"Wherefore We must interrupt a silence which it would be criminal to prolong, that We may point out...as they really are, men who are badly disguised." Pope St. Pius X, September 8, 1907, Pascendi Dominici Gregis

Monday, December 25, 2017

Tom Woods On The Church & The Market

The quintessential thesis of ActualAnarchy is that the Church gave us Capitalism, the morals of the Church are the only way to sustain Capitalism, and the path to a reinvigorated Church must include a return to this property-centric, decentralized, voluntarist order. Tom Woods summarizes his The Church & The Market here.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

A True Enlightenment Is Just Beginning

One of the saddest things we witness is faithful traditional Catholics of good heart and mind falling into the same economic trap as the statists, socialists and those that just oppose order and private property. Fortunately such Catholics realize that there is a universal truth and we are able with sufficient effort to assemble rationally the precepts of this truth. Not all is lost! This applies as much to economics as theology.

There's plenty of room for concern. The Angelic Doctor gave us a number of starting points when talking about economics, but these are not necessarily sufficiently organized in his writing to give us the discipline of economics forthrightly. It took further centuries to distill various Thomistic truths about economics, and ensure through validating the self-referential logic of the premises that they had formed into a coherent whole properly called economics.

The Austrians emerged the masters of this effort, which they picked up from the late Spanish Scholastics most notably when Carl Menger solved the diamond-water paradox through his use of marginal economic analysis (for Menger this was absent of any utilitarian considerations). That these same economists went on to faithfully serve the Hapsburgs, the last great Catholic monarchs, as tutors, professors, and government officials over multiple generations, held titles of nobility granted by the same, and even gave us the open-shut case against both the economic errors of Russia (more than 60 years before the end of the Soviet Union!) and, proportionally, our own socialist economic errors in the West today, should give Catholics at least some inclination towards their thought.

Who realizes all of this???

Sadly, many leading Catholic intellectuals are oblivious. They just don't see that Capitalism is rooted in Catholicism.

There is a way around this.

In fact, you can learn the most advanced economic truths brought to you by the same man that wrote The Church and The Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy.

Get tutored just like the Hapsburgs by the leading Austrian economists of our day.

Enter Tom Woods' "Liberty" classroom today!

The materialists that control our modern political and economic system want to keep us in a true economic dark age. Their professed social goals are in religion, atheism, in economics, non-ownership, in politics, chaos.

Take ownership of your education today!

Russia has spread her errors around the world. Just as Our Lady of Fatima predicted, abortion, atheism, schism, communism and socialism have inundated the West. Our Lady has also promised us victory over these dire forces of Satan. Will you not join the effort and learn the economic truths that will free us from their anti-private property schemes?

Of course what we need is a synthesis of the economic truths brought to us by the Austrian School and the long-standing social mores of the Church. Imagine a free and prosperous Catholic country where stores are closed on Sunday, abortion is illegal, private property is protected, the charity of the Church takes a leading social role and money is as good as gold. How can we ever get here if traditional Catholics don't learn the best justifications for such an economic regime?

Learn the basics of Austrian economics today!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Inversion of the Freemasonic Myth

The libertarian vanguard is increasingly coming to the realization that, just as libertarian theory would tend to suggest, the standard historical narrative told by the intellectuals enthralled to the ruling bankster and governmental elite, is an exact inversion of the truth.

In America in particular we come to the conclusion after decades of public school indoctrination that anything coming before the so-called "Enlightenment" is a priori, as it were, dark, authoritarian and backward. Adam Smith, not so coincidentally in the same year as the start of the American Revolution, gave us everything we need to know about economics recalled in his famous dictum of the "invisible hand." Of course Britain, that foremost protestant, Banker, and free-masonic power, spread the 'majesty' of her culture throughout the world, giving us the only chance the world had to achieve widespread economic freedom and a liberal political order, so the story goes. The greatest embodiment of this came to be America, a shining city on the hill.

This sounds well and good enough, until we start with even the smallest poking and prodding. It seems Smith also promoted the labor theory of value, which Marx demonstrated leads logically to communism, not capitalism. Marx was funded and promoted out of Britain. Protestant and Imperial Germany allowed Lenin to return to Russia during World War I, while the deeply Catholic monarchy of Austria-Hungary attempted to forestall this outcome.

Most of the former British colonies supposedly known for their economic freedom, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, are now the most successful devotees to radical socialism, having implemented eight out of ten of the planks of the Communist Manifesto and advancing towards even further refinements of the liberal, social justice warrior credo. The last remnant of tiny libertarian states, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Andorra et al help remind us of the true origins of political liberty in the West and the all too necessary cultural prerequisites to its maintenance. And the only remaining economic tradition that coheres entirely to the libertarian political project is the one based on late Spanish Scholastic formulations and nurtured over multiple generations by the last great Catholic monarchs in Europe, the Austrian school. (Yes, we would concede Hong Kong and Singapore as remnants of the best of the British tradition, but we have also argued that the downfall of economic freedom was embedded in this tradition from the very beginning.)

As the Venetian national anthem above suggests, political liberty (Libarta!) was born early in the Catholic era. The very notions of secession, small states, subsidiarity, and political governance that did not build on a monopoly on the use of force in a given geographic area, that is to say the proscriptions of the libertarian ideal, were born in this era, not a self-conscious political movement, as it were, but as implicit to the overall Catholic culture in which there exists an all-encompassing, universal truth which itself governs those who govern. As such, the state is not a power unto itself but merely a means to an end. There was nothing holy about the state except insofar as it conformed to the truths of the Church and natural law.

