surpass boundaries that are quite small and local in nature be allowed to continue to do so on this self-same condition, taking upon himself a direct role of social responsibility and becoming a part—a sort of collaborator/contractor, if you will—of government. In an arrangement which however bears no kinship at all to the current institution of privatization, being for one thing no absorption of one realm by the other, nor yet bearing any trace of odious, anonymous and personally-irresponsible corporate control. Yet something which by way of certain standard conventions could become an inbuilt, graduated process of authoritative, legitimate involvement. As stated elsewhere in this book or its second companion, the official and private being in the state wedded to one another, rather than either being the master of its counterpart.
There is revealed here as well a clear divergence from actual socialism, a term much abused today by pundits and politicos alike: a distinction which goes beyond that ideology's definitive state-ownership of the principle means of production, since socialism is also a system in which scale is inevitably overbearing. Warnings by modern popes and the Wall Street Journal alike being well in order that such an aggregate ownership of productive means by government is both wrong and entirely unnatural, with such caveats being made understandable too by the fact that the very idea of the state since the sixteenth century evokes the image of a highly centralized national system, incipient to the Orwellian monster noted above. But for the organic quasi-Medieval units of authority/enterprise that are envisioned here—in an essentially co-equal wedding rather than an absorption of one realm by the other—productive enterprise would be as natural and doctrinally-sound as breathing air. Recalling the earlier-noted horizontal and vertical collaborative association of the various types and levels of that “fatherhood” all of which “come from God”. Domesticated, neighborly, entirely-unthreatening, multi-level organic industrial/official elements being destined to arise out of a rational functional-reconstitution, involving an initially-humble growth of grassroots public/private entities with which corporate behemoths would have to share space, and thereafter die a painless death from the experience.
As radical a change in the order of things as is implied here within the business and industrial world, yet it is one which would be natural and intuitive, and for whose concrete realization the following pages offer some tentative scenarios. Proposed modifications allowing the entrepreneur, now mostly found imbedded in the global corporate system, to naturally and peacefully transplant himself to more congenial soil. The modern corporation being a structure which is quite legally dismemberable and disposable, even as it is sustainable only by artificial and gratuitous means. So that conversely men can by the nature of the case organize themselves apart from it quite naturally and efficiently, in a healthy sort of counter-organization that basically utilizes the opposite and natural logic. One which gradually builds from the bottom up, beginning with tiny cells too small to interest the global conglomerate and its managers and deal-brokers. Units of organization at the job, neighborhood, classroom or "chat session" levels, briefly discussed above, joined closely in this economic/political enterprise by their own immediate or extended families. Operating according to the principles set forth here, the advocated plethora would contain few conventional chains-of-command to be made subsidiary to corporate ends, nor any master plans to be unjustly construed as unpatriotic. A different drummer indeed from that so commonly marched or piped-to today.
The only thing really needed in these initial stages of such a peaceful revolt is courage and confidence, both in God and ourselves: the bravery in the first place to live on a significantly humbler plane, and this for a hopefully-short but essentially-unpredictable amount of time. The temerity to resist the material quick-fixes of the present system even as we retain our beneficial practical connections to it for as long as we morally can: connections likely to be increasingly sporadic, short-term, and hazardous as time goes on. Realizing that the modern world’s radically-undependable remunerations and other inducements, again, even for some of the seemingly most well-placed, are in many ways only a carrot held out on a stick, and even this in the process of being withdrawn. While also grasping that the modern global corporate economy as a whole is only a school of large fish that is even now headed for its own self-extinction: this for one by the inscrutable, shock-and-awe-ridden logic of accelerating systemic debt. The proposed positive countermovement being destined undoubtedly to slow the momentum of such a destructive dynamism, at first only local but later in terms of humanity as a whole: in a way the type of conservative function performed by family farmers during the Depression, and by Mennonites during the economic crisis of the 1970s. But with an underlying thrust thoroughgoing, sophisticated and permanent in nature.
To begin with, among these seminal groups, commonplaces like carpooling and babysitting immediately come to mind, together with cooperative home-schooling, micro-scale joint food preparation, mutual borrowing and the exchanging of myriad other goods and services: coordinated activities of every description by which some of the most critical facets of modern life could be immensely facilitated. Such efforts to eventually be augmented by more complex and eventually profit-making activities as well—whether craft, industrial, technological or scientific—or any combination thereof. While both expanding cooperative ventures and constructive cohesion would be favored as well by a feeding of the mind: the primary "human capital" ironically and for all the vaunted digital technology given little scope today. Thus too do we envision the reading and discussion of sound organizational and political literature: a regimen which would challenge our intellectual digestion at first, but become eagerly-consumed fare within a minimal span of time. Added to which could be both the labor and other socially-related encyclicals of modern popes—especially from Pius IX to Pius XII—and sound philosophical and spiritual writings as well. The noted papal writings being for-the-most-part fascinating and surprisingly easy to read documents that are almost universally neglected today. The mind thus ultimately becoming familiar with the wisdom of Aquinas, Augustine and the ancient Roman historians, as well as perhaps of various Catholic socioeconomic thinkers of Europe and Latin America of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, among those who read such languages. These later writings in particular being rarely if at all found in translation, with today's oddly-closed-circuit world of Anglo-American intellectuality positively begging for this kind of catalyst, and for similar notional oxidants in other languages as well. While finally if selectively a good source of sound reading is the Great Books Series, published in the 1950s by the University of Chicago, whose volumes of notable writers of the Western past can sometimes be bought at yard sales or used book stores—even at library book sales—for a mere pittance.
The internet is also undoubtedly a highly-useful tool for this kind of grassroots countermovement, but there should as well be as much full personal contact and proximity as possible: since when it comes to human relations one recurrent standby of distributism is: the fewer intermediaries the better, be they electronic or spatial. Since both human agency and the subtleties of personal interaction are in many cases only marginally facilitated by phone, video-conference or in cyber space, a multiplication of technical device—the very hallmark of modern capitalism and indeed critical to its path-dependent perpetuation—can rather quickly reach a saturation-point regarding a more-fundamental usefulness. While by contrast the most valuable tools or enablers often take rudimentary forms, with some of the loveliest of poems, the most bold and imaginative of designs or battle plans having been sketched on a napkin, or with a crooked stick in the sand. There being as well nothing else that so unites people in the way advocated here as does full visual contact with someone actually present, together with the ambient fertilities endemic to a shared sense of place. These being human, terrestrial values which can never be wisely disregarded, and the main reason that main offices of corporations are still located in the downtowns of major cities. Where higher management and its various executive-service-industry providers can communicate in traditional, custom-facilitated ways (Kelly, Damian and Becker, 2000).
More and more innovative entrepreneurial ventures could be expected to suggest themselves to such tiny groups from out of their own work experience or education, or by way of slowly-developing connections with others of divergent scope and kind: again, following Poincare’s above-cited rule about the most significant innovations coming from out of contact between distant domains. Infant enterprises arising in unexpected ways, especially as the standard economy continues its present strange climbs and prolonged pitches, providing not just desperation but also unforeseen opportunities for the new and unusual. The main ingredients for energetic markets—human needs and human ingenuity—being ever present even in the worst of times, especially among those lovers of God for whom “all things work together unto good”. The physical world itself—both a model of creativity in itself and a source of an infinite variety of raw materials—being as well the most ever-present of collaborators, as long as we avoid being enclosed in some stock market bubble of illusions, rather readily "using what comes to hand": bits and pieces of which a disintegrating modern technocracy in particular has many that are highly useable.
But the initial need to keep living expenses and other "sunk costs" down to a bare minimum would be critical to future gains: while one gets a sense of the kinds of economies that would typically be involved after having, for instance, “cooked from scratch” for some period, in the midst of which humble labors one gradually realizes that it really takes little or no more time, when intelligently organized, than does the sum-total trouble and paraphernalia of modern prepared-foods un-packaging, disposal, etc., on the one hand, and the typical related space-age kitchen outfitting and upkeep, on the other. While costing many times less and producing a far-tastier and more-nourishing end-product. Little comfort too that the modern computerized kitchen is to those who can no longer afford it, and who are likewise undeceived of an irrational economic patriotism which delivers such durables in ever-smaller amounts. While the noted savings brought by such means—alike in cheaper kitchen costs, grocery bills and fewer food-related medical expenses and discomforts—would leave critical cash available for more strategic, substance-multiplying goals. With the final added benefit being realized as well of certain psychological advantages, mentioned in a previous chapter, that these basic, manual, tactile activities ultimately bring with them.
Only one of many financially and psychologically efficient realizations to be found along this path is that cool air in hot summer climates can often be gained cheaply and healthfully through near-costless fans and evaporative coolers judiciously-placed to assist the prevailing flow of outside air. A cooling process which also recognizes the essential need of the human body and mind for temperature changes and other natural phenomena. Moderate cooling also being aided immeasurably by awnings, or even the closing of dark drapery over windows as they come to face the sun. Meagerly-draped or uncovered windows no doubt often bringing high summer cooling bills, and this to a degree even with double-paned glass. This long-standing, trendy custom—as if to perpetually advertise one's living room for some magazine cover—and oneself as not being “paranoid”—or its equally-feared accepted-equivalent, reclusive—or even the harbor for a terrorist “sleeper cell”—being only another avenue of the modern prostration of the private and small-scale before the public and invasive. There being indeed little else that can be more private than the interior of one’s own home, and those who move about, one would hope thoughtfully, within its familiar lights and shadows, and among treasured artifacts of those they love. Modern air conditioning, too, often contributing to various chronic ills, even if a certain percentage of airborne particles may rather-inefficiently be excluded, after being incessantly blown about, into every breath we breathe. While being economically prohibitive for increasing numbers of the poor, and in numerous cases probably for the initial brass-tacks existence that is advocated here.
Yet there is more involved here than mere berry hunting, housekeeping or the launching of isolated business ventures, since the idea is the positive reorganization of society and the economy: the need for which is becoming critically-evident to increasing numbers. But it has to start somewhere, and like anything worthwhile there are risks and challenges involved. While our aim is not at all to see things "grind to a halt", as is indeed essentially the aim of many in the radical anti-population, "de-industrialization" lobby.
The tiny, organic, localized type of popular movement visualized here would in today’s setting gradually create, even in the midst of the multinational regimentation, a plethora of truly-legitimate social and economic ties and nascent political enterprises: even as 9/11s will no doubt increase exponentially, "trips to the woodshed" for doubting patriots in an ever-recrudescent "united we stand!" Our form of "development" being in plain and open view, yet in another sense to varying degrees hidden, being built upon friendship and mutual trust, in a movement abounding in myriad unique and local approaches, tending by nature to recoil suspiciously from anyone high-handed, overly-smooth or bent on climbing social or power ladders. Even as there would be few if any such ladders to climb, at least in initial stages, as well as to a considerable degree thereafter. A developing organizational grapevine that would gradually begin to prosper after the manner set forth in previous pages, given time evincing a supple strength of form: a vine whose shoots and tendrils could be expected to grow with vigor, under the uniquely-rich fertilizer of truly-rational methods and modern technical means, and of course as guarded and nourished on another level by the grace of God, and our desire to please Him. The whole venture like a forest of rapidly-growing trees whose boughs would eventually meet to form one diffusive canopy against what has become an Aztec corporate/official midday sun: elaborating a contrastingly salubrious whole, as suggested, built more than anything else upon things like custom, loyalty, friendship, nationality, mutual and/or complementary skills, and so on, or any combination thereof. At first mostly within spatial parameters of neighborhood, block, university or common meeting-ground, a process eminently capable as well of dropping fertile spores into a receptive cyberspace, but finally issuing in a coalescing socioeconomic fabric: one of a benign and peaceful nature. Capable of producing its own native leadership, according to the very strengths and flexibilities of the human social body: this in turn directed by the incalculable collective ingenuity of free human minds working in concert with one another, rather than controlled by “protective” secret-society elites from above. The whole being as well a gradually coalescing constitutional process, one beginning to take form already as such tiny units began to recognize and coordinate with one another, with the potential of lighting the candle of a renewed Civilization amid an encroaching and unprecedented universal barbarity.
Of course this progressive aggregation of small groups, from the first to the last of many successively-larger concentric "rounds", would represent a critical sequence of stages, during which must be constantly kept in mind the distributive philosophy, enabling a level of unleashed kinetic energy far-beyond anything hitherto seen, or than might even be anticipated in these few pages. An incalculable whole which the modern system would likely find prohibitively inscrutable and disconcerting, in any futile attempts at its dismemberment and destruction. (Note of October 24, 2014: As our doughty "make the world safe" forces are finding out when dealing with Ukrainian or Afghani indigenous fighters who know a more basic sort of organizational philosophy which can likely survive any amount of drone-attacks or other tactics of never-so-futuristic a sort.) Being proof against scale-related organizational anomalies, much of the strength of our integral rather than monolithic approach, at all stages of this progressively-developing productive democracy, being that it is little likely to be “taken over” by any one person or group. While even if that were possible there would be little involved in the new “system” that would hold much appeal for the easy-pickins’ appetite of the geo-financial dinosaur.
More formal concrete steps, in many ways hypothetical and tentative, toward such a comprehensive transformation are indeed suggested in the following pages and in the last chapter. But what is offered is nonetheless no fool-proof panacea, and it is most critical that we remain aware of our creaturely condition, our mortal need of divine assistance. The Jesuit motto and prime-motivator, “for the greater glory of God”, being that which alone secures the divine enablement and aid: the scornful denial of which dependency is indeed the reason for our present pitiful circumstances. That which is proffered here being a coordinative blueprint which above all needs the Holy Ghost as its chief designer, if not actual draftsman, while finally even so good and dependable a God nonetheless certainly does allow things to go wrong—as for one thing scandal "must needs enter the world"—this for the salutary testing of souls. Since, contrary to Rousseau and the New England Puritans alike, this is not yet Heaven, nor yet a fanciful reformer paradise: but a testing-ground part of whose regimen is that we must "make do" in the best and most energetic and realistic way we can: the wisely-fallible way of distributism.
Into such a conceptual and organizational framework, then, could gradually and at first imperceptibly be dissolved and converted today’s many inappropriately-massive, mercilessly-“idealistic” forms. The voracious appetite of the modern organizational octopus—tenaciously preaching us vapid sermons even as it devours us alive—and which absolutely must be fed continually—and in fact in bigger and bigger servings—having been found no longer supportable. This would-be deity thus being progressively denied hefty servings from out of that very “wealth of nations”, long falsely-appropriated as being its own unique preserve, accumulating productive caches being to the contrary snared by the self-same spider-web of fragile, fallible, person-based associations. While once being rendered at least relatively inert and harmless through malnutrition, this octopus could then as it were be carefully and quite-legally dismembered, of course watching for no-doubt still-flailing tentacles: being thereafter sold piecemeal, or as the pace of mega-corporate disintegration picks up even perhaps in a sort of auction. Amid a new incrementally-reigning industrial dynamic and philosophy in which entrepreneurship among such seminal organic groups would come to be rationally, morally reconceived, as authentic vision, genius, skill and fellow-feeling would once again work their tandem will upon a true stock of plant and equipment, rather than the imaginary assets of modern accounting and investment. While the very thought of such an auction might also suggest the necessary establishment of groundbreaking legal and even constitutional vehicles, a step however beyond a doubt further down the road from the several rudimentary stages outlined so far. The formal and declaratory being antedated by sliding-scale, unorthodox and ad hoc scenarios of opportunity, whether for "barter", sale, collaboration or various other unique forms of organizational coalescence and wealth-related re-imbursement.
Highly-similar informal adaptations have already been known in a modern commercial/industrial setting, this in particular in a post-communist Russia now relatively thriving which during the near-fatal late-90s collapse of the Ruble had been given up in despair (Ivanevko, Vlad and Dmitry Mikheyev, December 2002). Economically-chaotic conditions however rapidly giving way to semi-distributive configurations, if amid the larcenous American-and-Israeli-led state-industry privatizations of the entire 1990s, seen on a smaller scale across all of Eastern Europe. Reactive departures from these latter being initiated among persons and associations that had acquired their sea-legs in strange, unorthodox waters, commercial lagoons in which a sort of sophisticated, multi-party barter in bills-of-exchange, put to the most imaginative of uses from the Black Sea to Siberia—together with the swapping of services and analogous ingenious reciprocities—provided an ultimately-vigorous jump-start back into economic viability. This in the near-total absence of a dependable currency, again illustrating one of the central principles of this essay: that money is not wealth, and that it's functions are furthermore highly duplicable in a host of ways. Those involved in this Russian adventure typically having possessed prior familiarity with related technologies and still-relevant input chains, as would indeed be the case in our own projected scheme.
Likewise qualifying as pioneers in our day in similar ventures are those Polish workers who during the past decade or so bought the factories in which they work and began to run them in the black, probably for the first time in their history. Hardly wealthy persons, their post-communist purchase of assets came on the heels of several extended general strikes, which had in turn brought about a simplification of forms that was unique yet likewise analogous to that foreseen here. Again, such brief words are a poor description of the 80s-90s Polish Miracle, although it is a flower now withering steadily under standard EU market-pressures and World Bank lender-austerity-demands, in fluctuations within a salient downward trend, within circumstances which could hardly have been more austere. This coupled with the whole financial liberalization phenomenon—of host-government virtual non-agency in its own economy or financing—found to have been productive of such anomalies as the massive outflow of critically-needed capital. This after a short-term, deceptively-impressive inflow. Resulting in large foreign currency debts productive in turn of an innate vulnerability to radical fluctuations in exchange rates, as well as related interruptions of new capital to service existing debt (Wyplosz, Charles, 2002). (Note of October 24, 2014: Alas, all this has proven prophetic in spades, with Poland indeed having become a khanate of corporate USA, and one vast staging-ground for U.S. troops, its prime minister selling the national honor for a dime, Poland having provided secret prisons and "interrogation sites" in tail-wagging demonstration of loyalty to "democratic" ideals.) All of which helps to spell an Eastern European economic colonialism on a new, vast and potentially permanent scale. Only a small preview, however, of the inconceivable levels of indebtedness which loom for the USA, which sees market-domination inexorably escaping our grasp, and which provides the stoutest goad for the lurching goosestep of Bush’s Congressionally-complicit, if noisily-contested, global reign of terror.
But in a new world of distributive economic realism there are invariably going to be unique circumstances and novel opportunities, things imponderable and unforeseeable, with this very unpredictability being undoubtedly an innovative boon all its own, and a kind of inbuilt "security" feature as well. In wind-tossed waves on a commercial sea of Galilee where the deciding virtue is a kind of calm detachment, if we would have the aid of that Sleeper Who indeed ever counsels such a view. So that what is required is rather the virile attitude of that divine Forefather, among associations of people that are steadily learning to get by on gradually-reawakening instincts of true collaboration, organization and trust. Thus possessing ultimately-incomparable and countervailing advantages over the small-brained and incurably-panic-prone and destructive global-corporate amphibian, even for all its intimidating fleets, armies and puppet systems.
As suggested earlier, there is every indication that no serious degree of genuine productive efficiency would be lost in such a species of segmentation/scaling-down as is advocated here, even according to conventional terms: recent and earlier studies alike tending to suggest that all the incantations about scale-economies—with their neatly-supporting cost, revenue and marginal product curves—are quite misleading (Footnote: See for instance the economist Robinson, Joan, 1969—mathematically detailing marginal product discoveries she had first uncovered in the late 1920s). While as intimated above many of the assets of industry could eventually perhaps be procurable "for a song", especially since the noted transfer of demand-pull to places like China might cause a period-dynamic lowering of prices to drop ever lower. Naturally too it would be much better if this reconstitution were to take place across the entire globe, which is not entirely unlikely: given for one the speed with which good ideas—if unfortunately also bad ones—can catch on along the channels of the information age. And finally, people or valid institutions would not be hurt by such changes, but only a senseless tangle of conglomerates with an unnatural, vegetable life of its own: akin to that terrible imported Japanese vine which in a few short decades began literally to choke the forests of the American South. Corporations and holding companies that are not only publicly-traded but in their original and only-meaningful definition public entities pure and simple. Not, as rapidly-evolving modern law would have it, "legal persons", disproportionately possessed of ballooning piratical privileges well beyond those of any human being. Entities rather meant to serve than to be served, and hence legitimate subjects for an above-board dismantling and sale.
Obviously of utmost revolutionary significance in the new system would be the noted renaissance of the personal political franchise: having from the start been embryonic in the three or five member “cells”, these developing by progressive stages thereafter. A simple and gradual assumption of popular command over the affairs of life relentlessly becoming translated more and more into the solid modalities of increasingly-elaborate socioeconomic/political forms, after the manner of an unwritten constitution. A new Frankpledge-like process any divisive potential of which is neutralized by a modern organization/infrastructure that has about it a multiply-stranded interweave based on a certain fundamental legal/technological/methodological interdependence: mired as the whole might indeed now be in the counterproductive, this dense operational fabric, alluded to in a previous page, analyzed decades ago by the then-world-renowned systems analyst Ricardo Vaccha, can display both advantages and disadvantages accordingly as it is used or misused. (Footnote: Vaccha's book I cannot relocate, as if it had never existed. A fate of more than one invaluable publication since the rapid merger of publishing houses of the past few decades. This apparently starting with the mysterious plane-crash of publishers, including the then-owners of the prestigious Regnery, taking off from Chicago in the late ‘60s, with strange gratuity having been gathered there first, before proceeding eastward together to their destination by air.) A pre-existing plethora which can be materially depended upon to forestall any anticipated generalized systemic dissolving-into-chaos under proposed gradually-modifying forms. A dissolution such as Vaccha did however and indeed see looming on the road ahead, were this vast, incalculable superstructure to continue on its then-already-apparent path-dependent course. To use my own model: our alternative edifice rather complementing and putting to un-heard-of uses the system’s inbuilt load-bearing supply-chain, transport and communicational columns and pilasters, allowing the whole, with some effort, to be as it were "remodeled in place", during mostly-unassuming processes of such a change. This very long-standing material and routine-related infrastructure afterward and in its own turn being readily capable of modification, sustained as it were by the now dry and consolidated “stucco” shell of genuinely-constructive innovation it had shortly-before supported. Frame and shell alike being thus accommodated in stages to the true and vital purposes of human life. While retaining, as can be gathered from the aggregate of these pages, a native adaptability toward further called-for change. A peaceful process, like the wordless building of Chartres, which would prove to be less and less collapsible by those artificial emergencies so familiar to the world of the past century. There being described here modifications which, rather than being destructive, in fact intrinsically incorporate relational, modern-systemic potencies seldom before adequately exploited or even addressed, suggesting as well the certainty of finding others even less obvious as well.
“Voters” would form a Medieval-style civic fraternity at novel nodes and junctures and within the gradually-forming commercial/governmental firms, this political reconstitution being in turn the most solid practical basis for the same sustained and as-it-were-living and plastic solidification of organizational forms. A Frankpledge more basically congenial to its unique loads, strains and cantilevers, a socio-industrial coalescence with an inbuilt, functional justice all its own, potentially of the most truly-Christian sort. Each such unit being organic to a joint sociopolitical and profit-oriented venture, this in a natural progression away from the counter-intuitive modern corporation/media/state. With its barren, radically-linear and extractive investment—with accompanying product-development/behavior-modification—these being the exact opposite of what is advanced here. The only true aim of any social or productive activity being the free building up of the human person, and of those enablers appropriate to him. Whose demands—operating from the bottom wrung of the hierarchical ladder—are contrastingly natural, intuitive, authentic, life-giving, rather than stiffly-preemptive, ideology-driven and ultimately moribund and enslaving.
Plainly, this is a metamorphosis whose advantages command our cooperation and loyalty, a devotion as to the very people themselves: even as, in its absence, we watch the present amalgam become each day less and less able to properly or adequately accommodate basic sovereign responsibilities, let alone complex and sophisticated popular needs. A deadly calcification being involved to which an exponentially-expanding digital communications has only brought a veritable babble of protocol-ridden organizational incoherence and abdication-of-responsibility, as for instance illustrated with bruising force by the Hurricane Katrina debacle and in certain aspects of the Virginia Tech massacre, to name only two. Our model rather beckoning toward the sorts of virtue-and-productivity-embedded authority which would naturally wish to reach out in the most pacific ways to others of its kind: this in the gradual formation of a regional and finally national organizational plethora, one capable of maintaining the most intuitive of person-based economic and political ties with others across the seas. The new and at the same time perennial kind of firm ensconced with thus becoming a vital piece of interlocking masonry in the workings of the once-again adequately-conceived res publica, with inputs into local, regional, national and international socioeconomic and political affairs by various forms of involvement/representation.
Again, such a progression would at some point in time require a constitutional convention and other formal measures, and a form of such a process is indeed put forward for consideration in the last chapter, but to some degree the order of events and developments in such a scenario can only be predicted in the broadest of terms. While at the same time and as suggested the chances of actual chaos are minimal, especially when compared against the nightmare of probabilities into which we are now headed under the present system.
