The Right invites its own soft censorship

There is much concern by reactionaries about social media companies like Twitter and Facebook censoring right-wing and anti-mass immigration views.  The most effective means at their disposal are quite subtle:  rather than banning a writer outright, they just make it very difficult for outsiders to learn about them by manipulating search engines, popularity metrics, and the like.

It occurs to me that the Right has been effectively “shadowbanning” itself for decades, and this is the reason we are so vulnerable to this sort of attack.  As I’ve written before, the Right blogosphere is not properly interconnected.  Everyone should link to people both more moderate and more extreme (along each axis of extremity–no one should imagine he is perfectly moderate or perfectly extreme on all axes).  Instead the Right is filled with stop points that effectively attempt to shadowban everyone to their Right.

Imagine a properly interconnected Right.  Soft censorship from social media companies would be ineffective against it.  Everybody links to groups at least one step to their Right, which makes it impossible to quietly block off everyone to the Right of some threshold of extremism.  Nor would it be practical to declare anyone who links to an extremist to also be an extremist.  If everyone just links to people one link to the Right, then transitively the company would have to block the entire mainstream Right as “extremists” just for linking people slightly less mainstream.  This couldn’t be done without provoking outrage, and, to the extent the mainstream Right are “useful idiots” for the establishment anyway, wouldn’t even be considered desirable.

I could easily imagine creating links to the mainstream myself.  If I had the time and energy, it would be clever to operate a more mainstream, accessible blog whose real goal would actually be to sneak in links to the true esoteric doctrine at Throne and Altar.  One strategy would be to sometimes claim on my mainstream blog to disagree with, to be utterly scandalized by, what this “Bonald” says at his radical blog.  But I give a link, and I make it sound interesting.  Or maybe it works best to drop hints that there are deeper, secret layers of the truth that I dare not mention on my own (mainstream) blog, but I provide a link.  Straussian levels of esoteric subtlety are not needed here.

I don’t have time to operate two blogs, though.  I don’t even have the time (or, perhaps, the talent) to operate a single blog that’s genuinely influential.  So there’s no way I could put together a second that would be more popular and not even express my true beliefs.  This is where I am wanting the mainstream Right to start doing its job.

A plea for mercy II: License to Spill

We are all excited that the pontificate of Pope Francis has opened up new vistas for the exercise of Mercy.  Its first objects were, as we all know, the adulterers, so unfairly excluded from the Eucharistic banquet, although oddly only those who combine their adultery with spousal abandonment.  By all accounts, contraception shall be the next great mercy frontier.

This isn’t exactly a new idea.  For decades, people have pleaded with the Vatican to allow the use of condoms for medical reasons, usually having to do with AIDS in Africa.  As a foul-minded but loyal son of the Church, I would like to propose a more logical plan.  I suggest the Vatican issue dispensations to masturbate.  If an AIDS-infected African is going to spill his poisonous seed, I would prefer it be as far from other human beings as possible.  But, Bonald, are you suggesting the Church authorize mortal sin?!  Oh, but the Merciful have already settled on that; only Promethean neo-Pelagians disapprove.  We’ve even already settled on just a different species of the very same mortal sin!  I’m just proposing to make the safety even safer.  Of course, a License to Spill could be used for contraceptive sex (they would, after all, be given to both spouses), but this will often be imprudent.

I do find it odd how my fellow Merciful Catholics seem ready to excuse a sexual sin only if it is combined with some other sin.  Adultery is okay, but only if you don’t just keep a mistress, but also in her favor eject your wife.  Spilling your seed is okay, but only if you make sure there’s still a chance of infecting a partner.  In both cases, the sin is less obvious–one gets the appearance of a normal marriage and normal marriage relations–but the appearance is bought with the commission of a second sin.  Would not consistent mercy be even more merciful?

Maistre wrote, in defense of the pope’s right to relieve subjects from their duties to their kings, that dispensations respect the rule in a way generalized “rights to rebellion” don’t.  Similarly, any kind of dispensation would be better than invoking a supposed inviolability of the rights of conscience in face of the moral law.  The latter could be abused by people in any situation, and this is one area where we don’t want the faithful taking matters into their own hands, as it were.  We’re not yet ready to be that merciful.

Or are we?

More on the wisdom of hypocrisy

Le Morte D’Arthur, Book 8, Chapter 34:

So he departed from him with Sir Driant, and by the way they met with a knight that was sent from Morgan le Fay unto King Arthur; and this knight had a fair horn harnessed with gold, and the horn had such a virtue that there might no lady nor gentlewoman drink of that horn but if she were true to her husband, and if she were false she should spill all the drink, and if she were true to her lord she might drink peaceable. And because of the Queen Guenever, and in the despite of Sir Launcelot, this horn was sent unto King Arthur; and by force Sir Lamorak made that knight to tell all the cause why he bare that horn. Now shalt thou bear this horn, said Lamorak, unto King Mark, or else choose thou to die for it; for I tell thee plainly, in despite and reproof of Sir Tristram thou shalt bear that horn unto King Mark, his uncle, and say thou to him that I sent it him for to assay his lady, and if she be true to him he shall prove her. So the knight went his way unto King Mark, and brought him that rich horn, and said that Sir Lamorak sent it him, and thereto he told him the virtue of that horn. Then the king made Queen Isoud to drink thereof, and an hundred ladies, and there were but four ladies of all those that drank clean. Alas, said King Mark, this is a great despite, and sware a great oath that she should be burnt and the other ladies.

