Frankpledge and free-agency

versus totalitarian




“Progress” as it stands today finds only a fraction of the earth’s arable soil under cultivation—probably less than two percent—while two-thirds of the world is mal-nourished or starving and food is kept by governments and agri-firms in gigantic warehouses, preserved at great expense from rats and spoliation. Amid which cosmic barrenness gleaming autos and appliances, abundance and medical breakthroughs for a tiny few only act as a bitter goad to the majority of men. This kind of “progress”, for all its seeming advantages, involving however even for privileged ones themselves a highly-stressful, electronically-mediated and monitored space-capsule sort of existence, and a growing alienation from things once thought indispensable to the human mind and soul. A fanatically-pursued change-ethic being the propulsion ceaselessly invoked, lending orbital new tones of “irreversible” cause: this new and pseudo-messianic progress insistently demanding a total estrangement from earlier interior values, from a traditional sense of things. All the while passionately-pursued, low-brow music and spectator sports signal a return to mob-like Western-pagan preoccupations of a much-earlier ancient time. This despite the fact that man’s essential need—for mind and soul alike—is to love and honor God, in service to which is found his chief need for others, which is not principally emotional or psycho-social but rather of a morally-instrumental character (Aquinas). Thus implying a relative independence, a deep strain of individuality today unceremoniously swept aside by an atavistic, indeed sometimes savage sort of universal groupie hauteur. With instincts tumultous and insensate leaving little space for a traditional Christian modesty and love, peace and mutual regard upon which were founded incalculable achievements of anno domino Western life. Here being a form of extortion which the individual soul nonetheless and instinctively resists, in earlier moments of morally-violent contact: a repugnance which only fades with time, and the notorious forgetfulness, drowsiness, of a majority who have chosen “the broad way”.

Plainly, ours is a form of progress which abstracts entirely from real human needs, manifesting itself to us as some sort of strange new deity, an end in itself, inspiring awe and even terror. Claiming at the same time to be a savior, an impersonal messiah, a change-oriented dynamic in complete denial of any practical belief in God. Spawning a view of history which sees successive crushing abuses of centuries as “necessary” to the establishment of the “progressive” and increasingly global new state or society that was to come. Rather than lamenting a loss of respect and fair-treatment toward the common man, beginning around the time of Phillip the Fair, that would ultimately lead away from all good and solid things. This new “progress” diminishing rather than expanding a critical human agency and potency, that which embodies a Catholic Way that the Redeemer Himself meant us to enjoy. One which like the Gospel loaves and fishes multiplies wealth and prosperity, peace and wellbeing, the more it is shared. This false progress being a Gospel “burying of talents in the ground”, and in the next life a failed harvest in the damnation of souls. In a view of life ultimately barren of any good thing, a nihilism which knows only a proud, arrogant misery, preferred to the unbending of a stiff neck. In the height of insolence pretending to “sacrifice one generation for the next”.

Not surprisingly in view of the above, all the while modern technocratic man revels in ever-newer gadgets and baubles he departs further from a defining soul/body balance: wherein the physical and spiritual universes meet in man as their nexus, the familiar symbolisms of the one finding ready and indeed critical application in the other. Hence does a divine filling with grace find resonance in the filling of humble vessels with various ordinary things like water, grain or food: apart from a whole range of which culturally-charged exercises man begins to lose his most critical sense of things, his basic underpinnings to mental and spiritual health. Try as he might, man can never become a purely intellectual creature, an angel, or a mere manipulator of high-tech machines, but must live largely within the traditional elemental imagery of the body: that fashioner of phantasms which serve as sole formatives of the mind (St. Thomas Aquinas), and rich with instructive parables for the soul. Futile being the attempt to become something he is not.

Furthermore, physical repositories as images of exalted operations have a sociopolitical parallel in the Frankpledge of medieval times, and the entire neighborly, elemental, interwoven political existence which was its proper milieu. This legal, social and political unit of ten heads-of-household having among other stout containing purposes provided a generic pool of personalities which acted to dilute fanatical strains often found to be decisive in families, kinship or special-interest groups. The Frankpledge providing a sociopolitical medium which moderates by nature, which serves to collate otherwise-harmful extremes to a constructive median core, all this, generally speaking, in the most natural, “easy going”, truly and entirely free way.

Evident from all this is the fact that man is only content or at peace in a world fraught with imperfections, with multiple “loose ends” with which he must “make do”, of which he must in both immediate and extended senses take “take charge”. Hardly being meant to be condescended-to by “benefactors” whose patronizing arrogations were specifically noted by Our Blessed Lord. A fact of man’s very nature being discovered here, something trespassed only with the greatest risk. Any attempt to ritually purify his existence, to streamline an imperfect earth upon which he properly lives an existence in many respects highly provisional—as in today’s ceaseless and humorless dedication to an electronically-mediated hyper-efficiency—has, at least in my own view of history, always ended in horrendously-destructive things. Generally calling forth consequences and reactions of the most tyrannical, disastrous or barbaric kind.

