Capitalism: Belloc

The Faith and Industrial Capitalism

“Industrial Capitalism is a manifest evil. It cries out against our sense of justice, its products offend our sense of beauty, the society based on it is not only vile but increasingly unstable. It came into existence through Calvinism, which was the vital principle informing all the revolt against the Faith at the origin of modern times. Yet there is no specific principle in Industrial Capitalism which can be doctrinally condemned. No Catholic can deny the rights of property, or of free contract. No Catholic can join the efforts made to be rid of the evils of Industrial Capitalism by way of civil war or tyranny. Least of all can any Catholic have anything to do with the inhuman system called “Communism.” The remedy for the evils of Industrial Capitalism will not be found in any Socialistic action or theory developed under the very same false philosophy as produced Industrial Capitalism. We know that the remedy would be worse than the disease. The disease will never be remedied until the mind of society has been changed by conversion to the Faith.

If there is one mark more striking than another about the Catholic Church, it is its intellectual freedom.

The moment a Catholic goes outside and lives with people not under the influence of the Church he finds himself in an atmosphere of intellectual convention which to a man of Catholic habit is stifling. Perhaps I ought to call it “intellectual faith” rather than “intellectual convention,” for the simplicity and tenacity with which intellectual doctrines are taken for granted outside the Catholic Church much more resembles the simpler and more childlike forms of faith than a social convention.

People outside the Catholic atmosphere seem to take as a matter of course the intellectual fashion of their time; and never, within my experience, at least, go to first principles and ask themselves why they accept that fashion. One comes across this tiresome petrifying of the intellect in all directions. In the acceptance of majorities, for example; in the swallowing whole of official history; in the blind acquiescence in the right of the State to take control of education; in the bland repetition of newspaper science and newspaper politics. An excellent instance is the attitude towards miracles. Mention an historical miracle, and the man unfamiliar with Catholic truth denies it at once: without consideration of the evidence. But when you are discussing with Catholics an historical event in which the marvelous may have entered you get free discussion, one man saying he believes in the miracle and giving his reasons, another saying he does not and giving his reasons; while for the most part those who take one side or the other at least imply their first principles and often state them.

It is all part of the process which others than Catholics are beginning to realize, that, outside the Faith, men are abandoning reason.

Now one of the consequences of this intellectual freedom produced in the mind by the influence of the Faith is that Catholics may and do hold an infinity of positions upon matters where the general trend of Catholicism is manifest, but where there has been as yet no theological definition, or where in the nature of things there can be none.

The most important of these in temporal matters today is the attitude of the Catholic towards Industrial Capitalism.

There is and can be no doctrinal decision either for or against the morality of Industrial Capitalism. On the other hand, no one will doubt that Catholicism is in spirit opposed to Industrial Capitalism; the Faith would never have produced Huddersfield or Pittsburg. It is demonstrable that historically, Industrial Capitalism arose out of the denial of Catholic morals at the Reformation. It has been very well said by one of the principal enemies of the Church, and said boastfully, that Industrial Capitalism is the “robust child” of the Reformation and that the vitality of the effect proves the enduring strength of the cause.

It is equally clear that the more Catholic a country is, the less easily does it accommodate itself to the social arrangement of a proletariat subjected to millionaire monopolists.

Yet not only is there no doctrine which can be quoted to contradict anyone of the necessary parts of Industrial Capitalism, but there are a sufficient number of excellent Catholics who will actively defend it.

No one can say that it stands condemned specifically by Catholic definition, for what is there in Catholic morals to prevent my owning a machine and stores of livelihood? What is there to prevent my offering these stores of livelihood to destitute men on condition they work my machine, and what is there in Catholic morals to forbid my taking a profit upon what they produce, receiving from such production more than I layout in the sustenance of the laborers? And as for individual Catholics supporting Industrial Capitalism, nine well-to-do Catholics out of ten do so in practice by the way they live and by the way they make their investments, while at least one wealthy Catholic out of ten [I should guess a much larger proportion] is ready to defend Industrial Capitalism and even to grow eloquent about it, rightly contrasting it with the evils of anarchy or insufficient production, or the menacing tyranny of Communism.