Then the barons gathered them together, and said plainly they would not have those ladies burnt for an horn made by sorcery, that came from as false a sorceress and witch as then was living. For that horn did never good, but caused strife and debate, and always in her days she had been an enemy to all true lovers. So there were many knights made their avow, an ever they met with Morgan le Fay, that they would show her short courtesy. Also Sir Tristram was passing wroth that Sir Lamorak sent that horn unto King Mark, for well he knew that it was done in the despite of him. And therefore he thought to quite Sir Lamorak.

Something I sort of admire about the Renaissance:

  1. Adultery was rampant;
  2. Adultery was acknowledged to be rampant;
  3. Adultery was even romanticized in fiction; and yet…
  4. There were very few voices calling for Church and state to accept adultery because monogamy “has failed” and is “not suited to our times”.

At all costs, official adherence to the moral law must be upheld, and yet a wise ruler makes allowances for human weakness.  But even these allowances aren’t official.  The barons didn’t try to change the legal punishment for adultery.  They decided to pretend the whole thing never happened.  (The bit about “true lovers” might indicate sympathy for adulterers but not a desire to restructure marriage, and the main thrust of their argument is that a magical horn from a malevolent sorceress is not to be trusted, which is not a bad argument except that I doubt they themselves believed it.)

The role of evidence in choosing a religion

I happened to be reading some blog posts on evidence in apologetics at the same time many of us were preparing for the public announcement of LIGO’s discovery.  The combination in my mind is most likely what produced the following.

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Do broader impacts corrupt science?

NSF proposals are divided into an “intellectual merit” section on how the proposed work will advance science and a “broader impacts” section that details how funding will help the PI do public outreach, build infrastructure, train postdocs, involve underrepresented groups, and other such things.

One may think of “corruption” of a practice as when external standards are allowed to trump standards intrinsic to the practice.  For example, it would be a corruption of science for a man to be denied the Nobel prize because of his race, political beliefs, or status as a convicted child molester.  It would be an even bigger corruption for scientific theories themselves to be judged on their implications for race relations, politics, or child molestation.

The question is, do broader impacts corrupt science?

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More Republican drift: Trump leading the charge to surrender

In response to Pope Francis’ attack, Donald Trump replied

For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful. I am proud to be a Christian and as President I will not allow Christianity to be consistently attacked and weakened, unlike what is happening now, with our current President.

which is ironic considering Trump himself supports attacking and weakening Christianity in the interests of his own sodomitical ideology.  Laura Wood finds

DONALD Trump, who once attended a same-sex “marriage” and called it “beautiful,” is relatively good for the LGBT cause. He personally supports free marriage and he has been a vocal supporter of “gay rights.” According to Jonathan Jacob Allen:

Trump has advocated for banning workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. He criticized a Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court found, earlier this year, that the Constitution protects the right of same-sex couples to marry. He is also one of only two Republican candidates — along with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie — that the Human Rights Campaign deems to have even a “mixed” record on gay rights.

“He is one of the best, if not the best, pro-gay Republican candidates to ever run for the presidency,” said Gregory T. Angelo, president of the Log Cabin Republicans, an advocacy group for LGBT Republicans. Trump would do no harm on same-sex marriage, Angelo said, and has a “stand-out position” on non-discrimination legislation.

I don’t need to remind readers of the zero-sum game here:  workplace discrimination ban means protection from hostile work environment means employers must fire anyone found to disagree with the gay rights agenda means Donald Trump wants the ruin of every faithful American Christian.

This “boo-hoo-hoo, don’t question my faith” routine is pathetic.  The man has made public his repudiation of the Christian faith and his intention to do its followers legal harm.  He is not a Christian.  He’s not even a virtuous pagan.

It is frightening indeed that the Republican frontrunner should be unambiguously siding with the enemy on the most important issue of our time.  It is a sign that we will soon have two openly anti-Christian parties.  Some might say that this is better than having one openly anti-Christian party and one covertly anti-Christian one, but I don’t agree.  The Republican Party’s hypocritical defense of the faith has provided some real protection to the extent that it has made the Democrats cautious.