The brave new progress of our day is typically identified with capitalism, a system to be found however at the very same ideological and global-investment core from which socialism, Nazism (or its heir, neo-con-ism) and communism alike have always taken their origins. All these over-centralized, financially-hegemonic, mass-efficiency-obsessed isms over decades forming a gargantuan totality which serve chiefly to regiment the lives of men. This in turn in a phenomenology which first breaks down or atomizes, and then homogenizes, all things. Producing a mental, physical and motivational pudding starkly different from the natural existence of man: a slurry in which the agency of individual man can scarcely be said to survive to any degree. A generic existence which nonetheless, for all the marching in column and line, imparts a protocol-ridden complexity to the simplest details of ordinary life, perhaps especially for the common man. While the ultimate consequences of fabled engrossments is to entirely consume Christian and especially Catholic Civilization, which by its very supernatural definition must minimize such vainly-engrossing “cares of this world”. Replacing this Gospel Way, so full of peace and harmony, with those pathologies and violent aberrations which have become the motif of our times. Drugs and unnatural sex having taken the place of human and divine love.

This loss of fundamental human/material associations of the most crucial kind—epitomized in a thousand years of agricultural naturalism, Catholic laws, stable base-metal currency and a socially-equitable understanding of private property—and its replacement with today’s overbearing power-of-capital—the bearer of all this supposedly-great technological progress—has likewise consistently withheld labor from anything like a fair share in the good things of the earth. The older, humbler cornucopia-of-value—one which respected both man’s supernatural destiny and a fragile nobility of an earthly kind—having generated a standard-of-living in real human terms in the Western twelfth and thirteenth centuries far above the trickle down of a more-recent elite-catering, war-prone, character-destroying, anti-life industrialization/computerization of our own day and time. An earlier time employing a weighing-standard for the most part personally-satisfying and horizontally-distributive, a medieval system whose decay would be marked by plague and social upheaval: misfortunes destined to grow rather than diminish over more “progressive” times, culminating in todays mass starvation and aggressive, often hecatomic war. On an earth as noted expressly designed always to be quite imperfect, essentially a place of testing for souls. Forerunners of the coming globalism, already in medieval times, as represented in Muslim, Hussite and Albigensian movements and sects, being inseparably joined to Jewish international finance/trade in the assiduous tearing of this loosely-unitary, positive fabric of the Christian state. Thus hardly allowing a peace, harmony and prosperity which would have rendered life-expectancy great indeed, minimizing for one thing those backward conditions in which disease typically prevails. While in contrast to this medieval saga, of a struggle for the epiphany of fully-developed man, the motive force of today’s progress isn’t at all an energized personal agency—a veritable existential/ontological, human-and-celestial “pearl of great price” to be preferred above all the gadgets and baubles of our day and time—but rather the above-noted breakdown of once-vigorous social dynamisms and personalities into limp, characterless and near-identical cogs or atoms. Not really representing a civilization at all, that which by definition must exist for the uplifting of that sole living, existent, transcendant value which goes beyond mere ideology, which actually subsists in space and time: individual man. Ours rather being a system fraught with a reduction of once-multiplying profits into barren, rent-farming tolls, one which resembles carbon-monoxide in a lethal ultimate crowding-out of anything healthy in the spiritual or economic circulatory systems of the person.

Parallel to this universal breakdown-of-things is the assessment of man as a mere bundle of genes, a psychological “Pavlov’s dog”. Man being regarded by the modern “progress” as a pitiful subject of study—of no more worth than the chromosomes of which he is physically composed—rather than the cosmos-all-his-own that he actually is, made in the pattern of God. Diseases of the body of some few, cured in such a sterile and remorseless laboratory, hardly compensating for diseases of the mind, soul and social body inevitably incubated in this “progressive” way. While as intimated above, essential to the lock-step control of the new progress is the all-determining impact of a divinely-prohibited payment of interest, or of a close-kin stocks, bonds, and third or forth generation options, indices and myriad other derivatives and “debt packages”. A seemingly-innocuous but divinely-proscribed “making money on money” (Aquinas) today comprising an overbearing institution whose minions lay claim to 99% of human labor and material substance. A prodigal sum much too large to ever redeem in terms of money, goods or services, yet a principal “collected” on an aggregate scale nonetheless through various sorts of intrigue, political despotism and social engineering. Power—not an already fabulously achieved wealth—being the real aim here. While furthermore, any awareness of this methods-of-payment—in whose bulging tool-box are inflation and unemployment as street-level convincers toward the noted homogenizing control—is ceaselessly punished as a species of paranoid “conspiracy theory”. That tautology namely whose own bi-polarity must be said to crown all the mental illnesses of our time. Lobotomizing the populace, for instance, to meekly accept the mammoth projected social-revamp of the Obama Administration, arbitrating a “sense of no return” which is however nothing other than the carefully-prepared yin-yang outcome of decades of mounting deficit-spending of “freedom”-loving, gingoistic but highly-secretive Republican regimes.

