Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Nanny goes to court

"The position we have now reached is this: starting from the State, we try to remedy the failures of all the families, all the nurseries, all the schools, all the workshops, all the secondary institutions that once had some authority of their own. Everything is ultimately brought into the Law Courts."

GK Chesterton
who died in 1936


Anonymous said...

But by balking at attempting to solve all problems by givingness plus intervening against "uncaringness" as your previous posting calls evil, conservatives must affirm selfishness and realisticness about man, namely that one cares more for one's own children than all-children-everywhere-as-such.

But western Christian and anonymous Christian valuation has endorsed only "community" for many decades now. Formerly Catholics revered the saints who minister'd to the destitute. So also Protestants their missionaries to destitute lands.

Basically the doctrine of Christianity was salvation for sinners by grace through faith or through the sacraments of the Church. No "community" solidarity "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" was proposed because it was inapplicable to us. We find it quite possible to live and even enjoy life and stuff while others are wretched.

But with technological production and even over-production, it seems possible for the state to take charge of persons living in wretchedness. And even if government programmes can't do what sound parenthood and extended-family relationships can do, the sense is, I suppose, that since these persons are already wretched, their plight can't be worsen'd by government programmes.

It thus sounds not merely selfish but heartless for conservatives to say that the government ought not even to try, and that in any case, the state shouldn't be permitted to grow to infinite size even were the state competent to replace all family and other institutions.

The only voices strongly asserting the validity of "self" today are Ayn Randians, who are anarchists (not even Lockeans) and atheists who have no sense of family and other institutions. ... Rawls lay'd the foundations for the older style 'neo-conservatives' who implicitly agreed that individuals have no property rights but who defended private enterprise as the best way to alleviate the plight of the destitute and the poor, that is, by the 'preferential option for the poor.' That is a tentative defense of individual selfness was given. If it turns out that some new version of socialism would benefit the destitute even more, then such neo-conservatives imply that such socialism should be imposed upon all of us instantly.

Even despite warnings by Reinhold Niebuhr, western Christians continued to suppose that government programmes supported by taxation and printing money etc were the proper political economic reflection of the Good Samaritan ethic. Presumably the state can also be meek, poor in spirit, do mercy, make peace, mourn, and be call'd sons of God and indeed be persecuted for righteousness' sake. ... And the Son of Man will say to the state "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

What was the liberals' plan? To get God off their backs by rending Caesar unto God?

On the other hand, the date 1936 will be interpreted by liberals or progressives as proof that conservatives have always cry'd wolf that "socialism" was going to consign all things over to the state and deprive us of all meaningful freedoms. And it never happens. The New Deal and the Great Society etc roll'd on and the state expanded and expanded and yet today one is even more free to live responsibly or irresponsibly than ever before. Want more freedom? Vote for more socialism and state "control."

Anonymous said...

P.S. On the meaning of "progressive" sc sieve around resh made by progging:

"prog" to gain by low arts, get advantages by mean shift or tricks, etc.

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