An interesting historical parallel to the suggested governmental/commercial interweave is to be found in the above-mentioned immemorial Egyptian guilds, which in turn had their like in most Middle Eastern Islamic countries (Baer, Gabriel, 1964). Moslems, with their unique and marvelous popular forms of credit and investment—especially across Malaysia, Indonesia and pre-“War on Terror” Pakistan—being a model for others to emulate, rather than a sinkhole of “backwardness” and “terrorism” for others to fear. Indeed their very divergence from the present global system of an enslaving finance being much of the well-hidden reason for their demonization—and progressive armed occupation—in a brutal hijacking that serves globalism's ever-expanding need for human and material resources as the most cynically-exploited of mere means. Noted earlier occupational groups—which much as in Medieval Europe were based in city neighborhoods—having contributed major input into Egyptian social, economic and political life for centuries—in some respects up until the early decades of the 1900s, while these associations also have analogous historical regional socioeconomic antecedents that go back to the time of the consolidator Cyrus or beyond (Bengston, Herman, 1965).
In the case of the proposed sociopolitical mechanism—as is indeed typical of all similarly-inspired economic arrangements of the ages—the ultimate proprietor of each unit—usually a single person or family—would best both retain pride-of-place and remain the chief but not the exclusive owner, director and financial stakeholder in each such enterprise: even as worker involvement would remain definitional to all facets of an operation, as in the noted analogous disposition and development of feudal lands by sub-tenants. While on the other hand there could take place in such a model a more "democratic" joint-buy-out of the original owner by the workers, somewhat after the fashion of the Polish example cited above: the business’s political elaboration thus being in the form of an “industrial democracy” similar in some ways to identically-named structures advocated by early-twentieth-century Catholic social theorists (NCWC, 1938). These worker-owners, construed as including supervisors as well, would however go far beyond the modest bounds of these earlier theorists, rather taking their governmental/business entity to its logical conclusion, operating it as a veritable local republic, similar in some ways to a Medieval chartered city. This latter characteristic lynchpin of the era's political life, whether or not exclusively under a representative assembly, having had its own tailor-made “freedom” and system of “hundreds”, providing the juridical form and subdivisions for many-a town in eighth-to-thirteenth century England (Haslam, Jerry, ed., 1984). The sort of arrangement that in the instance before us, of the individual enterprise/authority unit, could perhaps best be divided by departments and/or crafts, even on occasion as represented by numerous independent input-related businesses. Each constituent element providing its own contribution, both material and social, just as then, in a functional hierarchy, again resembling the Medieval town, promising to issue in a very burgeoning of small-business ventures and free civic forms of various kinds. Being a species of authority, too, because of its enterprise-related nature, that would be exclusively concerned with positive and productive goals. The typical stereotype of the Medieval polity of the one kind or the other, as having been a miniature police-state all its own, showing forth its bias in such a light, with any notion of industrial/political bosses in such a system, pictured as breathing down one's neck like a kind of Gestapo or KGB, being thus a ridiculous in the extreme. The idea of a candid government/business amalgam, down to the smallest organizational levels, undoubtedly suggesting to harried modern minds what is rather the latest corporate control-mutation, in a behavioral regimen which grows more grim and brave as time goes on, whose sources of direction are remote and inscrutable rather than close-at-hand, above-board and popularly-participatory. While for those with a sense of freedom that goes beyond even such loose-knit ventures there would be unique opportunities within the projected economy for more-perfectly-independent employment—in fact many more than at present—such as are partially discussed below.
Yet while strictly-representative-assembly type of arrangements might indeed be preferred by many people there are nevertheless critical advantages to the retention of one person or family at the head of an enterprise that would yet remain quite industrially/politically free: as indeed the distressingly-short-term nature of the recent "Polish miracle", and for that matter basically the whole Eastern European experience, the old East Germany being a case aside, would not at all impugn. In fact a brevity of positive things invariably seen in modern times wherever there has been any upturn at all. The single-owner firm being able to achieve the same above self-governing and self-sustaining aims and in a much surer way, this configuration of personalized oversight and accountability having been the most common one in Early Medieval cities and towns, fully-empowered democratic assemblies of burgers notwithstanding, with chartered cities typically came under the overall personal authority of a local churchman, nobleman or representative of the crown, or a closely-coordinated combination of such figures (Nicholas). While as noted in chapter two it is also instructive in this connection that it was from out of deliberations, not to say machinations, of merchant usurpers of prerogatives of urban assemblies, more than from any decisions of noblemen, that tradesmen and other commoners first began to lose their long-standing rights and privileges. While in fairer times the same almost-universal advantages were generally found, indifferently, whether a town or city was presided over by several prominent figures, an independent town council or the king himself, as in a royal burgh (Headlam, ed. 1972; Hilton, 1992; Nicholas, 1997).
Here too is found an especially-revealing sidelight on the great High-Medieval struggle between lords and city councils over political control (Nicholas): councils which the "gild merchant" typically monopolized by the end of the thirteenth century. This latter immemorial craft or trade oriented body finally becoming strictly "commercial" in character, "merchants" gradually leveraging craftsmen and other skilled worker entirely out of power, the gild-merchant having gradually fashioned itself into a vehicle of near-dictatorial political and economic dominion over the same craft communities of which it had once simply been an organized composite (ibid), in a control eventually extended over the whole city and hinterland, and ultimately by link-up with others of its like, over all of Europe as well. Much the same sort of gradualistic, corporate-finance-driven control that has taken over our own institutions since the interconnected reigns of George I/Clinton-Gingrich/Chaney-George II: a transformation actually begun in earnest on the heels of the assassination of John Kennedy in 1963. Strictly "commercial" elites being figures with which the nobleman hardly wished to deal, standing as he did to gain by a contrastingly-independent and politically-viable craft community with whom he interacted directly and contractually and without the drain and interference of sometimes-haughty, revenue-extracting merchants and other intermediaries.
Indeed and as suggested in an earlier page in the nobleman is found the standard critical connecting figure in the above described Medieval constructive mutual interest, articulated between individual persons. His close modern-day equivalent being likewise proportionally essential in the coalescing of the advocated tiny organizational cells into valid business/governmental units of authority. Such elemental figures and forces being in turn functionally congenial to the arena of the local, regional and national cortes or popular assembly: again: a familiar scenario to those at all acquainted with Medieval institutions. The free and prolific society being founded in the concrete, practical attainment of multiple, personally-coordinated practical objectives, not the pursuit of some amorphous, dreamy, paper-perfect egalitarianism, nor a polar-opposite alienating “lone wolf” sort of enterprise. Or other superficially picturesque or stirring—but in the actual event radically-disappointing—illusions. Things that historically tend most toward filling the pockets and ambitions of supremely-unromantic, detached, on-looking third parties.
That a productive plant of any sort and in any age is not simply a physically but also a socially developed property, and that it must be recognized in this fuller way if it is to be justly and prudently managed and disposed of: this is a basic if ill-acknowledged principle of economics which has never been successfully assailed. Such a property no longer remaining the vacant field that it may once indeed have been, before development, but rather now including not only plant and machinery but also the incalculable time-cumulative and critical inputs of knowledge and creativity, work, cooperation and sacrifice on the part of labor. Without which the whole would long ago have failed, and have become a rusted hulk less than useless. While even if technology finally produces a plant constructed and run entirely by robots—an irrational nightmare that becomes more likely each day—this will not change the fact that it was the human input of labor at all levels which historically made such a thing achievable. A social amalgam which thus in justice deserves compensation in the only way possible: in the person of present and future generations of humanity, as at least one Eastern-European economist under mid-century communist rule—in a work of whose authorship I have regretfully lost track—used to indeed correctly point out. The notion of a radically-detached "stockholder sovereignty" hopefully being revealed in this light for the Martian-like Earth-colonizing depravity that it actually is, a form of rent-farming whose beneficiaries are however themselves being cynically betrayed as I write, among myriad other things by dint of a newer elite-restricted or “private equity” investment, a scheme which even more than the former concerns itself not at all with obligations of distributive or inter-generational justice.
Hence although the advocated kind of enterprise would best be kept intact under one title-bearing owner, yet neither could this principal in justice simply sell such a plant to some private party at some future date, in the manner of a "moveable": as indeed happens so commonly today, universally in the English-speaking world and increasingly elsewhere. Allowing such a complex property to be shipped, lock, stock and barrel, to some distant or foreign soil, after terminating all or most of its present employees: in an all-too-familiar phenomenon which of course funnels profits and myriad attendant multipliers out of the area, in that supreme and murderous inefficiency that always attends such asset disposals. This one phenomenon, of a local, comprehensive, multi-level "capital flight", being as well much at the base of modern social, personal and political instabilities of all kinds. A firm’s dense relationship of resources, up-and-down-stream primary and secondary industries, transport services, infrastructures and networks hardly being justly or rationally destroyed in this peremptory, social-fabric-tearing way.
Thus the title to a productive complex under the proposed system would contain comprehensive restrictions on its future use, lease or sale, decided upon by a negotiated arrangement of those directly involved in its day-to-day operations. This in turn being confirmed by higher levels of a universally-similar kind of authority in contract or "charter" validations, so that if the principal owner were entirely bent on selling then he would be statutorily bound to offer sale to the worker-owners first, receiving some monetary-and/or in-kind-equivalent of the original undeveloped value of the land, as well as a sum that would estimate the total of his own contributions to the enterprise over the years. While finally titles to any other kind of real estate or plant would contain similar socially-oriented restrictive provisions.
The buying of such scarcely-modifiable industrial complexes would naturally presuppose much pause-taking reflection as to narrowly-construed “pure profit” to be realized: acquisitions which would lend themselves little to those financial power-plays which among today’s global or “triad”-based corporations are the order of the day. Much of principal-owner private-gain rather naturally depending upon a unique degree of steady in-plant experience, and not least too in an acquaintance with the peculiarities of local and regional markets and business cultures. Profits and revenues, as will be investigated below, being likewise understood in a somewhat different sense from what they are now: being in fact singularly-poor game for any kind of financial "killing". So that in all these ways there would tend to be retained something of the stability-in-property of Medieval times: an era when an estate was unlikely, on some strange profit-motivated whim, to rapidly and repeatedly change hands, or be turned into something radically different from what it was before. Eventualities guaranteed to markedly vitiate the community good, as through a precipitous idling of its labors and resources, or their repeated, profoundly-inefficient re-channeling, let alone the mass importation of foreign workers speaking an unintelligible tongue.
There is no desire here of proving to be prophetic, and things may indeed work out after a somewhat different fashion, once the inevitable turn is made away from the present system: but it does still seem to me that such a rejuvenated understanding of private property as is intrinsic to advocated fundamental changes would also tend to promote a redistribution of land. Not really by any revolutionary land reform but rather primarily by the simple realization, if perhaps dawning gradually, on the part of any remaining owners of vast properties that somehow survive within the projected evolving configuration, that the full and proper, socially-responsible management of same, as now in practical terms required by law, is simply beyond their own limited skills and capacities. Destined as they would be to become as it were the Biblical “new patch on an old garment”, within the projected grid or productive network, their present holdings containing or geographically enveloping, as such properties easily do, but can hardly do justice to, the multiply-focused needs and aspirations of many individuals and socioeconomic entities. Be they tenants, workers and firms, or even whole neighboring cities and other (perhaps actually enveloped) local units of government, as in the case for instance of some corporate agrifirms. Persons and entities existing over extended spatial areas whose welfare and collaborative energies one centralized property-disposing person or body would lack the diversity of purview and perspective to justly or productively address. While what we are both advocating and describing in these words is the very complex vitality of living human systems, coalescing into a true if not wildly-marketed or nationalistically-eulogized nation: as opposed to the modern rigidly-command-oriented and illegitimate monolith. Again, a vital phenomenon akin to the Medieval delegation of agency to subtenants, some variant of which is found in truly-rational systems throughout human history.
Even the free interplay of supply and demand, that gravest of neo-capitalist deities, needs to be hedged about by qualifications, just as in a more-truly rational past: markets being especially lively and responsive under perennial forms of economic freedom, and in practical terms stultified by modern versions of Adam Smiths Invisible Hand. This inveterate pocket-picket, whose modern-day more-radical versions even he would never allow, being the very embodiment of the moral/practical dichotomy uncovered in chapter four: that which, as developed in detail in its pages, Christ Himself came on earth to resolve, to heal, initiating a salubrious resolution on the horizontal/vertical nexus of the Cross, that transformed instrument-of-death productive of an increasingly-permanent Catholic Civilization which is part and parcel of the redemptive plan of God, a divine scheme irreversible, indomitable, relentlessly gaining historical ground. The only question being our personal and national faithfulness to same: for which the self-same Christ indeed sadly queries: “when the Son of Man returns, will He find Faith on the earth?” A Faith personally practiced, living, sanguine, economically and socially put into play by all involved: His words rather seeming to acknowledge that He will find few so imbued. Hence in accord with the Savior’s own mitigating and equitable principles would there be made readily available some kind of rudimentary housing: an irreducible element in a very real sense preliminary to a free market, even to the procurement of food and definitely to employment, neither of which without shelter is concretely achievable for any length of time. While as noted earlier if there ever does actually come a time when populations need to freely, naturally and innocently limit their growth—an unlikelihood, given today's scarcely-tilled earth and its millions of metric tons of food in government storage—this would best be brought about, ironically to some, by a secure prosperity: that which has historically been shown to contain population-limiting facets all of its own kind (DeGregori, Thomas R., editor, 1989). Material security for instance brokering a greater scope for scholarship, professional life or piety: each of which, for especially-worthy types of persons, can be a peerless and all-consuming consort. Rather than such a hypothetical population-limiting imperative needing at all to follow the path of today's mercilessly-"progressive" Malthusian abortion, warfare and otherwise-radically-anti-life social policies. So that we needn't after all indulge the strange modern scruple about over-fostering a supposedly rabbit-like human race: a postulated geometric proliferation which has never been realized even in the case of these small creatures, even though they themselves know no such artificial or contrived limiting constraints or discouragements.
Hence that the cost of housing should be allowed to fluctuate according to the dictates of a draconian market is not only the most intolerable of wrongs but also a pointless inefficiency, and although by the same token of the advocated system that kind of market would of its own accord gradually become a thing of the past, yet for now there are simple remedies for this universal, crushing inequity—with homelessness being one of the most shameless hallmarks of our times—that should be employed at all cost. Housing’s minimal procurement rather being recognized as a necessary preliminary to a fair and healthy market, as an intrinsic component of broadly-conceived infrastructure: since we would all no doubt still be living in the postulated caves of our ancestors if they had been required to pay gouge-rent for them before being able to move on to better things. While it should mean little to us that the “lazy”—found in every system, class and nationality—who in fact multiply rather than diminish under the radically-exploitative values and psychology of capitalism—might get by with little effort in such a scenario, if only the masses of mankind have a future of hope available to them. Such loafers however abundant under laissez faire having to all appearances been singularly rare in, say, thirteenth century France.
Firms contemplated here might even supply housing needs to workers, perhaps owning several grades of dwellings in various parts of both town and country: units which could be rented or sold according to ability to pay or by a number of other arrangements, or even as a “vested” part of employee compensation, with occupancy beginning with the first day of work, but transferable in the no-doubt-rare case of a parting of ways. Such housing—as in the way of all reciprocal exchanges of goods and/or services—being eventually quite-inexpensively build-able: as through mutually-beneficial arrangements with local architects, engineers, road and building contractors, on the one hand, and building materials, fixture and utility suppliers on the other, an honest barter-oriented approach gaining ground much like that employed during the above-noted Ruble Crisis in Russia, those involved in the latter using various flexible bills of exchange or even bills of lading and other rudimentary but essentially-negotiable instruments. Imaginative tools of trade tending to take in businesses in the firm’s up and down stream commercial chain, and many others closely or remotely attached as well, as the logic of in-kind vertical and lateral arrangements is obviously toward a multiplicity of players, working in turn an intensifying-if-loose-knit economic unification. Its availability secured, housing would then take its rightful place as a no-doubt exponential term in the healthy expansion of more legitimately-competitive elements of the market, which contrary to neo-con hard-chinned legend thrive best in an atmosphere of social order and popular contentment. As was indeed to a remarkable degree the case in the fifties and early sixties across much of the globe, a time of near-unprecedented, peaceful, and since then unmatched growth and prosperity.
The advocated horizontal and up-and-down-stream integration of the political economy would no doubt contain elements of patronage, yet these would possess little potential for harm, especially considering the absence of those bureaucracies that are today so vigorously milked for private gain, where over the past decade, through double doors of "privatization", the ethos of the corporate world has overtaken all levels of government with a kind of vengeance. Under older organic systems the very holding of titles to power and privilege implied specifically and bindingly the official/entrepreneurial duties that went with them, an intergenerational succession likewise commonly working a growing professional expertise, while as societies have historically retreated from any semblance of these distributive hereditary subdivisions they have also typically seen their working populations steadily sink into a genuine serfdom, much as in the case of our own farm workers. A roughly equivalent phenomenon having been seen as well in a Medieval China which stripped its regional lords of all power, opting instead exclusively for centrally-appointed scholar-officials, men who by law could not be assigned to administer their native regions (Hucker, Charles O., 1975, p. 277). Private wealth and management, thus divorced from the exercise of substantive local official responsibility, thereafter tending to become unrestrainedly focused on remote-control exploitation and selfish gain. While conversely a bureaucratized corporate or official hierarchy—that which absorbed the place once occupied by such an earlier accountable nobility—even as it displays at least as much nepotism in a total irresponsible way—easily becomes less and less concerned with real human needs, and more and more engrossed in warfare and other "grand" affairs of both corporation and state, in a pattern highly-familiar to modern man. (Note of October 28, 2014: About fourteen months or so ago the Crusade inaugurated a campaign for secession, to start from Texas and extend from there ultimately to all the states, these to coalesce, according to principles of distributism discussed here, into A New and Better Confederacy. This utterly new departure, as much as it draws strongly upon the valor of a J.E.B. Stuart, a Longstreet or a McKenzie, and substantially faithful to their ideas of states rights and decentralization, would be much more practical and effort-thrifty, while likewise being a stranger to racism, let alone slavery. Rather would our new Dixie incorporate the various races and nationalities as semi-independent agents and actors, as contractors-of-power, each with its own nobility, wherever this is desired; while conversely the political-power-grid could settle into a pattern entirely regional rather than racial or nationality-based in character, depending upon providence and the desires of those there "on the ground". The illegitimate government under which we are enslaved today, with its synagogue-controlled political blocs, its fraud-ridden electronic voting machines, its sodomy and abortion, its creeping euthanasia, its organ-snatching death-redefined, its strangulating economics: this fraudulent system must be rejected in the most resolute, line-in-the-sand way. Southerners being the only people capable of doing such a thing, even as, once commenced, the inspiration is anticipated to spread westward speedily, to ranching states already largely thus imbued, while in short order sweeping the other states as well.)
Yet any in the proposed system who wished to relinquish dual private/official duties and responsibilities—often onerous and self-sacrificial in nature—could do so by simply resigning from his position: together of course with an abandonment, or a passing-on to heirs, of the compensation and most of the assets that went with it. Thus returning him, in one relatively-simple step, to the condition of an ordinary citizen, with no special leadership tasks. Replicating in a way the frequent Medieval relinquishing of "the cares of this world" in the taking-up of monastic life by the well-to-do. Even the latter recourse hopefully regaining much of its former appeal, with monasticism and other ecclesiastical institutions no doubt coming under their own more-spiritual winds of reform, having been freed and enabled like everything else within such a rejuvenated society. A case in point being a twelfth and thirteenth century Western Europe, where religious life flourished indeed under analogous secular organizational advances: grace once having "perfected nature", then easily going on to the reform of its own far-more-manageable domains. Such an unburdened official, however, due to his knowledge and experience, being likely to be sought after for some advisory position at a minor local or regional level, there to continue to give back substantially to a society which has been good to him. While also being given the opportunity to exercise spiritually-meritorious duties of social justice toward those not as fortunate.
The reappearance of the old over-productivity, so accurately acknowledged by Schumpeter and Marx as an inseparable accompaniment to capitalism, might at first glance seem likely to develop a-fortiori in a system promising to be so eminently productive. But the very term would have little meaning in such a setting, all concerned, for one thing, being in a very real sense partners in an enterprise rather than mere employees mortally-dependent on the next paycheck. Thus only as much production would likely take place as was profitable and necessary, leading to no lay-offs, but rather typically keeping the worker busy for only a fraction of the work week, as was indeed the case on the Medieval manor: where three-quarters of a day of labor per week was in many cases all that was required in compensation to a landlord for the holding of a cottage and small plot of land, in stark contrast to a modern-day worker half-or-more of whose income frequently goes for housing. A slowing of production due to the attainment of an abundant sufficiency being once again rightly and sanely recognized as an eminently-positive thing: indeed no "downturn" at all: the cancerous logic of capitalism being required to even introduce such a bizarre idea. Too, modern levels of productivity—and especially of those high-value-added types of goods, discussed below, to be expected in the new system—would make possible a remuneration far more substantial than that of present-day workers, and this of course in Medieval-oriented real terms. While even further "downturn"-associated reductions in the work-week, resulting from such an unrelenting real-prosperity, could also rather easily be accommodated: there being for one thing no extractive, personally-uncommitted category of impatient gouge-investors clamoring for their dividends, or threatening some stock-devaluing sell-off of mammoth proportions.
Indeed, this whole un-harried kind of popular economic existence would make possible a multitude of lateral independent or cooperative entrepreneurial activities, enterprises commonly seen in Medieval times (Nicholas, David, 1997), this in myriad vigorously-developing markets, both pedestrian and exotic, rendered voracious by the expanding prosperity. While to be satisfied with fewer working hours or acquisitions can of course be productive of that which is most good and noble: a relative abundance of that wholesome sort of leisure which is vital both to ones sanity and ones immortal soul, providing those times of salutary, and sometimes solitary, reflection that are in fact positively fundamental to one's salvation (St. Therese of Avila, 1946, 1960).
The compensation of worker and manager alike being in major part in-kind, but under a broad range of choices and options, there would be guaranteed a certain constant productivity in durable and non-durable manufactured goods, lending to such an economy their vigorous multiplier effects, while also substantially secured would be the intensely-productive use of land and other fundamental resources, these composing a prominent part of in-kind compensations. Payment in resources and other enablers being the best kinds of remuneration of all, having inbuilt wealth-productive multipliers of uniqueness and variety, spurring ingenuity and creativity in a host of applications and of many kinds: this, again, without the doleful hemorrhage of investment, let alone arbitrage "earnings", perpetually tapping the very lifeblood of sanguine enterprises involved. By all these exaction-side-stepping means further proportionally reduced being the worker’s need for “a regular paycheck”, money itself indeed having been naturally rendered to a considerable degree a less imposing instrument. During such downturns both kinds of compensation however continuing, if at decreased levels, somewhat after the fashion of present-day dividend payments, or increases in the value of stock: these being commonly-enough realized under the present system even at those times when many companies are downsizing or otherwise laying off thousands. While the same remunerations during normal production cycles would be substantial enough to allow significant saving. Such a move away from the “wage slave” existence, toward a cooperative coalescence of increasingly-independent actors, not only brokering a sense of responsibility, among both young and old, a commodity becoming alarmingly rare today, but also entailing an exchange-medium significance to be investigated below, as well as a substantial reduction in the unproductive drain of middle men and advertisers.
Yet there would still remain a place for a variety of intermediaries, the economy being sketched having a complexity/spontaneity fruitful in new markets and related employments, a scenario ever retaining the need for trailblazers, expediters and negotiators, at least of an informal kind. The relatively unrehearsed nature of developing industries under the projected system calling for a negotiation of a benign species of “turf”, of shared or farmed-out up or downstream raw materials or component suppliers, and so on. These agents perhaps ultimately taking a place in an enterprise they helped to enable in this way, or using skills thus acquired to secure a position in a directly political role. Our model being no enterprise-extinguishing, deterministic utopia, such as so easily becomes a regimented police state, the new system would no doubt abound as well in small-scale independent manufacturing and various satisfying kinds of service and socially-ancillary occupations. A richness of activity having been commonplace before modern society became exclusively oriented toward the multinational corporation, displaying everywhere a human touch quite irreplaceable by a machine or electronic device. And neither were such tasks always menial.
A gradually dying civilization of course has little place or time for domestic poets or locally-performing classical pianists, or private voice, flamenco guitar, rhetoric or Latin lessons or the like. Self-expression, compensated or not, being thwarted for one in the modern cultural-killing-field of commercial/professional recordings, or the opiate of most standard auditoria-packing "concerts" of drug-"stoned" rock performers. While independent artists and sculptors, either working alone or in small firms or associations, are likewise given little scope today: people who a generation or two ago were quite plentiful: each of whom had his/her own inimitable style or touch but whose works are now almost entirely superceded by herd-marketed, mass-produced replicas. While a handful of intensely-promoted temporary "greats" monopolize the market for original works: productions few of which are destined to be remembered beyond the June frost of their present-day delirious currency, be they in art, music or literature.
Likewise little necessary to the modern gulag are the local ethnic or popular orchestras that used to be at the center of the life of many urban neighborhoods and small towns: entertainers who were generally more-than-satisfied with the love and appreciation of those of their own time and place, and who lent a palpable social identity to many-a district, in an ambiance they helped to both form and capture. Being motivated much after the unselfish manner of Cathedral-building high-medieval "free-masons", whose greatest earthly glory was to leave to posterity, drawn or carved in their accustomed material, not their own names but rather that of their guild. The kinds of creative artists who might easily thrive once again, and be paid well for their services.