Here, then, the ultimate significance of a “progress”—even a scientific knowledge or efficiency—which has actually come to embody a rejection of all things as God made them. Taking a veritable wrecking-ball, as it were, to creation as God wishes it to look and function, as a composite image of the reciprocal generosity of His own Trinitarian Being. Taking imperfect, sometimes miserable things, and making of them an art, a tracery, fit for the very courts of Heaven, of God. This much-vaunted progress rather fashioning physical things according to an ugly and remorseless scheme for the selfish advancement of a chosen few. This trivializing and indeed diabolical de-construction and refashioning obviously revealing a tremendous counter-productivity in terms of the extravagant amounts of time and energy that it consumes, in thus “futuristically” attempting to remake all existence into a weird, inhuman and unnatural realm-all-its-own. One which requires the construction and maintenance of an artificial infrastructure of an alien, lone-purpose kind. The whole consuming resources at a prodigal rate, with massive amounts of pollutants being generated as well. A brave new world, too, in which certain selected virtues of old are said to be seamlessly welded to militarism, torture and aggressive war; doughtier values said decisively to outweigh meekness, mildness, longsuffering in a cosmic scale. This oppressive desire of a “chosen few” to escape human limitations having many times before seen the destruction of whole “worlds”, as the ancients of all cultures indeed record. Fantasies catering to a tiny few necessarily placing the earth itself in dire jeopardy as to its future viability in time.

            In contrast to all the above, and akin to a timeless and prolific Catholic political economy, the earth itself as God made it naturally—and with minimal adaptation, and basically non-existent pollution—lends itself to producing things of great usefulness, of further successive levels of sophistication of a kind which brings peace and happiness to society as a whole. While paradoxically facilitating a certain marvelous personal, interior solitude, in the company of created things, which is good for man’s mind and soul, and which accords with his principle need for a familiar fellowship not so much with man as with God. Man’s inner identity being a consumer not of “goods and services” but of Ultimate Being, of Truth, in comparison to which earthly treasures are as so much dust. Riches accessible only in the interior of that man who “lives not by bread alone, but by every word that cometh forth from the mouth of God.” Of that Heavenly Father Whose good earth is hardly meant to witness brave wars in competition for resources wastefully, with utter thankless folly, consumed. An odd and violent Marxian/Hegelian worldview however ceaselessly called forth by modern science and engineering, as today pursued. While in comparison to this body/soul holism technical knowledge in itself cultivates an abstract consciousness which must reach a peak of applicability, like all things else “under the sun”, and finally fall away to lesser levels of provinance as time goes on. Quickly or gradually losing cadence with a divinely-designed earthly existence with its own logic, with purposes of its own frail, complex, magnificent kind. Like a vast, gossomer spider-web woven by a Divine Mind. A celestially-synchronized clockwork which by its tempo and rhythm gives unequalled glory to the same God. With naturally-based vessels of abundance, within this cosmic timetable, this celestially-familiar womb—familiar to the lullaby of the mother, the slumber of the child—being as noted geared toward multiplication, toward mutual augmentation, rather than toward the hostile monopolization of wealth and wellbeing. The latter rather like an invasion of destructive moths into the realms of the honey bee. The Godly theme of prodigal fruitfulness, harmony and collaboration—as a backdrop to the contemplation of Heavenly things—earthly/Heavenly gifts of He “Who made all things to show forth His infinite goodness and love” (the Baltimore Catechism)—finding a poor parallel indeed in modern hyper-wasteful and interminable infrastructural “platforms” needed to produce things like computer-systems or cell-phones. Inescapable destroyers that these latter are of the above-noted minimum and morally-critical level of personal peace and solitude, of divinely-ordained agency, independence and self-regard. A brave, personality-destroying new earth of atomic power, space-flight, jet-planes, refineries, coal-burning power or even ugly and ungainly wind farms. “Progress” as we most-familiarly know it encompassing a stark labyrinth of weird structures and projections, modifiable only for closely-similar ends, and even then strictly through time-lengthy, wasteful, hyper-expensive and arduously-achieved adaptations. This while the earth as God made it is positively profuse with the noted productive and other plastic and adaptable cultivars or “work stations” basically ready-to-hand. Whose radical breakdown/transformation and mass-fusion, given devoted thought and care, is unnecessary to the greater benefit of man. God’s good earth being a scenario that lives and breathes, rather than crushes and sparks, explodes and implodes. Bringing forth things by contrast naturally lovely in their contours, conscious and sensate, familiar and benignly energizing in their impact upon the mind. Prompting man to raise his eyes to a Heavenly home. A scenario in which health too is largely procurable through the wedding of Catholic social and political doctrine with the herbology familiar already to primitive man, known with complete intimacy by Adam. (Hardly “cavemen” startled by the “accidental discovery” of fire, Cain and Abel having quickly and efficiently used this element to render their starkly-contrasting sacrifices to God. But alas, modern science and “progress” must think of man as a mere advanced monkey in order to deal death to his soul.) Plants of which modern medical-science typically only takes extracts, in ubiquitous laboratories, and increasingly mixes them with gratuitous pain-killers and inert media of no beneficial or even harmful effect.       

