The rejection of the fatherly law of God as mirrored in an atrophy of commonweal into command-oriented "government".
The divine “folly” of the tradition-based and only Catholic Way embraces nothingness and misery, to be filled by God: promoting a loose-knit quality to all things Catholic which informs our view of the state as well. Indeed with us, order is never forsaken, but neither does it lose its sense of humor, become overbearing, touting the rule of minutiae, of a tidy or antiseptic regimentation. Let alone of some genetically-altered Aryan/Hitlerian elite. While the emptying of this Catholic spirit from Western economic and political life began in earnest in the time of Phillip the Fair of France, when “practical” matters like thralldom to moneylenders first took pride of place in a Christian state. This cosmic disorder having come to full term today, comprising an atrophy which can hardly be captured or conveyed in today’s hot debate over the “size” of “government”. The stripped-down and simplistic notions of modern man being echoed too in an identification of leadership with giving speeches and otherwise making impressions, when not engaged in blank-faced larceny or tight-lipped under-the-table deals. In the wake of which bleak and sterile transformation—the house of state having been tidily “swept and decorated” for demons of every kind—come a commandeering of functions of state and economy alike into the hands of a well-defined body of what might be called professional elites: that misfortune which comprises David’s dreaded “falling into the hands of man”. As all the joy and spontaneity, the first-hand neighborliness, goes out of public life, and erstwhile generous institutions lose their innate capacity to earnestly and actually serve man. Not man as scolded into stiff conformity but as he really is, as he was made by God to be, in all his native variety, complexity and fragility. A trivialization of both man and of a state made by God to serve him, to be his principal popular mode of inclusive and effective self-expression. An impressive but humble and gracious totality which when thus construed is hardly man’s enemy, as the Limbaughs of this world would have it. A massive atrophy being promoted here, attended verbally by the replacement of the appropriate, richer and more-meaningful words for the sovereignty—variously "commonwealth", "commonweal" or simply the state—by the oddly grim and austere word "government". A robbery-of-logical-substance which suggests functions solely of punishing and issuing peremptory commands: as if a guilty mankind, like the biblical unjust servant, counting God “a hard man”, expecting His anger from every direction, embodies the divine ire in the most imposing of his earthly institutions. In the construing of a state which is little capable of fostering that friendship, both human and divine, the encouragement and enablement of which St. Thomas Aquinas distinguishes as the prime purpose of the public power.
Ultimately and not surprisingly, this brave abandonment of many defining if sometimes rather homely functions and their replacement by the dual polarities of heartless “invisible hand” of market dynamics and the lock-step of statist regimes finds historic wealth-multiplying facets of the more-adequately named and endowed commonwealth fated to gradually shrivel and die. To be replaced not only by inadequate gadgets large and small but yet more by starkly-futuristic notions of a “progress” coming to embody a religion all-its-own. One which in practical and even theoretical terms now threatens to consume not only the economy but also all other creeds in its stock-market mulcted, space-flight-obsessed, anti-life, sodomite maws.
Hence do we find political and historical writers of every stripe repeating the same owl-eyed, threadbare incantation, with a certain William Swindler, in his book on Magna Charta, (Bobbs-Merrill, Inc. New York: 1965), quoting often impenetrably obscure and sometimes secular-messianic passages from Supreme Court judges and legal philosophers of the past three centuries. Extracts in which the freeing of courts and legislatures from any moral or practical bounds on their arenas of legislation or pontification is celebrated in sometimes-rapturous but always convoluted tones. All this dubious labor being regarded as well-worth the task, preparing places of worship for the new deity, progress and its inseparable temple attendant, secular determinism. While the author tops off this breathless bout of Hindu Emanationism or Hegelian phenomenology with his own suggestion that each new generation “keeps its own faith” with its own institutions (p. 238): ramroding the noted “take” on the state which pointedly excludes the love, obedience or adoration of God as being of any real or legitimate influence upon public affairs. Here being posited a “generational faith” in which each new generation might rather be said to worship itself in terms of legislative agendas and judicial benchmarks of all kinds.
However—and as divine chastisements increasingly reveal—the only valid law administered by the people in a democracy is the law of God, and anyone is authorized to firmly resist a “democracy” or a “republic” dedicated to being “a law unto itself”. The attempt to conceive law—rather than to obey it as it comes from the loving hand of God—to erect new and ultra-secular constitutions like so many towers of Babel piercing the sky—this is an abominable presumption on the part of mortal man, and a lightning rod of the divine wrath. A fatal misfortune only to be remedied by a hero who “stands in the breach”, like David, Josias or Joan of Arc, of old, and extirpates the public crime. The honor and glory of God being the prime purpose of the state, that which draws down, like dew, the blessings of Heaven, with the various nations being validly conceived only within the injunctions of divine revelation. Or if not acquainted with same, at least according to that natural law written on the human heart by the same good God. While the divine law manifests itself in a special way in the gift of reason: under which emblem however man so readily rebels against the Creator from which it came. That elemental faculty from which modern man, ironically, removes himself further from day to day, as he surrenders himself to an increasingly trivial view of himself. Fast becoming a mere rocket-monkey, to be lifted off to weird new places unknown, economically, morally, culturally, and in every other way. Under the control of godless elites who keep their own grim counsel, and whom man is required to render a homage more abject than anything the good God would ever require.