In the old and "less efficient" system a temporarily-lamented failure to procure the coveted spot "down at the plant" was many times found to be "the road less traveled by", of the sort which the poet Robert Frost found to have "made all the difference". A setting, whether past or future, in which things ordinarily considered shortcomings rather become avenues to the unique or productively/technologically revolutionary: a sanguine scenario promising to be trebled when labor is well-compensated and thus able to pay for a generous variety of peripheral-but-priceless services. Which when coupled with a dramatically-increased accessibility to university-level education could open to the worker and his children an unlimited frontier of professional skills and personal accomplishments.
But this human and realistic kind of hope becomes less and less plausible where there is removed from a society a remunerative generosity and a certain near-inseparable loose-knit quality: things which best allow for the creative input, unfettered appraising and collaborating reaction of the individual human person. Because of the lack of which diffusive character even the individual input of the babysitter will no doubt soon become a thing of the past, since we now see big “we welcome infants” signs in front of pre-school institutions, with their typical mediocre and sometimes troubled and/or radical-progressivist personnel. Whose damaging influences are typically kept carefully quiet by sedulous stockholders, whose little-tyke objects-of-attentions later-in-life increasingly become subjects of lurid tragedies on the nightly news. These huge, flapping plastic banners or stolid-and-imposing foot-tall-letter signs being a kind of eager promotion which, were he here to see it, would undoubtedly make that ultimate social-homogenizer, Mao Zhe Dung, nod his head vigorously and approvingly. (Note of October 28, 2014: These once-ubiquitous signs are now no longer necessary, as this collective regimentation of mere infancy has now predictably become a standard part of American institutional life.)
Again we do not attempt here to do more than tentatively sketch the proposed system, since once the social nature of property, and the true use and value of money, are again understood and applied, then the same social organism, as is only right and as the word itself implies, would begin to take on the attributes of a living thing. With a unique biography all its own within each nation and locality. So that we can only hope to put into general terms a desire to bring about a kind of living culture-of-excellence, one which dwells several spheres above and beyond the "quality" control of capitalistic competition. A classical kind of genuine quality which will avoid the duplicative, waste-ridden micro-marginal improvements, often in fact deceptive in nature, that dominate trade and manufacture today. Rather favoring a kind of product development entirely unique in each case: no longer being comprised of mere surface or apparent differences in quality or style, these driven in turn by the hasty logic of trend-marketing and an inseparable debt-driven corporate bottom line.
The varieties of models or “imperfect substitutes” of products under this system would each tend to have its own far-more significant sort of uniqueness or “feel”: with a complex product-development background, a kind of narrative history all-its-own, that tends toward a host of artistically-elaborated variations in form, function and performance, elements which can be developed and "marketed" to cater to certain distinct cultures, tastes and wishes, indeed to develop these as cultural trademarks of certain localities or neighborhoods. Or for that matter even of individual families or persons. Lending to material things, as is indeed good and proper, a nobler self-defining purpose and meaning: these promoted indeed, but in such a way as to uplift and cultivate, even spiritually stimulate, the human person, rather than to trivialize him. Involving a business culture of the sort that has been to a degree typical of legendary marketing struggles between European sports car companies, but even more profoundly and elaborately developed. Product lines which have typically been characterized by the hand-assembly and handiwork of artisans, in a dense articulation with the latest of technologies, in a competition which is rather mutually-complementary than monopolizing or predatory. Building up a shared-tradition which lends reciprocal strength and permanence to an entire industry, and a uniquely-personal collaborative element, something indeed in a very real and unassuming sense charitable, of a mutual vendor/consumer materially-aided self-realization, to every transaction. Something ill afforded by the rigidly-impersonal capitalistic profit-extracting machine, which can only think in terms of "killings", "edgings out" of markets, hostile takeovers, and the like. (Note of October 28, 2014: Accordingly does Murdock just now maneuver to take over CNN, and although the first such "bid" didn't succeed, yet the acquisition of this chief rival of the mogul's own Fox News, stock-raiding of its alleged ideological polar-opposite, is probably inevitable under the corrosive cynicism of capitalism's morally-bankrupt idea of a "bottom line", in a gargantuan media-monopoly which can also be substantially achieved by some diversionary tactic of subsidiaries or holding-companies under the grim Murdock sway. Can you imagine what kind of bombast—or sheer pabulum—will then proceed from a one-time at least marginally more rational and viewable CNN?) While as suggested and in some ways most importantly, also tending to "keep factories rolling" in a far more positive sense than at present, making even the above-noted highly-positive "downturns" of such a system less-frequent in occurrence. In a whole new intensely-productive, rather than merely voluminous, product culture which could expand into many new items, versions and stock or add-on accessories over time.
As often repeated here, necessarily at the base of such ebullient systems is the diamond-like strength of the human personality, with a generosity spilling over to others from out of the superabundant stability of one’s own inner being. Yet this very personal strength itself is in many ways dependent on the institutions and relationships that constitute sound social and economic life, so that there seems to be at work here a circular logic: each thing presupposing the other. The solution to which riddle is however that we carry within us the seed, as it were, of the good society, in that inner pattern of the Divine Wisdom, and of the ever-respiring and reciprocating Trinitarian Spirations, which interaction is mirrored in all of us, if honored with varying degrees of faithfulness, and by some not at all. An interior interface dependent upon divine grace for its full realization, which at the same time conveys the unique identity of each person involved. This reciprocity being the interactive mold into which our very being is pour, making us capable of reciprocities with both angels and men, a power which thus elementally forms our personalized perception of sound modes, methods and relationships of all kinds. This divine template being the richest, most stable and fundamental of patterns by which systems develop in complexity and sophistication, in an ontological and inalienable wealth of which wildly-multiplying gadgets and financial instruments are the merest mockery. This kind of true industry and alacrity brokering a cornucopia even from out of the most primitive or provisional, or even seemingly hopeless, of circumstances. While from contrary or incomplete inspirations, as from the truncated, trivialized, fundamentally-impoverished capitalist inner world described in these pages, comes a like social, political and industrial product.
Even military leadership could be included among the functions of the entrepreneur/officials of the proposed system, once the initial shock that would no doubt attend such a suggestion were overcome, as in the case of many of the other good things discussed here. There being in fact nothing at all out of place in reestablishing the old connection of military command to leadership in everyday productive, civic life, in the age-old test of worth for office such as is implied in a lifelong willingness to expose oneself to danger in battle, a nexus to be achieved of course in a far-more-intuitive and above-board process than what presently obtains in an inscrutable military/industrial complex. While also and as suggested involved here is but one of a range of organic functions essential to any person or social entity: just as in the case of individual self defense, of which there is as well a family, neighborhood, district, city and regional variety. Each of its own limited and peculiar species, to correspond in either direction to the individual and the national. While readily brought to mind as well are the many “neighborhood watch” programs, which despite their frequent small-minded, class-exclusionary purposes—perverse byproducts of the ambient misanthropy of capitalism—are yet witnesses of this definitive defensive integrity of any society, locality or unit of organization: one which in its most-legitimate forms assumes an ability to locally and physically resist injustices and abuses of power of all sorts and ultimately from any quarter. The deeper sort of loyalty not being so much about security—let alone submission—but about wishing to see one's country remain truly great and free, so that as suggested above a bloc of dissenting local and regional military/civil units might easily dissuade even a modern government bent on a militaristic or autocratic course. Typically in medieval times not by any armed resistance, or threat thereof, but most often simply by the possibility of mere non-involvement or non-support: something—the mere thought of which would of course be considered rank treason in today's new and hyper-active notions of patriotism—that could however prove quite morally and materially prohibitive to some new and ever-more-likely Napoleon. Proportionally of course to the numbers of units—or even individuals—thus demurring or absenting themselves.
Manifestly we are speaking here of a true order of things in which manufactured emergencies are a thing of the past, together undoubtedly with the five-minute-warning threat of nuclear annihilation: a scenario in which genuine issues of the common defense would tend to call forth a sincere unanimity which today’s cavalier military adventures seldom achieve. Military men in particular being invariably well-motivated and readily-convinced when it comes to well-justified battle. Today’s view of the armed forces as an increasingly-privatized industry, tending to progressively preclude the exercise of conscience, being deeply repulsive to most military commanders, officers and men: poles away as well from the values of Medieval men-at-arms, who as suggested and typically as represented in their more-immediate commanders were noted for a willingness to absent themselves from wars of which they disapproved, or which were contrary to the interests of their co-constituents, or prejudicial to some other loyalty held to be more sacred (Abbot Suger, Life of Louis the Fat; Headlam, Reprint 1971; Bates, 1982; Evergates, Theodore, 1993). Making the decision to wage war a rather more cumbersome thing than the provocateur-initiated foregone conclusions of today, reinforcing thereby a practical, morally-just aspect to every national policy issue, in a direct and effective manner totally lacking today. Since war is after all not just some nice plum to be picked from some attractive policy tree but rather results directly in death, and too often indirectly in every sort of social and behavioral disorder, so that it must by definition be rigidly reserved as a popularly-participated policy of last-resort, the democratic decision par excellence.
In answer to the charge that such an optional military would promote disunity, it is interesting that historically strife and division were most often precipitated as a reaction to the indifference of higher authorities to the concerns of the people, rather than their cause being found to originate initially in divisive or non-compliant movements at lower levels. Discord or sedition in particular, in those relatively-rare times when they did arise, having generally been long-deferred acts of desperation in response to higher level oversteps and neglects. So that similarly one has to wonder what would have been the result had China incorporated its organic/democratic village-and-urban-neighborhood life into the broader power structure, instead of leaving these proverbially-stable grassroots units, with their pre-Western subdivisions into tens and hundreds, upwardly frustrated and in a way despised (Hucker, Charles O., 1975, p. 310-311). Laying the groundwork historically and socio-politically for the unmitigated catastrophes of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Undoubtedly, given such an upward military/civic incorporation, there would have been far-fewer eras of warlord-ism aided by exasperated citizen-volunteers, or the tendency in China today for the exercise of an openly-brutal totalitarian power. Had there been initiated in the past that sort of genuine democracy which naturally turns to an established grassroots socioeconomic leadership rather than submitting to some ideologically-cloven, high-finance-driven and media-manicured elite with many questionable connections from on high. That which indeed largely defined the conflicting Chinese revolutionary movements of the twentieth century (Lectures, ASU Asian History, Dr. McKinnon, Summer 1998).
Today this uninterrupted layering of organization would be capable of an even-greater resolution into a rational cooperative whole than was the case in High-Medieval European times, this due for one to the referred-to interwoven nature of modern life and economy, as well its celebrated cogency of communication, production and design, capable of functioning with or without economies of scale. (October 29, 2014: Here again I am less sanguine about modern means now than I was when the above was first penned, as for one thing the modern organizational octopus positively vitiates those multifarious personal ties which are the heart and soul of distributism.) Today's composite under perennial forms of a rational prioritization lending itself readily to a strictly-just recourse to arms, with this multi-part-harmony being indeed one of the inseparable earmarks of the free and legitimate state. While in the absence of this timeless azimuth or bearing a system must ultimately fall into an increasingly-precipitous decay and disarray. A species of institutional resonance calling to mind a Medieval society in which war was indeed quite often at the forefront of the popular attention, but as much toward its avoidance as it prosecution.
This, then, is a concept of the "just war" far different from that more-recent and highly-disturbing one which has long been current among many moralists in the United States: of a soldierly giving of an invariable "benefit of the doubt" to his own nation in the absence of an absolute certitude—in contrast to a far-more-reasonable Thomistic standard of simple moral certitude—of an immoral policy-, strategy- or tactic-related motive. With modern media-and-official military mis-information and related hyper-cynicisms being more than a match for a conscience thus perilously pre-disposed, and ill-suited to today’s deliberately-obfuscated issues involving the real shedding of human blood. The moral judgment of both combatants and constituents being invariably clouded by a government/yellow-journalism blitzkrieg, a smoke-screen that as a kind of last insult to soldierly integrity has often-enough and more recently been carelessly lifted well before the last American soldier has left the unjustly-aggressed-against foreign soil, making the national guilt so obvious, in so shamefaced a manner, as no doubt to account for many-a mysterious post-war syndrome or soldierly suicide.
Thus the accurate moral weighing standard should rather be tipped decidedly toward the modern “my country right or wrong” government having the burden of proof deposited squarely at its own doorstep. While as suggested several times above, today even within the wider picture of international relations of every kind we are dealing with a scale and psychology which are in most cases fundamentally irrational and morally compromised, whether or not directly involving military goals, in states whip-driven by a supranational power-hegemony repeatedly condemned by the popes of the nineteenth century. The whole miasma facilitated by an overall moral incoherence inherent in capitalism’s noted division of act from relationship, immediacy and accountability, in an ambiance as suggested on many scores alien to legitimacy and freedom alike. So that the reinstitution of such a rationally-qualified exercise of the right of local civilian and military-unit consent is one part of a picture that is clearly just, prudent and essential. Of course and as suggested, especially in the case of a truly-just and transparent system, not allowing this right-of-dissent to devolve into a hair-splitting sort of arbitrary, judgmental citizen or inductee intransigence.
Discouraging the military from gradually becoming an intimidating force of its own to be reckoned with, as is favored whenever and wherever it becomes functionally-rarified and socially-isolated, would be the suggested re-assimilation with civilian goals and activities: of course in conjunction with a thoroughly-distributive system: since to join in any closer alliance the corporate world with the military as it exists today would quickly put the last nails in the coffin of both freedom and human life. The armed forces already in practical terms amounting to a corporation-sponsored “international” rather than a national force: notably in their identification with the goals of multinational corporations and the State of Israel, the ruthless ramroding of Cabinet-level policy-loyalties, as well as the military’s coordination-with and even occasional subordination-to corporate mercenary forces like Blackwater. This while from the other end of the spectrum, that of the enlisted men in particular, its far-from-uncommon street-gang-member-recruiting—as well as its major troop-strength dependence on the ranks of the poor, and more recent acceptance of all manner of the learning-impaired and of felony ex-convicts—can lead by the shortest route to dictatorial power. For one thing a prior life of grinding poverty, or of living behind bars, can lend to soldiering a unique and heady sense of power: a phenomenon for the most part only negative when joined to an Administration with Napoleonic ambitions, as of some new Alexander carried on the shields of power-blinded troops. Such a military easily carrying within it a mindset that guarantees there will always be an "enemy" to fight, while by contrast such a basically-civilian military as is called for here would have soldiering as only one of many vital functions, and not at all its chief raison d’être. The man of peace however being the most indomitable of combatants when the commonwealth is under siege, as was for instance seen in the Medieval coalescing of the Swiss cantons: where one soldier, with his last breath, contrived to make of his own body, impaled on enemy pikes, a route of egress into the innermost Habsburg ranks (Footnote: This act of heroism was probably recorded either in Tapie, Victor-L., 1969, or in Cox, William, 1971). Mountain artisans and farmers leaving behind plow or anvil to become an iron wall past which Habsburg armies could not pass. Something seen more recently in the reclaiming by Croatians of their sovereign national identity, for which cause ordinary men seized their very rifles, grenades and artillery-pieces from communist troops, in order to gather a makeshift arsenal which would ultimately prevail. Even as the same citizen-soldiers are now being denounced as “war criminals” by a gravely-compromised Hague Tribunal, to whom the only heroism must apparently be tinged in the blood of the poor and downtrodden.
Huge national wartime bond issues would likewise be sidestepped by such a plan, as well as by an inseparable reconceived monetary system, debt burdens which have been the main self-fulfilling root cause of the political/military instability that has plagued the modern world since the days of the diminutive Corsican and before. This from before the time when he first began to borrow and subsequently tax at totally-unprecedented levels to pay for his vast fortifications, arsenals and conscriptions (Brennan, Rev. Richard A., 1877), having been preceded in mammoth exactions by a French throne which through much of the eighteenth century had farmed out levies, at exorbitant interest, to a plague-like rent-farming crowd. International indebtedness having undoubtedly remained intact and escalating ever since, admittedly daunting task though it might be to neatly tally up the labyrinthine grand total of historical inter-temporal global macro-credit transactions.
Indeed modern civilian oversight of an exclusively-military armed forces has already racked up a miserable track record, even for all its theoretical success at preemptions of general-grade “illusions of grandeur”, and this quite apart from more recent ominous developments recounted here, with vague-but-menacing overtones of a whole bewildering range of new military options. Not at all excluding the carefully-unspoken possibility of an open, and of course "security-related", dictatorship or seizure of power: notably if present corporate and secret-society-enabled de facto arrangements are found unequal to “freedom’s task”. The tables now having been turned, and the higher-level war hawks being almost to a man global-corporation-connected civilians. But even prior, milder policies hardly prevented the pre-World-War-I shipping of war materials on passenger vessels, despite German warnings: a remorseless provocation tantamount to a false-flag operation—i.e., the deliberate doing-to-death of civilians, typically ones own—a travesty that led directly to the sinking of the Lusitania and thus also to our Wilson-planned involvement in that conflict. This hiding behind civilians to conduct military operations, and using their slaughter to perversely gain the moral high-ground: this being a game at which the USA has long been a pro, although jackal-like our government hurls the self-same accusation at ragged Muslim forces that are necessarily part of the civilian population, among whom they are forced to reside or "hide". A disinterred ghost of this same general strategy having since 9/11 become the guiding motif in justifications of Administration foreign policy: leading the way to future engagements everywhere from Sudan to Syria to Somalia to Iran.
Similar too was the U.S. global-dominion-oriented nettling of Japan, especially during the 1930s, a policy-interlude referred to in chapter one: criminalizing her in-many-ways unavoidable defensive policies with respect to two neighboring Marxist giants: China and Bolshevik Russia. This American strategy-of-containment being joined by highly-prejudicial tariffs and other trade restrictions, seconded by basically the entire English-speaking world, ramroded through unconscionable industrial-raw-materials price-fixings, contrived international settlement-agencies and "naval conferences", to name a few. A prime example of what can only be called an Anglo-elite global bullying policy-ensemble which envelops an “enemy” from every side, denying Japan an absolutely-critical economic expansion, for an island population bursting-at-the-seams. These policies being of the most punitive, transparently-racially-motivated variety (Iriye, Akira, 1972; Chamberlin, William Henry, 1939), without sympathy leaving Japan increasingly vulnerable to a growing Marxist/Leninist movement across Asia: a population-butchering monster which it was easy for the U.S. to alternately scold and coddled during inter-war years, being itself safely ensconced between oceans half-way round the globe. On some occasions indeed acting almost as if Stalin were its own affectionately-regarded Mr. Hyde. Self-righteously excoriating the Japanese for their direct and daring race with the Russian Bear for the development and ultimate ownership of a no-man’s-land Manchuria, right next door to these positive and productive off-shore Orientals: a Manchuoko, as it was called by both natives and the Japanese, which Japan was rapidly lifting out of a miserable condition under various warlords, in a system in which serfdom and concubinage were rife. While the same Japanese uncompromisingly-anti-communist position also constituted much of the original reason for the overt Japanese intervention in China during the 1930s: hardly causing any surprise to the thoughtful that a largely-externally-provoked "militarism" ultimately carried the day amid various staged or genuine incidents: with the former being laid at Japan's doorstep in every case, although a close investigation of the facts hardly supports the much-publicized supposition of Japanese aggressive intent (Morley, James William, 1983). While others have been known to invade and occupy other lands under the most contrived of "provocations", citing some superior contribution the invader supposedly will bring: this being the claim of every aggressor since Alexander or Genghis Khan. The new candidate for such honors of our own time hardly needing to be named. China in the 30s being a land which, even with the doubtful advantage of a scarcely-anti-communist Chiang—the Kuomintang itself having been from the start a Leninist movement—was internally-divided and already herself tottering dangerously on the brink of a Soviet-directed communist takeover. With Western-originating loans and other forms of aid, finally and as usual and even within these narrow collectivist limits, brokering opposite points of view.
Hence was Japan in fact and in many ways one of the real heroes of the era: although, granted, being imbued with a pagan Imperial culture which, if thus provoked, could become fierce and terrible: in a head-of-state-worship to which however the United States has recently and in its own way shown itself to be every-bit the equal. And then too there was an equally-vilified Vichy France, like Japan in some ways single-handedly containing a geo-monster all its own, Petain saving France by his dogged refusal to either completely capitulate to Hitler or to attempt a "non-conditional" defense of the nation which would quickly-if-bloodily have amounted to the very same thing. For which genuinely-heroic, inherently-thankless positions both nations were to be "branded with infamy" for generations to come: with Vichy France, finally, under the Liberation experiencing a truly-Jacobin purge, mostly against the innocent, which was at least as brutal as the national experience under the Nazis (Footnote: Source for these facts is the one-time premiere journalist Huddleston, who actually lived through these events, whose book, republished by the John Birch Society some decades ago, I have been unable to locate in the university computerized systems I have accessed). While Japan would pay for its temerity with the rape of a sizeable percentage of the women of Honshu by "liberating" American troops. Even though, in a cap-off to end all cap-offs, and amply able to silence today’s many haters-of-Germans, there is much evidence that Hitler and others like him actually got their ideas from this side of the ocean, in a generous global overflow of Spencerian Master Race notions which became dominant in the United States at the beginning of the twentieth century (Pool, James E., 1997), in an engrossment with lower and higher races endemic to Nazism remaining alive and well here today in the same ever-Nazi-hunting USA, and indeed redundantly-evident in the whole time-lengthy settlement of the continental USA.
Hence plainly a complete denial to civilian leaders of direct duties of military leadership has little constructive merit if our entire foreign policy is characterized by adventurism, jingoism, paranoia or a nettling, intentionally-provocative behavior: things which however fit remarkably well in the macroeconomic toolbox of global capitalism. There being in all of this little of any real desire to “restrain the military”, something lacking in the USA from the very start, while by contrast the actual field commanders of those in combat, if given consultative status in decision-making, an element inherent in prudent military leadership from time immemorial, would scarcely desire to throw their men into unnecessary, unjustified conflicts: a hesitancy for instance reflected in a generalized contemporary field-officer disgust with the Indian Wars (Smith, Sherry L., 1990). Representing a troop constituency of the type and level which is however most-rigorously responsive to any “clear and present” national danger, while also having little inherent vulnerability toward those sweeping, high-level treasons that are ironically found so often in modern ultra-centralized, fanatically-“loyal” and aggressive militaries—or even Administrations—like those seen of late. Treacheries which have sometimes lost battles, or resulted in the death or compromising of single or multiple covert operatives, and which could conceivably end by drastically altering national defensive capabilities.
It is indeed perfectly appropriate, and conducive to sanity, that military leaders and enlisted men alike should spend the overwhelming bulk of their time in the peaceful, productive pursuits of ordinary civilian life, taking up actual military duties only for periodic training, or in rare justified hostilities, while it is only out of the vacuum created by the lack of things so sound, pedestrian and stable that a Napoleon is at all likely to come forth. Even as much-made-over divisions of the military from the civilian nonetheless find desk-pilots easily jumping back and forth between civilian and strategic-military posts: thus raising grave security issues, especially considering the virtual-reality world of the multinational corporations from which these "heroes" spring, calling into question clear motivation-related issues over which, in humbler contexts, so much is otherwise made. An overall scenario in which, too, the “citizen soldier”, at the bottom end of such a gamut and despite such a lovely title, isn’t at all the heartily-accepted component of the nation’s civic masonry that the Western Medieval cross-bow-man or halberder commonly was. Just ask any American who has ever served how he was treated by civilians while in uniform, or after he had returned home. Suggesting that there is little of real substance to much-vaunted modern compensations. Not to even mention a Veterans Administration which, as I have it, and at least at certain hospitals or clinics, is still engaged in business-as-usual guinea-pig experimentation, as in scandals uncovered in at least one Arizona VA hospital during the mid-to-late 90s: standard glowing Capital Hill assessments aside.
Thus plainly it was not until our present-day sort of military took the place of the nobleman and his retainers, with their usual productive occupations and activities, that the large-scale warfare of modern times was given any degree of practical scope. While one of the few wise moves of Early Medieval Byzantium was the institution by Heraclius in the Seventh Century of regional agrarian-based military Themes: bodies of a civilian/military composition analogous to the large and prosperous princely estates of the Medieval West, or even to the amalgams advocated here. Embodying a defensive institution in the face of constant barbarian and Moslem attack which kept the empire firmly intact, and even to a degree equitably so, for two centuries, until these organic administrative units came later to be dominated by rent-extracting absentee elites, helping pave the way for the fatal events of the 11th Century (Norwich, John Julius, 1988).
Involved here then is the resurrection of an old and healthy military culture, one whose roots were typically so deep in the surrounding society as to render aggressions or intimidations against it quite unthinkable, even as of course all earthly power remains in a sense dangerous and capable of being used poorly, or for ill. But under the proposed arrangement power would at least be substantially localized, identifiable and accountable to individual persons and organic, popularly-integrated groups, these being in a position to make the moral judgments that are proportional to their deeds. Not at all partaking of the detached quality of today’s command monolith, one which pitches us so easily into some new crusade, found quickly afterwards to have been a cleverly-propagandized corporate bonanza. A global dragon which “puts all its eggs in one basket”, not in practice producing a much-made-over "security" but rather rendering nations, markets and organizational nodes alike extremely vulnerable, as recent events have indeed demonstrated so well. While to make favorable, jocular contrasts of our military against that of the generalissimo-driven systems of Latin America—once a favorite droll diversion among pundits and policy-makers alike—is also to hit decidedly off the mark: especially since these men have commonly been the pawns and creatures of our very own State Department.