Indeed, noted beneficial natural platforms are necessarily tied in some way to the land, often to personal use of the land, to a close familiarity with the things it produces and contains. With the spiritually symbolic routines it sets into place. The hand-dug wells, the fruit of the vine, calling forth a way of life which nurtures both soul and mind. Man being found after all to be a terrestrial creature, similarly if not univocally to a fox, a tree or a vine. Apart from which—excepting perhaps some brief hiatus—he is disoriented and profoundly unhappy, out of his element, unable to establish himself as the formidable agent he is meant to be in God’s good plan. Rather inevitably becoming a veritable particle of dust blown about by an alien, arrogant, arbitrary wind. Finally, if overcome spiritually by this harmful regime, becoming senseless, destructive, irrational, “fit only to be cast into the fire”.

But as an example of fittingly-adapted terrestial man do we have ancient forms of Middle-eastern irrigation, in which snow-fed moisture was channeled through descending rock cavities from high plateaus, producing a veritable Eden in vast, previously-arid stretches of plain below. While a close-kin water-driven kind of power would be a prime element in a medieval renaissance among later Muslim nations on the same terrain: in “technological” advances which knew nothing of pollution of either ear or air. A kind of progress seen as well in the distributive economy of a Han China of late-ancient times, an enlightenment which would carry over in that fabled land to a late-medieval period when her ships—used principally for peaceful ends—would dwarf those of an already degenerate West. These latter come to bring conquest, slavery, and ultimately a deadly Skull-and-Bones signature drug trade, to Oriental shores. Illustrating in bold letters the second-millennium Christian decay of Faith, how “the perversion of what is best is what is worst”.

But there was worse yet to come, as it has in major part been through the promotion of the “progress”-oriented ethos of a “Catholic” Second Vatican Council, with its abominable “open window”, etc.—and related if often quite-dissimilar “born again” and Billy-Graham-type phenomena in non-Catholic circles—that the mysticism of might and science—which is nothing in the last analysis but Judeo/Nazism—has completely supplanted the supernatural inspiration of earlier Catholic ages. As of a Charlemagne or St. Louis IX, whose Catholic systems which never had any real interest in conquest, but only in a necessary local and indeed looseknit consolidation-of-realms. Embodying a Western-medieval tradition quite divergent from that of Orthodox nations—and later England and the USA as well—the latter imperial systems having tended toward a veritable apotheosis of a conquering, radically-unifying secular power. This genuine, age-old integral Catholicism being that to which the individual agency of man is the very Holy Grail of economic and political life, wedded to an economic naturalism which is its constant companion, as body is to soul. However in such a complete measure has the noted abdication been effected that any portion of a former boundless heavenly atmosphere and incomparable body/soul balance of True Faith—as seen even in recent centuries in the holiness and wisdom of a Francis, a Brebeuf, a Kino, a Padre Pio—is today mostly condescended to, if not mocked and vilified. As not being, you guessed it, “progressive” enough to suit the privileged tastes of modern man. This insidious adaptation having been the whole externally-imposed agenda of Vatican II. Promoting the idea that truly good, noble and generous things of either body or spirit are passι, outmoded, outdone: at best with a concentrated extract being celebrated on Sunday morn. And that good and evil struggle, as it were, on the unequal ground of secular ascendancy, out there “on the street”: despairing with grim or giddy air of the Savior’s “Thy Kingdom come”. And indeed, if less-admittedly, that mercy itself is in practical terms mere folly, “cluttering” the earth with persons deemed unworthy of life. The new obsession with the humming efficiencies of engineering and “liberal” abortion-, aggressive-warfare-, “mercy”-murder- and sodomy-dealing anti-life knowing nothing of the preeminence of the human soul, of a reverential respect toward its proper nurturing milieu. Rather placing interior things, like thinkers of earliest ancient Greece, on the same level, as if they were equal to wood or stone. The dissolving quality of death being brought to bear on this vulnerable yet invaluable composite, man, mocking the beauty of visibles and invisibles alike, as they were made and meant to be. Execrating sacred precincts of man with a special delight. The impression of the riches of a holy and holistic tradition as backward being the result of a lie told repeatedly. While no doubt those “up and coming” who read these lines must suppress a laugh and a sigh, at one so “naοve” as I. 