We contrast this with today, living as we do in the era of Freemasonic "enlightenment" when there are no checks on state power. States are free to make their own positive law, the Church is unheard from, and even the natural law is subject to modification by man's own whims. Secession is ruled out of the question. States are seen as mere stepping stones towards continental unions and eventually world government on the way to the Freemasonic 'ideal.' And increasingly all matters must be decided at the top of the political pyramid, truth ruled non-existent and considerations of the good of your fellow-man viewed purely through a cynical lens. Such outright devotion to tyranny was unrealized in the middle ages, but comes as a matter of course to those who have taken the notion of liberty absent of all other considerations and run with it.

Without the Church, liberty and civilization must perish.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Free Market Promotes Virtue

Having listened to Fr. Ripperger's recent talk "Problem with Self" about the negative personal impact of too heavily analyzing how every decision and every situation impacts only yourself, we were reminded of the vocation of entrepreneur. Let us strip away for a moment any misconceptions we have about entrepreneurs. They are not all wealthy. No, not even all of them succeed. There are many small-proprietors who run local businesses who content themselves with a middle class or even lower standard of living. Entrepreneurialism does not equate to a love of riches, although achieving great wealth is possible and should be regarded rather indifferently. Some aspiring entrepreneurs attempt to scrap together sufficient capital for a particular venture their entire life to no avail. The best entrepreneurs would do what they are doing regardless of financial success. Many struggle for decades with no success at all. Others are completely forestalled by the regulatory state and artificial barriers to entry. The success of others is not realized until after their deaths. All the glitz and glam of Wall Street and Silicon Valley aside, where government grants, privileges and contracts loom large, the greater part of the history of the entrepreneur is one struggling to be oriented towards others, other's needs, desires and circumstances.

Moreover, we would say one of the chief ways that Satan attempts to co-opt capitalism is to infect us with the belief that all entrepreneuralism is selfish. As the Church teaches, what is often just as important as what we are doing, is the intention with which we are doing it. If anything, we want to instruct others that commerce ought to be taken on with a notion of its inherent legitimacy accompanied with its legitimate purpose, the service of others.

Our view of the market process is often dimmed thanks to that dollop Marxist "analysis" one picks up in public school or a liberal arts course at university. Even so, it remains a good reminder that the market like all human institutions, even the Church as now, can fall into misuse. We are told that marketing for instance, what under virtuous circumstances should be the most outward oriented part of the market process, is riddled with fraud and deception aiming at getting people to buy what they don't need.

Yet, the greater truth is that marketing under all circumstances tries to meet us where we are. Unlike the vague and at times ulterior meaning this phrase can take on, there is nothing more concrete about the role of an entrepreneur. He must deliver what is in the opinion of others the best product, in the best way, at the right time, made known to others in the most cogent manner, or risk losing his livelihood. And he must do this everyday without end.

A brief word to those who remain skeptical. The market will merely value what consumers value. If we have an informed populace, all the Iowa farm-bill subsidies, GMO intellectual property laws, FDA swat teams, and big corporate media campaigning can't stop a company like Whole Foods from championing the opposite. Even if it costs more, this is the whole point to the power of the purse. One must make prudent decisions about how to spend one's money. Nature does not always allow a right to low cost and quality. And to Catholics specifically, there was a time when the condemnation of the National Legion of Decency meant a great deal to Hollywood producers. This was a time when Catholics were still believing and a sufficiently organized community.

It is this tendency of entrepreneurs to produce what the people want, and the people organizing so as to better express those desires that gave market-born cultures their great success. When we talk of civilization, can it be any other way? The Church should form our consciences to desire what is best for each other. When we venture into the material realm, it is the job of the entrepreneur to deliver the material appurtenances that support this culture. And so that both may be done successfully, the entrepreneur relies on the price signal to aggregate all of the information which the individuals that make up society have in relation to that good at that time. Notice how this is done spontaneously, and how any attempt to organize it beyond a mere abidance by the moral law is to be met with suspicion. It is in these societies where each is entirely dependent on fulfilling the properly-formed wishes of others in order to ensure his own livelihood that civilization flourishes most prominently. In these societies the material order is a mere picture, a mere reminder of the properly ordered spiritual order.

We must contrast this with civilizations such as our own today, where legal norms tend to replace the dictates of the market. In this system abidance to legal requirements often serves as a cover to one's morally questionable and ulterior motives. Legality becomes the judge of morality. It is in these societies that we see civilization crumbling. Instead of trust building on properly formed consciences, we see ever more crafty legal contracts and consent documents that must be litigated because fundamentally society is dishonest and out only for personal gain. Eventually, the cost of litigation outweighs the benefits from the division of labor, trust dissolves entirely and society crumbles. But for our technology, we are not far away from this outcome.

There is a longer story here; one not often enough told, a true history of Western civilization. While Catholics often hail Constantine for marrying the state to the Church, we forget that the children of this marriage were the plurality of jurisdictions of the High Middle Ages. The centralized, modern nation-state of the Post-Westphalian order, that one which corresponds to the famous Weberian definition of a monopolist on the use of force in a given geographic area has divorced itself from the Church. It is that order which most threatens spirituality and material prosperity today. We must recognize again that as with any marriage, that of the Church to the state was for the sake of the children first. That natural inclination of Church and government is towards aiding properly ordered commerce and concomitant material progress. This enlivens the material world. What we see today is an all powerful state not bound by the constraints of a universal morality, which is itself increasingly a threat to all material progress ordered and disordered.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

What Is The Just Price?