What is even more significant—–when, in a nation of Catholic culture such as France or Italy, Industrial Capitalism takes root, then the fiercest revolt against it on the part of the poor does not spring from the more Catholic workmen, but from the less Catholic. The masses of a Catholic proletariat—–where such masses exist—–are upon the whole docile to Industrial Capitalism. They are not in such active revolt against it as their anti-Catholic fellows. Upon the Continent they actually form Trade Unions proud to call themselves Catholic and specially distinguished by their refusal to admit class conflict between employer and employee. Moreover, take the modern world at large and you will see that on whatever portions of a Catholic country Industrial Capitalism has laid its hands, the capitalist class and the system which it maintains defends the Catholic Church as a bulwark of its power, and conversely that in those places [Barcelona, for instance] the Catholic Church is particularly attacked by those who wish to destroy Industrial Capitalism.

So far, so good. We all admit that in theory there is no precise logical definable conflict between Industrial Capitalism and the Church. In practice we all tolerate, and many of us praise, Industrial Capitalism in its effects, while none of us can join its modern organized enemies, because its modern organized enemies proclaim a doctrine—–to wit, the immorality of private property—–which is in direct contradiction to Catholic morals.

Now look at the other side of the picture. Not only is Industrial Capitalism as a point of historical fact the product of that spirit which destroyed the Faith in men’s hearts and eradicated it from society—–where they could—–by the most abominable persecutions; but, also in point of historical fact, Industrial Capitalism has arisen late in societies of Catholic culture, has not flourished therein, and, what is more, in proportion as the nation is affected by Catholicism, in that proportion did it come tardily to accept the inroads of Industrial Capitalism and in that proportion does it still ill agree with Industrial Capitalism. That is why the more Catholic districts of Europe have in the past been called “backward”; and that is why there is a fiercer class war in the industrial plague spots of Catholic Europe than in the great towns of Protestant Europe.

In France, one of the main reasons why the anti-Catholic minority, especially the anti-Catholic of the Huguenot type, plays so great a part in the economic control of the country is that he has been the pioneer in introducing the mechanics of Industrial Capitalism. In Spain, Industrial Capitalism halts and occasions fierce revolts. It came very late to Italy; it has taken no strong root in Catholic Ireland; its triumphs have been everywhere the triumphs of the Protestant culture—–in Prussianized Germany, in Great Britain, in the United States of America. The Calvinist has fitted in with it admirably and has indeed actively fostered it.

If we go behind the external phenomena and look at the workings of the mind we find the disagreement between Catholicism and Industrial Capitalism vivid and permanent. There is something irreconcilable between the one and the other. There is the point of Usury, which I have dealt with elsewhere, there is the all-important point of the Just Price, there is the point of the “Panis Humanus”—–man’s daily bread, the right possessed by the human being according to Catholic doctrine to live, and to live decently. There is the whole scheme of Catholic morals in the matter of justice, and particularly of justice in negotiation. There is even, if you will consider the matter with an active intelligence, underlying the whole affair the great doctrine of Free Will. For out of the doctrine of Free Will grows the practice of diversity, which is the deadly enemy of mechanical standardization, wherein Industrial Capitalism finds its best opportunity; and out of the doctrine of Free Will grows the revolt of the human spirit against restraint of will by that which has no moral authority to restrain it; and what moral authority has mere money? Why should I reverence or obey the man who happens to be richer than I am?

And, with that word “authority,” one many bring in that other point, the Catholic doctrine of authority. For under Industrial Capitalism the command of men does not depend upon some overt political arrangement, as it did in the feudal times of Catholicism or in the older Imperial times of Catholicism, as it does now in the peasant conditions of Catholicism, but simply upon the ridiculous, bastard, and illegitimate power of mere wealth. For under Industrial Capitalism the power which controls men is the power of arbitrarily depriving them of their livelihood because you have control, through your wealth, of the means of livelihood and they have it not. Under Industrial Capitalism the proletarian tenant can be deprived of the roof over his head at the caprice or for the purely avaricious motives of a so-called master who is not morally a master at all; who is neither a prince, nor a lord, nor a father, nor anything but a credit in the books of his fellow capitalists, the banking monopolists. In no permanent organized Catholic state of society have you ever had citizens thus at the mercy of mere possessors.

Everything about Industrial Capitalism—–its ineptitude, its vulgarity, its crying injustice, its dirt, its proclaimed indifference to morals [making the end of man an accumulation of wealth, and of labor itself an inhuman repetition without interest and without savor] is at war with the Catholic spirit.