As noted earlier, most Medieval disorders would be basically impossible in today's context, for one thing because of an inseparable systemic reverse-looped organizational interface, with the main elements of society now so closely and densely integrated, quite apart from the present gargantuan scale and elite control, as to be capable of performing at hitherto unattainable peaks of secure efficiency. An advantage that would be even more evident were such a network distributed more evenly, as in the manner of advocated local and regional political/industrial nodes. Making for perfectly-natural points of reflex, informal surveillance that would yet be far more effective than today's many often-low-paid airport security guards and other "information police". The sleights-of-hand so necessary to coups and other adventures being thus rendered much less likely. Such an organizational distributism, finally and as well, easily replacing the modern mass political impotency by its vigorous human/volitional élan. (Note of October 31, 2014: As in much else touched-upon in these pages, I'm not near as sanguine about the modern system anymore as I was when these lines were written, rather seeing that a break with the modern electronic interface in particular will inevitably be required.)
A chronic military chaos has indeed been brought into being in several parts of the globe under the interventionism of today's many questionably-legitimate international or "coalition" militaries: aggressive deployments, in the inimitable modern style at one and the same time stoutly and shiftily justified, which predictably continue, as in similar interventions of the past century, to leave in their wake a profound popular discontent. And eventually and quite often, in the impacted country, the rule of petty or powerful warlords. So that plainly intended—after so many "oops, how clumsy of me" heroic escapades—one sees beyond doubt that the real aim of such activities is rather a political destabilization: one highly-favorable to certain predatory corporate, geo-political interests, rather than any genuine desire for global peace or security being involved. A phenomenon in fact suggested so broadly and frequently as to need little commentary, often in global areas that were at one time at least relatively stable and secure. Like the so-called "Western Balkans", much of Africa, Central Asia and more recently a profoundly-destabilized Middle East: some of which regions were generally marked by an almost proverbial tranquility during the nineteenth century, a time when by contrast the U.S. and Australian frontiers were battlegrounds for warring tribesmen and/or gunslingers. Each of the above-related elements revealing the danger of violence, aggression, oppression or even dismemberment as being decidedly favored by the present power-structure and system, with its global scale of hair-trigger, comprehensive involvement, its vindictive, anti-life, sodomy-peddling secret-society-driven tyranny. Such as has replaced a one-time comparatively-benign and accountable locally-and-regionally-rooted economic/military world interface.
The Medieval Western European political culture hardly presents us with such a path-dependent scenario as is witnessed today, rather evincing a spontaneity in which for instance leaders poorly-disposed in one generation or within one family were easily succeeded by others who were wise, peaceful and moderate. This among many staggered sets of age-cohorts, trained in locally-specific leadership cultures, who applied mutually-balancing prompts and brakes on a scenario regional or national in scope. A species of organization that actually required less of any "master plan" than of the uninhibited ambiance of real-if-organized life. A scenario which at the same time and as noted above leaves the most scope for the human mind and will. The fanatical power indoctrinations of a perennial absolutism, capable of myriad forms, finding little scope in an earlier England in which a cooperative Henry III followed an obstreperous John after his death in 1216 and an intervening regency. While in France the 50-some-year period of the improvement in leadership that culminated in the reign of Charles VII in the 15th Century was dramatic in the extreme (Henneman, John Bell, 1973). Hence would the institution of the proposed person-and-place-based system, within modern technical and reciprocal advantages, tend to favor a benign stability of a sort that is feared only by the revolutionary who has something to gain for himself, or his ever-alert corporate/investment allies.
Even some form of the old Danelaw or Frankpledge of Medieval Europe, a constitutional rudiment which as indicated in most essentials actually originated among Mongolians and eventually spread Westward, might once again form the legal/organizational basis of society. This irreducible atomic component of barbarian tribal life being succeeded upwardly in size and scope by hundred and thousand member units, in an embodiment of popular political will whose constituents were legally responsible to and for one another, while having many strong socioeconomic ties as well. The reestablishment of such loose-knit-yet-vigorous local vehicles of cohesion being especially adaptable to the ideas presented here, projected to draw their first concrete manifestations organically from informal groupings of friends, relatives and close associations of entrepreneurs. Collaborators in many ways closely-similar to those under which the same Frankpledge evolved. Such primitive tribal law-enforcement mechanisms as the picturesque “raising of the hue and cry” having been integrated parts of this near-universal customary plethora: highly-effective devices which made the peace of the realm and neighborhood an immediate, readily-achievable objective.
Academic claims of the modern inapplicability of institutions closely tied to remote, largely-unrecorded times stand up poorly to the ready witness of history, in testimony that people naturally enter into such mutual sociopolitical commitments, at least if not artificially prevented from doing so by an ever-unrighteous totalitarianism's many patrolling morbidities and negativities. These cross-commitments being the sort of thing that delineates the richer, truer and more adequate parameters of ordinary human existence: a founding vehicle-of-community which tyrants and grovelers alike regard with open scorn, but against which they nevertheless exert some of their most formidable energies. Constructing the sort of interweave which when wedded to modern means (see related note above) is not only receptive to every sort of genuine human advance but which also acts as a natural filter against those innovations which have little of concrete popular good to offer. While such a web of self-government also has plenty of room for the contemplative or the naturally-retiring, both of whom are indeed among its least-obvious but most-formidable strengths, even as the present system mercilessly drags the most confirmed recluse into the blinding light of the most vulgar sorts of personal inspection, ironically finding the sometimes-innately-creative, trouble-avoiding keeper-of-his-own-council to be the chief boogeyman of a morbid, paranoid, deeply-institutionalized culture of fear.
Indeed in the progressive absence of above-noted congenial and largely-informal ways of doing things, order-countering devolutions brought about under evolving “efficiencies” fundamental to capitalism, the whole concept of self-government gradually becomes an empty letter, or a kind of cruel mockery, as there is easy money to be had in the mutation of community-amenable but strictly-private realms toward others bleak, regimented and commoditized. Older dauntless character amid such strictures being drown in an enervating sea of sexuality, most fruitful in today's hosts of stalkers, bent on finding new, shy and untried partners, when a few decades ago society had an especially-well-regarded and respected place for every harmless, even gullible, law-abiding, un-intimidating sort of person: a far different kind of democracy indeed from socially-coercive ancient Greco-Syrian institutions which we have adopted almost in their entirety. As for instance in their rounding-up of pure and attractive youths to serve as prostitutes in homosexual brothels (Segal, Ma, Bengston): a travesty which is finding many approximate parallels in present-day corporate and academic America.
Thus too today's tremendous drive to modify the behavior of mankind vis-à-vis a new and radically-construed set of "upper middle class" values: criteria which the well-to-do of the 40s, 50s and early-60s would have recognized instantly as either backward or bizarre. Such "betters" especially prizing a coarse, dope-peddling lower-class foil to favorably compare themselves against, and to run risks involved in the privileged-class addictive "fix". The principle being upheld that the horse of science and technics must lead the rider of intelligence, morality and faith, in a reversal positively fundamental to capitalism/collectivism, in a “realism”, whether in films or in commerce, in which the crass, cynical and bullying must finally win out, as all life has been turned on its head. The new educator/media proclaimed spokespersons of society being a thought-Gestapo set to the ungainly goose-step of fringe radicals like Alinsky, Leotard, Toffler and MacCluhan, each with his own peculiar socially-disintegrative pronouncements, hysterically raved-about in a rigidly-controlled academia as if they were new laws of science. While finally it is indeed easy to call these laments and misgivings paranoid, as they do have about them an easy-mocked note of urgency: allegations of pathology being lodged by elitists who arrogantly claim the “high ground” of a con-man’s universal expertise. Prime movers of trends and events whose very number by the laws of probability inexorably point to something accurately-gauged as to its fatal significance. All the while the pretense is sustained that evidentiary proof of malice of intent is necessary in each of infinite numbers of particular cases, else one be classed among “conspiracy theorists”: an odd strain of incredulity among erstwhile worshippers of statistical analysis, among a mankind which in a yawningly-familiar manner and from time immemorial has organized itself for common goals. Some of them just, others vile and reprehensible in character.
Institutions from our Medieval past like the Frankpledge, ground-level constitutional vehicles of near-limitless variety and flexibility, tend to present themselves to many imaginations as having been rude, primitive and chaotic in the extreme, as helped along-by big and small screen “historical” images of brute preemption, frenzied flight and bloody struggle and capture, perhaps with jugglers and court-jesters cavorting to make a mockery of the human prize. But in fact the reading of primary documents nets little evidence of such disorders, rather suggesting the simple and direct effectiveness of the "hue and cry" of this socio-legal arrangement. One in fact generally speaking so mild and informal in the concrete as to have little resembled the dehumanizing brutality of an increasingly-common sort of "police action" of today: a sense of shame and social rupture in earlier times rather having tended to cow the guilty into docile submission in the presence of familiar friends and neighbors, and this long before any hint of violence, let alone the shedding of blood. Being brought to bar by close-associates whose own good name and socioeconomic viability would have been vitally at stake. Even as the American version of justice administration, according to the unfortunate predestination-oriented Puritanical prejudices noted above, seems to glory in blood and gore and the public humiliation of capitalism's inevitable "inferior" races and classes, as in nightly televised chases through the backyards and back-alleys of the poor, invariably culminating in some miserable, sprawled-eagle handcuffing and capture. (Note of October 31, 2014: This televised police work has been joined by a "Law and Order" kind of TV, to which one or two channels are entirely devoted, in which morbid anti-Muslim fantasies of the Homeland Security world are given full scope to nourish homicidal pathologies, both pro-Islam and anti-Islam, in the viewing public at large.) The TV-cops shackling a person whose hasn't yet even been brought to trial, and who, for all we know, and knowing our media as we do, may by the time of airing have already been dismissed or acquitted. The impacted unfortunates however being the indispensable vessels of the noted putative, primitive-Calvinist "foreknown" moral condition which wears so well in a present-day neo-conservative United States. While by contrast the more traditional sort of police officer, who has seen life for what it really is, has remarkably-often been kind, compassionate and idealistic (as by our own experience in helpful encounters out on Crusade), even if largely up-staged by less-sympathetic court and administrative perpetual-judgment-makers. People who often doughtily man soup kitchens, or give tidy, self-justifying donations to charities.
Most interestingly, the resurrected Frankpledge arrangement—being inter-family, neighborhood and/or job-related in nature—would also help to combat another control aberrations common to our times, as seen within individual families themselves: with the present incurably-avant-garde American social model, presented as the epitome of the most all-encompassing liberation, and this most-especially and most-reputedly free from all over-weaning blood claims, being rather characterized by some of the most bizarre kinds of intra-family personal dominion. Maladies that indeed and in their own odd way mark many-a modern "friendship" as well. The sorts of relationships, with their humorless "passive" and "dominating" personalities, billed exclusively as entryways to a life "in the know", fruitful in overreaches and behavioral perversities of all kinds, which our personally-independent Medieval ancestors would, generally speaking, have scorned to even contemplate. Existing as these forebears did within an ambient virility and social sanity which comes across in contemporary sources, and which was still borne witness to as late as the 1950s, as the occasional remarkably-intact immigrant-European peasant personality used to sturdily reaffirm. Or as is indeed today borne-witness-to in many of those students coming out of the far reaches of China, beneficiaries that they are of a near-indestructible social memory which survived even Mao Zhe Dung's apocalyptic "Cultural Revolution". Resembling in a host of ways as these separate kinds of people have their Medieval counterparts from days gone by, this tribally-originating socio-legal bond having always been a main guarantor against the morbid and perverse, a lynchpin of sanity in a fallen and insane world. Tending in the give-and-take of a practically-interactive community life to dilute today's many "strong personalities", actually for the most part merely mean, underhanded and small. Thus introducing sanity where it would otherwise have little chance of prevailing, and this in both an upstream and a downstream sanguine, pan-societal way. All of which is a far cry from a therapy obsessed American society dominated by condescending/overbearing professionals of every sort, urging us constantly, and in a multitude of ever-newer ways, to "socialize" in today's amorphous yet vaguely-coercive atmosphere of personal submersion. Capitalism alone providing the scale-and organizational gratuities in which such morbidities are at all possible, blending well as they do with modern-day "people's choice" freeway-rides and other much-touted treasures and privileges of all kinds.
Analogously to these mostly-benign tribal sanctions of long ago a sense of embarrassment and social loss effectively discourages default of payment of loans among friends and associates in the finanzas populares of Latin America, and equivalent institutions in parts of Asia and the Middle East: by way of practical personal ties bringing crucial capital to credit-starved economies and classes (Carstens, 1995). These cooperatives actually containing fundamental features in common with the Medieval Frankpledge and its Mongolian and Chinese forerunners, being based on personal trust within an encouraging encompassing societal milieu. Some of these fascinating credit arrangements in a sense even substituting, if in limited ways and in some instances, as informal governments all their own, filling in for a variable relative absence of the official exercise of constructive authority, in an amplification of order-and-security-enhancing human association, naturally diffusive of an ambient popular well-being. These credit and related arrangements taking place in the modern world's many poorer areas, bare as they are of needed services. While in strictly financial terms we have here an inducement which replaces the credit ratings of the conventional lending system, and in many ways with far greater efficiency and better beneficial effect (ibid).
Once again, these kinds of age-old arrangements tend to put the organizational emphasis precisely where it belongs. While cut out of a similarly-free and vigorous sort of customary cloth is the social reinforcement of the relatively-non-violent English police/criminal relations of modern times, having at least in some ways a historical connection to the Frankpledge bond. Being reminiscent of an uninterrupted English sense of civilization, and undyingly-stubborn instincts of organizational containment. Where the (at my last knowledge) typically-unarmed Bobby quite often brings in his man with little if any resistance: with the same Medieval instincts toward the avoidance of a rupture, of anything outwardly-untoward, often-enough marking the behavior of policeman and even to a degree of criminal. Actually a much-mocked English trait here, but one whose positive interpersonal and organizational significance is incalculable. An ongoing mildness-phenomenon which was obvious to me during residency-related formalities at the local level, a folk-specimen celebrated by Englishmen themselves as much as Nelson or the changing-of-the-guard. An official civility found in equally full form in Ireland as well, and portrayed entertainingly in some British written and televised productions.
Worthy preoccupations of our own times not being essentially distinct from those of any age or place, socio-legal bodies similar in function and size to these Medieval antecedents could naturally find a place amid modern arrangements, especially those genuinely designed with the human person and social body in mind, ultimately re-enlivening rough equivalents of such institutions as the “hundred”—or one hundred households—or that combination of several often called a “freedom” in the historical literature. These branching, as then, from the micro-locality venue into public and popular functions of every sorts. While an intrinsic economy of this elemental kind of law enforcement is of course its exclusive concern with the absence of crime, that which in the world of its own priorities is obviously the most positive and desirable of results: being free of the quotas, “surveillance” and other anomalies that are common to modern policing, and increasingly to everyday life. Today's justice system making eager anticipation for the first time in history a central element in the interdiction of crime, and a bevy of growth industries out of sad, unfortunate and actually for-the-most-part unnecessary tasks. Few if any livelihoods, by contrast, under an intact distributive system, having hinged upon dependable amounts of tragedy or miscreant behavior. Organic, personally-unified socio-political/military/law-enforcement duties too comprised a financially and emotionally sustainable whole that in older times could hardly have been as grim, dry or illusion-breeding as atomized present-day separate professional equivalents must necessarily tend to be. Potentially-dreaded, far-from-popular, yet-highly-necessary duties which are actually integral functions as well of the fully-developed, viable human person, in both private and public manifestations being designed to be tucked in neatly among a countervailing majority of others far more agreeable. So that under the proposed system, having accomplished relatively-brief and for-the-most-part emotionally-economical public necessities, the erstwhile judge or law-enforcers would similarly return to duties, private or public, that are refreshing, productive and often-enough enjoyable. Such organic duties obviously being foreign to the many new privatized arrangements, which have absolutely no such resonant connections to a communitarian human condition, being a sort of leeching of the public weal.
As noted and as all this strongly reaffirms, a salient point in any rational organizational structure is naturally-self-delimiting scale and form, refraining from the employment of tools ridiculously large, clumsy and dangerous for the task at hand, or marked by an equally elite-serving impotence. This in turn raising the question, never far below the surface in these pages, as to whether present arrangements can be called government at all, properly-so-called, or do not rather more deserve to be considered as but so many kinds of chaos, extortion or systematic piracy-from-above. Analogous in many ways to a thousand years of Moslem rent-farming dominion over much of the globe. (For which excesses however we hasten to add that we shun any notion of making the Sons of the Prophet "pay out the nose" through equally-barbaric modern forms of revanchism or patent revenge.) For government is really only one entirely distinct thing in its proper exercise, as attested, at least in so many words, by Augustine, Aquinas and especially-bright doctrinal lights of the Early Modern Church like Suarez, Bellarmine and Mariana: a popularly-based social reality which is largely cemented, at all levels, by such humble but readily-available and adhesive realities as friendship, decency and a willingness to answer for one another.
Early Indian tribal leaders of North America are much to the point here, in an approach to the tasks of government in which individual personal limitations were taken for granted in the close-fitting armor of the body social, as we gather from accounts of Catholic missionaries and Protestant settlers alike. Too much assertion of one part being universally-acknowledged as detrimental to the strength and flexibility of the whole, among leaders who readily gave up their positions without struggle or bad feelings when some other brave or elder was acknowledged by those concerned as better qualified for directing some next phase of community life. Authority being realistically understood as a burden generously undertaken at least as much as a coveted privilege (Aristotle quoted in Aquinas, St. Thomas, 1946). Actually, forms other than socially-caustic capitalism, or its forerunner in the usurious economics of Ancient Greece or Antiochene Syria, have typically tended toward just such a marvelously supple unity and rule of law, in those ways native to each tribe or nation, such polities invariably having a view of obedience which is entirely for the sake of true order, something constructive and personality-sharpening and enhancing, rather than partaking of ancient or modern cults-of-submission of every kind. The Christian rule of the greatest vis-à-vis the least being a marvelous political cement likely to find ready analogies among simple and nature-oriented folk of all ages, being one of the things which accounts for their typical receptiveness to Catholic Faith, which readily "baptizes" such vigorous native institutions, adopting them into a system of Sacramental means and eternal end. Of course to the horror of Gnostics, Calvinists and Neo-Jansenists of every tribe and tongue.
Indirection must in a certain respect be the byword in attempts to translate the virtues of such forms into our own paradoxically both stiff and explosive socioeconomic and political dialect. So that humble, practical and preliminary steps would necessarily be first in order: as in moving toward the limiting of several types of work to the venue of the home, those that are most-appropriate to family life. With agriculture coming immediately to mind, especially since the major environmental and market-supply-related need of today is to limit the scale of farming, not to enlarge it. Technology-related advances coupled with a renewed interest in organic methods now comparing quite favorably, according to one refreshingly-honest TV special, as well as the scuttlebutt to be heard in feed stores and among random groups of farmers here and there, in terms of yield per acre. As much as of other traditional and deeply-felt blessings now typically frustrated by the corporation farm and its gigantic machinery, pesticides, herbicides and wholesale worker abuse. Organic farming being a balm applied to a soil gravely-injured from a century and more of "modern farming", while positive results, recorded by the same media source, have likewise been found with respect to the discontinuance of regular doses of antibiotics for livestock (Footnote: Apologies to the station for not remembering which one it was). This latter long-standing, human-and-animal-health-inhibiting expedient being part and parcel of the same global agribusiness regimen. While other occupations could also be limited regarding plant scale or number of workers, to a degree likewise out of imperative environmental considerations: those employments in particular, for example, in which workmanship or artistry are critical being sensibly kept at the level of the individual craftsman as much as possible. Here again the home providing a standard, ordinary worksite. Even if some other trades are best conducted among somewhat larger, but still not massive, companies. Since as suggested the real needs of mankind, economically, politically, environmentally, esthetically, are now imperatively toward innate economies of smaller scale. A configuration, a convergence with a logic in the opposite direction of the standardized, the alienating and the huge.
Enterprises thus revealed as highly-inappropriate are, for instance, such things as cabinet factories: scenes of rote processing and assembly which today can cover whole square blocks, favoring their abandonment toward the reestablishment of the individual craftsman or the small group of same within a host of trades, arts and manufactures. Such smaller-scale arrangements being in turn especially-fertile soil in which the advocated organic sociopolitical life could easily and naturally take root, implying in turn a further "economy" of energies, motives, forms and defenses, as in guild-laced neighborhoods of China and Arabia alike of centuries past, an eventuality dramatically favored by a rejuvenated social definition of property, with its above-noted natural limitations of scale. By such means being recreated an occupational milieu far different from that of today’s material handler, assembler or laborer: generic job titles today gradually but relentlessly absorbing one-time craftsmen in their identity-less thrall, in a perfectly-counter-intuitive ordering away from smaller scale, a massive return to the methodological gulags of nineteenth-century English Birmingham. Or even, to give it its more-proper name, to the pyramid-building of Egypt. Victims that such workers universally are as well of a module-assembling, de-motivating, boorishly-comedy-oriented work culture, all oddly congruent with a social fabric of drugs and sexual promiscuity, complete with an ironically-depressive worksite-specific sort of "boom-box" music-all-its-own. In turn intensifying a palpable atmosphere of moral and practical decay. The whole hardly partaking of the exuberant atmosphere of labor and nation during the mid-twentieth century, let alone the Middle Ages: although such dysfunctions pose no barriers to certain private, flag-waving interests.
Another aid toward initiating the new-but-perennial approach would be to reserve first choice of jobs to citizen heads of household, as was the case with Spain before her entry into the EU: in this way simultaneously avoiding much of the exhausting controversy over women’s rights, cutting it down to more realistic proportions. In fact, reasonable, self-monitoring mechanisms such as those suggested being in place, real discrimination against women would tend to have few props on which to stand, and a capable woman in an occupational setting tend to be accorded exceptional degrees of respect and recognition, as well as “equal pay for equal work”. A fact which seems to find strong confirmation in the Medieval guild system, in which the involvement of women was quite universally common and well compensated (R.J. Ferrell, internet source), even if this does comparatively little for the lot of women as a whole separatist/activist constituency. This perverse Marxist-conflict preoccupation, taking advantage of sexually-perverted “macho” ills quite real in character, being exceptionally counter-productive, as a just and constructive society cannot in practical terms be organized and motivated according to such alienating divisions, whether of race, sex, age, income or other such genera, but rather requires small-to-moderate-sized organic, multi-faceted wholes.
Of course this latter concept, of the small and local, has since the time of Jane Jacobs been definitive to the concepts of modern American urban design theorists, however its most notable concrete “built environment” manifestation has been an in-practical-terms-exclusionary "urban village" planning (Hoch, Dalton and So, 2000) reminiscent of Saul Alinsky's closed-group Basic Christian Communities of modern Catholic pastoral radicalism. Little resistance being offered in this model to social fissures of a cancerous gated community phenomenon, that which in turn equally evokes De-Vinci's Orwellian planned cities, were they ever realized with pathways on which upper and lower classes would never meet. While to the contrary any genuine local organizational paradigm has implications toward a dense if free and “contractual” regional, national and global interface. Even as BCC and urban village alike have disturbingly in-house elements embedded in a growing tendency toward a more-and-more all-encompassing social control, an effective severing of parish life from ecclesiastical structures above and beyond the parish opening up the latter to every manner of insidious secular or secret-society control. The contrived aura-of-intimacy thus supplied somehow fancifully identifying each such local church community directly with the Petrine/Pauline proto-Church cell of Jerusalem, even though that primitive parish was never free-standing in any sense of the word. Here again a prime case of a bizarre "archaism" which is the ready resort of many a heretic or historian, wherein he can construct an unlikely interpretative theory from amid musty manuscripts, codices and charters. operating thus safely-beyond the pale of the familiar knowledge and nomenclature of most of his readers. No doubt with rewards in research grants and department-enriching prestige for years to come.
Money and investment, obvious central elements in any economy, would as suggested require some highly-natural alterations in the new arrangement, so that for one thing a loan would come to be thought of principally as an aid to productivity, rather than a major profit-making venture all its own. So as to take on the character of a true service as was for instance provided by Medieval Knights Templars who were in fact the prototypical industrial bankers of the Christian world (Burman, Edward, 1986). (Note of October 2014: As it seems unlikely a Catholic order would have been permitted to charge interest, the Templars must have used so other arrangement, perhaps simply making money available on a trusted-party promise to remit same. Didn't find the particulars while researching that group.) Religious who unfortunately and as noted earlier were thwarted in their good purposes through the greed and envy of Phillip the Fair of France. A monarch who during his destructive career—one however predictably and strenuously defended by many-a modern historian—likewise brought about the early death of a pope, Boniface VIII, by the physical and psychological abuses of armed men, while subsequently extorting a decree of the Templars’ condemnation from his more-timid successor held hostage at Avignon (William of Hundlehy’s Account). Even as joining the Templars in providing such a beneficial credit-providing service, and this over a period of quite a few centuries, were the Franciscans and their unique contributions to same called Montes Pietatis, consisting of credit unions for the poor or less-advantaged, made possible by the generous donations of the wealthy, often in the form of the bequests of pious decedents. An idea which could likewise find many-a modern-day application.
