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Stratford Caldecott

Stratford Caldecott | 4 posts | Member since 02.08.08


RE: The Global Crisis: Lessons from the Middle Ages
I did put it too strongly - the economy is certainly not the only culprit - but it is too simplistic to put everything on the individual. Our freedom of choice is always restricted. To use an extreme example, who needs to be 'free' to buy hard drugs, or human slaves, and who regrets the regulations that prevent us doing so? The question is how to set the limits of our economy in a wise manner. Some would say that the culture of giving gigantic bonuses on top of salaries to bankers for playing with our money needs regulation. Why not? But I am not at all in favour of dictatorship, or socialism, as I explained earlier. -- Stratford

RE: The Global Crisis: Lessons from the Middle Ages
Good for you! I had in mind others - perhaps the majority - who aren't as innocent as you. But it is true I live in England, in a consumer society gone mad. Nevertheless, while apologising for involving you in the 'group therapy', I must refute your suggestion that I am advocating 'oppressive laws designed to enslave human freedom to the point of equality of outcome'. I completely oppose anything like that, which suggests I have utterly failed to communicate my point. Enough is enough, I'll bow out of this conversation now. Anyone out there see what I was I was really trying to get at? -- SC.

RE: The Global Crisis: Lessons from the Middle Ages
Not at all! The self-governance of the majority is real enough, and it is called democratic government. Personal liberty is certainly conistent with Catholic teaching, but it depends what you mean by it and what else you put with it. Personal liberty plus sadism, for example, is a bad combo. Too much liberty and the strong end up creating social structures and shaping laws that work in their interests against those of the weak. Laws exist to draw limits for the common good - that presumably wouldn't be necessary in an unfallen world, where everyone would automatically conform to the natural law and cooperate together. Incidentally I agree with your last sentence - though there are degrees of 'corrupt' and probably our governments are a lot better than many others. --SC

RE: The Global Crisis: Lessons from the Middle Ages
Here is a challenging quote from Philip Blond. I am curious what you think of it: 'To understand why the legacy of liberalism produces both state authoritarianism and atomised individualism, we must first note that philosophical liberalism was born out of an 18th-century critique of absolute monarchies. It sought to protect the rights of the individual from arbitrary abuse by the king. But so extreme did the defence of individual liberty become that each man was obliged to refuse the dictates of any other—for that would be simply to replace rule by one man's will (the king) with rule by another. As such, the most extreme form of liberal autonomy requires the repudiation of society—-for human community influences and shapes the individual before any sovereign capacity to choose has taken shape. The liberal idea of man is then, first of all, an idea of nothing: not family, not ethnicity, not society or nation. But real people are formed by the society of others. For liberals, autonomy must precede everything else, but such a "self" is a fiction. A society so constituted would be one that required a powerful central authority to manage the perpetual conflict between self-interested individuals. So the unanticipated bequest of an unlimited liberalism is that most illiberal of entities: the controlling state.'

RE: The Global Crisis: Lessons from the Middle Ages
Yes, well I AM a middle-class guy debating theoretical points (maybe only the middle classes are interested in debating), and am very cynical about revolutionaries. The original Distributists' rhetoric seems to have ran away with them. I am trying to set the scene for a more measured debate over on http://theeconomyproject.blogspot.com/

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