Here, then, is why we crusade. Why we “make waves”, and don’t just “make the best of things” under an Obama who chose a sodomite “bishop” to intone his inauguration. Why we “have to make things difficult”, why we don’t just “mind our own affairs”, instead of intruding into things “beyond our ken”. Yes, indeed, this “do what it takes to bring in the bacon” line-of-logic was first super-sanctified back in the halcyon days just after Vatican II, which suddenly opened up a big “window of opportunity” for Catholics who were so nimble and adroit as to finally getting wise to success ethic “Reformation zeal”. Who “knew a good thing when they saw one”. A time when putting the honor of God first was classed as a species of phony pietism from out of a “shameful” Catholic past, said to have been revealed as such during yawningly-interminable sessions of same. When it was first maintained that one could insult God openly in the public forum, muttering some uprighteous mantra like “in God we trust” all the while one abort babies, coddled sodomites, watched the morality of our children destroyed by institutions of overshadowing power. “You’re just an ant on the sidewalk”—but a very big one is you’re savvy and smart—they might have told us, and many learned to love dodging the shoes of the giants who “decide things” for us. These thoughtful and intelligent ones, these Johnsons, Reagans and Bushes who started by looting Social Security, and ended by inaugurating an aggressive-war-machine-driven (real time) 20-trillion-dollar (and mounting) national debt. Oh, these were those “practical-minded ones” whom “own-business-minding” solid citizens like ourselves were supposed to trust implicitly to carry things through. “Religion is another matter entirely”, we were told, “don’t mix the two”, or you’ll be considered a fanatic, and dropped like a hot potato.
To such thrifty minds as we have today, then—ever ready to travel light for some brave and rebellious journey—the commonweal, the cultivar of human friendship, must necessarily be reduced to noted Spartan terms of “government”, or of the “free market”, of a stark and morbid emphasis upon coercion, upon “convincing” people of what is “for their own good”. Finding no need to approach man by the supple side of his reason, of instincts of free interplay of powers good, wise, reciprocal, sublime. As if man were a mere billiard ball in a Newtonian physics laboratory, rather than a rational creature made in the image and likeness of God. A government which sacrifices our sons and daughters on the pagan altars of aggressive wars, of abortion, of the harsh penury of “dog eat dog”. A see-saw gospel such as we hear daily from the Limbaughs, Liebermans, and Obamas of today.
But further along the road of this denigration of human institutions—especially since the eighteenth century abandonment of the mention of God as the Font of all law—has come a notion of the common good which erects a sort of mob rule to take the place of the order and peace of the divine commands. An overturning which quickly went well beyond the halls of state to invade classroom, workplace and home. While the fatherhood of the parent, finally, meets the same rejection as the fatherhood of God: since there’s little place for something so noble as a father in a society fast becoming a sort of hippy commune. One which quickly goes a step further and sees the common good in the purely negative sense of the exclusion of all others from benefit or consideration. It is the common good of pirates, and shows itself in a USA in the arena of foreign affairs dedicated to the enrichment of this country alone. A mammoth folly by which we imagine ourselves in possessions of power that mounts to the clouds, being all-the-less aware of the pit that lay below in our path. Dug by elites who use nations as pawns or poker-chips almost since the days of Sts. Peter and Paul. While this entirely-temporary preeminence—of the sovereign prima donna of the hour—is effected by an astute manipulation of nations into positions of dominance/subservience, whether by unfair, big-power-bullying trade policies or black-ops intrigues.
This piratical idea of the common good—being an extremely infectious disease—descends readily to the level of race and nationality, and even blank-facedly invades the parish, the Gospel-intended harbor of brotherly love. Where a Saul Alinsky Basic Christian Community or B.C.C. idea of the parish—or of the prayer community of Protestant beliefs—finds its middle-class sea-legs in a blunt or smooth but always systematic rejection of the poor. Holy things coming to be thought of as the exclusive prerogatives of those already there, paying their tithes, a “tribute” to the parish by their car or cut-of-cloth. This the very opposite of an early Christian community—a divinely intended model for future times—which went so far, at least for a time, as to hold all things in common—with compassion for the poor of any parish being the precise aim of this Apostolic agape feast of generosity and love.
Of course the exclusion of others from the ambit of all justice, generosity or right cannot possibly benefit a mankind which must share the same planet and biosphere with other nations: a configuration which requires that a love of those most dear be so thoughtfully tempered and conceived as to be of benefit to others as well. That which when achieved—admittedly no mean task—redounds to a reciprocity in which wealth and wellbeing aren’t at all diminished, but rather indeed multiplied for everyone. This most-to-be pursued outcome being an amplification at more profound reaches of that economic multiplier which causes good inputs of every kind to incubate, as it were, to foster the further fertility of each and all. This fecundity being natural to the earthly garden given man by a loving, fatherly God; in a productivity puritanically despised by the dog-eat-dog Serpent on the tree. This true and ebullient wealth involving an interweave of supplier and consumer, both up and down stream, of transport, of a host of locational and agglomerational economies as well (see article on same in my Random Essays on Economic Development, 2004). A network however not at all obsessed with consuming resources and making mammoth profits for a few—but rather ready to gird the world round in a “peace which the world cannot give”.