Some might expect a drastic monetary crisis to take place amid the profound re-conceiving and re-gearing visualized here, in what they would see as a winding-down of the pace of commercial activity, even as others more perceptive would recognize the same re-channeling as involving a prodigal and intrinsic revitalization, if not indeed so outwardly-frenetic as a day of heavy trading on the Wall Street main floor. The goal and modus operandi involved being rather rational and truly productive, no longer being marked by the false enthusiasms and Wagnerian dynamisms of sheer to-the-bone-extractive profit. There could in fact be expected, amid a truer and more-humane sort of ebullience, a solid stabilization of the currency, as myriad new and profound efficiencies are brought to bear that for centuries now haven't even been contemplated, with any related deflationary/inflationary tendencies being powerfully counteracted by the new system's uniquely-solid, proliferating horizontal expansion, a distribution whose shock-absorptive power could be expected at intervals to kick into progressively higher permutations. Amid which changing scenarios the monetary wealth of our present-day thousands of billionaires might appear to gain new strength on several different planes, even as, paradoxically, the philosophy-of-property, as it might be called, of the proposed system, as well as its emphasis upon rational scale, would tend to make the closing of a transaction in billions an unheard-of occurrence.
In fact the disposition of such mammoth monetary wealth, many times over any individual's real contribution to the economy, might under such a scenario be less of a problem for society than for such a person himself: this in terms of what to do with it. Since as suggested real wealth would mostly be embodied in socially-defined economic arrangements: typically within the union of land, labor, plant and management in a truer and more representative “bundle of sticks” proprietorship. Money no longer commanding things in quite the same sense that it does today, being rather returned to those immediate, marginal, limited and only-legitimate uses for which it was originally intended: as for the buying of goods across a counter, rather than for the storming of financial, commercial and political empires. So that for instance debts, even national ones, could be renegotiated in creative and highly-constructive terms, paving the way for unheard-of new arrangements actually quite beneficial to all concerned. However the creditor would have to be satisfied with, indeed be able to live up to, a form of compensation which would require skill and industry, rather than being a simple drain, and for even better results at least a modicum of a just and cooperative spirit on his own part. For to have mere monetary repayment would under the new system represent a meager return indeed; while of course debts incurred in a manner dishonest and collusive would have to be reexamined in detail before some board or tribunal set up for just such reviews.
The need to re-conceive the whole institution of public debt is obvious when we consider that in about twenty years government-collected monies here will be grossly-insufficient to meet routine critically administrative needs, and in some respects even those of national defense and law-enforcement. This because of gargantuan public-debt-repayment obligations that are now rapidly accruing as I write, and which are destined at an accelerating rate to crowd out all other concerns. Recent predictions of giddy (computer-revolution and mortgage/construction-industry-related) prosperity to support an irresponsible deficit-spending having quickly and predictably proven ill founded: revealing ahead of us instead the stark outlines of a day-of-reckoning for our children and grandchildren. Closely-related claims of a false and illusory “surplus” vis-à-vis the capital account likewise being only elements of the phase-one neo-capitalist strategy which in intervening years will be coming around to their full bond-maturity-ridden phase two term, with a tightrope-walk between the sheer promontories of inflation and an artificially-sustained deflation being, by the same inescapable debt-dynamisms, impossible to continue ad infinitum.
With the whole issue of money being cut down to rational dimensions once again, mints might even be locally operated, perhaps under the supervision of some representative body of actively-involved local commercial/political operatives: such joint oversight having indeed been a common Medieval arrangement (Henstra, 2000). Thus would be provided a simple brake on the unnecessary flow of trade out of an area, especially as negotiated in those smaller-denomination purchases which would ever constitute much of its daily bulk. While for larger commercial deals the ready computerized convertibility of modern currencies could at least tentatively be put to good use for domestic as well as for foreign trade: this need for frequent conversion psychologically and at its own level would help to minimize the centripetal tendencies inherent in our own Federal Reserve System, and the semi-dictatorial potential which it ever implies. In which radical ideologies, of course intimately-linked to the most uninspiring of private interests, are too often the determining factor in monetary policy: giving our Reserve Board chairman the power to bring down, if not always intentionally, whole global regional economies, as was to a degree the case in the Asian Crisis (Kristof and WuDunn, 2000). While once a system like that proposed were well established, and had gained the respect which it rightly deserves, money could be of any convenient form: the former federal currency being of course redeemable in the new and perhaps local specie. The new money being “backed” by nothing other than the very strength and reliability of the whole interlocking solidity of such an economy and society: the peace within its borders and the equity of its laws, customs and usages, the safety of its roads and shipping-lanes. These having been among the major determinants of an informally-unified European monetary system already evident in the early Middle Ages, one which for centuries was incredibly stable. While as noted in the first chapter nowhere else is the bankruptcy of our own system so apparent as in the modern backing of specie, volubly lamented by an early-nineteenth-century Cobbett, not by something of value but rather by yet another debt. This in the form of bonds, bills and notes. Inflation, the much-made-over excuse for such an ungainly mechanism, having deeper systemic causes than the mere type of currency employed, even if this price-spike-causing currency-value-loss was indeed the excuse put forward by rent-farming bond-inventing financiers of the late seventeenth century, Shylocks lusting after “the last farthing”, the “pound of flesh”, profits prone to flee with a tin or copper debasement of coin. Governments which turn out money by the tons daily having more complicated systemic-dysfunctional reasons for doing so than mere mania, foolishness or cupidity.
Such a change in the whole process of money creation would by definition remove the need for banks as we know them, central or otherwise, with the lesser provenance of money as a whole performing the same disposal service with respect to cancerous commercial paper and financial derivatives of all kinds. While loans under newer forms would be made entirely on a service basis: involving at most the charging of a modest administrative fee. The newly-conceived lending, being fundamentally less burdensome in these and other ways, being well within the scope of employers, credit unions and civic and charitable organizations both large and small, after the manner of centuries past.
No doubt there will arise the standard objection that proposed fundamental changes would cause financial and economic pandemonium: the charge that is invariably made whenever the cunning beast of capitalism is finally brought to bay in some practical or intellectual way. A system, again and as bears frequent repeating, which has nothing at all to do with free enterprise but everything to do with making prodigal amounts of money on the hyped-up thin air of money itself, with investment-capital-determined global economies-of-scale, and a path-dependent radical-commoditization of all of human life. Yet we also know that no such much-anticipated collapse resulted even during mid-century Roosevelt years by way of the application of policies that were in a sense, and after the manner of typical modern macroeconomic measures, rather more sudden and arguably as fundamental as those suggested here. Innately-scale-enlarging enactments which did however materially pave the way for the previously-unimaginable iron-grip of the giant corporation that we see around us today (Hawley, Ellis W., 1966). For despite such setbacks and as noted above the interwoven technical and organizational stability of modern times is difficult to permanently disable, having as its guarantee the ever-consolidating, millennia-old Christian institutional leaven. (Note of October 2014: again, we aren't so sanguine about present-day forms anymore.) A shock-relieving moral influence which for the most part goes entirely un-remarked and unrecognized, but which remains at work despite the ultimately-equilibrium-destroying ravages of totalitarian government/finance, backed by false religion and ideology alike. Christian Civilization being a divinely-ordained stabilizer/catalyst that can scarcely be made null and void by the policies of one or two administrations, no matter how radical or off the mark: among which irremovable foundations, their socio-legal and methodological roots stretching back to ancient times, have evolved such modern elements as the collaborative business culture, communications-related internal security, and even modern technology itself. Things which have come and gone at intervals in other civilizations, being apart from the Christian leaven essentially fragile, and lacking in a certain grace-inspired motivational continuity, that indeed most insidiously under attack today. Of which the Gospel centrality of Good Works of mercy and justice, spread abroad by the Mystical Body of Christ, forms a central part, in a biblical "Way" obviously and essentially constructive in nature.
Thus even as things stand now modern divisive, jingoistic lies and half truths have a self-discrediting, plainly-fanatical, daunting task before them from the start, one made doubly-difficult by way of a growing information-related familiarity between nations, as to their cultures, virtues and other qualities, ignorance of which was once a principle cause of war. And even though official/media demagogues are able to produce a parallel "artificial reality" which can bring us war-hysteria in weeks or even days, yet this is a vaudeville act that can air for only shorter and shorter intervals before it must finally be pulled indecorously from the stage. No matter how many melodramatic commentators and special effects artists, or gullible workers and ignorantine college graduates there might be, the task of dissuading a global population from the realization, for instance, that Arabs are indeed worthy human beings becomes more and more prohibitively-difficult as time goes on. The right-wing-racist Anglo/American/Zionist elite-coalition finding the fomenting of global social, economic and political discord an increasingly less-rewarding enterprise with each passing day: this wake-up-call in the press of a reality cumulatively-massive and resonant.
No doubt a central difficulty in the establishment of the advocated minting system is the assumption of a sort of sacrosanct legitimacy thought to inhere to money that is produced out of a central bank, and backed by bonds and treasury notes: even as unreasonable a thing as a moment's reflection reveals this literal “debt financing” to actually be. The whole idea suggesting the proverbial squeezing of blood out of a turnip, this concept of money being a mirror-negative image of the real and the true, having emerged from a completely different source than the traditional minted coin: namely, from the "reserving" of a fraction of the Jewish money-lender's bullion as proof against a "run" on his hoard. This utterly bankrupt idea of money being a Hellish mockery of the real thing, that which as noted above is based-upon and "backed"-by the safety and convenience of commerce, travel and communication, the trustworthiness of related institutions, the moral tenor of the people involved. The contention, then, is without foundation that such bond-backed "supply-side" creations are the only possible repository of “sound” wealth: a monstrous mendacity indeed. That to just mint money and simply use it, of course within due licensing and applicable safeguards, and amid a healthy, reciprocating economy, is indeed even a kind of larceny; even as daily experience demonstrates to us the complete dispensability of backing by precious metals, so why should there be any such "backing" at all, except by trust and goodwill? (Those prime commodities of which, alas, the modern Jewish New World Order knows nothing at all). The minting or printing of the advocated benign and highly-useable money being however considered at best an irresponsible interlude, something like children playing “Monopoly”: this impressive fiction being supported by religiously-honored totems and taboos, the kinds of morbidities that readily fill the voids of a long-departed popular commercial strength. The fact rather being that currency-bonds have done little to improve the stability of specie, coming markedly into their own in a monetarily-chaotic eighteenth century, a half-century after their invention, after which wild fluctuations in exchange rates and the collapse of banks would proceed at a rapid pace. Modern "national banks", since the first of their kind in late seventeenth century England (Footnote: Information obtained from Cobbett, whose book I read but which most libraries don’t even index), rather having strained economies and societies, gravely inhibiting a world development which could rather have been stable and enduring. Instead making it fatally lopsided and prejudicial, and even within such narrow parameters alternately prolific, decayed and counterproductive. While benefiting out of all proportion those able to speculate on this unnatural, abstract form.
Again, the truth is found in the eminently-sound social doctrine of Pope St. Gregory the Great, in this as in so much else, as echoed as well in countless decrees and writings of other pontiffs. Namely that the wealth of the earth is essentially meant for everyone, and that consequently the various means of its production should be geared toward its greatest possible diffusion: this indeed for the ultimate, stable benefit of wealthy and less-wealthy alike. Gregory announcing a Gospel-standard moral absolute compared to which the need to earn ones keep must be considered an entirely different issue, dwelling on a far-inferior level of importance, to be dealt with through tools of entirely different calibration. So that accordingly money should not be conceived of as something to be hoarded in great amounts in banks, central and otherwise, and only grudgingly and even self-righteously loaned out or otherwise released: rather has a simple minting system always best corresponded to money’s essential and honest purpose as a medium of exchange. As suggested, not really needing to be “backed up” by anything but the goods and services, and socioeconomic soundness, of the society involved. The facilitation of the popular commercial life being far-and-away more important than any occasional and highly-risky counterfeiting, or the historically-rare base-metal or paper effusions of some dishonest moneyer.
Hence too the Weda of the Medieval Frisians, intrinsically-valueless pieces of cloth however universally accepted at face-value (Henstra, 2000); or for that matter the sea-shells of primitive islanders, the corn of American Indians, or the tobacco of Virginia tidewater planters. Commodities or objects used in trading a fundamentally-fluid and socially-qualitative wealth of which the medium itself was but a mutually-agreed-upon token, any abuse-of-which was easily detectable in a society/economy knit together so intimately well. Such early currencies being frequently referred to in undergraduate economics classes, only to be humorously discarded as child's play in favor of onerous and counterproductive things. Anything much different from simple minting however basically amounting to the making of a living, on the part of a few, out of the industry and ingenuity, the toil and misery of others. Rather as noted is there involved in just monetary systems a subtle but at the same time palpable kind of popular trust, established through substantially sound, just and rationally-determined socioeconomic and political structures and relationships. The kind of trust which lends a healthily-languid “social inertia” to money by which it has traditionally been accepted and maintained at a steady valuation, creating a sanguine monetary stability which spread across the length and breadth of Medieval Europe with but rare serious fluctuation over centuries (ibid). With almost none of our frequent modern-day revaluation and devaluation upheavals. This whole plethora of economic vitality destined alas to be replaced by this Jewish-money-lender anomaly of the retention of a "reserve" to "back" a money reconceived as a sort of Shylock's IOU: thus ultimately and catastrophically placing the very official power-of-the-purse in the hands of the same malignant breed.
Quite plainly, then, without the above-detailed simple and honest, even patriotic, understanding, money—let alone "finance" or banking—easily become manifestly destructive, and far-and-away the chief device of an all-determining elite: prime beneficiaries of today's disingenuous multiplications of stores of goods and services—and yet more of absolute power—available indeed to the “holder” on demand. This through the simple factotum of a geometric diffusion of financial instruments and derivatives, with this whole aggregate pound-of-flesh being extracted from the sweat and toil of the worker, where the buck, or the mule’s kick, indeed finds its ultimate mark. And in the collective demises of recent-history's many Iraqs. Such modern arrangements suggesting to the especially perceptive the sting of the taskmaster’s whip: and to yet others in distant lands the whine of incoming rockets and the sudden-death of drone-bombs. Real wealth rather being understood in terms of the inalienable riches of individuals and communities in agriculture, plant, human happiness, intelligence, well-being, physical and esthetical development, and so on: weightier things, together with those purely material, which are best gained through human love and cooperation, and that are obviously for the most part non-negotiable. Eminently-stable things primarily meant to be enjoyed, and not at all feverishly traded (Chesterton, Gilbert K., 1935). Suggesting the effective removal of the bulk of socially-developed plant and real property themselves from an injurious sort of liquidity such as possesses the world today.
Again, excessive minting and a resultant inflation, as a means against which a bond-backed currency is so often held to be necessary and justified, was not at all that common in the past: the appearance of actual inflation being a unique legacy essentially of the modern era, with its many financial embarrassments and political instabilities of rapacious colonialism and inevitable over-borrowing third-world nations. Inflation being accurately defined as rising prices rather than debasing of currencies: the two being distinct, and sometimes even opposing, phenomena. The responsible minting and printing of specie tending naturally to correspond to economic expansion, development and population increase.
The whole Asian Pacific Shelf trade and investment structure fortunately already emphasizes relationships of mutual trust, that which is indeed the central motif of the proposed system and money supply, as in its uniquely-personal bank-based financing. So that nations like Singapore and Japan, which depend mostly or entirely upon foreign trade, would no doubt fit well into the advocated arrangement, continuing to be catalysts of both regional and global prosperity. (Note of November 2014: alas, the U.S. net-of-control over world finance worked in intervening years since this writing to limit the role of independent actors in a dramatic way.) Oriental banks themselves also tend to be of a relatively small size, within the noted business culture of family and friendship ties, and considerable promotion of small-firm clients, thus completing the picture of a distinctive local-entity focus. The economies of the region having made some exceptional adaptations within an otherwise-uncongenial global commercial/financial system.
These positive, socially-conscious Asian initiatives are however predictably stigmatized as "cronyism" and "favoritism" by today's syndicated, network-dominating media-giant economic commentators, both left and right, whose narrow range of remedies run from punitive trade policies to economic sanctions to a vague conjuring of war. As in a Russia—another of these polemicized “enemies”—now being ringed around by a “defensive” missile system said, with the Administration-notorious straight face and unflinching gaze, to be trained on the Middle East. (Note of November 5, 2014: This stigmatizing of Russia has of course gone on to fanatical proportions, with U.S. corporate interests dominating fledgling post-communist governments on Russia's Western flank, while Washington exerts overbearing influence on the E.U. to shamefacedly "go along". The way in which synagogue intrigue has woven U.S. "make the world safe" policies since the dawn of the twentieth century, with Uncle Sam the chief pawn of Jewish financial/strategic might, comes clean after a dispassionate consideration of these and other developments of the past century.) This all the while emerging nations like China must struggle under titanic financial/trade burdens which capitalism invariably forces upon those in that condition, in a multi-directional vice-grip which was repeatedly the demise of both Germany and Japan during the twentieth century. China being under pressure to revalue its Yuan currency so as to improve the salability of American goods: which are taking a beating in world markets, largely by those of China. However a course of action that if taken could provoke serious domestic upheavals there, in an economy which already has alarming-if-fluctuating rates of unemployment, of an overall size unheard-of here since the Great Depression. (Note of November 5, 2014: China has invariably simply pegged the Renminbi to the dollar, so that exchange rates remain just and realistic, while it is the U.S. which incessantly demands a revaluation which would gouge Chinese gains, while of course always railing about alleged furtive copyright infringements, over patents applied in ridiculously restrictive ways, with massive fines of the most unreasonable sort being brandished in this way.)
Similar and as intimated in chapter one, the natural and vigorous Asian business culture as a whole was blamed for an Asian Crisis which was rather precipitated by a dual alliance of the uncontainable market power and the "herding" behavior of American hedge-fund managers, with the dusty trail for same largely cleared by our ubiquitous Reserve Board chairman (Kristof and WuDunn, 2000). A stampede touched off by the now-notorious cry of panic of an IMF regional manager. The coercive power of modern forms of money becoming in such cases like a destructive rampage indeed: able to sweep away years of thriving, developing wealth in whole regions of the globe. Even as American bank CEOs surpass the much-maligned Asian "cronyism" with cozy relationships with their own Boards of Directors which would make the Japanese blush purple (Kover, Amy, 2000). Alliances which have little-if-anything in common with the diffusive social consciousness of the Asian business culture.
Further distributive adaptations toward local form are largely unforeseeable in much detail, a scenario in which Asian leaders would no doubt take a prominent place in newer areas of beneficial global cooperation that have as of yet only barely been entered upon or even contemplated. With major global trade nodes as key parts of a circulatory system for population-nourishing wealth, in vast varieties of goods as well as groundbreaking processes and technologies. China, Russia and India being at the center of a regional effort to improve understanding and commerce, one with military-defensive capabilities discretely yet plainly aimed at the aggressive expansiveness of the USA. (Note of November 6, 2014: this alliance has expanded to include Brazil, under the acronym BRIC). Such collaboration however ceaselessly undermined by a bi-partisan-backed U.S. policy-package, (November 6, 2014: with a determined NATO "uncovering" of Russian "aggressive intent", with English-speaking Judeo/Masonry every thrashing about for some newly-doomed Japan), a corporate-America-favoring contrived global-marketplace IED seemingly impossible to disarm in any meaningful way. While the aim of the noted more-enlightened initiative, launched by nations large and small, from Turkmenistan to the Pacific, would significantly promote resilient local economies. The logic of local self-determination indeed naturally and readily—in a perennial universal human motivational culture—finding supporting trade-avenues at regional, national and international levels, rather than “emerging economies” remaining the mute servants, victims and dry-bled transfusion-givers that they are today. A nourishing global commercial plethora rather being driven by the perennial social definition of property and other above-treated fundamental things, or at least some arduous attempt at same.
Even localities containing few tradable resources except solitude and natural beauty could find a place in such a world economy as islands of hospitality and retreat, with a refreshing emphasis upon primitive environment having its own well-known and profound compensations. That which is most missing in modern life, sometimes especially in vacation areas, and thus conversely most deeply desirable in putative place of retreat. Rarified treasures that by nature would need little if any outside financing. This while Americans could contribute to such a reconceived, enlightened globalism by teaching their children the business of reading, writing and arithmetic, and enlightened, pleasant and constructive behavior, rather than making up for growing disadvantages on these scores by a grossly-compensatory personal, financial and military aggressiveness.
Within each nation, too, numerous “agglomerative clusterings” in associated and subsidiary industries could continue to function as internal-regional think-tanks and experimental laboratories all of their own. However under distributism not at all constrained toward the exponential acceleration of path-dependent linear production concepts inherent to today’s unnatural sort of global scale. Rather as suggested would unique regional nuances of business culture and productive mode, vigorously native to such a plan, be fruitful in many equally-revolutionary inventions, applications and adaptations, this in an intense, back-yard-greenhouse-like cultivation, fed by outside contributions in a market-catalytic, rather than directive, sense. Such innovations being ultimately accessible to the international setting via entrepots like those noted above, now with even more emphasis upon the sponsorship of new ideas. Fruitful in global multipliers which would ultimately be of steady, incalculably-beneficial proportions. Such universal nodes as Singapore and Japan also being available as commercial intermediaries and perhaps even third party contractual beneficiary: a brokering role taken up in an interesting way by a Danish government/business amalgamation, and this at both national and international levels. These "negotiated economy" joint undertakings not only developing expertise in technology and management, but each also acting "as an intermediary within the local technological system by searching for solutions to technological problems…through international inquiries and the coordination of partnerships between local and international firms." The Danish Technological Institute has also "acted as a supplier, customer, or partner in the technological development of local small firms" (Parker, Rachel, 2002). In an internal-national advocacy which in terms outlined here would tend to have little if any hurtful effect on the commerce of other nations. While lacking too any overly-bureaucratic features found in present multinational-corporate and close-cousin privatized-official forms.
Cooperative initiatives similar to the above would of course contain no notion of international merger or consolidation, but rather a sharing which retains all the incalculable advantages of an uninjured sovereign and entrepreneurial independence. The commodities traded in these kinds of cases, as in Denmark, being among other things knowledge, process and mode of application: rather than financial and learning-curve advantages toward ruthless market dominion. The fruitful and productive idea being to cooperatively enrich existing and unique national internal processes in a mutually-beneficial way. Not to replace, uproot or absorb local economic/industrial cultivars according to the present parsimonious and innovatively-destructive, morbidly-homogenizing geo-economic pecking order.
Profits could indeed be had by sovereign island and peninsular global go-betweens as universal brokers for rationally-determined and intrinsically-limited transactions of all sorts, in service to internally-dynamic nations operating on a truly equal footing, regardless of their size or "market power". As well as in court fees for acting as both arbiter and legal venue for contracts and other agreements, mentoring a globally-reciprocal national economic sovereignty which thus hardly suggests anything autarchic or hermetical. While the privileged mediating role would be in the go-between's best interest to perform in the most even-handed way, displaying an accountability almost inseparable from such an identifiable, geographically-fixed position: this in contrast to a modern army of discrete, privileged supra-national brokers, tied to a murderous system of exchange. The perhaps-informal international out-farming of these better functions being a form of the noted, and now long absent, real-time international trust and good will, that upon which all involved would depend in a circle of mutual enrichment. Much as in Medieval times under-girded global specie from England to China. The "broker" nation having taken on a function in a way analogous to that of the Medieval quasi-private mint, or commercial fairs of Champagne remarked on a prior page (Evergates, 1986): both also quite typically serving a global market that reached to the Far East, and whose own better interest was served in abiding by fair-and-equal practices, accurate coinage weights and natural international market valuations. Implying a uniquely-entrepreneurial, "free market" global arrangement, the accountability of whose modern-day equivalents would discourage the dominion of today's worldwide elites: that which is the unfailing legacy of the odious "Quad Economies" approach, of a sort of division-of-spoils. International distrust ever having as its stoutest roots the breakdown of financial/economic goodwill. While noted intermediaries could to a degree be in competition with one another, a contest however unlikely by nature to be draconian, taking place within a global trade which is by definition, and by near-unbreakable localized bonds, entirely at the service of the indigenous life of individual nations.
Another matter that should be closely scrutinized is the whole supply-and-demand pricing system: a mechanism which of course engages automatically under certain circumstances, as the black market bears much academically-noted witness. But to me it hardly seems necessary that such provisional logic should govern the standard pricing of goods and services; the older idea, with which the world lived for so long and in many ways so happily before Adam Smith, is rather that the products of human labor should be remunerated according to the amount of time and effort that went into them. A more-fundamental rationality thus keeping intact a just, universal, realistic, monetary-stability-enhancing opportunity-cost relationship between the many varieties of salable things: essentially implying as well the fair remuneration of labor. And thus corresponding in the same rudimentary way, in the sphere of economic justice, to the noted equality-enhancing character of the contractual bond. All these having been elements at the heart of Western Medieval life, and preoccupations of the theologians and officials of the time, earnest pains for which they are of course unsparingly mocked by neo-capitalist ideologues. They whose textbook-described “more efficient” methods however witness global dislocations of mammoth, catastrophic, whole-generation-beggaring kinds.