This article is one in a series of reactions to reading "To Build the City of God" by Brian McCall - See Previous


This article is one in a series mentioning the links between the Austrian School of Economics and the Catholic Hapsburg monarchy - See Previous


That the Church should have a say on the justice of how economic transactions take place is indisputable. This is the starting point of St. Thomas Aquinas in venturing into the initial topics that would later develop into the discipline of economics. We see in these initial formulations certain notions of truth that have yet to be fully developed and reconciled within the developing constraints of a particular discipline of knowledge. It may be theologically true, an even a higher truth, to say that labor, per se, has a value to God and accordingly to the laborer, regardless of how his fellow man economically values that labor. This is well and good, and serves to edify man when those around him do not value his efforts in the infinite way in which God does. But, as both history and logic demonstrate, we cannot build the discipline of economics on any such labor theory of value. This was the starting point of Communism.

Although man’s economic endeavors should be among the lesser of his concerns, they cannot be devoid of corresponding truths, be they lesser as well. It is true, though a lesser truth than the infinite nature of God, that man lives in a world of finiteness, or as economists tend to say it, scarcity. As such, it is not labor, per se, that has value, but only certain types of labor, and in relation to other ways in which the same labor can be employed. We must admit logical rigor, these laws of economics, if we wish to make any material progress in this world. Even the Abbey or Seminary, in order to be built and maintained, must make the decision between saying another rosary or making repairs to an outer wall. And so we see that while the Church calls us to higher truths, She is not the enemy of material progress, but its rightful directress and governess.

As all government should She does not govern in a way that would hinder justice, but hastens it. Those who interpret the economic proscriptions of the Scholastics as concepts to be imposed from outside of the context of market transactions miss the very basis for the market in the first place. For it is only with the affirmation of private property that the Church provides accompanied with the basics of a moral order, such as ‘Thou shall not steal, ‘Thou shall not murder,’ ‘Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s belongings,’ and ‘Thou shall not give false testimony against thy neighbor’ that a market can develop in the first place.

As long as we are adhering to the parameters of morality as given to us by the authority of the Church, the transactions that make up the marketplace will adhere to justice. We will see this in just a moment. If we have attended to these basics, then to say that the market’s transactions still do not adhere to a ‘just price’ is to turn a fait accompli into a red herring that can only serve as a basis for abuse. This is the case because what is assumed in positioning any man, no matter his expertise or virtue, or committee of men, no matter how learned or wise, to make a determination above and beyond that which the market has already made attributes to that man (or group of men) qualities that only adhere in God. This leads us to idolatry of the very worst kind. All interventions in the marketplace, as Mises demonstrated, lead to socialism, a situation where the means of production are owned by the governing authority. This is either outright communism when done forthrightly or the kind of mockery of private property we see under the socialism of the West today. This full or partial dissolution of all private property is a materialism so rank that we see in a few of ourselves the ability to make good on what God says we can only gain by all of us submitting to His will. While we can hardly repeat it here, the economists have repeatedly demonstrated the only process which God has established for the determination of economic values which is able to sufficiently integrate all relevant information is the market. And as we have addressed, when it does so naturally within the bounds of a morality governed by the Church, we can be assured the justice of what has been done so far. We give this example:

Price fixing is itself devoid of justice. For voluntary exchange can, ipso facto, only take place when the “buying and selling seem to be established for the common advantage of both parties” as Aquinas says or satisfies “a double-coincidence of wants” as Mises puts it. In other words, both individuals transacting must have decided at the time the transaction is consummated that they are likely better off with what they are receiving, rather than retaining what they are giving up to receive it.

Given that this is true, a fixed price can only lead to one of the following scenarios:

1.       All of the transactions that would normally take place are allowed to do so anyway because the expert or other authority deciding on the price is lucky and chooses what would otherwise be the prevailing market price (and it can be only luck, for as the Spanish Cardinal Juan De Lugo says “Pretium justum mathematicum licet soli Deo notum.” - The figuring of a just price it is allowed only for God to know.)

2.       Some price other than the prevailing market price is chosen, and certain transactions that would otherwise take place no longer do so, either because the price is now too high for certain buyers that would transact under the market prevailing rate or conversely, too low for the seller in the same way. In this case, to reiterate, we see certain “buying and selling … established for the common advantage of both parties” is disallowed.

Thus, price fixing is at best unnecessary as it pertains to ensuring just transactions take place, and because it is unnecessary is, as a use of time and resources, itself an injustice.

Or price fixing in fact is detrimental to the justice of the situation in that certain transactions that are “established for the common advantage of both parties” are disallowed.

Our story does not end here, for the advance of economic thought did not cease in the 16th century. It was the founder of the Austrian School of Economics, Carl Menger, who would take the intellectual precision found in these principles to the next logical formulation, that of the determination of value at the margin. While the best of the Scholastics had begun to understand that the determination of  value was not intrinsic, the precise way in which this is not the case was first formulated by Menger, notably a tutor to Archduke Rudolf von Hapsburg. The center of gravity in the economic world was moving from the once great Catholic empire of Spain to another, that of Austria-Hungary.

It was Menger who finally resolved fully the diamond-water paradox. Why is water, serving an obviously greater intrinsic need to humanity, worth in the common estimation of the market so much less than diamonds, which are entirely superfluous at best? The truth is that for the purposes of human action the value of the latest available increment of a good is determined by the marginal use to which it can be put. That is to say, the supply of water is so great, that it not only fulfills the life sustaining role of satisfying thirst, but it can also be used to bathe, wash cars, water decorative plants, even fill decorative fountains or be used for swimming pools. On the other hand, diamonds are correspondingly fewer, and so the uses to which they can be put are demonstrably limited and so the marginal use has a higher value. Again, nothing is said about the intrinsic value of diamonds or water. We are talking, instead, about how these function in relation to serving human ends, and doing so, they are like all things, economically valued at the margin.