Plainly, modern “progress” is pursued with a restless spirit of curiosity, making man despise the savor of Heavenly good things for which he was intrinsically made. Taking our race up a path that ends on a granite face, gazing on treacherous voids immune to grace, crowding out the ineffable interior things of God. But give me rather the company of Bonaventure, Aquinas, or Gregory the Great, and I will not trifle with their ignorance of higher mathematics, nor yet of outer space. That knowledge had they which feast and fortifies the mind, far different from that spawn of pride which divides, prostrates, strikes supine. With dabblings and tinkerings preparing man a pit in which to fall, and bringing forth from Heavenward a fiery ball. While you, contestant with the hosts above, wrench the earth’s rotation with your sea-floor bombs. “Tsunamis” and wild, unstable “Richter readings”, fain the genocidal truth would mask. Little though your bloody deed is hid, all things come back to haunt us, to uncover heinous, pitiless, insensate greed.

Hence, our task: that endless changes wrought by pride be curbed at last; that rusting infrastructure, mob-pour slabs not hide forever the mother soil from eyes of man. Who builds far better bridges out of wood, stone and steel, at a pittance of the cracking, crumbling poured-in-concrete “deal”, at best replaced at crushing cost mere decades hence. And if some fragment of this pagan temple yet remain, it will be cleansed and consecrated to God’s praise.

            Hence we must labor to establish Christ’s kingdom, in humble collaboration with the Living God, whose inspirations are entirely holistic and unitary—rather than bleak and fragmentary—in nature. A kingdom in which human frailties aren’t meant to be aborted or hyper-expensively gene-coded out of existence for some chosen few, while the majority starve or die in provocateur-produced wars, but rather in God’s plan are sufferings and sicknesses that inevitably remain, after reasonable efforts of medical science and human pain, nursed and ameliorated along paths of mutual love, “anticipating one another in charity”. Overcoming thereby inner disease of a far-graver kind. Suffering, bearing with others, being that price by which we ransom our souls, its acceptance making us brothers with innocent and imperfect material things, partaking a close-kin generosity planted in them by the same good God. Intellectual and material creation together mirroring Processions of divine self-giving Love.

            Indeed, we are put here on earth not to chase the “American Dream” but to be tested in our structuring of values, in the honoring of hierarchies: the putting of first things first, as we are bound to do. With intellectual, volitional life being indeed the priesthood at the head of all created things, not at the head of armies or markets to maim, impoverish or kill. This divinely-adoring activity being the veritable obstacle course which decides our fitness for a Heavenly reward, for that rapturous, unfathomable worship to which our minds and hearts most conform, which they indeed most-truly desire. Our admission to share transfixing space with hosts above. That contest for which we “beat our bodies”, and indeed our hearts and minds, into submission, not to prove our superiority, but “to love God above all things, and our neighbor as ourselves.”

            But rather is a globe being cemented-over as I write to be found in a catastrophe-bent foreign policy of a dual-citizen-controlled USA, whether in Pakistan, Palestine or West Asia.  All energies are directed toward an unnatural outcome, the creation of a sort of sterile laboratory conditions across the globe. Much after the manner in which Mao Zhe Dung, during the fantastic Chinese “Cultural Revolution” of the 1950s and 60s, sought assiduously to uproot every green thing from the Chinese soil. Things whose very purpose is to direct the soul of man to God. Rather laying bare an earth red and naked, much as would happen to much of Africa during a somewhat-later time. Producing a sterile platform from which a great many fragile, natural elements of life—the only building-blocks of any true and humane progress—had been painstakingly removed. A stone surface upon which could be sacrificed, as upon a bloody altar, the Black humanity of our time. Of a piece with which pitiless agenda are radical, counterintuitive, provocateur-ridden “democratic reform movements” in places like Pakistan or Syria: upheavals destabilizing in design. Sharing space with wasteful and gratuitous meltdowns and bailouts on the planet’s western side. The aim plainly being the utter and indeed “heroic” eradication of any alternate, human-agency-oriented, semi-independent sort of life. In which the soul of man might find its way to God, as it was indeed designed.

            Following the same coercive logic too is the new sodomy-morality: sprung on us, like so much else, in the national and indeed global state-of-shock since the Kennedy assassinations and the contemporary appearance of a bewildering host of false cults and ideas, nurtured in the artificial soil of a technological dream. Since the ethos involved in the New World Order is one in which mankind must be dishonorably suborned: as real men and women can never accept such a foul, regimented world of their own free and un-manipulated choice. Even as sodomites notoriously bask in mind-and-will-annihilating levels of social, moral and intellectual control.