What, then, are we to make of all this? Here is a conflict of spirits irreconcilable by their very nature. But we cannot engage in this conflict as it is now fought; we cannot take up the weapons ready to hand against Industrial Capitalism, because the weapons against Industrial Capitalism have been forged by men whose minds were of exactly the same heretical or anti-Catholic sort as those who framed Industrial Capitalism itself. What is called vaguely “Socialism,” of which the only logical and complete form worthy of notice in practice is Communism, directly contradicts Catholic morals and is at definable and particular issue with them in a more immediate way than is capitalism.

Communism involves a direct and open denial of free will; and that it has immediate fruits violently in opposition to the fruits of Catholicism there can be no doubt. To put it more plainly, a Catholic supporting Communism is committing a mortal sin.

Further, to promote conflict between citizens, to engage in a class war with the destruction of capitalism as the main end is also directly in contradiction with Catholic morals. We may make war in defense of the Faith; we may make war against a direct denial of definable justice in a particular instance; but we may not say to the poor: “You have a right to fight the rich merely because they are rich and in order to make yourselves less poor.” We may say: “You have a right to fight to prevent the conditions of your life becoming inhuman,” but we may not say, “You have a right to fight merely because you desire to have more and your opponent to have less.” It has been wittily and truly said that there has been only one Christian Socialist in history, and that even he did not try to be Christian and Socialist at the same time—–the said individual being the penitent thief. He had the good fortune to be, while he was yet alive, promised Paradise by God Himself—–but that was only after he had given up his Socialism. A very striking piece of recantation. 1

Nevertheless, Catholics are forever in our time—–or at least the more intelligent of them—–seeking a way out. They are like men who find themselves in prison, who are forbidden by their very nature to break through the walls of that prison, but who grope for an exit of some kind, who are sure that somewhere they can find a door. Over and over again through the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries there have been Catholic efforts of this kind to escape from the injustice and degradations of Industrial Capitalism. Hitherto they have led to nothing.

One of the most remarkable was that propounded in some detail by Mr. Arthur Hungerford Pollen in a paper he read to the Wiseman society a few years ago. He put forth a detailed scheme which, as it is his and not mine, I will not here recapitulate, but of which the gist was the recognition of two things necessary to the reformation of our industrial society: (1) the sharing of the profits by the worker, and (2) the achievement of security by him; the stabilization of his economic position under such profit sharing. And the same authority has put forward privately in my hearing a very interesting form of this scheme under a particular name—–“The Carpenter’s Shop.” All those who are making such attempts naturally rally round the “Rerum Novarum” of the great Pope Leo XIII, a document of great force to which our posterity will return and which was itself the product of the most eminent of Catholic minds and the chief authority of the Church approaching the problem.

In my judgment [and as this book is no more than a book of personal essays, I may be excused for putting forth a personal judgment], the essential of the effort must lie in our recognition of the true order of cause and effect. If we are to attack Industrial Capitalism we must do so because we are keeping in mind very clearly and continually the truth that religion is the formative element in any human society. Just as Industrial Capitalism came out of the Protestant ethic, so the remedy for it must come out of the Catholic ethic. In other words, we must make the world Catholic before we can correct it from the evils into which the denial of Catholicism has thrown it.

Consider what happened to the institution of slavery. The Church, when it began on earth its militant career, found slavery in possession. The antique world was a servile state; the civilized man of the Graeco-Roman civilization based his society upon slavery; so did [this must always be insisted upon because our textbooks always forget it] the barbarian world outside.

There were plenty of revolts against that state of affairs; there was to our knowledge one huge servile war, and there was protest of every kind by the philosophers and by individuals. But they had no success. Success in this field, though it came very slowly, was due to the conversion of the Roman Empire to Catholicism. [emphasis added]

The Church did not denounce slavery, it accepted that institution. Slaves were told to obey their masters. It was one of their social duties, as it was the duty of the master to observe Christian charity towards his slave. It was part of good works [but of a rather heroic kind] to give freedom in bulk to one’s slaves. But it was not an obligation. Slavery only disappeared after a process of centuries, and it only disappeared through the gradual working of the Catholic doctrine upon the European mind and through the incompatibility of that doctrine with such treatment of one’s fellow men as was necessary if the discipline of servitude were to remain efficient. The slave of Pagan times was slowly transformed into the free peasant, but he was not declared free by any definite doctrine of the Church, nor at anyone stage in the process would it have entered into the Catholic mind of the day to have said that slavery was in itself immoral. The freedom of the peasant developed as the beauty of external art developed in its Christian form, through the indirect working of the Catholic ethic.