It is claimed that this discovery was a simultaneous occurrence between an English economist and two on the continent of which Carl Menger was one. William Stanley Jevons in Britain and Leon Walras in Switzerland continued in the utilitarian tradition of economics, wherein the marginal evaluation that takes place is one of marginal utility. Considerations of utility are notably absent from Menger’s analysis, where the marginal decision is merely made between different courses of action and not some imaginary notion of utility.

The concreteness that is characteristic of this burgeoning Austrian School, that of how man’s logic applies to specific circumstances at specific times, as opposed to theoretical models, mathematical formulations and statistical surveys that came to characterize the mainstay of economics, gave the Austrians the ability to demonstrate a priori the economic impossibility of both Communism, now historically apparent, and the Socialism that characterizes the West today. In the arguments which later come from Mises, student of Menger, we will hear the echo in what we have already said, about what another Austrian, F. A. Hayek, calls the “pretense of knowledge.” No man unto himself is sufficiently capable of metering out the least wasteful manner of production. Prices are a necessary prerequisite to the functioning of an advanced economy that arise as a compendium of the knowledge of all market participants as to the relative scarcity of various resources and relative effectiveness of various technologies of production. Without this spontaneous gathering of information, man’s wastefulness and idleness would necessarily increase. When the [human] Church can see clearly how Her higher truths are best served by these lower truths of economics, we will finally be on the path to unseating the economic materialists who hold sway today.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Democracy: The Con That Succeeded

Much is made of the interests of the supposed weakest in modern society. Public education, a certain governmentally mandated minimum standard of living, social insurance schemes, access to healthcare, public transportation and other social services are all scrupulously embraced to one extent or another by any and all political actors from the entire political spectrum.

This is embedded in our culture. Anyone with consummate skill in one area is expected to behave as completely unconcerned and listless in every other aspect of life as those with no ability at all. We work hard to censor consistent expressions of inequality. The inequalities themselves remain, if not aggravated all the more.

There are certain pre-approved avenues for display of inequality in our society, it is true. University degrees, a certain amount of wealth, or placement within the mainstream media apparatus - with the open lie that these too are open to "anyone," so long as they adopt the requisite attitudes - entitle the holder to a certain temporary suspending of the bias against expressive inequality, but as soon as the authoritative opinions are given it is back to the pretense as before.

One must ask themselves, what is hid behind this fundamental dishonesty that infects all of modern culture? Why pretend that inequalities do not exist, when without exception the entire swath of human history, if it proves nothing else, proves this?

And what more are we to make of this distortion, as we approach the apex of modern democracy, the very form of government that was supposed to work to undo such differences, that social inequality is actually aggravated?

The truth will not be found in maintaining and enforcing the lie that all can be equal. Even monetary differences, if done away with, can be accomplished only by creating a power differential among men so great as has never been seen in human history. This is, as economist Murray Rothbard put it, a revolt against nature. The danger is that with advances in technology, we may actually succeed in our revolt, undoing our very ability to perceive reality in the process.

Instead, we yearn for the days when inequality was more expressive and less implicit. It is true that the patriarchal, Catholic order on which Western Civilization was built strove to make the hierarchical nature of reality as visible as possible. The truth in this was that the paths to virtue, though arduous, were in actuality open to everyone, especially the poor, weak and socially disadvantaged. Sainthood is the very recognition that one's station in life mattered not at all, only the values lived out. These would be not openly crude, materialistic values, but virtues of a life of personal and spiritual excellence despite, and often because of, a lack of materialistic focus.

A reminder to humanity that all are called, but few are chosen is exactly the impetus needed to ensure as many succeed as possible. When it is possible, superficially, to see oneself on par with ones superiors as it is in the modern world, there is no reason for the spiritually nearsighted to better themselves. It is only in a world where such differences are made apparent that those who can only walk by sight will be directed to begin to use eyes of faith and virtue.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Why Bitcoin Is Actually Money

In his book The Mystery of Banking, Austrian economist Murray Rothbard reiterates the various qualities of money that determine which of the myriad of available commodities is most likely to become the common medium of exchange. These proper qualities of the commodity that the market will choose to use as money include that the commodity is already in widespread use, highly divisible while proportionally maintaining its value, easily portable having a high value per wight, and because value is always dependent on relative scarcity, its supply cannot be so easily increased, and durable over a lengthy period of time.

While some may hesitate in calling bitcoin money, we see that it easily can fulfill each of these market-demanded requirements. The particular type of commodity it represents already in widespread use is computing power. The innovative quality of the bitcoin, and its blockchain software, was to demarcate a specific type of computing power and also by this demarcation limit its otherwise abundant supply. Bitcoin is obviously highly divisible, maintains its value proportionally to its division, is easily portable and as recent price action indicates, is and can be highly valued. Bitcoin can be stored on various computer memory devices, and in this manner is highly portable. Perhaps durability remains to be proved at this point, at least relative to its main historical competition, gold, but there seems to be no apparent reason why bitcoin cannot outlast gold coinage or bullion.

