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  1. Nicholas Escalona
    July 29, 2014

    Speaking of the social/economic teachings… do you ever plan to bring pre-19th-century thought into the mix? Democracy of the dead & all that… don’t mercantilism and whatever the scholastics said get seats at the table? So long as we’re plotting the death of modernity we might as well make a party of it & invite everybody.

    Also… speaking for myself, I’m continuing to better understand the failure of modern left/right to capture the right way for society in a general sense and in several specific senses, with the exception of economics. I have a pretty poor handle on how to get past modern categories in understanding the right order for production, labor, government, etc. So to the extent that this blog is your attempt to educate people in that sort of thing, there’s my vote.

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    1. modestinus
      July 29, 2014

      With respect to economic thinking or, more concretely, economic policy, it’s important to keep in mind that rejecting the current liberal ordo is not an open gate to freely pull in any and every Catholic line of thought which has been applied to the topic. As a Catholic, I believe that we have to hold to what the Church’s magisterium has concluded, even if it runs up against the thinking of some particular theologian or school of theologians. There is a very modern temptation to do end-runs around the magisterium on all levels by going back to some past figure, declaring that figure to have “really spoken” X rather than Y, and then hold that up as the new marching orders for the day. That temptation has been, in my estimation, one of the disastrous fallouts of the “new theology.” Under the banner of “clarifying” or “properly interpreting” the tradition, they have set up a counter-tradition which was intended, and eventually did, undermine classical Thomism and Scholasticism. That economic liberals and more left-leaning Catholics are trying to accomplish the same thing in the economic realm comes as no surprise.

      As for how we establish a functioning society based on Catholic principles, well, that is an ongoing project and subject of much deliberation. As I have written about elsewhere, many of these matters are under-theorized for the simple fact that far too many lawyers, economists, sociologists, etc. have invested themselves in the liberal project rather than taking the teachings of the Church seriously and, from there, building upon them. While I think it is important to critique liberalism and the liberal hijacking of the Church’s social magisterium, that cannot be the “final word.” Action is important, too, but few today are thinking through that fact. Mine is only a modest voice.

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      1. Nicholas Escalona
        July 29, 2014

        Well, even so, is there no value to understanding speculative positions the Church has left behind – e.g. to better grasp what came later, rejecting them? And besides, there’s a million ways the scholastics have simply been forgotten, and very few if any that the magisterium has reached a conclusion against them, despite appearances. If so, it may not be an end-run at all. My impression is that the magisterium has concluded comparatively little in this field.

        Yeah, I’m not anywhere near being able to think about action – I’m still trying to figure out what the right abstractions are, drawing the conceptual boundaries.

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