In this age-old labor-based price-setting, relatively-rare shortages or surpluses could hardly have been as detrimental to the economy as today's far-more-common destruction of markets by rich-nation-favoring trade policies, or a domestic cornering and its wholesale preclusion of meaningful competition. Anomalies that, together here with the moral-sell-off of large portions of the U.S. Senate and local city councils alike, come with the territory of the supposedly strictly supply-and-demand setting of today, whose asperities strike the consumer, especially the poor consumer, in the most remorseless way. While the Medieval kinds of glitches, when they did occur, were undoubtedly dealt with by merchant or producer savvy in many an ingenious way: much-made-over though they are by neo-classical economists, in the discipline's highly-convenient unhistorical, hypothetical terms. Among people who as suggested were much more concerned with keeping intact simple but effective laws prohibiting the “foreclosing” sale of goods, as at points between the dock and the city marketplace, where overly-advantageous returns might be gained (Nicholas, David, 1997), and immense and dislocating popular inconvenience made a grinding part of life. The new capitalist drudgery that was to replace the medieval entrepot hardly encouraging those festivals which in Europe have always been associated with agricultural or commercial activities, nor those community gatherings of a Sunday morn, after Holy Mass, in the square which was likely to have contained the week-day market as well. When the young and eligible danced in colorful native garb to traditional song, the children delighted everyone, romping all around, the staid mature and elderly women did their sewing or knitting out on the periphery, and the older men talked of storied days-gone-by. This indeed the life described in this way by my own Croatian-born-and-raised parents, who had seen this essentially-medieval communality when they themselves were young. Regulatory measures making for a market which is rather intrinsically predictable, and thus little prone to surpluses or shortages, let alone to various disguised forms of international dumping, as in a bald-faced foreclosing of third-world-nation markets by heavily-subsidized Western commodities, especially of an agricultural kind (http://www.maketradefair.org/, Trade Report, Chapter 4). Any market worthy of the name tending to be equally disinclined toward other enmity-breeding, distortion-oriented anomalies, like for instance the prejudicial litigation-cancer of patenting/intellectual-property-rights, a disease endemic to the same Western neo-colonial approach.
Of course, once the lively system of which they were a part falls into a centuries-long decay then the safeguards and sanctions of earlier times become irrelevant or even harmful, within commercial circumstances of today: having typically lost a host of vital components necessary to their efficient operation, with roots in a milieu that has passed away. For instance having been marked by a price-related regulatory holism which took in both wages and prices, these further set amid an interface in which scale is predictable, and whole livelihoods seldom dependent upon a single sale. Elements within a ranging plethora of other rational, imbedded market mechanisms as well. Creative, market-spurring expedients that readily suggest themselves to commercial agents and city fathers alike, these working within the noted cultivar of lively predictability and trust. So that ubiquitous dockside inspection of an earlier day were only one component of a trade law which also had a sedulous regard to coasts and internal boundaries: this not to keep immigrants out but rather to prevent a variety of wholesale commercial invasions from distant or nearby lands. Divergent and inefficient security measures of today being undertaken for far less worthy purposes, to remedy problems self-inflicted in character. While it was to a considerable degree by the fixing of above-noted largely-labor-based standards, and the equitable logic of other trade regulations, that the lowest-level, unskilled medieval day-laborer was compensated at least as well, in real-if-contemporary terms, as a well-paid modern skilled craftsman (Gies, 1990).
Would the system “fall apart” if these and other suggested measures were attempted again? Certainly it might if “pillars of the community” such as financial and military stability were suddenly pulled out from under it: an eventuality orchestrated from the outside again and again in Iraq, Pakistan, Latin America or the Caribbean whenever the reintroduction of any of the old distributive principles was attempted. From the 1840s in Mexico to 2003 and 2004 in Venezuela and no-doubt elsewhere as well. Subterfuges and interventions finding parallels today in helped-along monetary collapses, economic crises and sanguinary disasters of various kinds. In which the nascent stability of modern forms is systematically undermined or sabotaged, in a repetitious sequence which finally takes on a clearly-discernable trend of cause and effect, as well as of perennial self-interested perpetrators.
It bears repeating that it is just such qualities of a political economy as proportionality of prices to labor input, the close identification of most land ownership with productive activity, the immovable rooting of wealth to human person and local soil, a public milieu of true and rational law and order, rather than either chaos or regimentation: it is just these qualities which lend real confidence to a currency: just as they did to the specie of Medieval Western Europe. Radically-centralizing mechanisms like central banks, for all the boasts of their "stability", having been at the root cause of nearly every financial nightmare since their introduction. While the earlier specie, for all their reputed disintegrative chaos, showed themselves able to weather temporary crises, or the Early-Medieval centuries-long progressive draining of practically the last vestiges of gold from the Western European economy (Henstra, 2000): actually a hiatus which was to prove providential and decisive in the creation of an economy organic and distributive in nature. One in which only a limited portion of any nation’s wealth or produce was for sale, but none of its substance. And certainly not its soul. This again being the deeper reality behind the above-mentioned “social inertia” in a monetary system, termed thus by scholars in the field: again, a certain popular willingness to retain the value of a coin that has become customary. In traditional economies in which the greatest concern of the sedulous ruler or official was always for humble things like the safety of roads and sea-lanes to and from markets and fairs: solicitudes which would readily find their vital modern-day equivalents. Or the correct and stable valuation of something like a cow, especially in terms of the labor and upkeep, as well as the long-standing and truly-positive utility, which it represents. A value long expressed in coin by the shilling, a universal Medieval currency, as well as by the ancient solidus, both minted for centuries at about three times the 1.3 grams of gold contained in the typical European penny (ibid, 2000). One of the latter of which in turn might easily buy a large brood of chickens. And if there is disappointingly-little of geopolitical romance to some minds in the domesticated scenario implied by such a coin, so that the would-be hero or adventurer can only tilt at windmills, this is something over which, unlike the foolish Quixote, we should rather rejoice than lament. Although, alas, the battle between good and evil will always continue: yet in our own system with the structures of society decidedly on the side of the good, being founded entirely on the law of God, being dedicated not only to the common good but to God's greater glory even more. The latter scarcely taking from the former, rather vigilantly and decisively guarding it as the Gospel "hen does its chicks".
A new and hopeful movement, springing from just such humbler and more-stable antecedents, one that also partakes of the steady and constructive logic of distributism, is modern-day inner-city gardening: however in our model expandable to the utilization not only of much private and public lawn but also of millions of acres of prime land now covered over by impermeable surfaces. These being inseparable from a system obsessed with the automobile, and whose prosperity and environmental-soundness are mortally-eclipsed by the oil industry: all this for the sake of a certain elite who stay in power by keeping politically prostrate and resource-poor the common citizens of an entire globe. A geo-piracy among bluebeards for whom one hardly needs to comb the Straits of Malacca, a con-game of which the proposed system would be the near-perfect opposite. This engrossment with the auto having not really been “the people’s choice”, as is so often alleged of everything useless or wrong by breathless purveyors of war and bankruptcy, but rather one of a growing number of the above-noted modern phenomena artificially created for the benefit of the few. This reinstitution of close-at-hand agriculture representing a fundamental element in a generalized freeing from the oil-industry/automotive ball-and-chain, restoring a happy and visually-attractive, ecosystem-revitalizing commonplace of Early Medieval towns of various sizes (Hilton, 1992; Haslam, 1984). Something which would also have the corollary effect of helping dispel the sense of doom that now accompanies employment downturns, especially when long lines at soup kitchens are combined with a lack of stable, dependable housing. While the same reinstitution would also make available for restaurants, and for returning corner grocery stores, the freshest of organically-grown poultry and produce.
The reappearance of chickens, gardens and even milk cows would be a stable prop against hunger, while also easily paving the way back to a voluntary, unremunerated generosity, lessening the occasion for sometimes-censorious soup-kitchen staffs and prying social workers. Such refreshing changes being part and parcel of distributism, which unlike capitalism doesn't require a dependable amount of desperately-poor people for its functioning. (Indeed, at last count, some 80% of "welfare" monies went for remuneration of "welfare workers", not to even mention the contract-lucrative building of their immense offices and related structures.) While the eventual demolition and subsequent garden-plotting of innumerable expanses of parking lots, these rendered superfluous by the substantial localization of employment and the construction and dense-and-frequent routing of transit systems and other related measures, partially-discussed above, would also dramatically improve the quality of water in rivers and groundwater aquifers: these presently being polluted by noxious chemical runoffs from such adulterating surfaces and other sources as well. A physical revamping which would naturally take in those freeways and toll-ways largely rendered unnecessary under the new system: (Note of November 8, 2014: These latter transport nodes and arteries being ominously devoured as I write by a privatization monster which promises—not to see to their dismantling—but to sustain-and-expand them as lucrative fixtures or rent-farming "milk-cows" for generations to come. The novelty, for one, having long ago worn off the LeCorbusierian "pure pleasure" of a swift freeway ride, bare of pleasant, close-up signs of commerce and human life. Oil-and-auto-industry magnates and marketers alike having predictably allied themselves with early-twentieth-century "futurists" to apotheosize something which in practice is rather experienced as a kind of gray maze for a senseless daily rat-race to workplace or school.
Those limited access highways thus found heading for a natural extinction could remain intact during a period of transition, being prohibitively expensive to demolish on a massive scale within a new system inimical to non-critical huge expenditures, while as in many cases fewer and fewer lanes were needed these could be converted to other uses-agricultural, recreational or commercial. Much of this urban limited-access roadway being strategically located for the gardening and livestock-keeping uses of surrounding residents, speed dangers easily having been reduced according to a new and rational socio-commercial tempo: such activities initially taking place on easily-fenced-off and subdivided expanses of fairway on either side of, and ultimately even in between, less-used toll-and-free-way lanes. While one might likewise visualize vineyards, beehives, and overpasses, with the latter as in a war-torn Iraq providing shade for open-air markets in some of the most underprivileged areas of any city. The interstate system between urban areas and regions perhaps finally being superceded by a rejuvenated network of U.S. and state highways and roads: these become once again, wherever possible, the natural arteries of a densely-interfaced, geographically-diffuse, popular socio-commercial life. Happily replacing the sterile conduits of sameness that the freeways have become. Trains too being returned to their previous function as a standard means of long-distance travel and transport, one which this supremely-comfortable mode-of-transport never really lost in a larger global world unacquainted with a corrupt American trucking/multinational-corporate nexus, an intimidator of regulators and legislators at all levels. A hydra with long-standing if sometimes indirect connections to manufacturing giants, union leaders and high-level politicos alike.
The return of the town and city milk cows and chickens that were a common, companionable sight a mere century or so ago, and even of lambs for milk, meat and the noiseless, short-cropping of lawns, would also make available the corollary advantage of ready-made natural garden fertilizer. Agricultural activities of a kind far from rare within the walls of small and even fairly-large Medieval towns (Hilton, R.H., 1992). Since as suggested these humble creatures represent one of the most genuinely-self-perpetuating, multi-use, productive forms of wealth. As is indeed implied by the noted universal ancient employment of the cow as a monetary reference point, and the similar use of sheep by the Navajo, prior to the American settlement (Roessel and Johnson, 1974). While as Henstra (2000) and others point out, such perennial qualities also go a long way toward explaining the cow's sacred status in India and on much of the Asian Steep. Even as others point to the less-than-idolatrous but nonetheless intimate place of the sheep in Navajo tribal religious life. By contrast, the automobile, golden calf that it has become in its own right, has created at least as many problems as it has solved: even when we allow for its happy mediation of the removal of the “pea soup” and manure-mounds of late-nineteenth century animal-drawn transit. Giving us however in exchange often-gravely-polluted air, a far-more pernicious element, in an oil-dependent global resource exploitation that is destructive to biosphere and world peace alike. The modern commercial octopus also serving to artificially channel policy preoccupations and expenditures to the Middle East, where Zionism's most immediate aims are likewise and not by accident centered. And while it is indeed understandable to a degree that fascination with such a phenomenon as the auto would have resulted in its over-employment, to the detriment not only of neighborly and psychologically-healthy walking but also of humbler forms of wealth such as personally-owned livestock, yet we can just as surely learn from our mistakes, while profiting by an entirely different playing-field from that of a century ago. Making possible a new and rational scenario which would have all of the latter's advantages and far-lesser amounts of its visual and olfactory drawbacks.
Naturally, everyone wouldn’t have to own livestock or tend a garden, but as they developed a network of agriculture-related friendly ties with one another, as has indeed been known to happen among present-day urban-growers (Footnote: the story on urban growers was aired on NPR, sometime in 2001), neighborhood gardeners and dairy-people could perhaps eventually evolve into a real organically-constituted power to be reckoned with, even into a venue for an approximation of the medieval socio-legal frankpledge or hundred. Credit unions too might easily play a part in such a rebirth, in gains based not on the accumulation of interest payments but rather on a fractional pooling of profits from productive ventures: funds usable in turn, and apart from member survival and other needs, for joint neighborhood events or projects, in which a noted critical conviviality element would play no small share. Among these cooperative ventures things like neighborhood home-schooling might take a prominent place, staffed by each of the families themselves, or jointly by those local residents with appropriate skills and inclinations, the venture to perhaps include considerable pooling of educational materials and other resources.
In the above setting, one or more such schools easily being located in each block, children could be freed from an artificial, stranger-arbitrated, regimented way of life away from home at far too early an age. This being in my opinion much of the reason for childhood dysfunction and general-unhappiness in all their more or less tragic forms, as well being the setting for atrocities like sexual abuse, grave matter against whose solution present-day schooling gives us few dependable weapons, remedies into whose path indeed it rather throws a great many stumblingblocks. (Note of November 9, 2014: Even as mass or group school-killings multiply, with the pathological nature of the entire massive, mega-expensive modern "education" being more evident by the day.) In young lives that are soon-enough to be lived in a wider but inescapably-more-lonely, stranger-ridden world. In the new scenario the young rather being able to cultivate un-pressured habits of industry and creativity, assets/abilities, as is indeed seen in the lives of our own earlier inventors and entrepreneurs, which can have a vital connection to skills and qualities more academic in nature. Truly positive and productive learning being a resource gained only over time, and contrary to conventional wisdom being little aided in the long-run by an atmosphere of academia’s behavior-modifying tensions and subliminal-coercions. Quite distinct from many of the old disciplinary pedagogies, the new Orwellian methods do however wear well with the noted linear industrial path-dependency for which the schools prepare young minds. Home schooling, too, especially when joined to a healthy and holistic domestic scenario, having been found by those parents who have used it to typically require only a fraction of the time spent in the modern classroom. In fact even under present-day, far-from-ideal circumstances, if intelligently organized and properly-motivated, this method often produces a graduate who receives competitive scholarships, and/or enters honors programs in subsequent university study.
Provision of garden space for tenants could be made a standard requirement in apartment houses and complexes, plots, again, made readily available, with little additional expense, in the breaking-up of major portions of present-day parking lots: in these ways too bringing to an end much of today's search, especially notable among young apartment-complex-dwellers, for “something to do”. Which in turn and when combined with other detrimental influences often leads to things unhealthy, immoral or even criminal. While in most modern residential scenarios youthful idleness likewise typically issues in obsessions with spectator sports, designer-clothing, ill-afforded-late-model cars and the like, as children and young adults increasingly become strangers to positive, subtle and deeply-satisfying, often unique or profoundly-individual, achievements, and other things “money can’t buy”.
According to the same “using things as they come to hand” way of thinking, productive social and economic ramifications of all sorts could likewise be realized from such a commonplace as the neighborhood yard sale, were it encouraged to develop freely in all its potential: an emporium conceivably evolving into a kind of peripatetic social and political forum with time; a multi-purpose gathering to which people would be attracted for many good reasons; a ready-made local market for which there might even be a waiting list of front- or back-yard, driveway or car-port venues, in a rotating function of course voluntary. The yard-sale being a scene not only of closet-clean-outs but of other conventional or highly-original endeavors, individual or collective, perhaps with considerable preparation in advance. All this according to a neighborhood-specific occupational, professional and ethnic cultivar or formula. For the most part only the measure of the imagination and ingenuity of those involved limiting project scope, benefit and multi-level profitability. This even if the whole venture might ultimately be moved to a traditional market-stall setting, with the latter paid for by city funds, bringing with it both public and private weal, more profits than expenses for all concerned.
Together with the ordinary display of wares, or the added element of the advertising of services, there would be needed the exercise of hospitality by the day’s host in putting out some chairs and maybe on occasion jump-starting flagging conversations, or introducing guests or newcomers into the micro-local embrace: all this suggesting a humbler version of the hospitable Asian business culture, in fact easily becoming an elementary training ground for just such wider things. With perhaps the gradual spontaneous development of pot-luck refreshments and gratis musical entertainment, perhaps of newly-formed orchestras wishing to display their talents. So that with the addition of spontaneous, unrehearsed, or even professional-story-telling you have many of the basic elements of the Medieval square or urban market, or the ancient rudimentary agora, the direct ancestor of the Greek Acropolis. For once human beings begin to interact in such close-to-home, spontaneous sorts of ways there is no limit to the constructive and ultimately momentous cultural and sociopolitical boons to which it would naturally and easily, directly or indirectly, lead, or the eloquent, communicative leadership culture it might finally bring to flower.
It might of course be asked why these and other good things haven’t already developed, say from out of the yard sale: the answer being that few significant initiatives ever come about in isolation from other positive events or ideas, in an analog to the Gospel paradoxical “to him who has not, even that which he has will be taken away”. Indeed and obviously there is little scope for lively entertainment in neighborhoods where people are indifferent to one another, or even hate one another, or have been media/academia-trained to think of themselves and others as nursing strange pathologies to frightful and unpredictable climaxes, for which dozens of "profiles" are with sterile "anti-terror" or criminological benefit compiled. Again pointing to the necessity of the institution of a whole different way of living and looking at things: the way of Integral Catholicism: just as life must be breathed back into a dying body, something indeed typically accompanied by chest-poundings and other drastic and disturbing but highly-beneficial expedients of all sorts. Since we should hardly be willing to throw up our hands and simply allow the body politic, whose most critical venue is in micro-local places like the neighborhood, to breathe its last, under allegedly-sacrosanct rules of a murderously-counterproductive system and outlook.
Even if tentatively-conceived city garden parcels were tiny, the employment of Japanese “box” gardening, as by way of the cultivation of the narrow strip of ground often found between sidewalk and foundation around some inner city houses, could produce much healthy, organic food, especially in the virgin-like, long-undisturbed urban soil: this particular method seen a generation or two ago among Croatian immigrants crowded into industrial neighborhoods in places like Gary, Indiana. Then, too, rare is the yard that can’t fit at least one fruit tree, if nothing else trimmed back to fit flat, supported vine-like, against the domicile outer wall, as I myself saw in a monastic cloister in England. Trees that yet produced many pears for albeit dwindling numbers of monks around the monastic table.
By a host of means such as these multinational agribusiness too could gradually be pruned down to a point which would bring about its eventual quiet and happy disappearance: somewhat analogously to the manner in which family-scale farms and ranches eventually drove out the gargantuan, gun-slinging, typically-enough foreign-owned outfits of the Old West, this by sheer force of numbers. (November 9, 2014: Here again we are not so sanguine about this development either, as inherent to "homesteading" seems to have been a big-boy-secretive plan to wrest these vast holdings, wrung from the mountains and prairies at great expense and labor, from able and relatively-power-distributive hands in which they had in pioneering days lain, transferring it all to small-scale and often-impoverished ranchers and farmers ill-equipped to deal with a vast and arid landscape which needed a regional development these wranglers and sod-busters could scarcely even contemplate. These "nesters" or "little guys" later to lose their holdings to capitalism's ubiquitous speculative investor—who uses land as mere moveable chattel, via the logic of an economic system morally-nihilistic to the core—the initial homesteader or his short-lived, equally-small-time "ranch sold for a dime" successor succumbing to a succession of droughts, to an era-wide run on banks or other financial panics, or his wife to the sheer maddening monotony of a socially-isolated life lived upon an undulating landscape without mind-saving topographical variation, as in the epic novel on the Norwegian settlements of North Dakota, Giants in the Earth.) In our model would Huge scale be progressively outmoded by a market thus naturally rendered less and less centralized and draconian, in conjunction with other advocated measures ultimately reducing to a sad memory present-day corporate-farm worker and/or animal abusiveness, from which however individual farmers too-typically take a similarly-campy cue. To eventually have a real land-reform, then, it isn’t necessary to begin with the direct and inevitably-violent uprooting of existing land ownership patterns.
Neighborhood individual or family owned and operated businesses of many sorts, with reasonable legal limits on noise and other negative externalities, could develop quite spontaneously out of the envisioned setting, having gradually assembled a potential employee-base and customer-trust through above-suggested friendly activities, these kinds of small-scale enterprises, many of which might be highly-innovative in character, could perhaps be helped along with trained staff through the nearby locating of trade, professional and community colleges in buildings that formerly housed schools from kindergarten up, with fundamental education having found venues in multiple private and home-schools, invariably containable in a smaller space. Often only reasonable amounts of trouble and expense would be involved in such a conversion, things like the routing of cables for state-of-the-art computer equipment being little-more complex than the replacement of plumbing, and easily less time-consuming: such ungradings typically bearing no comparison to the staggering bond-issues that produced these windowless, regimented monstrosities over the past four decades: structures which in the suggested conversion could easily-enough have windows introduced for the psychological benefit of teacher and trainee alike.
But even those unearthly projects of the 60s and 70s have more than met their match in a variety of scholastic design which now obviously imitates prison buildings: with a new dorm complex at Arizona State, this largest of universities being an obvious trend-setter for others, employing olive-drab, heavy-gauge wire-mesh for balustrades and rear and side entrances, apertures and accoutrements found on severely-blank incarceration-reminiscent outer walls, the whole unmistakably evoking the stalag motif, all of it already under construction prior to, and precisely and disturbingly on-cue for, the new obsession with security and terrorism since 9/11. Yet in a positive answer to such a growing prison-yard culture our many vacant shopping centers could be converted into the local prisons seen in Europe and counseled by our best corrections experts: a solution which might not make fortunes for Haliburton or other construction conglomerates but would directly and economically address the issues and purposes at stake. The layout of the typical abandoned planned commercial developments is in fact ideal for such a use, with the larger central merchandising structures adaptable for inmate multipurpose and group functions, and smaller peripheral units, which when commercially operational usually housed the familiar restaurant, electronic, jewelry, barber or shoe shop or some other specialty, being employed in the new setting as workshops, retail outlets for prisoner skills, as well as furnished apartments or studios for extended family visitations. As the aim of incarceration after all isn't to produce the notorious American prison-population sodomy, recidivism and despair—with the "added benefit" of a prison-industry become a growth-spectacular all-its-own—but to bring about a moral and social healing which requires a great deal of subtlety and care. A principle which holds true even among doughty "exceptionalists" with a behind-bars population ten times larger than most of their nearest "competitors". Such shopping centers, if no other buyers come forward in due time, being first legally condemned as they deserve to be, before they can turn into havens of crime and delinquency, as they now so commonly do, and then bought by mandate of law for their low intrinsic-value price. Such a property adaptation having the central purpose of keeping offenders close by in their own neighborhoods, there accessible to the gentle suasions of spouse and children, parents and friends, familiar sights and sounds: influences which in other countries have famously proven to significantly aid in convict rehabilitation. Such a facility location having little chance of negatively affecting the local milieu, since nearby criminal acquaintances and other bad elements could readily be recognized and excluded by an institutional staff that was at all on its toes. While by contrast the present typical official abandonment of such older shopping centers—to become harbors of undesirable or illegal activity, or even if just to lie in somber waste and neglect—sets in especially-bold relief a privilege-oriented and irresponsible selective exercise of police-power “nuisance” prerogatives in land use law: nuisance however too often being shown to be rather low on the list in the minds of the officials concerned. This all the while the existent prison-system employs personnel who seem to think they are running a mere feedlot, or a glorified place of execution, who have nothing but open vindictive contempt for those for whom the system exists, while now-and-again being discovered committing pathological, nefarious, death-dealing atrocities upon those confined. (Note of November 9, 2014: Some especially heinous examples of such barbarities have come to light recently, but I dare not mention them here, for fear that their diffuse publication might give some criminal-minded prison-guard-maniac "ideas".)
Grim Puritans and sadistic/vindictive psychopaths will of course object that such initiatives would work to “coddle the offender”: but in fact to be effective punishment need not be of the same genre as dunking or burning-at-the-stake, of which modern American forms of imprisonment are in many ways an equally-hideous equivalent. While as noted above and supporting this contention is of course the plain fact, calmly assessable after all the reactionary vituperations have died away, that it is the incurably grim, sadistic, staff-and-prisoner-warping American jail-and-prison system which is found to be but a vast training ground for further criminality, even as the much more humane and rehabilitation-oriented European model is by contrast a highly-effective and integral part of a still-civilized social plethora, one which in turn generates a crime rate much lower than our own, by far the highest in the world (Nils, Christie, 2000). Occasional fluctuations in a trend-rising crime-rate hardly putting a dent in the detention rate, for which new prisons are claimed to be critically required, with temporary decreases of two or three years ago perhaps only indicating that a percentage of those who might do anything even remotely illegal—or indeed, even express a contrary opinion—have already been removed from the scene. The astronomical numbers now residing in prisons being visually attested to me in my own recent trip past a couple of Arizona detention facilities by night, with the aid of square miles of electric lighting being able for the first time to perceive them in their full dimensions as in fact quite large cities all their own, fading into a disappearing glow over a broad portion of the landscape. And this in a state with a relatively-small population, yet with plans on the drawing board for yet more such stark, dreary and disturbing places. But it is in fact quite costly to be detained at all, as experience indeed testifies whenever we are delayed, if for only a few moments, on the freeway or in front of the elevator. And if there are some few offenders who seem to thrive on milder forms of prison life they are a minority which might be expected to be drastically reduced in number, were life “on the outside” not such a rich source of moral and psychological disease.