            Hence is our crusade unabashedly Catholic, in the deepest traditional sense of the word. Which is to say universal in its sanctifying, dignifying and uplifting of man. The generous if largely-unmonitorable inner and outer enrichment of the masses being the only economics which brings growth rather than diminution, a future for all, rather than an early grave for most. A positive approach which hardly “counts My people like cattle”, nor yet breeds and culls them like swine. Our projected system being a political existence in which man is ensconced in traditional micro-local and intermediate bodies which used to render him formidable indeed, a force to be reckoned with. In stark contrast to a sort of “democracy” by which man stands alone in his dealings with an overpowering “government”, or an intimidating, human-experimenting corporate world.

            Again, bald curiosity—an exhaustive pursuit of every material detail of life—inappropriately called science—isn’t really learning at all. This fanatical and obsessive spirit providing the keynote of our time in its signature restlessness, in the division of the mind into a thousand parts. So that we become like a fortress without a wall, defenseless against the allurements and distractions of the foe. While holy thoughts—which require devotion, recollection of soul—these, under this inner atomization, cannot hold our attention for any time at all. Meditations which as Scripture tells us are like a soft breeze at the mouth of the inward cave: a marvelous sound easily drown out by all these novelties and curiosities that ceaselessly assault and invade. A condition which hardly favors the application of the most fundamental of moral and material principles, ancillary to which traditional unitary framework is a prodigal yet sane, lovely and healthy economic multiplier. Containing tenets of organization, harmony, true intelligence, fraught with potential for collaboration with divine wisdom and love. Aiding us in its realization being the fact that the deconstructionism of “modern technology” is already destroying itself, as is in a sense and indeed inexorably its nature to do. 

            Hence we must boldly go forward in our unitary and entirely positive way, in a project of incalculable importance which needn’t always require ownership, but which, especially at first, can be effected with the humblest of means. As between renters, co-workers, neighbors, relatives and friends. Imagination is necessary: but the humblest of humanity is the richer blessed with same. Here, then, in the new Frankpledge, being the resuscitation of human joy, signaling the first twilight of today’s entrenched functional and spiritual morbidity. Embracing instead the Gospel Way, of the two Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, who bid us, with Joseph, join their Holy Family, the moment we are converted and embrace the law of God.


The Frankpledge, a summary


In practical terms, how is this idea, the Frankpledge, supposed to work? Comprising a unique local ten-family political unit of original agency and jurisdiction, it will be a cooperative involving duties legal, political and economic, as well as neighborly and social, as was the case in the past. Not socialism at all, which involves outright ownership by the state—an ownership of banks and stocks which our “free enterprise” Bush/Obama capitalists are indeed now chiseling in stone—the state itself under the frankpledge rather being built up in this reciprocal, popularly-interwoven, constructive and beneficial way. The Frankpledge being both a political party and a grassroots legal institution whose members—as represented in ten heads-of-household—will tend to respect one another, and their fellow man of every land. Embodying a birthright, a liberty and personal worthy, which belong to us as children of God, possessors of an eternal destiny, which are treasures too sacred to be “earned”. While from out of the micro-local roots and tendrils of the Frankpledge Party—and those Frankpledge units of which it will be comprised—higher over-arching units of authority will develop in the most natural way. But due to the uncertainty of the hour their manner of development is difficult to predict or anticipate: in a financial/political world whose imminent collapse may fall out in any number of scarcely foreseeable ways.

Yet let us make some assumptions: as for instance that men will finally cease to repose their trust in a system which now openly devours the common man, and thwarts the good designs of God, at every turn. So that a certain element of tactical- and strategic-disengagement is essential to what is envisioned here: motivated by the firm rejection of a global economic monster-monolith of forced and artificial unity. The determined reversal of a a secular-messianism which in some form has fatally mesmerized man in his darkest hours, since the days of Pharaoh, Napoleon or the Third Reich. While it is further assumed that from out of the 10-family Frankpledge will arise certain entrepreneurs, men gifted in the ability to organize, motivate, build, design, expedite. Concomitantly with which an even more significant parallel inventiveness will arise from out of the dynamic of the human whole, from the fertile soil of these groups. Of men and women who as it were come alive in terms of their individual and collaborative instincts, in the orchestration of ideas, abilities and assets that readily “come to hand” (an expression much used in the first hopes—so soon to be brutally dashed—of the post-communist Eastern Europe of the early 90s)—in traditional forms of economic life. In an affectionate and reverential cultural continuity with our ancestors of days gone by: a greenhouse of development which recognized the individual, with vigorous mind and will, as sole Heaven-destined product and prize. While these micro-local agents and organizers will gain a prosperity and prominence which will draw others of the same mind to their endeavors, so that not only will one Frankpledge tend to motivate the planting of others, but several Frankpledges will naturally come to collaborate in the expansion of enterprises large and small. Businesses not likely to be vertical in structure, dominating a market, but rather horizontal, sometimes remaining strictly local, sometimes dropping new spores in new locations. As the logic of this mode of industry and organization would likely be to stay at the 10-family size wherever possible, in terms of staff, at each venue of operation. A configuration which repels the dominion of ever-infiltrating and intimidating elites at every turn, “in whose hands are iniquities; whose right hand is full of bribes”. So that only with hesitation and where truly necessary would this natural configuration admit of somewhat-larger size. With the ten-man size indeed prevailing as a subset, in subdivisions of departments or shops within any one larger business or plant. Within intrinsically-local enterprises which would tend to expand both "up-" and "down-stream", calling forth a new sort of productive hierarchy, and product diversification, of an original and loose-knit kind. One in which the charging of interest, or the detached earnings of distant bondholders or stockholders—would be strictly proscribed.