But the biblically-identified “enemies of mankind”—who to see to the passage of some draconian law will tidily arrange for murder or robber, vandalism or desecration—likewise institute policies—from their positions of ill-gotten control—which promote distrust among nations at every turn. And within each nation as well. So that “dog eat dog” at all levels is made to appear the law of life. By this scant percentage of exceedingly wealthy and powerful men. For by its own penurious logic this propensity toward exclusion, toward “one-up-manship”, cultivated by these same elites, only hastens the day—at which we have indeed arrived—in which they themselves come to solely rule. Since Hell conducts its own crash course on such savvy subjects, and turns out graduates whom no earthly mortal can beat. And for defense against whom mankind requires not only the divine aid but also that wisdom “passed down”, of both church and state, all of it coming to us from the very Mind of God.
Hence plainly, by the terms of this generous Catholic political template—and in answer to some fool I met the other day, bursting with admonitions on the need for a pro-Israeli, anti-Muslim “crusade”—it is not the place of any nation to impose by force the law of God as known by Revelation—as if these fools really knew what that was—upon peoples of lesser knowledge. Even peoples less knowledgeable than the Muslims themselves, knowing perhaps only the natural law, and even that no doubt in a distorted and incomplete way. Those humble native folk, those other Samaritans, those Centurions, those Cornelius’s, for whom Our Blessed Lord shows such unique and eager love. Although I hasten to add that the task of a certain militancy might on occasion be laid upon a nation like 16th century Spain, in the person of its soldiers and explorers, as they witnessed the continual sodomy-rape/murder of thousands atop the terrible Ziggurat in Mexico City, and who furthermore were attacked first and repeatedly by the same numerically vastly-superior pagan troops (see book of the knighted historian Thomas Walsh for the truth about the Conquest). That military action—not conducted by Cortez at all, who was busy on the coast somewhere at the time, but by one of his lieutenants—a highly-hesitant joining-in-battle which was a far cry from present Yankee impositions of the above-described sort of “rule of law”—of benefit only to the aggressor. This latter, to many a duped soul, all in the name of “spreading the faith”, or some related pretense. Rather must the level of religious belief of the peoples of other lands be respected wherever it bears any semblance to right reason (that blessed expressions of pontiffs past), and persuasions must be of a peaceful kind. This being the only kind of missionary work ever really commissioned by Christ. But obviously if we are doing incalculably more harm than good in vaunted efforts against abuses in some foreign land—like the murder of wives of Muslims for real or imaginary infractions—then we have no business there of a legitimate kind, and must impede the spread of the Faith, rather than aid it. Let alone cultivate those “democratic institutions” which our ever-crusading leaders understand not at all. Hardly addressing local abuses which by the heartfelt avowal of native leaders are greatly exacerbated by poverty and oppression of the kind we bring these people by our own policies political, economic and military. Crimes which would dramatically subside were we to show ourselves friends—friendship as noted above being the very raison d’etre of the state—rather than conquerors to these our fellow men.
As I love to repeat, if you do not love everyone, then you do not love anyone. And this truism is doubly true of the state, which must “love the (human) brotherhood” if it is ever to properly appreciate, to be a good steward to, those within its own borders. While of course totally denied in the pirate-cell/anti-state is any acknowledgment that the human person is a vessel of divine grace, a sharer in divine mysteries: social life rather being spelled out in trivialities of dominion/submission, with bouts of epic cruelty, on the one hand, and outpourings of dazzled admiration, on the other. This sort of obsession being a far cry from that glory of God for which both state and social relations were principally designed. This and other sicknesses in their various twisted manifestations coming by stages to form our whole culture, under modern ideas of “government”, under the atrophy of the state.