A guild system of some sort would undoubtedly result by way of the enablement stemming from proposed measures, just as developed in early medieval times, with workers in skilled occupations eager to improve both their product and their working and living conditions through traditionally-conceived apprenticeships and other cooperative arrangements. But such associations should always be organized locally, as in the case of the early Medieval craft fraternities, with the noted loose system of chartering from various higher levels of authority only being a confirmation of the local occupational/industrial milieu, as well as a guarantee that it abides by minimum standards that accord with national ideals. The fostering of such associations being indeed called for at the very highest of official realms: however confirming in each case a trade-specific equivalent of the ubiquitous locally-arrived-at fueros or privileges of our Medieval ancestors. Those comprehensive sociopolitical charters-of-liberties for the retention of which Basques and Catalans justly fought for centuries (Footnote: from Spanish History lectures in 2002 by Dr. Tambs of the ASU History department).
The craftsman, his artistry taking shape within his own soul and personality under the formidable influence of local traditions and “usages”, readily produces unique and marvelous forms, such as the guilds sedulously fostered: while today’s standardized blueprints, most notably in the modern construction industry, can result in an almost funereal formality and monotony of form and detail, in "modern marvels" soon-enough to crumble or otherwise become "outdated", to lie in unsafe or crime-infested ruin. While even if newer trends emphasis a relative variety, yet it is of a rather lifeless sort, "MacMansions" more-or-less perfectly bare of anything like the desired degree of input of the individual guild or craftsman, the very heart of the Medieval or any-living architecture. Ironically too, even much of the original purpose of such drawings and specifications, safety and solidity of structure, is typically bypassed by hastily-adopted building codes favoring rapid tract methods of construction: expedients of course justified by sometimes-well-rewarded local officials for the sacrosanct purpose of “encouraging development”. These methods often substituting various materials-saving expedients in the place of direct vertically-and-horizontally-bearing support, thus dispensing with one of a handful of chief principles of permanent structural stability, standards quite appropriate even if the components in question are not properly speaking load-bearing in nature. Such time-proven methods, producing a kind of densely-woven strength in a structure, as are seen in 1920s Garden Suburbs and Southeast-Asian bamboo peasant structures alike. That which has however been adjudged as too time-consuming for the industry’s “slap it together” mentality of today. A mindset in which many wall-partitions are held in place only by the last half-inch or so of the otherwise-exposed shanks of a few framing nails, with drywall-and-"mud" doing the rest. While a few years ago I myself saw framing in which, prior to the application of sheet-rock, many-a thus-secured partition quivered and swayed to the touch. Even as materials manufacturing standards seem to have followed the same downward trend, a quality-control by which drywall being installed on a ceiling might be so poorly made that without all-points vertical support it breaks easily, like a cracker, under its own weight, during installation: a building component which in the past had a near-unbreakable flexibility which no doubt withstood storm-wind twists and turns in an admirable way. Again, some might be gullible enough to imagine that with multiplying traffic-choked freeways and their attendant pollution this kind of construction is all “the people’s market choice”: the whole providing a striking analogy to the unsound and dysfunctional nature of modern forms of money, no longer forming a superstructure to stable and healthy economic life.
Multinational corporations would show little interest, at least of any sincere or long-term sort, in the painstaking, house-bound sort of private and public sedulousness that would be intrinsic to our model, even as they show themselves eager, as noted, for global services to be farmed-out to them under what amounts to an increasingly-bitter-and-sardonic fulfillment of Marx’s “withering away of the state”. A disturbing agenda which recently immerged from closed-door sessions of big power Economic Summits, touched upon above. These “privatized” arrangements multiplying as I write, with no public notice at all gaining entry into the most uncanny and inappropriate of fields, such as elder-care, vocational rehabilitation, and even a rapidly-monopolizing burying of the dead. Government and other alien functions being surrendered to the rapacious "legal personality" of the multinational firm, and their one-time beneficiaries sacrificed to the bottom line of the ubiquitous herd-investment-manager. All such things of course giving greater scope to a Bush-inaugurated totalitarian culture, no doubt with the whole world eventually slated to take orders from imperious CEOs and their global/private “security” forces. An impersonal machine which can never take on the character of true official legitimacy, since its radically-aloof structure and purposes are in significant ways deliberately and diametrically opposed to the common good. (Note of November 9, 2014: Snowden revelations have recently uncovered the extent to which the U.S. Government has worked hand-in-hand with the U.S.-based global-corporate plethora to gain militarily-actionable intelligence about basically every person and every government in the world, putting absolute power in the hands of "partners" who incessantly engineer false-flag operations and other nefarious projects both at home and abroad.)
Multinational interests, in monopolizing vast segments of national economies, today use arguments much like those of the English at the time of St. Joan of Arc, when the British laid territorial claims which abstracted entirely from any recognition of French national sovereignty or integrity. Heaven, of course, showed whose side it is on in such a contest, yet modern affirmations still abound, couched in Smithean “axiomatic” terms that go well beyond the Scotchman’s original purposes and worldview, in favor of a new feudalism of infinitely more personal and far-reaching consequences for all of us. Of course, it is no easy task to contest these long-standing usurpations, these illegitimate agendas of control over “the wealth of nations”: but neither can we foresee all the joint operations of grace, providence and human agency which will bring about the eventual termination of such unnatural things. Especially once the only ultimate, viable alternative, the social reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ, becomes more widely known and appreciated.
There are of course those who see the present human plight as hopeless and beyond remedy, except perhaps for some drastic, violent curative; while a more-religious but equally-radical outlook places its confidence solely and quietistically in miraculous interventions from Heaven based on certain prophesies. A mindset which piously crowds-out the need for truly courageous and self-sacrificing deeds. An approach—tinged with the Reformer faith-without-works ideology—which finds no support either in Scripture, Church history, or the authentic private revelations of the saints: all of which assume the unceasing obligation of men to act on behalf of what is right. But popular demonstrations like those at the WTO meetings in Seattle, and frequently at the White House or hushed venues of global NGO bodies around the Globe, even with the effectiveness of these popular initiatives too-often diminished by fringe-radical, self-discrediting elements, go to illustrate that we should not at all abandon ourselves to such a passive, or conversely-violent, approach. While it also remains eternally true that "if God is with us, then who can be against us?"
Thus should we be fired with the hope that the people, after having been deceived so many times by false promises and fanatical ideologies, will recognize the real article once it is presented to them in clear and cogent terms: and even more, once it is set in motion by their own very hands. With a true leadership arising through small-scale initiatives such as are suggested here, from out of which popular will has so often in the past arisen those historic groundswells that overwhelmed the ramparts of the mighty. As in the storming by the ill-equipped troops of St. Joan of Arc of the "impregnable" fortresses around Orleans, manned by the alien British. So that even the seemingly-inert and indifferent masses of today might be found, in a truly startling but quite plausible discovery, to have the same red blood coursing through their veins as did Godfrey, St. Joan, Roland or the nobles at Runnymede. In a courage which will arise even in an unprecedented absence of sound clerical leadership. The common people nonetheless being capable of fulfilling St. Pius the Tenth's early-twentieth-century papal prophesy that "it is the laity that will save the Church", this undoubtedly in conjunction with a freeing and salvaging of the civil realm as well. Speaking as he did at the beginning of a synagogue-sponsored global moral and political disaster of un-heard-of proportions: that amid which in fact we now live.
I have dispensed with my original debate over the title of the chief executive while at the same time I reiterate those things really germane to the gravity of the crisis presently at hand: reaffirming, specifying, objectifying popular rights to resonant forms of arbitration, insuring that each political figure is kept in the full vigor of his purpose, with the executive remaining an apt symbol of the national self-identification, and hopefully a model for the national pursuit of the arduous: a core function which few presidents have adequately performed. Since “without a vision the people perish”: a principle which far from certain unfortunate rule-of-the-group illusions assumes political leadership highly-personal in nature. So that today's oft-invoked “rule of law” can scarcely exist in some unapproachable apotheosis, on some rarified, abstract plane, but rather remains inseparable from the vigorous exercise of personal responsibility and accountability on its behalf, with today's ceremonious indirection being indeed a mute testimony to the doleful absence of same. Jesus' statement, "the poor you have always with you", not really signifying a hopeless inevitability, as the lines are now so elite-blithely interpreted, even from many pulpits: His words rather evoking the mortality-related frailty of the human condition, one which affords a perpetual opportunity to minister to others. That which in turn must be embodied in lively and pro-active civic and social forms, and arbitrated by leaders who give a living voice and spirit to written law.
Most essential to the advocated distributive system is an assiduous articulation of the common will and weal found in the upholding of above-described charters of various organic civil bodies, these often associated in some way with industrial or agricultural activities of various kinds. Involving a law-of-custom without which honors and offices tend to be either ineffectual or tyrannical, but within whose vigorous recognition the most despotic ruler is often rendered all-but-incapable of doing serious harm. The confirmation of charters being a usage marginally flexible yet resistant to sudden drastic change: not to be arbitrated afresh with every passing wind, of a momentary elite, of a temporarily-empowered ideological fringe. These charters or rights-and-duties-embodiments being in each case a summary of authority-sharing and equity-preserving relationships within each organic group: these incorporated in turn within a plethora of their culturally-divergent likenesses at various levels. Instruments by nature locally and regionally determined, confirmable or retro-confirmable at higher and lower successive levels, essentially long-standing or permanent in character. For constructive relations of men to one another, however generic or specific, don’t easily change with time, but tend to deepen or broaden along the same general lines: in that deeper constitutionality which first of all defines us as human beings, secondly as citizens of some certain land, and thirdly as constituents of local and regional cultures. Our operability as political creatures always being deeply saturated in our personal nationality extraction or place-specific culture: elements which legitimately give local and regional law their peculiar style or flavor, but which cannot be allowed to diverge in any major way from legitimate, long-standing, defining national ideals and goals. So that all branches, all geographical regions, quite naturally issue in moral and constitutional ties that are interlocking, vigorous and strong: this in a sense because of legitimate peculiarities and differences, not despite them. Without any sense of alienation toward other cultural groups, rather a strong reciprocal, self-identifying affinity: as in nationality groups in other countries which have yet tended to retain their cultural identities for centuries, something which indeed strengthens rather than weakens with time. Americans at last desisting in the perpetual attempt to “melt” into something, producing a people amorphous, characterless, like melted wax, taking the shape of that into which they are poured. Thus too this notion of constantly-evolving radical change, of this wax always receiving some new stamp or form: this being the central ideology of subversive elements noted above, of “managed” U.S. political thought on both right and left. A pliability ending however and invariably settling into rigid elitist control: since wax, under the cold winds of subversive elitism, finally does harden into rigidly unchanging forms. Too often needing reheating, suggestive of catastrophic upheaval, to change its shape in the slightest way at all.
Returning to the issue of the branches of government, in each we speak here not really of "more" or "less" power, but rather power construed in such a way as to be most effectively brought to bear in each of its respective depositaries. While being directed even more fundamentally to the greater glory of God and the upholding of His natural and Divine Positive Law, especially as it effects society at all levels. This divinely honoring and obeying function being the official sine qua non without which no land can survive, let alone prosper and remain free. A system in which customs, precedents and thoroughly-negotiated modifications would fill in issue-sensitive details over time: this with respect to issues large and small. The government thus existing within a fabric of governing traditions; a ruling authority found in the very warp and woof of popular life: itself by no means considered separate from or superior to same.
Accordingly, to the same degree as the other “branches” would the judiciary be inspired first and foremost by that Law of God which would be the only Constitution involved, that by which would be interpreted those noted charters of the various multi-level units of authority: the courts thus aiding these popular local and regional jurisdictions to articulate Godly, orderly and productive life, while providing as well a critical associated legal consciousness, one at the same time both universally-shared and with a place-specific air. Really quite an unselfconscious process, containing little of the present propensity toward a judicial activism which rides herd aggressively—that which is the very death of any locally-colored spirit—in virtual assaults on president and legislature alike. Judges acting as virtual policemen to see the other branches both “stay in line”: typically with an interpretation of the present Constitution radical in the extreme. An illegitimate arrogation being involved which has been motivated for two centuries, really since the time of Marshall, by extraneous elites: slavers, Indian-land-speculators, corporations, “developers”, and so on. The likelihood of any “constitutional crisis” under our own system rather being decidedly in the direction of the up and down stream of power of local to national bodies, as was always the case in the past: when governments acted in concert at their various levels, being identically motivated as a localized reciprocating whole. While any appearance of today's crisis-of-conflict among governing bodies should instantly be taken as a warning signal that some hostile subterfuge is underway. (Note of November 10, 2014: Previous considerations over the "three branches of government" have been deleted here as throughout this book, as I firmly believe that this whole abstract segmentation of official life is largely a gratuity which takes precious attention away from things that really matter when it comes to the common good and liberty alike. These functions of judging, legislating and ruling being integral parts of any thinking mind, inseparable one from the other, and when thus disjoined in government producing prostration on a massive and catastrophic scale. Hence would certain "executive" figures also don the robe of judge as events require, and arbitrate law daily amid vagaries of practical life. All these functions being immovably motivated by the law of God, both as stamped on the human heart and mind in the natural law and as found in the divine positive law: this latter to the degree the nation involved has been introduced to same.
Thus upheld would be the entire body of common law, that corpus within which the chartered system itself always subsisted, in this way doubly preserving our identification with an undying, ever-young Western Civilization. While judges at all levels, whether as above generically-understood or as in some circumstance specifically required, being men immersed in practical affairs, would cherish no starry-eyed illusions that in sober reality augur wars and domestic tyranny and leave the treasury bare. The more-recent re-conception of the judiciary into a lawyer-exclusive, morally indifferent and even avant-garde, radically-separate branch having by contrast brokered our swift descent into perversions and barbarisms of every kind, streamlining a radical-ideological transformation of our understanding of law. The courtroom articulation of statutes being the duty of lawyers, but the ability to apply laws and constitutions to the case at hand (rather than to reinterpret them into something that escapes legislative intent) is often (or was at one time) discoverable in the lowliest of laborers. Being acquainted by daily experience with the lot of the weak and the ruses of the powerful in a tutelage which Yale can little afford.
As suggested in chapter two, appeals would allow for the complete reopening of a case—in all aspects evidentiary and procedural—at each succeeding level: the main problem with local courts in the prosecution of serious crimes, as pointed out earlier, being not their procedural correctness—of which they are sometimes veritable showcases—but rather their notorious breezy or stonewalling atmosphere of privilege and partiality. While as intimated those who judge and rule would also busy themselves in the consuming task of the determination of adherence or non-adherence of various units-of-authority to respective local or regional charters of rights and usages, prior to reciprocal reconfirmations of these arrangements, much as did medieval near-equivalents. This perfectly objective task being added to the ordinary duties of the bench or the baronage involved: a function by nature open and above-board, being essentially confirmatory in nature, with sanctions running from denials-of-reissue to fines or other penalties, having for its subject-matter the continued soundness of this popular decision-making mechanism. A popular factotum with a deep-rooted sense of independence, being scarcely tolerant of a modern-day “judicial legislation” molding into something other than it was before. Such a procedure being in fact expressly outlawed. The neglect of which customary or confirmatory orientation today, as noted, is nine times out of ten the most common source of governmental dysfunction and tyranny.
Notwithstanding all of the above, representative bodies at various levels are in profound historical sense an equivalent to the whole people in assembly, and thus might be said to be the government par excellence. Hence at the national level would such input be ultimately required in all major decisions: whether by way of deliberations, or in war or other emergencies by way of approving or withholding funds. While in event of those emergencies by which the U.S. Government almost entirely rules today, in which on rare occasion there is no time for deliberations of this kind, there would already be in place a conduit of decision-making of the most popularly-trusted kind: even as recourses thus arrived-at would be subject as soon as possible to confirmation of this equivalent of the tribal moot. Having ideally the structure of the above-discussed Spanish cortes of medieval times, a representative vessel which found manifestation locally, regionally and nationally, in an interlock of constituent forces much like founding forms of the French assembled Etats General. Hence is government at each level primarily a united force, with lines-of-tension or arbitration between real, localized, economically-and-culturally-articulated units-of-power rather than in a tug-of-war between abstract "branches" existing mostly in ritually-sanitized minds. This governing organic relationship, both horizontal and descending/ascending, scarcely being adversarial in character, as if some constant hostile tension were required to maintain freedom or justice. Rather is the required motivation the smoothest possible attainment of desired goals, which sane and mature men know can only be secured when interests of all parties are generously taken into account, in a finding of ingenious solutions which incorporate advantages for all levels, for all involved. Frequent magnification-of-benefit being indeed found in un-looked-for mutually-profitable reciprocities between groups with somewhat-divergent goals, such as I myself hold to have been the very hallmark of the medieval times. That which is indeed the marvel of true government, as is only obtainable by the grace of God. So that we have here an appreciation of authority that recognizes its intrinsic strengths and limitations, and harnessing the former accordingly.
A peculiarity of the advocated system would be the local, regional and national elaboration of business-related ties, a facet of operation that would have many points of contact with the constitutional and legal, being the other partner in the above-described wedding of lay and official realms. So that to sustain such a challenging combination, there should be welcome the building up of a body of literature dedicated to sounding the depths of the practical and cultural-values-related thrust of each authority-unit corpus of regulations, usages and privileges at each level, each articulating its own peculiar organizational inspirations, traditions and élan. So that no leader could claim excusable ignorance of the sense of direction of any realm with which he must deal, or of the whole of which it is part: nor the abiding sources of same. Suggesting a multi-level political/philosophical reservoir perhaps analogous in some senses—as by its detailed examination of personal and power relationships—to the Shinsho and other books of the ancient and perennial Japanese political inspiration (Kuno, Yoshi S., vol. II, p. 1953, 1940). Such a scholarship, as in these source-books of Japan, to be built on the fundamental principle that what we are is far more important than what we own, or how many electronic devices we have, things which must ultimately pass away.
A great barrier in the way of understanding the real thrust of ideas presented here is a strange American notion about what law and justice mean. Noted anti-matter/Puritanical historical influences having favored a vague apprehension that all law might somehow be some variant of criminal law; that public functions carry with them in consequence the contagion of base and dishonorable connections. But it is my own experience, amply supported by both lengthy stays in other countries and continents and by readings of every kind, that law in the rest of the world, basically anywhere, is accurately understood according to its classical understanding: namely as overwhelmingly a simple enabler of the common good. So that the involvement of official bodies in everyday life, say to a European, doesn’t carry the same demotivating onus that it does here. Neither some residual sense of the felonious nor of shamefully “getting a free ride”. American institutions, unfortunately, having as suggested been strongly formed under capitalism and supporting confessional errors, offering us quite often an ambient warped perspective, one in many ways prejudicial to positive goals. That very faulty orientation the cure of which is much of the aim of this book.
As argued in the previous chapter, today's basically-dictatorial presidential discretionary powers to, say, wage potentially-incessant-if-"limited" war, with foregone decisions and accurate motivating information being shared by a mere handful of high-level hair-trigger war-hawks, would obviously have no place within this system. The current understanding of the chief executive implying a sort of admiralty law all its own, today constantly justified under an endless file of “I know what’s best for the country” hyper-heroic declarations flanked by odious false-flag operations of the most hideous kind. A penchant toward heavy-handed dictatorship which increasingly defines American foreign and even domestic policy, with the president, backed by media/corporate men-behind-the-scenes, given chart blanche by a cowering yet in many ways complicit Congress as well.
But under the proposed system issues like brushfire confrontation or national internal security would be returned to the discretion of the whole body politic, in a joint process participated by the entire above-recommended loosely-woven local-to-national chartered constituency, and dealt with as much as possible in a routine rather than incident-oriented way, especially in anything having to do with the use of force. While present-day onerous and open-ended "citizen surveillance" would most-decidedly become a thing of the past, since for one thing we are dealing here with a system in which communications would be open and habitual, and "domestic enemies" have essentially nowhere to hide. These traitors, too, being invariably found less among the openly-secretive than the garrulous and ingratiating, a fact attested by history, and even in daily human-relational experience. Treachery hardly being found among those sober, shy and reclusive whom the present system so commonly frisks, monitors and stigmatizes without reason or mercy.
Naturally needed would be a valid and responsive mechanism for those true if rare military or security emergencies that require immediate attention, things scarcely addressed by a modern system personally-invasive in the extreme. As noted above these occurrences needing a stout chain of an uninterrupted personal trust at their disposal, one in fact uniquely-achievable under proposed forms: being focusable with rapid responsiveness toward those things directly under threat, with a reflexiveness naturally extensible into all geographical regions of the nation. This while a drawn-out, public, point-by-point deliberation would not be precipitously dispensed with under any circumstances, being as well and of course the constitutional course of action for formal declarations of likewise-hopefully-rare or even forgotten war. The consultation of the highest representative body being required in all grave matters touching on the national good, and this indeed from the earliest possible moments of any "condition red", or even "condition orange", emergency.
Yet as implied throughout this writing, hammered out well in advance would be well-elaborated policy principles and expeditive tools, arrived at during ordinary deliberative sessions, for all matters of high or low importance. This essentially with the input of all levels, through normal self-governing channels, in a kind of coordinated consensus, according to the flexible and indeed fluid distributive approach outlined in previous pages. Thereby preparing some effective packages for both dire and ordinary times, patiently and profoundly considered from many perspectives, purviews and points of view. Being tools and not today's blind, hair-trigger imperatives; reasonable, well-calibrated instruments quite open to ongoing marginal adjustment and negotiation. The whole policy-plethora a stranger to those contrived incidents of which American foreign policy—in a way from very Concord Bridge beginnings—has been full.
I argue in a prior page for a substantial amount of "hereditary" authority, at least in the event, in practical terms: and the chief executive would be no exception. This for one thing in order to avoid any chance of the election process becoming a mere self-serving mechanism in the hands of power blocs or "opinion makers". The office thus retaining a certain robust integrity, indomitability, with oneness or unity, as Aquinas argues so convincingly, being brought to the body politic, and indeed to all living things and organizations, in no better way than by a oneness of head. With the intergenerational aspect lending yet another beneficial unitary redundancy. Such a hereditary presidency being most likely to contain the most desirable qualities of a head of state, including the embodiment of the national identity and its cultural continuity, while an uninterrupted oneness would be most likely as well to be amenable to the direct spiritual action of God. Any overwrought sense of mission however being discouraged by way of the many inbuilt, overlapping limitations to all levels of power, discussed in previous pages, with the very definition of such a headship being indeed construed in the same closely-delimited terms.
Together with such a chief executive would be established close equivalents to the noblemen/entrepreneurs of Medieval times: if perhaps simply retaining the industrial occupational titles they would have come to possess in any event. Sitters in intermediate- or higher-level assemblies at various strata, leaders of multi-level practical enterprises typically but not exclusively commercial in nature: men in whom the noted military joint discretionary authority would in the main be constituted, as in the Medieval model. So that as a consequence, through the continuity of the philosophy of up-and-downstream socially owned and developed plant and property, things like war would basically be decided upon by the entire body politic, down to it humblest members. These latter employees/voters having a decisive role in confirming these their leaders, who, at the risk of being redundant, would hold positions centered upon independent plants and businesses. And further-up-the-line on regional industrial agglomerations, all these alike as the prime composite lay/official vehicles expressive of all levels of government. Statecraft being again correctly understood as an intimate part of the indigenous life of the people, rather than being radically separated from and slavishly served by them, as at present. The worker in such a polar-opposite of the modern police state being a co-owner and thus in a very real sense a policy-setter as well, of his respective industrial polities: and not just the passive recipient of benefits, commands, prohibitions or military inductions. Even if confirmation-in-elective-office of his more-immediate leaders would contain elements of downward confirmation as well, approximating in some ways the medieval confirmation of charters, as well as of leaders, as in the rite of dubbing or elevation to knighthood, or the reaffirming of a villein tenant of his holding of a hide of land. The greatest of rights and benefits being that of fully functioning as a human being, and as much as possible disposing of ones own circumstances, and this at all levels of social, political and personal concern.
The intermediate vehicle toward such a multi-faceted transformation of political forms—if present trends continue toward a culminating anarchy, or the incapacity to peacefully maintain a constitutional convention for an extended period of time—could be a body similar to those Earls of the Realm who implemented the stipulations of Magna Carta in the Thirteenth Century (Swindler, 1965), in our own case being popularly chosen with paper ballots in a plebiscite or referendum of sorts. Men who in England over a period of centuries were often called upon at times of crisis to negotiate English internal issues between crown and people: by a like means the vulnerable interlude between the old and the new systems—given the politically-fragile circumstances under which such a transition would likely occur—being guarded from the chance atmosphere that has so often historically attended such occasions, in which by nature the persuasions of media or Fabian power players and agents provocateurs can be injurious or even decisive. While the other duty of such duly-constituted transition-oriented agents/observers—closely associated with substantial peacekeeping powers—would be to shepherd into free politically functionality the self-governing units of business/government of which the projected system would essentially be composed: units which by this point in time would perhaps have already developed, if in less-formal ways, into some considerable degree of functionality, in some manner similar to that tentatively outlined in the previous chapter.