            The leaders described above will then rise to positions of prominence in all respects, to a regional or even a national level: as decayed, rent-farming political, economic, industrial and agricultural tissue readily and even swiftly gives way to a sound and vigorous kind. And the elite-serving, patronizing siren-song of globalism gives way to the realism of men whose dignity is best upheld in managing their own affairs. The “industrially” or occupationally-based Frankpledge being a political/organizational system which must “crowd out” the extractive and vitiating top-down octopus, whose ugly head is a tiny extractive, unproductive elite of 1% which onerously rules us today.

            But as noted above the way the Frankpledge and related bodies will develop is a function not only of the chance and circumstance of these dire times, of the creativity, imagination and organizing abilities of men, but of sublime instincts of divine adoration planted deep in our souls and minds. Heavenly things which with the help of Almighty God can readily and with marvelous facility bring order and prosperity out of the chaos of these times. Catalyzing like lightning strikes the soil of individual and collective potencies which I can hardly pretend to adequately predict, evaluate or gauge. With the ten-family unit under-girding this system at every point, ultimately sending representatives (one per such “frankpledge”) to higher bodies, acting at higher levels, together with noted entrepreneurs, forming what might be called a developing free nobility. Assemblies much like the ascending Spanish "Cortes" of medieval times, which would act as bodies-of-consultation as much as "brakes" upon political and managerial power. Bodies of men formidable rather than powerless and craven, like our senators and congressmen of today. These mounting assemblies of all classes and occupations, of craftsmen and shopkeepers, managers, ranchers and farmers, participating definitively in the running of affairs, the making of major decisions. In a spirit-of-collaboration, again, which is equally difficult to adequately describe or foresee as to calculate in its dynamic force. Which is that of the spirit of man under the fatherly power of God. A collaboration welcomed by honest leaders of the past, who knew the value of many minds applied to daunting complexities of statecraft; a partnership-spirit in those days typically spurned only by those monarchs and aristocrats who were under money-lender financial control. This latter subordination being an evil which above all must be eradicated, denied all legal standing, in the new system being launched.

            In these ways, the input of the Frankpledge will be constant and enduring, forging its own trusted mechanisms, bodies, landmarks, methods and structures, as time goes on. Being the legal and laboring base, as it were, upon which all things would be built and maintained. A unit which might send a representative to the “hundred”, or hundred-family assembly, each of these with its own court, as in days gone by. (The number of 10 delegates or representatives again being maintained, with the gathering into so large a body—100 heads-of-household, en masse, like the old tribal moot—being perhaps a yearly event, rather than monthly or quarterly, as was sometimes rather-counter-productively to be found in medieval times.) The hundred being a bench which today might function as one of “small claims”, as well as of misdemeanors, as well as a body of local consultation/legislation. Which higher, second-tier 10-man group would in turn send a representative to some equivalent of a "County Court" of those older times, and so on up from there. These ascending bodies, tentatively of ten in size at all levels, being vehicles of decisive—and where necessary swift deliberation—recalling the Decemviri (“ten men”) of the ancient Roman Republic. About which good information may be gained from reading the Roman writer Polybius, who also details other aspects of the Roman system: one which was initially in many ways perhaps the most democratic ever devised. From this model those contemplating the coming restoration of good forms can learn much in particular about the meshing or wedding of these upward and downward dynamics of organization. An ancient Rome which, as the same Polybius relates, combines monarchy, aristocracy and democracy in a seamless, graceful and effective way (see Fordham University’s internet Medieval Sourcebook).