The psychological weakness of white advocacy

Intellectually, the white race’s case is easy to defend.  It comes down to the very modest claim that whites are just like everybody else.  We’re not uniquely sinful, at least not qualitatively.  Our history is driven by the same forces and motivations that have shaped other peoples.  We should be allowed to positively relate to our predecessors, inherited customs, and ethnically homogeneous neighborhoods just like any other people.

But while the case is intellectually strong, belief in it, even by its advocates, is weak.  As C. S. Lewis explains in Screwtape Proposes a Toast

No man who says I’m as good as you believes it.  He would not say it if he did.  The St. Bernard never says it to the toy dog, nor the scholar to the dunce, nor  the employable to the bum, nor the pretty woman to the plain.  The claim to equality, outside the strictly political field, is made only by those who feel themselves to be in some way inferior.  What it expresses is precisely the itching, smarting, writhing awareness of an inferiority which the patient refuses to accept.

This is certainly true of my fellow racially-conservative whites.  The history we grew up with was of our people as at best morally problematic and everyone else as innocent victims.  Our big discoveries are that whites aren’t uniquely oppressive and that in any case order does require some degree of force (“oppression”) to maintain.  We can never have the confidence of the negro or the Jew or the Muslim, all of whom see the moral superiority of their people as entirely self-evident.  Thus we invent “particularism” and “identitarianism”, which begin with abstract principles that every people should be allowed to value and preserve itself.  The plausibility of the principle comes from its seemingly obvious truth for peoples like the Native Americans, blacks, Jews, and Muslims.  Then, once the principle is admitted, demand that–as a matter of logical consistency–one is forced to apply it even to white Europeans.  Not that we intrinsically deserve such protection, but the principle must be maintained for other groups, and it is only securely maintained if consistency is insisted upon.  Now, if this were just a rhetorical trick to make anti-white liberals think, that would be one thing.  But particularism is in fact my real belief, and the belief of many like me.  This is the best we can do for our own people.

Priests, prophets, and kings

Dividuals finds this revealing bit of history:

[Tony] Benn’s mother, Margaret Wedgwood Benn (née Holmes, 1897–1991), was a theologian, feminist and the founder President of the Congregational Federation. She was a member of the League of the Church Militant, which was the predecessor of theMovement for the Ordination of Women; in 1925, she was rebuked by Randall Davidson, the Archbishop of Canterbury, for advocating the ordination of women. His mother’s theology had a profound influence on Benn, as she taught him that the stories in the Bible were based around the struggle between the prophets and the kings and that he ought in his life to support the prophets over the kings, who had power, as the prophets taught righteousness.

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A parable of seed thrown on bad soil

Can anyone explain this mystery to me?

God to Arab Muslim:  Strap a bomb to your chest and blow yourself up in a crowded space.

Arab Muslim:  God is great!

God to Catholic couple: Have unsterilized sex and have lots of cute babies.

Catholic couple:  But, but, but….our freedom!!!

Am I just fooled by (a particular strand of) Muslim devoutness being so much more spectacular than Catholic devoutness?  But there are an awful lot of young Muslims who, although not signing up for suicide missions, are fired up over the same causes.  The population of Catholics of suicide-bomber-age who are fired up for fighting the Church’s fights and making babies seems to be just nonexistent.

Spirit of Vatican II:  We just need to ask even less of them!


The laity’s day, or night

Vatican II, together with the movement preceding and following it, destroyed all the laity’s major means of agency.

  1. It repudiated “integralism” the movement for the laity to demand doctrinal accountability from the clergy.  From now on, the priest may spew forth any heresy he likes from the pulpit, and parishioners can take it or leave.
  2. It inaugurated a new opaque style of discourse based on European continental philosophy whereby nobody can ever know exactly what Catholic doctrine is.  Not only are we to avoid privately interpreting the Bible; we cannot even privately interpret magisterial documents.  (Uppity laity confronting priests with creeds and encyclicals are called “Catholic fundamentalists”, and their behavior is regarded as a sign of immaturity.)  Indeed, the need for interpretive mediation never seems to end, so that doctrine never reaches the actual minds of the faithful, at least not to the extent that we could ever reason from it.  Our only virtue is docility to the post-conciliar clergy, who may proclaim any teaching or directive they like, its connection to the supposedly public deposit of revelation being forever unfathomable to us.
  3. It repudiated Catholic monarchists and conservative/reactionary political parties, the lay movements aimed at defending the Church from hostile forces and returning society to traditional Catholic prescriptions.
  4. It had nothing but scorn for lay Catholics resisting secularism even in voluntary, cultural arenas (e.g. the Legion of Decency).
  5. It undermined the authority of fathers, the spiritual heads of households.
  6. It continually works to undermine the sacrament of which the laity is the distinct custodian:  marriage.

Our opportunities to fight for God were taken away, and in exchange we were given indulgence to sin.  The pre-Vatican II Church considered all its members to be called to holiness.  The post-Vatican II Church repudiates this by calling into question whether we must obey the moral law’s demands.

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