In the absence, the gradual decline [where it is declining] of the Catholic ethic, slavery is coming back. Anyone with eyes to see can watch it coming back slowly but certainly—–like a tide. Slowly but certainly the proletarian, by every political reform which secures his well-being under new rules of insurance, of State control in education, of State medicine and the rest, is developing into the slave, leaving the rich man apart and free. All industrial civilization is clearly moving towards the re-establishment of the Servile State, a matter I have discussed at greater length under the title of “the New Paganism.” 2

To produce the opposite of the Servile State out of the modern inhuman economic arrangement, the Church, acting as a solvent, is the necessary and the only force available. The conversion of society cannot be a rapid process, and therefore not a revolutionary one. It is therefore also, for the moment, an unsatisfactory process. But it is the right process. There is a very neat phrase which expresses the whole affair, “in better words than any poor words of mine,” as the parson said in the story. These words are to be found in the vernacular translation of the New Testament. They are familiar to many of us. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and its justice and all the rest shall be added unto you.”

Begin by swinging society round into the Catholic course, and you will transmute Industrial Capitalism into something other, wherein free men can live, and a reasonable measure of joy will return to the unhappy race of men.

But you must begin at the beginning.

1. Here I must repeat in another form what I said about Political labels in a former essay. I can conceive no sort of notion why an English Catholic should not vote, if he is fool enough to take that useless trouble, for a professional politician calling himself Socialist or Communist or Anarchist, as well as for one calling himself Unionist or Liberal. It can make no practical difference, and we all know very well that these terms as used in the puppet show. at Westminster no longer represent realities.
2. Also in my book: The Servile State.”

From ESSAYS OF A CATHOLIC, TAN Books, 1931.

Posted in Catholic, Economics, History, Truth, Usury | Leave a comment

The Revival of Latin – re-posted

I wonder how far I shall carry any opinion with me when I plead for active effort to revive the general use of Latin?

Thus begins Belloc’s essay on The Revival of Latin

belloc

One of the things I really like about the home schooling movement is that it is – I think – something of an antidote to the bad aspects of modern, compulsory schooling.

In matters which are not directly related to Catholic doctrine on Faith and Morals, I am happy to hold my opinions quite lightly. I can be persuaded to other points of view, so I am not dogmatic about home schooling. I like it for our family, although we have had some of our children in school, some years, and I have never said or believed that parents who send their children to school are wrong to do so. I also think that those who say home schooling is bad or defective etc. are overstating their case and their reasoning is not good enough to sway me to their opinion. I do have a bias against schools in general, although in that wonderful inconsistent way of human beings, I rather enjoyed my own school and still have a strong affection for it.

But I am firmly convinced, because it relates to the doctrine of the Church on parental rights and duties, that one of the bad aspects of modern, compulsory schooling is that it undermines these parental rights and duties, by more or less saying that children shall be brought up according to whatever whims the State has today, rather than operating in loco parentis – that is, as being representative of the parents and how they wish their own children to be brought up. My heroes, Chesterton and Belloc both had quite a bit to say about this. A considerable body of home schoolers – regardless of their religion, ideology etc is a strong antidote to this terrible tendency, if only by being a strong counter-example. It tends to restore legitimate (dare I say it?) diversity.

(Now there is a word which sticks in my throat, it having come to mean nothing more than giving full voice, with no opposition, to sexual perverts aka “progressives”).

Incidentally, I think my own school acted very much in loco parentis, which is probably why I have fond memories of it.

Recently, I was inspired, once again to consider teaching our children Latin. I have made small attempts before, but it is hampered by the fact that I will have to learn it with them. It can be done, but not easily. Now, however, might be a good time to once again make the attempt. But why on earth do so?

[Latin] enshrined half the greatest of our literature, nearly all our traditions, all our religion—yet no one has a word to say for it now as an international medium!

Latin1 Rome1

There it is in a nutshell. Many home schoolers, even if they cannot ever quite bring it off, have a strong intuition that learning Latin is sign of a good education. And I think it is. I must admit that I don’t know what Belloc is referring to when he says that Latin enshrined “nearly all our traditions” and I’d be happy if someone could enlighten me. But I agree wholeheartedly with the other two items (half our greatest literature; and all our Catholic religion) and they are reason enough.