No compensation at all for noted upper-level piracies and robberies of community wellbeing are urgings toward an "American Dream" self-fulfillment of whose essence is a purely individual, purely-material "success". A “making the grade” which totally abstracts itself from the economic multiplier noted above, that genuine boon which mounts astronomically as it takes more participants into its prosperous ambit. A bogus success-ethic which has manifestly ended in crushing debt and nationwide failure of the most mammoth size. A deliriously-glorified "go it alone" mindset, previously unknown to mortal man, among whose fantasies is the ill-admitted assumption that lower organs of the state—in this case in a succession of formal and informal popular associations just above the level of the family itself—that these humble intermediate bodies have always, during the centuries of their energetic but unselfconscious existences, been somehow eager to off-load their duties and functions. To deposit them at the doorstep of, you guessed it, "government". To off-shoulder their bright-if-homely activities into the hushed hallways of higher, larger and more-formally-official state-components. Small and middling units, on the contrary - a legitimate part of the state as much as the larger and higher ones - that are rather praised for their generous and timely efficacy in papal labor- and social-justice related encyclicals of popes from Pius IX to Pius XI in particular. Associations as natural to man as breathing air at whose heart in the past was the Frankpledge: the ten-family socio-legal political body which our crusade seeks indeed to reestablish in all its ancient energy and force. An institution ultimately done-to-death by the Tudors of England, crowned by the wife-murdering Henry VIII. He and his father being proclaimed by Oxford historians as modernizing government to a new and glorious plateau. Doers-to-death of social organisms so individually-unique by custom, nationality and locale as to resemble individual human persons: these suddenly regarded as woefully, indeed laughably inadequate. Or as at best well-meaning but hopelessly backward, as doleful, if perhaps non-intentional, leeches - and certainly non-antiseptic eyesores - upon the commonweal. Rather than rightly being honored as the latter's richest, most contributory wellsprings, guarantors and midwives. Fascinatingly-spontaneous and non-regimented units which typically operate at their own hospitable, un-harried and un-coerced tempo: providing nonetheless that womb-like organizational atmosphere within which alone have great and enduring things ever been done. And good and pious families maintained.
Most unfortunate of all to me is the way in which even the Catholic hierarchy, since the 19th century heyday of the "industrial revolution", have when referring to the state found it necessary to use the inadequate terminology lamented here: albeit in a recourse quite understandable upon further thought. Since to a certain degree and obviously enough we must all be "on the same page", "use the same language", if the Church is to beneficially affect human society at all. All the while, furthermore, 19th and early-20th-century pontiffs and Catholic writers alike were often admirably insistent upon the inadequacy of the mammoth societal structures—the labor “internationals”, global finance, the corporation, the secret-society supra-state—for which this new organizational lingua franca forms a verbal mortar of the same insufficient kind. A lexicon designed for the monstrosities of a Huxleyan brave new world. Yet, as suggested in my first book, Integral Catholicism, it is long overdue that we stir ourselves from this conceptual complacency, that we settle for nothing less than the restored definition of the state in entirely-adequate terms. Since this progressive impoverishment of language - and infallibly-if-insidiously as well of the realities it represents - is the swiftest, the near-irresistible route of invasion of evil forces today that wish to utterly destroy the body-politic as a living, breathing thing.
Furthermore, these linguistic shortcomings are close-cousin to a formidable "enemy within": a turncoat gatekeeper, a spawn of Original Sin, one which readily admits into the Teresian "interior castle" of the soul a host of harmful-if-obscure elements of every kind. Indeed, this is why treason has such an easy way ahead of it: because this interior sentry, this sense of discernment, both individual and collective, tends to sleepily forget that life is primarily a combat, and as a consequence to fail miserably to be on guard. Rather to drowsily - if seemingly even virtuously - enjoy the sweet comforts of hearth and home, as if the battles of this life were already won. The most common if least obvious or alarming enemies admitted in this way - into soul and state alike - being a timid sense of incapacity which, with an odd show of tidiness, readily surrenders homely but complex and painstaking duties to high and distant realms. This pusillanimity being token of a spiritual acedia (see Conferences of a sixth-century John Cassian, if you can find them) or laziness which is close partner to that other spiritual sickness, melancholia, as these are named by the Early Fathers of the Church. Inner maladies—morbidly renamed and likely to be regarded as “incurable” mental diseases by modern scholarly elites—against which militant elements of millennial Catholic Civilization have always been uniquely and uncannily well-armed. This especially in the color and ebullience of ubiquitous "customs and usages", in a buoyant balance of physical and spiritual counterparts of a vigorous humanity in robust fulfillment of the law of God. (Even the old informal and organic neighborhoods of the ‘50s had some of this, in faint echoes of the Frankpledge of Medieval times). First fruits indeed of that Incarnation which is the ultimate epoch-making earthly event: comprising the noble wedding of the human and the divine. A treasure to which we must tenaciously and arduously correspond, a Gospel lamp we must keep burning brightly, one never to be presumed upon. A vigilant spirit in whose nonetheless "kindly light" are often brought singularly alive the charters, statutes and glosses of days gone by. Even as finally and as I maintain elsewhere: involved in above-noted ceaseless equivocations and related dead-end institutions is the indubitable ultimate planned emptying of the state of its non-Jewish or non-elitist population. A deftly and disarmingly surgical operation against which today's standard sleepy municipal guard has kept a poor vigil indeed.