These local and regional authority/industrial units, then—during these critical first stages and under such a protective umbrella—could further coalesce to the point of being able to select their own respective permanent leaders, who as suggested would in many ways resemble the Medieval nobility and knighthood: principals “upwardly” confirmed in office within the confines of their own custom-and-usage determined selection process in each local or regional organization, and downwardly in the manner of charter-confirmations, noted above. At the local level the "natural selection" of the very status of major-business ownership itself being the likely typical determinant: involving really a kind of simple fate or divine providence, since the democracy involved here would be an inherent one, this kind of entrepreneur, in the personalism of our advocated milieu, having to have shown humane qualities of leadership already: and finally because no one really wants spell-binders or winners of vain popularity contests in positions of public trust. While perhaps in some such units certain organized "neighborhood republic" relationships might better serve as vehicles of local government: whether city-wide or among such social coalitions as the above-anticipated "urban growers" and yard-sale and home-schooling organizers, even as other similar micro-polities would no doubt find inspiration in reconstituted "fraternities" or guilds of tradesmen or technicians and their families. Again, according to the complex organic processes discussed but hardly exhaustively mined in the previous chapter. “Personal authority” indeed having traditionally found such political or quasi-political associations to be welcome and congenial. From such humble beginnings popular political life being capable of finding uniquely-practical and responsive manifestations.
Even the actual, contemporary thirteenth century number of the postulated organizing, peace-keeping earls—implementers that they were in England of similarly founding and consequential things—twenty-five men—might be quite appropriate to a larger nation with infinitely-better communications, such as our own. Being a small enough body to be able, after due deliberation, to act swiftly and decisively; while twenty-five is also a number of persons large enough to constitute an effective forum of comprehensive discussion and deliberation of any scale or scope. This even if each such member would unavoidably be selected according to criteria of spontaneous popularly-perceived significance under such transitional circumstances: these event-driven democratic weighing-standards having an unparalleled validity all of their own, especially when the soil of the national soul has been duly prepared by lightning-like discharges, as of bolts of present Administration-precipitated national emergency, and others yet-more-electrifying of a divine grace that is so critical to such a momentous occasion. The choice of these first "provisional" earls being thus a child of the hour, sprung from a popular soil watered by the free and open discussion of aspirants and their ideas. From out of which fertile, diffusive political culture would hopefully be chosen a body, a constitutional forum in which the especially-articulate, including the poetic and otherwise intuitive and creative, would conspire with the more-practical-minded, in the embodiment of the popular will and consciousness.
Under such humane overseers would thus take place the concrete building up of the fabric of government, a critical weaving achieved amid the discursive processes of a kind of natural industrial selection: while these transitional guardians and co-consulters would concomitantly be monitoring an incremental and equitable transfer of power, from present forms which would play a gradually-diminishing role. While this overseeing framework should likewise be headed by a official who would correspond to the Medieval Earl Marshall of the Realm, a kind of provisional chief executive, of the same English precedent, one who would also represent a tie-breaking twenty-fifth vote. All these figures being retained, after initial founding duties were past, as a last echelon guarantee against systemic sabotage or tyranny, much as was the case with their English predecessors, and this for a long enough period to assure the stability of what they had thus guaranteed: perhaps for as long as twenty-five years. Having functions defined in just such constitutionality-related extraordinary, essentially negative or preventive, terms, and thus being largely incapable of attempting any autocratic end-run around common law and divine law guarantees. Chief figures individually chosen to remain, or to step down, after initial ushering-in duties, on the bases of their performance, with the "earldom" candidates being submitted to voters in each of twenty-five geographical regions, perhaps formed out of two contiguous states. Although, finally, it might be found that deliberative advantages of a smaller number, i.e., twenty-five, might succumb to practical political advantages of naming fifty such “earls”, one from each state. Resulting in a more lumbering, cumbersome body, but one at least that would see the light of day.
Concerning the choice of standard leadership on the several ascending regional levels, an especially complex and problematical area of concern, some especially able individual in a major industry would be the natural voice to negotiate the common interest of all involved in each of these regions, articulating as he would the perspectives of the various kinds of businesses and other socioeconomic units located there. Men who would have proven an ability to work intelligently and at a high-level socio-legal perspective in regard to the same commercial, political and constitutional issues that would be vital to all concerned. Being familiar too with multiple regional public and private institutions, transport firms, suppliers and input industries: the logistical arteries by which the whole would be organically nourished and unified. Such complex abilities and spatial and personal connections being obviously of incalculable value in authoritative tasks, and difficult indeed to duplicate.
In such a scenario even the largest companies would not surpass the regional level in size and scope, if requiring inputs from other regional suppliers or supply chains, with the most comprehensive jurisdictional strata perhaps being roughly expressed in the four conventional geographic quadrants of the present USA. These being seemingly the largest possible spatial purviews functionally containable within the social definition of property, and the locality-oriented industrial, and perhaps even monetary, structure of the whole, while also seemingly being approximated in various present-day Federal court or bureau jurisdictional subdivisions as well. In a commercial arena which would rather stress complementarity than neo-laissez-faire cut-throat competition, and within whose unique constraints poor quality or lack of meaningful innovation would be mercifully but efficiently weeded out. This in contrast to the lumbering, wasteful duplicative parallelism of capitalistic competition, ultimately having little coherent connection to quality or level of advancement, yet securing "bail outs" of mammoth proportions, being judged "too big to fail". Rather under the proposed system would interregional transactions, and market, transport and other regulations, facilitate a healthy nationwide interdependency, rather than the formation of massive customer-coercive business or political monopolies. This while such industrial connections, regional and national, would furthermore be quite vital in hopefully-rare times of war.
Extreme care would of course also have to be taken in the geographical demarcation of the various subdivisions, which must not be sharply and arbitrarily drawn and decided upon: and certainly not as if to aspire to create so many identically sized and shaped squares: rather being based at lower levels on the natural borders that would exist between locally-large businesses and the properties of their managers and employees. Spatial subdivisions into which the often vocationally-defined neighborhoods, discussed above, would likewise have to be as-closely-as-possible accommodated, together with loosely or closely associated independent firms or contractors. Successively-larger regional bailiwicks being similarly defined by the natural commercial and resource-related boundaries existing between major regional industries, or "agglomerative clusters" thereof: the discovery of which lines of demarcation at all levels and as noted would have to be carefully and cooperatively negotiated between these regions. In an area of concern which obviously at present can only be visualized in the most sketchy of terms, but which would tend to clarify itself beforehand in the actual advent of such an organic system. An arbitration which would no doubt also take into account those topographical features to which, being once again largely a land-and-physical resource based economy, these jurisdictional boundaries might at least to a degree tend to conform. This "districting" task, necessarily incorporating both local and supra-local needs and wishes, would easily prove to be the most difficult, controversial and time-consuming of all: jurisdictional lines, national or real-property related, being indeed a major cause of disputes worldwide and from the very beginning. So that the whole "grid" could hopefully be submitted to the people at the time of the final ratification of such a system or constitution, gaining thereby a note of permanency and legitimacy otherwise difficult to obtain: in a plebiscite peacefully maintained by the first tentative earls. Who again and of course might be called by some other more familiar and contemporary name.
Some would no doubt insist that the moving figures in such a political system, temporary or permanent and of any level or function, must somehow be neutral and detached, so as to be able to render impartial judgment. A contention which of course automatically calls into question the participatory rights of the ordinary citizen: he who has much to gain or loose at every turn, or slippery spot, in the economic and political arena. This "impartiality" standard being a notion which nonetheless, much like the axioms of laissez faire capitalism, has a certain sanitary appeal, both on paper and in oratory. Tending to cast doubt upon the legitimacy of "emotional", personalist systems such as we advocate. But actually, realistic and effective impartiality is difficult to measure, being a subtle, character-related thing, while real community needs are typically best arbitrated among cooperative "stakeholders" (another of those unfortunate, misleading, adversarial-sounding terms we are stuck with by political science theorists): this in a negotiating arena in which vital trusts and friendships are formed, and rivals or opponents can be acknowledged in constructive, peaceful and above-board ways. It being indeed abnormal that men should be entirely self-seeking, as if to require some agnostic, "impartial" school-marm to keep them in line, in that dysfunctional, juvenile, cocaine and rock-concert world to which we are all consigned by behavioral-science functionaries of every stripe. It rather being normal that men should by-and-large have ample degrees of goodness and character. While the next step from even-handedness in our “impartial” figure is all too often to become manipulable, and then an amply-sheltered and ruthless pawn, or even kingmaker. Our ideal arbitrator usually ending up being compromised in some way, as on another level our own ample experience with "pure" political ideologies teaches us so well: being manifestly fruitful less in ideal systems than in puppets at the end of corporation-manipulated strings. The proposed system by contrast being built upon a category of in-the-flesh men that is nonetheless especially indisposed toward craven subservience, flights of illusion or ham-handed overreach.
Foremost of all, the model tentatively offered here is led by key arbiters of a well-established practical relationship of productivity, cooperation and trust: being built upon persons reasonably or intimately familiar with all levels of productive interaction, with both leader-expertise and overall operational efficiency increasing with the age of the projected socioeconomic redeployment. A retooling led by people who have been schooled in practical high-and-low level negotiation, coordination and enablement of both their own private fortune and the common good, generally-speaking in the most colloquial of ways. The sorts of persons who are not veteran verbal wranglers or ideologues, the higher regional principals in particular tending to be gifted political, industrial and agricultural leaders, policy-forming heads of an up and down stream input/output composite. These persons meeting periodically in deliberative, cross-sectional, pan-industrial bodies, thus, again, reproducing the successive, multi-level cortes of Spanish history, of politically-and-commercially committed men whose power-articulations descend from the national to the local level in an organic, coordinated way. The individual leader at the head of each commercially-determined intra-industrial agglomeration in the regional authority-interweave being initially chosen by a kind of dubbing selection of bodies from above, a choice confirmed upwardly by lower-level constituent bodies from below: these selection-processes ranging from the formal to the informal across a wide sliding scale, as need would decide. Upper-level leaders in this selection process being likely to be leaders in their own turn of industries, locational or agglomerative clusterings, and the like. The keeping of order and equity in such an initial selection process again being a prime concern of the noted "earls", and any assistants they might choose to employ, while in these latter figures we are of course not speaking of one of Bush's ranging, omnibus "security" mechanisms, but rather a body with one very specific task to perform: namely the birthing of a new economic/political system. The swarming of a beehive needing a certain kind and degree of protection by the solicitous beekeeper: one that, while making allowances for the foibles of human nature, should have little to do with "eliminating" winged hive citizens, or settling painful old stings, scores and grievances.
Once such systemic chiefs are selected at the various mounting levels of regional power they would, again, no doubt best be typically retained in a hereditary permanency: with able blood-relatives of the ubiquitous official/owner/manager naturally as in the past being counted upon to expertly man key secondary positions in such a firm or agglomeration. Thus rendering it yet more modeled after the pattern of a living, and typically affectionate, thing: in sharp contrast to a blank-faced modern-day corporate/government nepotism which gives us the same worthless crony-leaders time after time. Since we are looking forward to a system whose most urgent imperative would be a virtual immunity from drastic alteration toward the aims of unduly powerful, let alone "Fabian", groups: these latter representing the sort of insidious power which is only effectively opposed by a dense fabric of long-standing personalized leadership and interpersonal loyalty. A force capable of effectively countering abuses and usurpations usually quietly prepared-for decades in advance: such a vigilant leadership of course acknowledging the law of God as the source of all law, if it wishes to stay in power for any length of time. The final destructive issue of noted interlopers, as history so amply demonstrates, typically-enough coming-about with uncanny precipitation, in systems not thus divinely imbued, especially in modern Enlightenment-era-founded, financier-subservient "democratic" countries, where these kinds of capitulations before radical or self-interested elements take place more-or-less regularly. The ballot-box unionism of the mid-twentieth century, for instance, having been thus overcome by extraneous forces during little more than a single decade, in a transformation which was its own death-knell, largely through the psychological manipulation, or in the Teamsters and similar groups within the trucking industry even the violent intimidation, of the rank-and-file in their selection of regional and national officials. In a process, too, which in other respects puts new and disturbing meaning into the word international. Involved being in some ways an ideologically-driven radicalization, beginning with issues which often had little or nothing to do with the working man or his welfare. The whole incalculable rogue-wave, not being contained by the perennial, immovable, organic kinds of institutions advocated here, finally took complete possession of what had been a formidable tool of precisely-focused workplace negotiation and practical equity, and gave the worker into the hands of the worst sort of “leaders”, just as had for that matter taken place during the same decade in school, family and circle-of-friends. In another of the many sorts of herd managed phenomenon of an invariable world-trader/underworld alliance: one capable, if given the least opportunity, of gaining control of all the myriad stops in the sociopolitical pipe-organ.
As in the noted corruption of a once-vital unionism, so also the related virtual coup after the Kennedy assassination, and more-recently and yet-more-dramatically after the Trade Tower crashes: these and other “invisible hand” alterations largely accounting as well for the bulk of the lurching spasms of modern-day “progress” and political degeneration alike. Again, among people in notable possession of much-acclaimed ballot-box prerogatives. So that when we suggest that family lines should be considered acceptable—if of course not obligatory—in the intergenerational running of these authority-units, it isn’t at all out of a love of autocratic rule, nor even primarily for simple efficiency or individual virtue. The main idea rather being at all costs to retain the stubbornly-independent character of all the organic, socio-political organs in society, so that they might vigorously perform their proper democratic tasks. Involving a corporative (rather than corporate) viability/survival, joined to a kind of local and regional semi-sovereignty, which is absolutely critical to the ultimate retention of freedom on a practical personal plane. The kind of overall societal liberty/stability that is best maintained by single identifiable persons and families: those most strongly motivated—and monitorable—toward securing the very independence of their constituents. Being indeed passionately identified with same, from a complementary vantage-point, like the tandem atoms of a diamond bonding an incomparable strength.
Conversely, if any such hereditary leader, on the regional level invariably some industrial up-or-down-stream business-owner, were to become dictatorial, they could be dealt with through customary or judicial mechanisms discussed above, and at any number of levels. A parallel procedure having been quite common in Medieval times. Together with the above-discussed buyout of his/her stakes in the enterprise or agglomeration. Here being too a primary place for the noted higher-level review and confirmation or denial of charters, based on the observance or non-observance of democratically-agreed-upon customs and usages. The penalty of removal, or charter revocation, or other constructive remedies, being sanctions readily available to the courts. These latter, again, not construed as radically-specialized bodies, able somehow to pronounce from putative cloud-covered heights, but rather being made up of familiar leaders who exercise power in other ways as well, being adjudged as having sound and fair judgment by those with whom they deal. Again, there is no claim here to anything fool-proof or rigidly-predetermined, but only infinitely more workable than present arrangements so notoriously marked by gross favoritism, racism and a radical advocacy of anti-life, pro-sodomy policies of every stripe.
As suggested in the last chapter, once the proposed system were established there should be no need for commercial life to be hamstrung to excessively localized levels of organization: industry and commerce might easily have certain legitimate national ramifications, as well as rational international ones, again as outlined above: but in each case within the context of an overall functional service to the local milieu. Thus would there tend to be produced a whole plethora of unique new forms and networks, radiating multiple forms from the local level according to the humane logic of person and place, and not dictated from the other direction, according to that singularly-unified totalitarianism which is multinational-corporate finance. While finally in such a system present political subdivisions, such as counties and states, could eventually undergo considerable modification: if nothing else in their functional ramifications and philosophies, while their development thus far as legitimate units of law and political life might favor their retention as regional units of political power and organization.
Of course, too, dispensed with here is that "world community", a quasi-world-conscience invariably exercised in practice by the standard, tightly-harmonizing trio of the governments of Israel, England and the United States. (Note of November 13, 2014: Rigid discipline aboard this globalist "tight ship", this sanctimony-dripping coalition, has been fantastically expanded since 2007, with all the world except Russia and certain Muslim countries to varying degrees either committed "partners" or unwillingly coerced in various important ways. While even these latter are plagued by close-cousin internally-invasive forces which dog them at every turn.) This Anglo/Jewish alliance—the self-same one that so "heroically" brought us two World Wars—attended by inevitable brow-beaten strings of lesser hangers-on and puppets—partaking, again, of the above-noted illusion of an impartial third party entity: an arbiter of supposedly pristine intentions. One that is rather and of course venal and corrupted, and that quickly turns into a ruthless Overlord, with a global police force to impose its own finance-and-ideology-driven will. As we have indeed seen in SFOR and in the Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at the Hague: with these and similar bodies being theoretically promising in themselves, but having today too often become a stage for world-class political debutants and genocidal butchers alike to air their autocratic charms.
The question of the internet, and its apparent radical centralizing tendencies, might alarmingly assert itself in many minds, with respect to the advocated system. And indeed this modern interface does give direct access, anywhere around the globe, in ways that are alarming, and without demonstrable comparative advantages coming about. For as Ricardo Vaccha, the pioneering multi-systems expert noted above, demonstrated quite well in his apparently out-of-print best-selling seventies book The Coming Dark Ages, any assets gained in adopting the centripetal internet/computer are more than matched by the all-your-eggs-in-one-basket consequences that remorselessly obtain. As well as by a fantastic redundancy, a comprehensive aping of human life and functions: one which not only allows critical mediating human abilities and talents to atrophy from disuse or under-use, radically reducing human personal and social agency, but also instrumentally brings about a proportional institutional and generic/organizational dis-coordination and ineptitude as well. As the classical example, the whole response to Hurricane Katrina, amply illustrates for all to see. Digitally-enhanced “vigilance”, the veritable strange god of the turn of the millennium, being shown with finality to be more or less a contradiction in terms. So that there must be found some way to retreat from the wholesale employment of the internet and related mostly-miniscule devices that prevails today, rather substituting in the place of this Star Trek paraphernalia the vital connectivities of human personality, face-to-face leadership and cooperative interaction, and so on. Would the internet—not to mention the whole mammoth technical phenomenon of modern life—continue to perform functions in medicine and other fields where the saving of human life is more or less directly involved? For men who are by nature mortal, who will only be on this earth for so long, who morally and spiritually cannot afford to have everything turned on its head, with physical health, safety and pleasure being put foremost on the scale of important and required things? Such as the present system indeed rigorously and sanctimoniously requires? I think this whole issue needs revisiting, with a re-channeling of human efforts into things more localized, marshaling those mechanisms which most ably and deeply serve the human person, most especially in matters of the heart, soul and mind. And after that fundamental re-ordering has taken place, then we can see if there remains any place for any elements of what has become a sky-darkening monolith, such as technical and electronic devices and interfaces have come to be. As God gave us an earth that already caters to our genuine needs—aesthetical, spiritual, material—abundantly well: a mother earth which modern methods in fact disfigure at every turn, holding in utter contempt the most profound and lasting contributions which she has to make.
As noted above, a world political order modified toward distributism would see the departure first of all of any sense of a "Elite Eight" or a "Big Four": privileged nations and associated secret-societies that meet behind closed doors and dictate the futures of peoples. Rather would global cooperative efforts under projected circumstances tend toward a rational multi-laterality, since only those things would be treated of in agreements or consultations which would fit into a scenario broad and beneficially-inclusive in scope and character, tending toward the comprehensive good of all. This being a world-nation bill-of-rights variant of that "perfect competition" which is said to result from a healthy marketplace, which has proven such a disappointment in the event. While of course we don't claim the total disappearance of an occasional "bad boy" on the global scene in our system, but only that such truly, and not just systematically-slandered, "rouge" leaders would have an uphill climb in every respect. In a terrain more or less totally unsuited to guilty purposes.
The leaders-elect of the proposed system could be expected to have demonstrated not just a flair for statistically-modeled catch-phrases but rather a strong and intelligent involvement in local and/or regional vital activities, displaying throughout a close identification with the popular well-being, if only within the limited-but-quite-significant arena of a particular business or industry. Such an affinity thus not being a matter of having the same opinions as associates or the masses at any moment in time, as John Kennedy so rightly noted in his Profiles in Courage (1957): since as he pointed out good leaders are properly elected not for their unanimity with current and to a degree malleable, gradually-developing public opinion, let alone for their ability to manipulate same, but rather for evidence of a laboriously-well-informed instinct for seeing beyond false or surface issues. And in a great many cases being able to forcefully convey those insights or misgivings to their constituents: if not in their complex totality, then in certain salient features which resonate in the popular mind. A preoccupation implying in turn a set of demanding obligations which the common people, by the nature of the case, have little opportunity to adequately pursue, and which duties comprise the implicit and most-legitimate popular mandate to the incumbent. Hence the real and genuine kind of local or regional leader is best chosen in the proposed setting of the industrial, agricultural or craft enterprise, or agglomerative cluster of industries, or vehicle of neighborhood socioeconomic interaction: each of these having its unique opportunities for long periods of personal-ethical, ability and leadership evaluation on the part of the "electorate". The setting in which men best prove their metal in the world of affairs. Ascendancy in business and the workaday world too, as bears repeating, employing much the same virtues and abilities as governmental, or even military, leadership require, although admittedly higher positions would call forth other refinements, if not necessarily academic ones, qualities that are within the reach of available men in the midst of productive pursuits. While, finally, many minor business owners, those too small-scale to be incorporated into the mounting power structure, might resemble politically to a degree the independent or “yeoman” farmers of earlier times.
All of this is manifestly a very real alternative to what we have at present, speaking decisively to the issues at hand, offering bold and well-integrated yet humane and loosely-structured, readily-adaptable, points of departure and solutions: even if for now some of these are necessarily somewhat hypothetical in nature. And the potential for acceptability of such a plan, or loosely-jointed but well-coordinated hierarchy of systems and sub-systems, is really quite great: being built upon the above-discussed diffuse, prolific wisdom and experience of the human whole, indeed of our entire race. A capacity which reinforces itself by nature, given the fertile soil of a congenial spirit and political form. While this plan too must of course negotiate the rest of the gamut of hurdles and pitfalls that always lie in the path of fundamental improvement, among a human race which still struggles against the moral, intellectual and attitudinal impediments of Original Sin, involving depletions of wisdom and prudence from which our age is scarcely immune. While of course always threatening to reemerge would be the omnibus input of today's managers and elites, fatally altering everything good that falls into their path, having a "proven track record" of gaining effective control of most of the major counter-movements against their own hegemony, so as to “meet us coming and going” in all regards. So that what we are asking for here is another Archbishop Langton, the framer of the Magna Charta, as well as for several miracles of divine assistance.
But these are precisely the things we are urged by Our Blessed Lord Himself to petition for, in His “ask and you shall receive”, or His assurance that when praying with confidence we might move mountains: it having been only when Peter feared that he would fall under the waves that he in fact actually began to do so. Certainly we can expect equal assistance in answer to our own entreaties, especially since our motives and circumstances are at least as urgent in character as were those of that Prince of the Apostles, in his desire to walk on water. But initial difficulties and dangers and various unavoidable practical adjustments once having been surmounted the social, political and commercial complex that results can be confidently expected to gradually assume the contours of the desired free, buoyant and prolific interdependency: no longer straining against inherent laws of economic, social, political and property-related reality as does the present system. Of course, those who have nothing but contempt for the people, and usually as well for all positive life, can hardly be expect to lend their support to such a plan.
The typical rare modern royalist, in musings about the future, is often much affected by literal interpretations of prophesies of holy men which speak of a “scion” of a royal or imperial house being the latter-day deliverer of Christendom: thus obviously seeming to strengthen the case for the return to power of the Habsburgs or Bourbons or some other dynasty. But this prognostication could easily stand for something virtual in nature, especially when historically these royal families impeached themselves so thoroughly, scarcely auguring the auspicious return of their rule.
Resonating with tones of a Stradivarius would be a Western World thus rediscovering foundational forms and purposes, or of a China or Japan allowed to develop freely and spontaneously according to its own unique genius, instead of rasping along off key, as at present, with institutions essentially foreign to historical inspirations. All nations eventually and as well, as they are indeed destined to do, making the much-to-be-desired, sometimes-near-spontaneous leap of Faith into a full, practice-oriented profession of Catholicism: that which is the very azimuth, the destiny of human Civilization and its culturally-specific political and socioeconomic institutions. So much more worthy than today’s substitute leap of faith toward the tired old temple-worship of a reinvigorate laissez faire capitalism: something as we have attempted to show that is actually in significant ways a moral throw-back to the human sacrifice of Aztecs, Canaanites and ancient Egyptians.
The restoration, then, in full and vigorous form, of genuine Western, indeed universal human, institutions is a matter of urgent and immediate necessity: and if our Faith does not lead us to dedicate ourselves, within our capacities, to such a practical restoration of human and spiritual life and values in such times as these, when the contributions of all are urgently demanded, then to that degree we are “salt which has lost its savor, and is fit only to be thrown out and trodden under foot.” To such an end it is my hope that this little book will call forth the heavenly assistance of the Maid of Orleans in the reestablishment of true, self-delimiting sovereignty in this Country: and eventually, within the indigenous context of each separate nation, on the whole earth. A cause which, invincible and irresistible as ever, she is even now ready to take up again and on behalf of all, and which remains in Heaven so close to her good, noble and patriotic heart. That heart which the flames of the executioner could not consume. So that even such insignificant efforts as my own might bear fruit in abundance. A labor of love indeed undertaken in the hopes of it being some faint reflection of her own.
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