Thus, we would conclude that bitcoin satisfies all the market requirements to be bona fide money.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Paying A Living Wage

This article is one in a series of reactions to reading "To Build the City of God" by Brian McCall - See Next, See Previous


It is a principle of advanced reasoning that certain truths will have to take precedence over other truths in a particular discipline. This does not invalidate the truth of either proposition; it is merely an obviously necessary part of living in a hierarchical universe. [For a lengthier explication of this issue, one may consult among others, "The Science Before Science" by Anthony Rizzi, pages 18-20 inclusive) The words of our Lord that appear to contradict each other if taken out of context [see note at bottom] only help us to recall our own limited nature, in that we do not understand with the mind of God, that is, we shall never be omniscient. It is also a reason, contrary to modernist “Christians," the superstructure of the Catholic Church is demonstrably the will of God, for every man left to his own devices or reading of scripture is bound to land himself in confusion.

More pointedly, while traditional Catholics who begin to take up the realm of economics may start with certain premises that are undeniably true (e.g., an employer ought to pay a living wage holding everything else constant) they are not necessarily equipped to handle the specific nuances of the complexity of economic action. One must be cognizant of the competing truth that, if an employer is bound by his conscious only to make job offers to men with families to support which entail paying a living wage, a truly valuable social phenomenon will be done away with. Men, with no employment experience, who will one day need to find a role that provides a living wage may find themselves thereby cut off from any paths to sufficient experience and skills to justify such employment. These very men may have families they cannot entirely provide for today. Shall we deny them any work at all? No, this is where the charity of the community is a more apt solution than demanding an employer abide by an unreasonable demand. Let us remember our humble condition. We cannot legislate or bind consciences as to demand we bring about an impossible utopia. Yes, employers may be bound by conscience to pay living wages to the extent they can and still run their business with a prevailing rate of profit. It is even better still that they forgo some of the profit rightfully due to them as an act of charity to aid his fellow man and pay a higher wage. But at some point, the business cannot support everyone. There will be roles that are only viable if not remunerated at the “living wage” rate. Is it unethical to offer such positions for hire? We answer in the negative, for reasons previously listed. And we think the conversation ought to be moderated still by a recognition of the materialist disorientation of modern man. Many of the dual income households today could make it on one income, if they would choose a smaller home, a more affordable part of town or fewer material possessions.

This contextual analysis is exceedingly important. A job offered to a man with a family to support at a wage truly below a living wage rate may in fact be something in parallel to a ‘near occasion of sin’ which we put ourselves in for the sake of achieving a greater good and can be necessary in certain circumstances. In both cases we accept a substandard state of affairs as a hopefully temporary attempt to solve a more important problem.

The logic here is cogent. Any profit driven enterprise, and by profit we merely mean to suggest an enterprise that creates more than it consumes, will reach a point where the marginal addition of one more employee at a living wage will cost more than the marginal amount of additional production. This is the law of marginality, which as we are about to demonstrate has nothing to do strictly speaking with monetary considerations, only judgments of relative value. [Note: We use the Austrian-Thomistic formulation not of marginal utility, but a value judgment that is made about a marginal course of action.] This law of marginal evaluation is patently true. We do not pray rosaries ad infinitum, even if we could and even if praying the rosary is an indisputably holy and necessary thing, because there are other necessary and holy things that sometime take precedence over praying yet another rosary. And we do not legislate the number of rosaries to be prayed, because it is more reasonable to let people be bound by their own conscience and the advice of their superiors.

We hope to make this article one in a series working towards a reconciliation the apparent divisions between libertarian oriented Catholics and their traditionalist counterparts having less familiarity with praxeological arguments. 

Finally, as before, we offer this article not as an authority, but in order to put an argument forward for inspection and correction by those who do have more knowledge than ourselves. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Just What Is Modern Paganism?

It has become almost cliché among traditional Catholics to point out the modern culture is increasingly ‘pagan.’ But this means so much more than just the obvious notion that religion no longer plays the leading role in the social sphere or most people don't believe in the literal truth of the gospels. The deeper truth is that the modern world, even with its best face put forward, and like the Greeks and Romans before it, literally worships idols. The three we will discuss are democracy, empirical science and statistics.

Neoconservative philosopher Francis Fukuyama is widely known for his assertion that we have reached the "End of History." The hyperbole is meant in earnest, as Fukuyama argues that modern liberal (and presumably scientific) democracy is the resting point, homeostasis as it were, for the social-political order. In fairness to him, his thesis was put forth during the height of Greenspan economics, when almost everyone thought the laws of economics had been sufficiently softened up by us mortals so that they wouldn't get in the way of unlimited prosperity. Our financial models said internet stocks would head in the general direction of infinity, and when reality interfered with that, we figured we just got the asset class wrong. It would be houses instead. The financial crisis of 2008, of course, finally reimposed a modicum of reality.

To Fukiyama's credit, his later book, Trust: The Social Virtues and The Creation of Prosperity, put forth a much more cogent case that social trust is a foundational norm of capitalism. Once lack of trust increases to a certain point, the potential gains to trade and specialization are offset by the costs of fraud, on the one hand, or litigation costs to prevent and prosecute such fraud, on the other. 

What is untenable is that, despite the failure of our economic and financial models, repeatedly, and on near cataclysmic scale, despite the mounting evidence that debt-based economics, made necessary by the lack of capitalistic virtue in the broader voting populace, is unsustainable, despite proof that science, while extremely good at describing in minute detail what is going on, has yet to explain why anything has the propensity to do what it does in the first place, most Americans for the most part still agree with Francis Fukuyama.

There is no need to go into lengthy justifications of the assertions of the foregoing paragraph. They already exist. Nassim Taleb, a mathematician's mathematician, has written an entire series of books explaining the limits to statistical financial methods and models. Limits that his fellow practitioners pretend do not exist or tend to gloss over. This pretense of knowledge is nothing new. The entire edifice of modern economics is founded upon it, as Nobel Prize winning economist F.A. Hayek pointed out. Even the Nobel Prize for Economics itself is more of a myth than a reality, since it is not actually one of the prizes established by the estate of Alfred Nobel.