Coming clean in the light of all the above is the realization that it is free association itself - that ever-unique indigenous cultivar of all good and civilized things - that is ruthlessly and systematically under attack here: whether in Christmas-recess-imposed Patriot Act decrees or a more-long-running proprietary corporate hegemony and academic denigration. A free association which does indeed require encouragement from all levels of society and "government" if it is to prosper and bear its uniquely rich and self-sustaining fruits in abundance. Social culture of this degree of depth - and what might be termed informal sophistication - involving stubbornly-rooted, generationally-learned, innate, common and unselfconscious popular abilities which shrivel and die if they aren't constantly employed. Or conversely, if held under a morbid and privilege-catering microscope, to condemn random anomalies of basically-harmless but inescapable kinds. Or to look for pathologies to nihilistically proscribe. This atrophy in truth substantially embodying the noted modern dismal fate of the fully-conceived state itself. That bountiful free association which, however, even in American-Catholic writings of the 1930s - a time when Church doctrine was otherwise largely sound, if often rather incomplete, in its exposition here - was with staggering inaccuracy approximately equated with "free representation" (See 1938 "Symposium on Catholic Social Teaching", sponsored by the then National Catholic Welfare Conference). This rather odd phrase, free representation, rather indeed suggesting, if only to those especially alert and alive to the issues critically at stake, the business-as-usual absorption of vital smaller units by official or quasi-official bodies large and impersonal enough to require mechanisms of "representation". A homogenizing ingestion of these directly-participatory social units which are the very life-blood of the social organism. And without which those larger and more-impersonal have no legitimate social matter upon which to act as expediting form, or no rightful substance upon which to act as enabling agent. These familiar, homely, grassroots units-of-human-association being slated to disappear into bodies highly-formal, protocol-ridden and supremely manipulable from on high. Entities vast in scale and scope. That very misfortune - this upward assimilation or absorption - most decried by the noted pontiffs. So that we can see from this statement and various mostly-nebulous positions or non-positions vis-a-vis society and the state, singularly taken by the American Church over the two centuries and more since colonial times, how little resistance has been offered here by its hierarchy to such a shrinking of inclusive-state functions. A failure, of course, generally more than matched by other denominations, which on these shores have seldom assembled a coherent body of thought on society or the state vis-à-vis the Holy Gospel.
As suggested, the atrophy detailed above is helped along dramatically by inescapable diatribes of neo-con/conservative pundits that fill the airways: men and women who, flush with their standard fish-in-a-barrel verbal heroisms, voice perpetual wonder that anyone could understand the state in any other, fuller way than is implied in their own "security"-oriented, martinet lock-step in column and line. Especially in the light of recent property-related Supreme Court rulings and uncontainable and even unacknowledged Patriot-Act-enabled executive orders, the state or commonwealth having become so narrowly construed in practice - and this indeed with an odd and alien strain of morbid zeal - as to entail nothing more than a cold and impersonal enforcement of civil and criminal law. Or if programs of a socially-related nature are undertaken at all, the involvement of "government" is increasingly limited to a "security" role: with the actual provision of services being supplied by "private contractors" likely to be subsidiaries of Haliburton, or the grotesquely-ill-named new "Goodwill, inc". These "services" however sometimes rather resembling in practice, as in dealings with lower echelons of the poor, a season in penal servitude for their unfortunate "beneficiaries". Involved here being a program of exhaustive official functional dismantlement often-enough indeed undertaken with a ground-clearing spirit reminiscent of nothing so much as the nihilists or anarcho-syndicalists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century: forerunner verbal and material bomb-throwers of the most fanatical kind. With “less government” slogans providing a sort of hoarse and staccato requiem to the last-phase hasty interment of the fully-conceived state. A transition in which, as might be gathered, a smooth and cynical favoring of corporate impunity and mounting privileges of private wealth have been effected with a speed strikingly akin to that of the Trade Towers demolition, and with the equally time-thrifty secrecy and non-consultation of the torture-tribunals of Bush Administration lore. Giant construction conglomerates spending vast amounts of basically globally-extorted monies, filling our highways with an endless file of earthmoving equipment from sea to sea, building economically-dislocating roads and "developing" lovely reaches of adjacent hinterlands for at least fifty miles around any major city, all this entirely against the wishes of the people, but for a tiny minority of the well-to-do.
Similarly and as suggested above, with the advent of Bush's patently-bogus "war on terror", and as if all the above weren't enough, there has been quietly brought into being—and stolidly institutionalized, like all the morbid milestones of the modern anti-state/totalitarian drive—a second-trench defense-mechanism for this private-interest-protecting fortress idea of the state, or as they call it, government. This in a security and surveillance apparatus which as I write mounts a formidable army of private forces much larger than our police and military. Its "guards" being constantly met-with in basically every public venue where as few as a half-dozen people or less might conduct their official business at any given time. Likely as not oddly-comical, indeed almost cartoon-like security figures, retained at staggering public expense, typically unabashedly obsessed with their own protocol-ridden self-importance, by their brusque or smoothly-brazen manner routinely and openly intimidating the most ordinary of citizens. Manifestly harmless folk a great number of whom, often because of some irrelevant personal antipathy of culture or race, are frisked or otherwise treated as veritable personifications of some "probable cause". Even as the number of persons actually found to have been a threat is ridiculously tiny: standard blank-faced talk-show-host fabrications or misrepresentations on this score to one side. True criminal types, indeed, and as frequent experience testifies, likely by contrast to be let by without so much as a second look, indeed, perhaps even with a friendly and familiar nod. Miscreants many of whom are actually encouraged in long-standard if ill-acknowledge dope-culture hiring and retention policies of the same privatized-corporate world. Individuals who are easily identifiable under traditional, more casual and less obvious, if increasingly by now dimly remembered, security procedures. All this, as suggested above, while innocent civilians, common folk conducting their business in the city or in some out-of-the-way village or burgh, are officiously harassed and harried while in the (perilous?) process of getting their driver's license or social security, or visiting the recorder of deeds. As if Arab militias somehow had exceptional grudges against Iowa county commissioners, or the licensing bureau of the Arizona Department of Transportation.