Interestingly, a number of committed Catholics – true disciples – take on the study of Latin for themselves. They too feel this intuition. Even more interesting are the number of protestants who also want to learn Latin and/or teach it to their children. If they are not interested in the Catholic Faith, they are interested in having or passing on a good education and want at least to connect themselves with Roman antiquity: “half the greatest of our literature.”

What are some of the obstacles?

There has further grown up in connection with the use of Latin an idea — false, but also natural — that there was something specially difficult about that tongue. On the contrary, it is the easiest of all foreign languages to learn because it is the most clear and logical, and because so many of our words in all languages are connected with it.

I’m quite sure this is true. From what I have been able to learn so far, it seems no more difficult than learning Ancient Greek, which I spent one and a half years doing, in my university days. I doubt it is any more difficult than learning French, Italian or any other European language. The study of a foreign language always requires steady and serious effort, so there is no reason to single out Latin as especially difficult. I don’t doubt that many students dislike having to learn certain things, and so perhaps it is not worth teaching them anything! It might be good not to bother teaching them some things:

Of all subjects which our modern and dangerous machine for compulsory instruction insists upon putting into the young, Latin is the one of which they talk least and the one of which they wish to know least. [I won’t say] that Latin is more necessary to the plain man than reading the vernacular, and I think it is not more necessary than to be able to keep very simple accounts. But it is a great deal more necessary than unproved theories on health, or than “nature study,” or than the already false and warped national history that is put before the young, officially, in the official schools. It is even more necessary than elementary geography, and its general use would make all the difference in the relations between men of different countries.

!!!

Although, here is an interesting development.

All primary schools will be expected to teach foreign languages to pupils from 2014 as part of a major drive to boost education standards, it emerged.

At least one subject from a seven-strong shortlist – French, German, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin, Latin and ancient Greek – will be offered to seven- to 11-year-olds.

Belloc’s essay was suggesting that the widespread teaching of Latin would be part of the effort to stop our civilisation’s decay. I think we’re way past that now. The decay did not stop – it continues at a great rate of knots. But a true disciple of Jesus will always evangelise and so today’s Catholics will continue to try to make new disciples and if we succeed at all, it will bring with it a new culture and as I see it, that culture will include Latin. I think it just goes with the territory.

Paternoster

 

Latin is not more important than the Kerygma – the initial proclamation of the Good News of Jesus. Nor is it more important than catechesis – the teaching of the doctrines of the Faith. But it is there and I think it will gain momentum. Belloc, again:

If the practising Catholic body in any country, even in one where Catholics are few, were known to be generally conversant with elementary Latin it would leaven the rest.

Starwars1

“Luke, I am your father.” “No!!!”

I’m not saying that if our children do not learn Latin, they will have missed out terribly on a good education. I am only making the case that we would do well to consider handing this on to our children, if we can.

Finally and a bit beside the point, he also talks about French:

There was a moment when it looked as though French would take the place of Latin, at any rate with cultivated people; but the growth of an exasperated nationalism, the vast expansion of the New World, and the victories of Prussia during the nineteenth century wars have made that impossible. It would have been better than the chaos in which we now live, but a poor substitute for Latin save in this, that French is a living language.

It is, by the way, just as well for the French that the thing did not happen, because nothing is worse for a local language, or for the nation that speaks it, than to be internationalised. We are already seeing the pathetic effects of this on our own nation and speech, the decay of English, its rapid vulgarization and weakening, are due to its sprawling undisciplined over such incongruous lands.

As a Tasmanian in Texas, all I can say is: Well!

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Usury & money: my head is about ready to explode!

So today I was wanting to understand about the current US economy and decided to listen to Ann Barnhardt’s videos. Now money is a token which represents something else. Belloc said capital is simply a man’s labour in another form, which makes sense, and Ann says something similar: “Money is a fungible proxy for man’s ability to reason, labour, create and produce.” We could state that “as a thing which represents man’s labour etc, which can be used in exchanges.”

She points out that if we assume an average hourly wage of $20/hour, then the US economy (GDP), currently at $17.95 Trillion Per Annum, can be expressed as 897.5 Billion man hours Per Annum. I agree that this is a better way to think of the GDP, because it is more human.

Here she points out why the gold standard will not solve current economic problems and it’s well worth watching:

From about 3:10, she explains why charging *reasonable* interest is morally required, which is in opposition to St Thomas Aquinas, which I am trying to understand.