            At the various mounting assemblies, lean and decisive in size, a counterpoise of locational purviews, perspectives or “interests” would largely if not entirely take the place of our own much-made-over balancing of the three branches: so that a local, regional and national reciprocity of interests would be hammered into a solid armor, as it were, to guard a vulnerable body-politic. A commonwealth whose vitality would depend upon the cooperative, multiplier-rich economic/political arrangements thus arrived at; understandings of rights, privileges, “customs and usages”, and so on; those compacts and understandings in which the peace and unity of the nation would largely be maintained. So that the owner/managerial “class”—a word which properly expresses reciprocal engagement rather than division, let alone hostility—might perhaps tend to act as the executive at each level. (See chapter five of our Integral Catholicism, Second Edition, 2007, readable free of charge on our site, And the mounting assemblies of all classes act as a sort of legislature, as suggested above, replacing today’s Congressional paid pawns of finance. While a judiciary might be formed out persons especially noted for there probity, in whatever station of life they might be found to occupy.

            Within the Frankpledge system, money would of course be non-bond-backed, and minted in the old and tried way of the millennia. The nefarious bonding of money—condemned so forthrightly by Cobbett in the early nineteenth century—by national banks or “federal reserves”, whose purposes differ but little in final aim—this anomaly being the new and disastrous way of the past three centuries of finance-driven aggressive war, elite aggrandizement and increasingly totalitarian rule. Hence would be removed in one step the main basis for the continued dominion of a class of fabulously-wealthy leeches, traitors and dual-citizens, who presently rule the land: indeed the globe. Using central bank activities as their standard lever to control the policies—and buy the souls—of nations. Fiends who in this way keep the purpose and character of science and technology basically morbid rather than positive.

            Hence this manifesto of the Frankpledge, or the Integral Catholic cause, the political/economic cell of ten heads-of-household, the cornerstone of an early- and high-medieval Europe and England which was unique for its level of popular political involvement and local self-determination:

            1. In place of those forms of technology which require massive supporting infrastructure of billions or trillions of dollars, which rely on a philosophy of disintegration, of breaking into tiniest possible parts, and remaking things, people and ideas in some brave and alien new way, we substitute wherever possible a method holistic, naturalistic and reciprocal in nature. One which readily uses “that which comes to hand”.

            2. The personal ethos of this crusade is entirely benign, and full of brotherly love, and shuns false and divisive loyalties. Even as we recognize the fundamental value of race, nationality, etc: which are however to be employed as irreplaceable ties that bind, as well as reciprocal adhesives, contrapuntal harmonies, for society at large. Not as divisive battle cries.

            3. By abandoning the all-points atomizing method and infrastructure of our day, we take to ourselves an ιlan, that of the Holy Ghost, which sets its eyes on things above. Which relies on reason, grace and the providential intervention of God. Turning from today’s contemptuous breakdown of minds and materials into smallest nano particles, robbed of their integrity, left limp and characterless in form. A sort of all-purpose Freudianism of both matter and form in which long-standing custom in particular is given no ground on which to stand, and loves and loyalties of a personal character are held in a condescending pity, or a thinly-disguised scorn. A morbidity being invoked in all this radical futurism, one which denies that Messiah Who has already come, rather harkening to the coming brave if short-lived totalitarian empire of Antichrist.

            4. We announce the return entirely to classical forms  of music, to traditional Gregorian and multi-part church music, to wholesome folk forms of secular music, and wherever possible, of craft and production as well.

            5. We seek moral unity with all men of the same general mind across all international lines, in a new and true globalism of the most benign, cooperative and unthreatening kind. Being at the same time however carefully respectful of differences of belief, culture and civilization. We hold the present Judeo-corporate globalist conglomerate—built upon this noted atomizing/fusing control, this bleak and sterile modernity—to be the enemy, wherever it is found. Being a deceptive super-patriotism of the synagogue, not of native land: a rigidly-enforced if cleverly-disguised unity of synagogue and state, tauted as “constitutionalism”, or loyalty to “the republic” though it be.

            6. We labor to wean our nations away from this curse, with confidence that, “if God is with us, then who can be against us?”

            7. We reclaim the things of the earth away from the debt-burden of bond-backed money in particular, that which curses even our coin with this degenerative, disintegrative disease. Modern finance and investment alone making possible that social and material engineering which disintegrates and divides, in order at last to render defenseless, and then to destroy. A “path dependency” (Weisman) far apart from the good Gospel Way: rather a trail down which the sons of God—meant to savor His sweet liberty—were driven by astute traitors, by a financier-wielded whip.

            Thus do we reject Wall Street and other “asset markets” our-of-hand, while those nations to whom are owed “open market” debt will be repaid in concrete terms: in land, access to markets, open-arms immigration, etc. With those individual persons (the “legal person” of the corporation having been repudiated) who hold stocks, bonds and other interest-bearing credit being held to a level of compensation reasonable and limited in size. Or if obtained by especially crooked means—within today’s crooked global scheme—being happy if their assets aren’t redeemed by time in jail.