That classical liberal economics, if we take the outrageous step of referring to what we have today as that, must be wed to democracy is also a long since discredited notion. The existence of Hong Kong, Singapore and Monaco ought to be sufficient proof, but the leading free-market philosopher of our day, Hans Hermann Hoppe, has explained that democracy is the god that failed and the the tendencies found in monarchy are more in accordance with economic law than democracy.

To decry scientific and technocratic democracy as just rationalism without faith doesn’t go to the depth of exactly what’s wrong here. Science does not deliver what it purports, and in fact it doesn't even make sense in absence of an absolute morality. Statistics will never deliver to us perfection, because the only model sufficiently detailed to take account of all of reality is the reality itself. And the minute you started trying to use the materials of reality to build a model on the same scale, you would be dismantling the very reality you are attempting to model.

What is needed desperately in the modern world is a sense of our own humility embedded within the beauty of our own material achievement. There is only one place this can be found.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Something Austrian This Way Comes

This article is the first in a series mentioning the links between the Austrian School of Economics and the Catholic Hapsburg monarchy - See Next


Tomorrow, October 29, is the feast of Christ the King. We hope to give our masonic enemies a little jab of a reminder that, despite their best efforts, they will never quell civilization.


The year is 1917. And while the Great War is raging in the middle of Europe, in Portugal three shepherd children encounter the Blessed Virgin Mary. She informs them this war will soon end. If man does not return to the Catholic faith, however, a worse war will follow in the years ahead. And worse still, the errors that are to overcome Russia will overtake the world.

Meanwhile, in Austria-Hungary Emperor Charles I, today known as Blessed Karl, is presiding over the very military in which Ludwig von Mises is serving as an officer. During the war, Blessed Karl will attempt an early peace and to block Lenin's return to Russia. The other powers refuse on both counts. After the war, Blessed Karl would be known for the hardships he endured as the democratic, Free-masonic countries of Western Europe dismember this last remaining Catholic monarchy. Karl is exiled to, of all places, Portugal.

Ludwig von Mises continued to make some progress in Austria, helping even to forestall the runaway inflation there that would fester in places like Germany in his capacity as economic advisor during the interwar period. But with the rise of the Nazis, he too must flee, first to Switzerland and later to New York.

While Mises is noted as a liberal, we should qualify him as such. His theories are not seen as threatening to the very conservative Catholic monarchy of Austria, who employs him throughout his time there. And the logical foundations of economics he explicates find their origins in the Thomistic natural law of the Spanish Scholastics, as Mises' true heir Murray Rothbard would point out. So interesting that this 'liberal' seems to find his home, both literally and figuratively, among the Catholics.

When we look at the broader Classical Liberal tradition, whose father is so often named as Adam Smith, we see a failure to root economics on such fundamentals. Utilitarianism, empiricism and even the labor theory of value, which was to serve as the basis for Marxism, took precedence in this British classical liberal tradition.

The Austrian tradition remained compatible with its Catholic roots. While Smith's labor theory of value gave rise to Communism, Mises would explain why economic calculation is impossible in the communist economy and gave us the logic to the USSR's inevitable collapse more than fifty years before it came to pass.

The present dean of the Austrian School, Hans Hermann Hoppe explains why democracy, the common form of government put in place following masonic depositions of the monarchy, is the god that failed, a system ultimately incompatible with economic flourishing. This is becoming increasingly clear in the post-2008 world. Hoppe explains why monarchy is a superior method of government from the perspective of economic law.

As we pointed out in Reverse Engineering History, the enemies of Catholic Civilization were quick to jump on the bandwagon of economic liberalism, but only of the British variety.

Instead, it is becoming clear that if we are to salvage the economic success of the Western world, and civilization itself, from the hands of corrupt centralization, it is the proscriptions of the Catholic born and bred Austrian school that we will need to embrace.

Our Lady, of course, was right. The British variety, central-bank based, state-monopoly capitalism, in its most lethal form, Marxism itself, has conquered the world in large measure due to that first schismatic nation. She has requested Russia be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart to reverse the economic and other spiritual effects of this dire situation. Can we not conclude that the world will look much more Austrian once this is accomplished?

Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito.

...and to be able to recognize evil, so you can proceed ever more boldly against it, you should order Mises' highly underrated Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Reverse Engineering History

We have spoken about the real conflict that underlies most significant events in Western history. We'd like to add a conceptual paradigm to help elucidate this conflict.

We can understand that there are both things that are, and things that purport to be. Sometimes these coincide; sometimes they do not.

Our contention is that in Western history we have an original/counterfeit paradigm. To add a little confusion, the original is not immediately aware of the nature of its success. That's what makes it authentically the original. The counterfeit is extensively aware of the nature of the original's success, its own desire to present itself in place of the original, and its own ulterior desire to unmake this success once it feels sufficiently ascendant.

"...Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you."

Capitalism and the concomitant standard of living to which we are now accustomed arose in the West. This is not coincidence. We will proceed on this premise that has been explicated elsewhere. It arose in the Catholic West, first in the Italian city-states. A number of concomitant circumstances contributed to this development. Among these were a sense of universal right and wrong, originating in the Church, upon which the standards that became the rule of law could be based, sufficient cultural commonality to allow merchants to build relationships and move capital on a sufficient scale, also aided by the Church, and the peculiar decentralization of political power in the High Middle Ages that enabled competition in the provision of such things as the rule of law. This last factor is most crucial, as capitalism did not arise in the monolithic empires of the East, which until that time attained a similar level of development.