Zippy Catholic has a list of FAQs about usury here:

https://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/usury-faq-or-money-on-the-pill/#more-3697

The place I used to turn to, for understanding the moral aspects of economics, and for an understanding of usury, was Belloc’s essay “Economics for Helen,” which now no longer seems to be online, unfortunately, although you can buy it in book form. In this essay, Belloc called usury, “the charging of interest on an *unproductive* loan,” meaning a loan for anything other than a business or investing venture.

At any rate, sorting through these various contradictions is hurting my brain, but I still think it’s important to understand. At the very least, our borrowings should be minimal, and probably only for a mortgage.

The big problem, regardless of what we plebs do, is that the banks lend money that is unsecured. Just waiting now, for the inevitable collapse…

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In a time of universal deceit

finding the truth is nigh on impossible.

Incidentally, according to this website, Orwell did not say
“In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

See what I mean? To find out if he ever said it, I would have to read all his books, articles, letters etc, unless someone else has found it somewhere, and can refer me to the source.

Consider for a moment, my favourite journalist.  This is a man who questions many things, which are reported in the news. He reads most of the major English speaking papers on a daily basis, even those papers of opposite politics and morals. Here is an article of his about the alleged gassing by Assad. Now, you can tell, by his reasoning that there are too many unanswered questions, to simply accept the official narrative. Perhaps it is correct, but surely nobody can reliably say that it is until these questions have been properly answered.

Now consider this, when political parties make election promises, do you believe them? I mean, we have to make our voting decisions based on the official policies of the candidates or parties we have to choose from, but does it follow that we gullibly believe their promises? Even if they have the will to follow through, there are no guarantees. Surely by now, most people are fairly sceptical about such things. At least, I hope so.

Now consider that by almost anyone’s standard, there are a lot of people who commit hideously evil crimes. This happens even more so in places where there is no real rule of law, but it can happen anywhere. So we know that while most people go through life without committing murder, still there are enough evil people out there who can make life a misery for others. We have seen, in the great wars of the 20th century unfathomable evil. If you believe the unborn baby is a human being fully deserving of the right to live, then you will further be appalled by the millions of brutal deaths, which are meted out to these babies every year.

To sum up so far:

  1. Truth can be very hard to get at.
  2. There is a lot of evil in the world.

There is also a lot of good, but for now, we are not discussing that. I hope, at any rate, most people I know would agree with the above two ideas.

Now, given these two ideas, it is possible that things are not always as they seem. On the other hand, I’d like to keep a hold on reality. Therefore my rule of thumb is:

Things are exactly as they seem unless I have good evidence to the contrary.

I try to keep this in mind as I encounter varying reports of things. It has been my belief for many years that there is an agenda against marriage and the family. It certainly seems to me that our society is doing its best to make men and women unattractive to each other. I think that feminism, the laws regarding divorce, and the widespread use of contraception have all played a large part in this. But there is another factor, I believe.

A number of years ago, one of my friends said she believed that there was an agenda to push androgyny. Such entertainers as Kylie Minogue have bodies that I think resemble more that of an adolescent boy than a woman. I have thought this for years. Furthermore, I was watching “Ocean’s Twelve” a few years ago, and in one scene I thought, “Gee Julia Roberts walks like a man.”

I have recently come to the conclusion, after seeing a large number of Youtube videos investigating public figures, that many, or maybe most of these people are transgendered. This wouldn’t matter so much if we all knew that, and it was in the open, but I have good reason to believe there are famous men pretending to be beautiful women, and that’s a problem because real women are holding ourselves up to a standard of “beauty” that is simply impossible to attain, no matter how much we starve ourselves. I hope you can see that this is a big problem if what I’m saying is true.

But a further problem is that the kind of people who are investigating this are the kind of people I don’t want to spend time with. In many cases, they are in favour of the legalisation of cannabis and I suspect that their even more “out there” theories about things stem from permanent drug-induced brain damage and paranoia. Further, many of them are anti-Jewish and I refuse to have anything to do with that disgusting ideology. Finally, they all seem to be anti-Catholic. I have no patience with this, but unfortunately, I can’t completely get away from it if I want to look at their videos.

So far, I have whittled it down to just one Youtuber that I can cope with. His channel is Rebooting Christianity. I suspect he is very anti-Catholic because it just goes with the “truther” movement, but to be fair, I haven’t listened to anything he has to say about it so far.