But worst of all, and indicative of deeper values actually under fire, the plain assumption of these brassy and ubiquitous guards is that the meditative and retiring keeper-of-his-own-council, the very fountainhead of the Christian and especially the Catholic ages, the chief bulwark of the civilization of any global quadrant against violent crime: as if he were an invariable prime suspect for some terrorist deed. The Muslim love of outward tokens of inward piety—once shared by all men of faith, and the prime foundation for interfaith understanding, and even for conversion to the Christian fold—some degree of which is positively critical to the saving of ones soul—having come to be slated by a rigidly-secularist public policy for utter eradication among humankind. With security personnel being so assiduously trained as invariably to pick out such persons for the most galling and invasive abuse and mistreatment: a mad recourse which steadily and as I write reduces our society gradually but inexorably into a very pabulum of the most noisy and mediocre popular folly. Anything at all being preferred—in this priggish, schoolyard-disciplinary regimen—to that peace and recollection which are Catholic heirlooms, but which few anymore practice outside the Muslim world. While the fact remains that even in the Middle East - a far cry from Indianapolis or Tempe - these innately religious souls are scarcely identifiable with those grim youth-gangs of refugee camps from whom regional irruptions proceed as from their natural volcanic source: the innate consequence indeed of a poverty and hopelessness grueling and humiliating in the extreme. Even as the perpetual Jewish imperative continues in unabated application, at the hands of our own Congress and military: that they can never forgive those they have most injured. Here - in this targeting of the good and devout - a related immemorial aspect of the Jewish antipathy toward Christian and especially Catholic society - being a major feature of this whole false “security” agenda, one much discussed on this site, an anomaly which goes a long way toward exposing the profoundly and apocalyptically evil intentions that lay transparently hidden beneath.
Here, furthermore, is encountered a negative public refashioning which has not only ushered in a systematic persecution of the interior life but has also created an ambiance of a vindictive public rudeness. The whole privatization program having failed monumentally to dispel the notorious stiffness and formality of earlier state-bureaucratic forms: the atmosphere set by "government", like it or not, always proving highly-contageous vis-à-vis the rest of the community: belying the Bush-era polar view. Met everywhere by the consumer is a new level of bluntness or condescension from retail staff once noted for pleasant and helpful ways: almost suggesting a contrived third bunker of defense of the whole incredible security hoax. Here being an obsession which seems to reach rare pitches of intensity in mining and other strategic "one industry" towns, where a closely-associated war fever is pursued with a delirium seldom encountered elsewhere. As in one Arizona mountain community of our long-time acquaintance, which conducts a whole public farce surrounding the wearing of red, a part of the pro-war "red state" promotional-phenomenon. This color having a number of highly-charged associations, including a world-controlling Rothschild ("red shield") family, Communism, and now this new Neo-con (fiscal- and foreign-policy) radical-conservative creed: with the little town thus transparently revealing a historic local "loyalty" co-identification of blood and prosperity. As in a wildly-celebrated, bloodily-low rate of local unemployment, in a copper industry whose fortunes are typically-enough tied closely to those of international entanglements and wars. New common ground being found between a rude and exclusionary success-ethic and a “hunkered-down” apprehension of imminent threat: a duo that goes nicely, for that matter, with Bush-era-renewed racial fear. A mammoth negative behavioral campaign, a complete removal of the gentle Christ from human affairs, finally, which came directly on the heels of a long-overdue turn-of-the-millennium groundswell/public rejection of the whole idea of globalism. That George I original “New World Order”—touted by world magnates just before 9/11 as “not open to popular rejection”—the full horror of whose coercive treachery is descried with special starkness in the lurid glare of that yet-to-be-extinguished fire.
Yet more ominously, above-described uniformed security functionaries themselves are uniquely capable of responding in a highly direct and preemptive way to patently-illegitimate orders of their corporate superiors, if we consider their likely real if-future purposes. Namely as prime operatives of a final "security-crisis"-triggered coup d'etat. This in coordination with Iraq-notorious mercenaries and related growing numbers of other highly-secretive "born again" militias, and as the citizenry gets more and more crushed and intimidated, prevented from mounting resistance, by the whole action-interdicting agenda which so inexorably unfolds. Of which Obama is now hatching his own unique phase or breed, concentrating on the transformation of the domestic moral scene, in a phase II which is only an interlude before a renewed launching into global war. That which provides both eagerly-sought domestic distraction from—and blood-covered means-of-repayment for—an elite-bailout-incurred national debt.