Thus it was in a certain sense without knowing why that capitalism first emerged. It did not take long for the enemies of this civilization to take notice, especially the enemies embedded in the culture itself. The capitalism that was cradled in the natural law of the Church quickly became pursued for its own sake. Thus, we see the rise of the mercantilism, the lopsided Protestant work ethic, and a certain state-centralized promotion of market activity for its own sake, eschewing what was until then a more organic process. The case of Britain is perhaps most symptomatic as demonstrated by such measures as the Enclosure Acts, the chartering of companies with government-privileged monopolies, and the establishment of a central bank.

Fully embedded in this uprooted capitalism, which became ever more wedded to centralized institutions rather than its decentralized origins, were both false philosophical notions and political pretensions. The English economists, such as Smith, so often credited with the fundamental explication of "the invisible hand" of laissez-faire capitalism, founded their theories on a labor theory of value, the logical consequences of which were only later fully elucidated in Marxism. Concurrent with the rise of the modern philosophies that eschewed earlier Thomistic truths, the Masonic sects made clear their goal in the American and French revolutions to separate the public sphere from any absolute notions of truth, especially those founded on the Universal Church.

This naturalism, as it is sometimes called, which displaced the universal Thomistic truths, while quick to wed itself to the promotion of economic liberalism (capitalism for its own sake) did so only for reasons of expediency. Capitalism, then, separated from its siblings of universal morality and decentralized politics metastasized slowly into a materialistic arm of the state, able to create a material prosperity so coldly embraced it would eventually undermine the moral foundations of capitalism and as we see now, even civilization itself. The goal the naturalists had in mind was nothing less than in religion, relativism; in politics, chaos; in economics, non-ownership.

Just how deceivingly well this was accomplished remains hazy to many. While it is increasingly known that it was the very cartelized bankers of New York and London, naturalists all, that financed both the Communist Revolution in the East and their sister democratic socialist parties in the West (not different than Geroge Soros today), our historical narrative is still dominated by conceptions of a Capitalist West vs. the Communist East. The East though was merely a tool, disbanded as soon as the designs of the Western banking elites were consummated. The economic centralization in the West was completed, first through piecemeal implementation of eight of the ten planks of the Communist Manifesto adopted by the democratic socialist parties over many decades of electoral campaigns and later by the capitulation of even the 'conservatives' in the West, with the ramp up of deficit spending (e.g., under Reagan). This delivered to the bankers a materialistic system of production we still refer to as 'capitalism' today, in which both the means of production and the ability to purchase the economic goods it produces are nearly fully centralized in the hands of the bankers. By debt and government regulation, they control nearly all the means of production, and by the elimination of capitalistic values, they have convinced the populace to finance their lifestyles also by debt instead of thrift. Surely not satisfied with the small amount of true, residual capitalism that remains, the final goal is a technocratic state in which all is regulated and the only freedom left is materialistic consumption.

Thus, we see that the "capitalism" we have today is nothing of the sort, only a historical memory that masks the truth that the rule of law and private ownership/control have long passed away in a fit of modern materialistic hedonism. True private ownership of the means of production and the capitalist values of hard work, good-faith and thrift will only re-emerge fully invigorated once the philosophical mistakes of naturalism are uncovered and the true origins of capitalism recovered.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Myth of Conservatism

Let us be perfectly honest with ourselves. Conservatism does not exist, neither are there any conservatives. Those true adherents to the values conservatism once embodied have long since left to more rigorous locals, such as libertarianism or radical traditionalism, leaving nothing but a "blank check company," in the parlance of modern finance, that can be cashed against the portion of the voting populace whose moral compass tends in the right direction, but who do not exactly check their surroundings to see if their compass might be off or broken.

In the United States, we have seen the following series of liberal adjustments to society transpire. Only propertied men can vote > All men can vote > Men and women can vote > Yet, only men serve in the front-line military > Men and women serve in the front-line military > Men and women and the homosexuals among them who don't admit to it can serve in the military > Men and women and homosexuals can serve in the military openly > Men, women, homosexuals can serve in the military but not men/women who physically alter themselves to appear more like the other sex.

Each one of these positions has once been the lock-step "conservative" position, yet the starting principle is not compatible with where we are today. A social order based on ownership rights to personal achievement (capitalism), traditional morality and decentralization has long since passed. We are living in the aftermath of the aftermath. Eight of the ten planks of the Communist Manifesto are public policy. Decentralization consists of letting the states administer federally instituted programs through block grants of funds from federal income tax. Conservatism no longer exists. This is the liberals' paradise.

The progression above is just an example, so if it isn't written to fit your liking similar progressions are legion. And the more salient point is this: Don't think we're at the end of the progression! If conservatives had been disabused of this illusion at the first impasse, it's unlikely our enemies would have progressed to today. If even "conservatives" realize one thing, it should be that there is no limit to the lengths to which our opponents will go to distort reality to fit their goals and impose that image on us. Our point is the most effective way to combat this mentally is wholesale rejection, even if we rely on incrementalism as a political afterthought to take potshots in the meantime. Make no doubt this is what the liberals are doing! We must never lose touch with the universality of the values we embrace, even if we are not absolutists by heart.

