Catholic integralism announces itself

It would seem a new school of internet antiliberals has become conscious of itself.  Gabriel Sanchez divides Catholic political thinkers into liberals, radicals, and integralists.  The liberals think some sort of reconciliation between liberalism and Catholicism is viable and desirable–First Things under Father Neuhaus would be a classic case of this.  Radicals and integralists reject liberalism as a philosophical error and heresy.  The difference between these two camps is less sharp (see here).  From my reading of Sanchez, integralists are those who base themselves on pre-conciliar theology and Magisterial teaching, while radicals work from the post-conciliar Communio school of theology and inherit its sense of distinction from pre-conciliar Thomism.  Reminiscent of what I have said about the Orthosphere, Sanchez observes that integralists identify themselves with 19th-century counter-revolutionaries, rather than (as is the case for most conservative movements today) defining themselves in distinction to them.  Integralists are also distinguished by the central place they give to the social kingship of Christ.  They have their own group blog.

Needless to say, I’m happy to see integralism self-consciously resurrecting itself and look forward to learning from it for years to come.

12 Responses

  1. Great stuff. Hopefully “integralism” will be rehabilitated as a technical word describing actual trends of thought in the Church, and not just as a term of mindless abuse by liberals.

  2. The comments on Zmirak’s hit piece are heartening – most of them denounce his conclusions. What’s strange is a quick search of his name finds a blog wherein he describes himself as a European reactionary…huh? How can one be a libertarian-ish reactionary?

  3. […] takes note of some fracture lines within Catholicism that make some […]

  4. Long live the Catholic integralists.

  5. Regarding Zmirak, I’ve been aware of him for a number of years of trawling the right-wing Internet, reading something by him once or twice a year or so. Up until around four years ago or so he was still a paleoconservative, and wrote articles for the old paleocon sites and magazines. I remember a few in particular where he criticized the Iraq War, and one at VDARE where he criticized mass immigration and the American bishops’ role in it, all from a traditional conservative position. He was basically critical of libertarianism, and expressed a semi-traditionalist position on Catholic matters.

    That’s why I was very surprised when that illiberal Catholicism article came out and then a succession of full-throated libertarian and neo-Catholic articles. I don’t know what prompted his ideological conversion.

  6. Zmirak is a Zmirakian presentist: everyone who doesn’t believe exactly as he himself does right this moment is an onanistic imbecile, including previous versions of Zmirak himself.

  7. “integralists identify themselves with 19th-century counter-revolutionaries”
    And what has been fruits of this identification?
    Are there really no lessons to be learnt from historic counter-revolutionary movements, 19C or 20C?

  8. Liberalism is a political doctrine. How is it relevant theologically and what theology can possibly comment on it?

    The essential non-liberal formulation of politics was already made by Aristotle and he was no theolgian.

  9. Liberalism is a theological doctrine, in that it is the negation of Christianity, and the destruction of Christianity has always been its highest priority.

    Also, counter-revolutionary theory certainly does expand beyond Aristotle. It’s core tenets deal with the nature of authority and societies’ corporate duties to God.

  10. How could a political theory be negation of Christianity ever?
    Could you cite from CCC that says so?

  11. […] Thus, those Catholics and other religious traditionalists who reject liberalism as founded in philosophical error would do well to strengthen their arguments further. Heresy against the book of Nature also […]

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