By such a route, then, has "government" arrived by inexorable stages at its present devolution into an enforcer of grim sanctions of property and life. A fate fittingly signified in a massive, generic, typically windowless governmental architecture which has become the order of the day. Structures which mystify and intimidate, symbolizing strikingly the death of endemically-joyful and love-based, typically rather informal Christian political civilization: matching rambling or soaring spontaneities of human, grace-inspired heart and mind. That which, like all mankind, rejoices in venues of a locally-unique, familiar kind. Sometimes-parabola-shaped buildings not by accident resembling Martian space ships, or block-like or rusting-iron-clad structures reminiscent of pagan temples or blood-stained altars of old. Suggesting as well aloof gods engrossed in elysian rapine. Today's "government", finally, becoming an overseer which, as if to add insult to injury, grudgingly dispenses - as if it were being intolerably imposed-upon - those human services which were once gladly, indeed eagerly, undertaken by units-of-organization beloved and closely-familiar to the common man. In which priceless friendship was maintained, and non-substance-abusive children raised in a millennial Civilized way.
Plainly false, then, is the ceaseless assertion of pundits and politicos of today that the true and full definition of the state represents some form of radical collectivism, or (cruel and repugnant expression) "bleeding heart" liberality. The inclusive definition, although suffering universal injury since the social pinnacle of the thirteenth century, being still by far the more typical in time and space, at least until the recent penultimate global-extortion activities of the Bush regime. The high-medieval summit of the 1200s having been a height from which devolve the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the rule of Jewish global finance: these being earlier inexorable stages of this odd "progress". While furthermore the actual socialist idea of the state (a word much abused by the above-noted commentator breed) has been demonstrated repeatedly to be much more bound up with (1) the suppression of religion as an active political force and (2) the imposition of massive, impersonal, control-oriented scale in all fields, than it is with the officially-connected, organized, detailed, necessarily locally-inspired and -administered satisfying of an array of critical human needs.
In view of all the above, today's ceaselessly-plied political slogan - of all candidates on all sides - of "less government" must be considered among the most vile of hypocrisies. A veritable political jingoism which, according to above-detailed deceptions, is construed to mean a smaller or less-consequential state. All the while it is the very ones who profit most from its mis-definition as little more than a "governor", nay, a mere attack dog to guard their many privileges, who then super-sanctify themselves as being ready to hobble or muzzle that dog for the good of all. The deception being sustained in marvelous and incredible fashion, even though the functions of government actually proposed for curtailment are those that benefit the common man, injuring neither his person nor his liberty. And indeed - if at present only marginally - defend him from these very self-proclaimed, hovering, biblically-condemned "benefactors". Regrettably-enough, an advocacy or assistance likely at present to be administered under forms which belittle or trivialize: lacking critical positive interpersonal qualities which by contrast effortlessly marked the social ministrations of the state in times past. This whether as seen in manorial estates, Frankpledge units, guilds, homes, a host of "settlement" or service associations, neighborhoods, largesse-distributing seasonal-festivals, and the like.
No, the state is essentially a positive and friendly force - indeed, it is we ourselves - and is by definition a commonweal - and only on occasion a prison-warden - and even then a rather friendly and obliging one. A phenomenon of courtesy and conviviality which English and Continental community/police relations have traditionally displayed. The studiedly-overbearing boor of a security guard, official or counter-person, for one thing, being largely unknown before the advent of Bush-America. And if the Christian Revelation doesn't treat in detail of this reality, of the state as an extremely inclusive entrepot of human courtesy and fulfillment, it is because the commonweal could hardly have been thought of in any different or more-restrictive terms in those ancient times, in some ways superior to our own, in which the sacred lines were written. Albeit in an ancient public liberality enjoyed to the full only by the imperial full citizen. A fully-conceived state - of which indeed there have been few other kinds in history - which naturally and with little ado became even more so understood under the leaven of the Christian Way. For instance, according to those paraphrased words of Jesus, "the greatest of you is to be as the least, and the least as the greatest".
Certain, then, Our Blessed Lord didn't come to make the state less concerned with the common good: as if somehow generosity on its part were to usurp the ministry of the Church and her organs of charity. This latter anemic fallacy of our times being however voiced from the highest podiums of influence and power and in a thousand ways. Rather indeed did Jesus come to christen the state, to be its moral formative, its spiritual energizer and catalyst, at least as much as is Islam to a host of nations across the East. The Son of God hardly being some sort of grim "less government" purist ideologue, demanding the segregation of all forms of mutual aid into ill-equipped church basements or offices. Let alone in some cases to benefit out of all proportion a set of ecclesiastical potentates and bureaucrats who, for instance, might misuse pooled funds of many denominations, dispensing a fraction of them in a smug, overbearing and proprietary way. All the while keeping the bulk as salaries, if not outright <i>booty</i>, for themselves. (Who, may I ask, is the real welfare recipient in such a case?) While even in those times when funds are administered in an honest and even generous way - if much-less-frequently with neither censor nor disdain - under this "privatized" form they are nonetheless necessarily given out in a harried frame-of-mind little adaptable to typically complex circumstances at hand.