Seemingly the only explanation for holding on to any sense of effective, institutional conservatism has become as a holding tank for the less-than-radical liberal. "Conservatism" is where the lesser liberals go when their "rationality" or "conscience" finally catches up with them. They are allowed a watered-down version of the current liberal social order, a successful presidential candidate now and then, even control over Congress and various public agencies. But if they were to ever shake off their daze and take a cold, hard look in the conservative mirror (as above), and get with it, they would suddenly find their access to these levers of power shut off. And not by the liberals, but by the other "conservatives" themselves!

When we approach our current social arrangement with a 'hermeneutic of continuity,' the idea that current liberal innovations ought to be interpreted as in keeping with a more conservative past, we lose any power that true conservatism holds. We will not find ourselves out of this mess by availing ourselves of the politically viable walk-backs the broader liberal culture allows for us. This article is a wake-up call. Your conservatism has passed the expiration date. And it's not clear it will be back in stock any time soon.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Free Catalonia - Which Way Sovereignty?

Much is currently being written in the blogosphere concerning the incipient secession movement in Catalonia. Our own feelings in support of such secession movements should come as a surprise to no one. What we would like to point out is exactly where secession stands within the greater context of Western history.

This is what "Spain" looked like at the height of the Middle Ages. Typical historians paint this as a grim period of superstition and theocratic, Catholic authoritarianism. Yet, as revisionists get their hands on this cartoonish version of history, we are realizing that it was precisely in this time and place that many of the modern institutions of self-determination necessarily first arose. While the collection of kingdoms, Catalonia among them, that made up medieval "Spain" were engaged in ending the Islamic oppression of the south by driving the Moors back into Africa, the Italian City-States were becoming the first great centers of Capitalism, true private ownership, and entrepreneurialism, inventing for the first time double-entry bookkeeping so essential to high finance. Switzerland, today among the foremost models of economic stability and sophistication, was being cobbled together as a collection of polyglot jurisdictions that escaped the orbit of their more powerful neighbors, largely due to a slew of technicalities that could follow only from the multi-tiered structure that was Medieval sovereignty.

Indeed, it was a fractured political order, but a unified philosophy of Catholic truth that gave rise to science, capitalism and rule of law. For all those claims about Catholic authoritarianism, history sure does demonstrate the opposite. Spain itself became home to some of the most eminent of the Thomistic scholars, the intellectual masters of the time (and all time, if the modern world would learn some humility). So much so, Murray Rothbard in his book An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought traces the roots of the Austrian School of Economics to the Spanish Scholastics.

In fact, it was only with the rise of the so-called "nationalist" movements and their pretenses towards democracy that we see the authoritarian tendency in Europe first come into full-bloom. Notice that while the nation-states we have today, such as Spain and Italy, are certainly centralized states, they hardly constitute single nations. Catalonia's separate culture and language is but one of a multitude of examples of a true national identity being smothered under the artifice of the modern "nation"-state.

The truth of history is much harder for the anti-Catholic to accept. As the power of the Church languished, we see the inevitable rise of truly centralized political authoritarianism in place of God during the French Revolution, Nazism, Communism, and the present EU-style pan-political Europeanism, each, as is all too often the case, promulgated under the guise of democracy or rule of the people.

We must do better to remember the true origin of the social institutions which give rise to our freedom and wealth. This is the treasure trove of Western civilization.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Science Presupposes Divinity

It is non-trivial that the Catholic West gave birth to modern science. Even a casual glance over history proves this to be true on the face of it, but quite simply, without an ordering force, how can there be any order? Why suppose that an experiment holding all things constant should yield self-same results for all times and places? This requires an abiding, non-arbitrary nature to the universe, something few cultures would ever be able to concretize. In fact, it is only with the advent of Thomistic philosophy that we see for the first time a sense that the rational maps perfectly with the supernatural. That is to say, with Thomism we have a sense that the ultimate source of being is entirely congruent with man's ability to logically represent it. Just to be clear this means that with enough conscientiousness man is able to perceive the ordering principle at particular times and places. This does not imply omniscience on man's part, only ability to perceive substantial parts of a reality which is indubitably true.

This ability to pierce the veil analytically, so to speak, to understand that certain ordering principles hold true throughout a reality that otherwise constantly gives the appearance of change is fruitful, at first. Economically and scientifically it leads us to a dominion over the created world that few of earlier centuries could've conceived even after God's command to "fill the earth, and subdue it." The entire system of economic calculation and its accompanying rise in economic standards of living since the Industrial Revolution would not be possible otherwise.

Man can continue to recognize this gift of science for what it is, return to his Catholic roots and bring his relatively new found economic progress into proper submission to its very origin, God, as outlined above.

However, the path man has chosen instead is to forget God and see science as a tool of his own creation. God will not immediately interfere with our mistake, however we will also suffer the consequences. We can see, again as above, man's ability to perceive the inner workings of reality as a necessary component of our effort to grow in knowledge and love of the divine truth, which is fixed and prior to our own existence. But if we fail to see this necessary anteriority of divinity, then we may purposely use our ability to manipulate the material world around us to destroy the very congruence of man's logical perception with ultimate reality. It seems we are living on a one-way street. If man goes so far to use his ability to manipulate the material realm that he makes changes to his own physical makeup, he runs the risk of literally loosing the pre-created congruence between his mind and the governing forces of the universe. Man could loose his humanity, his rationality, and once lost, could never regain it. This of course is an extreme, but feasible scenario, and we should use it as an instructive to discern already the changes in man's methods of living that are stifling of his higher capacities.

Science, then, has absolute limits. Else, it will destroy itself. Man that learns to manipulate his own makeup to such an extent that he destroys the aspect of his mind that is in congruence with wider reality will render science incomprehensible and sentence man to a future truly inhumane.

Science, to remain science, must be subject to the divine.