From online for a couple of weeks more or less (and apologies for comments I haven’t responded to). But just perusing….holy cow.
Authority is natural, organic, and a manifestation of the natural law – where the natural law is a rational participation in God’s Eternal Law. Authority is also hierarchical – an ordering of moral capacities to command. However and thus, authority is always limited; it is limited by greater authority and by its own conditions to command – which is to say the same thing from different perspectives. Authority is also limited by its grounding in the natural law. An authoritarian command to commit grave evil is a contradiction. This also touches upon obedience, which is the moral response to an authoritarian command. While obedience gets a lot of press these days, obedience is nonsensical without first understanding the true nature of authority. Said differently without a proper understanding of authority, there is no benefit – in fact, there is much harm – discussing obedience. Don’t get dragged into all that.
That those with authority – my preferred phrasing generally to preempt the liberal question begging of being in authority – often make mistakes is not exactly earth shattering. (Indeed finding oneself wielding authority can be a terrifying sort of thing.) But there is no reason to allow modern liberals to weaponize the mistakes of fathers in order to destroy Fatherhood itself. “I’ll obey you when and if you do enough things I like” is the language of the Enemy. And it is also a massive experiment in missing the point of authority.
Modernity is a mess. And everywhere we turn it seems as if those with authority over us – mothers and fathers and priests and bishops and City Hall and D.C. – are elbow greasing society into a morass of nihilism and debauchery. But modernity is a mess in large part due to its confusion with authority. We do ourselves no favors joining modern liberals’ attempt to burn it all to the ground.
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Everyone justifies his regicide by calling it tyrannicide.
Sneakily suspicious that Halloween hate steals too many bases.
The Tragedy of Coriolanus, William Shakespeare
The Prince, Niccolò Machiavelli
The Discourses, Niccolò Machiavelli
(I’m no philosopher – lol. So take this all with a grain of salt around the margarita.) Begging the question is listed among the logical fallacies. Despite how it is typically used, “begging the question” does not mean “given the circumstances we are compelled to ask [X].” Instead begging the question means something like assuming the truth of conclusions in premises set up to validate the conclusion. A real life recent example:
Whatever its faults socialism is a noble political position because it strives to eliminate inequalities.
Now, one typical way some folks reply to this, is to state that historically socialism – despite its striving – has never eliminated inequality. Or that the “equality” provided by socialism is an equality of misery. Or whatever. But importantly that doesn’t address the question begging fallacy. The fallacy here is the assumption that “eliminating inequalities” is in fact a noble prerogative of political authority. And once you understand what begging the question is, you start seeing it everywhere. Liberalism and its little slogans, COVIDisms, religious ecumenical talk, etc etc.
Noticing that the fallacy is being utilized against you doesn’t invalidate the conclusion. But as they say, noticing is the first step towards recovery.
“We must ban banning.”
More than ever.
Every time I see one I become enraged like when reading those parts about Hagrid caring for the poisonous monsters.
Those who have been present at any deliberative assemblies of men will have observed how erroneous their opinions often are; and in fact, unless they are directed by superior men, they are apt to be contrary to all reason. But as superior men in corrupt republics (especially in periods of peace and quiet) are generally hated, either from jealousy of the ambition of others, it follows that the preference is given to what common error approves, or to what is suggested by men who are more desirous of pleasing the masses than of promoting the general good. – Niccolò Machiavelli The Discourses