Actually, when the Church was a major, but by no means sole, dispenser of aid, as in medieval times, it operated as a veritable arm of the state in this capacity: being fed by Church-owned (cf. for instance "lay abbots" in some internet search-engine) landed-estates well endowed and typically further subsidized within this feudal demesne system for these very purposes. Even as conversely it never devolved into being a mere servant of "government" or regime, as it was understood in the Greek Empire of the Byzantines: a polar fallacy treated of elsewhere on these pages.
Manifestly, then, Christ did not come as some modern-day "born again" radical, "shouting on street-corners", to use the biblical phrase, with some sort of bitter zeal bent on puritanically reorganizing society away from sweetly-remembered and -partaken, pre-existing roots and socio-cultural structures. But quite the contrary maintains through His Church's majesterial authority that the state should conform itself as much as possible "to the social organization of the people themselves", to paraphrase the encyclical Social Order of Pius XI. A social organism of which the intermediate socioeconomic units described above form integral parts. A conforming anticipated to be achieved in an increasingly beneficent, merciful, Christ-like way - by those who (do indeed) carry the sword - however with disciplinary duties implied being typically far less common or frequent in nature. The whole circumscribing a benign transformation which is indeed the Catholic and only-complete or exhaustive definition of a progress properly understood. Thus is it, then, that the state must be seen, as being the ordinary organized expression of the will and genius of the people: not their grim, laconic overseer. As blossoming full-blown under the moral and sacramental ministrations of the Church: whose influence can even be perceived in Christian people no longer united to her by ties of discipline and doctrine. People who yet by dint of Western law and custom - these indeed quietly formed, in early medieval times, in the same above-noted ambient Catholic social and confessional womb - whether in the early Frankish episcopal nobility or in monastery, scriptorium or feudal emolument alike - are unavoidably imbued with a considerable measure of the Catholic spirit. While less holistic, agnostic and secularistic definitions are fables which suggest a state/people dichotomy unknown in the annals of man.
Indeed, from this view, even a local presidium of the Legion of Mary, or Chapter of the Society of St. Vincent DePaul, with their many corporal and spiritual works of mercy, must be considered as ancillaries of the state, in this full and sanguine understanding of the word: yet hardly themselves being able to muster resources equivalent to those obtainable through the organs of the commonwealth, in the alleviation of need. Even as the robust view of the state we envision was best captured in medieval times in those feudal estates, alluded-to above, which combined official authority and productive activity at one and the same time. So that the many gifts and privileges of the far-from-uncommon peasant - "a turkey fully dressed at Christmas", and so on - as well as his typical incredibly short work week, can be credited both to his "boss" or lord and to the state the latter often represented at one and the same time. Here being not socialism—or the absorption of major productive functions by a grim, impersonal and overbearing state—the only kind known by the time of those papal encyclicals which rightly condemned that system—but rather a veritable joyful wedding of entities official, economic and religious. While within the same inclusive notion, the most intimate details of family life must be understood as providing nourishment, encouragement and members to any state, and are thus integral parts of same. The state having indeed been viewed as an affectionate unity, an extended family in days gone by—again, according to the Thomistic definition—one revered and beloved by all. Rather than as a cold and formalistic giver-of-commands, or grim meter-out of punishments. The same justice-of-evaluation by which a father should hardly be thanklessly understood under one sole function - perhaps never even performed - that of standing by the door of "the woodshed" with a rod-of-punishment in his hand. Even as of course, finally, and in plain contradiction to shrill cries of creeping collectivism or mass lap-sitting often noised by the same fanatical talk-show-pundit crowd: in the fully-conceived state degrees-of-intimacy are invariably circumscribed with great care into their fitting receptacles. A sane and recollected reality, ironically-enough, which the cold-and-clipped modern neo-con corporate-society casually oversteps on a regular basis: its media and workplace being notorious for their violating and suggestive socio-moral worldviews.
Hence does the commonweal hardly need to present itself to our minds as ceaselessly or menacingly flourishing its regalia in order to over-awe. A view which encourages terrorism rather than inhibiting or interdicting it: as holocaust-like global statistics of the Bush years indeed confirm in riveting terms. Nor does the adequately-conceived state wastefully duplicate the generosity of the individual. Rather do all things in the fully understood commonweal properly formally or informally conspire, and that generally with marvelous efficiency, to the good of all. Giving us an ebullient Portugal or Nepal.
But cunning "enemies of mankind" ceaselessly insert themselves into every state on earth, steadily, through intrigue and cavil, converting bureaucrats, functionaries and officials into thoughtless or even implacable persecutors of their own people. A process - chronicled for instance and with transfixing clarity in the history of Jewish infiltration found in the eighteen Councils of Toledo of the Spanish-Visigoth Church - like so many other great historical records, scarcely available anymore even to scholars - which has been attended historically by the gradual linguistic transformation of the whole meaning of the state. This into the narrow margins of the word "government". Into a humorless, increasingly-third-party-operated tool of neglect and oppression of every kind. That which attends—like a hand-in-a-glove—the impious neglect of the divinely-honorary nature of the state. That which alone insures reverence and friendship among men.