This is his channel, and I would encourage you to watch it because I think what these people are doing to our sense of masculine and feminine attractiveness is evil and destructive. I would not be surprised to discover they are all devil worshippers, which would certainly account for the apparent inability of committed Christians to succeed in the entertainment industry and politics etc.

I suppose people will think I am out of touch with reality, but I am compelled to say what I think, because I don’t want my daughters thinking they have to look like trannies, and I don’t want my sons to be attracted to men dressed up as women!

I have given my clear reasoning for my beliefs and I think there is sufficient evidence for them. I had in any case, just about given up on TV and movies – even before all this. It’s even more fake than mere story-telling.

If you are wondering “why” then I can’t tell you anything beyond “There are really evil people in the world.” I don’t have bizarre theories for how this has all come about, I only believe the evidence before my eyes.

BTW, Elle MacPherson is most likely transgender! If you are wondering about the breasts and lack of male genitalia – surgery and hormones.

The reason we never could look like “The Body”? Because it’s impossible!

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Peter Hitchens meme

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Hilaire Belloc: The Faith Through the Press

 

In England at least, a daily Catholic paper is not yet a practical proposition, meaning by this a daily paper not devoted to specifically Catholic news but to all news treated in the light of Catholic philosophy and Catholic morals. What we could and should have is a good general weekly review, but we must face the fact that it would need endowment and without endowment could not flourish or be of effect.

I write of a Catholic Press in England; of conditions in the English-speaking countries outside Europe I do not know enough to speak, but I may remark that an English organ of general effect would have its value for the Catholics of all the English-speaking world. There is a Catholic Press all over the place in Ireland, and a solid Catholic Press—–by which I mean a Press including daily papers and secular papers of all kinds with a Catholic tone—–in every other western country except Great Britain. Holland and Prussia have one, as well as Spain, Italy, France, Bavaria, Austria and Poland. England is the exception even among anti-Catholic nations.

The conditions of a Catholic Press in Great Britain are peculiar to that one society, the people of this island; and I ask myself what manner of Catholic Press could be established here with the full effect which such a Press should be designed for.

There is a large and flourishing Catholic Press already in existence; it is made up of weekly papers and of reviews; it has no daily paper; but to produce the full effect of which I speak the Catholic Press as it now exists, flourishing though it be, needs supplementing. At present it has in all its examples a more or less limited character; highly limited in particular journals which deal only with ecclesiastical subjects, less limited in others, which give their readers general essays and reviews; but, in the case of all it is limited in this sense, that they deal specifically with the Catholic body in this country and mainly with subjects directly attaching to that body as a religious organization.

It may be stated at once that a Press of this character is of very great service and has grown up naturally through the conditions under which Catholics live here. In all countries where the Catholic body is to be found, even where Catholicism is the active religion of the great bulk of the people, there is a Press of this kind, working within the same limits. Such a journal as La Croix, in France, is an example, and there are a host of others. But in these countries there is also a more general Press with a Catholic spirit about it; and I maintain that the Catholic Press in Great Britain as it now exists needs something of this kind to supplement it.

We need a Press which shall have a general interest; one in which the effect of Catholicism shall be felt without direct intention, as it were, just as in all the Press around us the effect of anti-Catholicism is manifest, although the editors and readers of that Press would be astonished to hear that this was so. We need a Press in which you may read on any subject of the day—–
the present controversy on Protection for instance, or the state of affairs in Russia, or a judgment upon fiction, or history, or the stage, which shall give to the reader the opposite implication to anti-Catholicism which he will find in nearly all non-Catholic papers. Until we have such a Press we suffer serious disabilities.

In the first place our way of looking at things [that is, the true way], the sanity for which we stand and the solidity of tradition which it is ours to maintain in a dissolving world, [emphasis added] will not, until we have some such general organ, affect anyone outside our own very restricted body. And in the second place, our own people will,—–until we have such an organ, only be able to get their general reading under anti-Catholic direction. Our people will, in any case, get most of their reading under anti-Catholic direction, for we are citizens of an anti-Catholic society; but had we such a Press as I am here speaking of, the anti-Catholic effect would be corrected. For instance, in a Catholic Press of this kind European affairs would be seen in their proportion; the reader of it could see international problems as they are and not as the anti-Catholic Press presents them through colored spectacles. There would be room for plenty of difference on policy and appreciation of other nations, but, at any rate, the reader of such a Press would occasionally hear that there was something to be said for Poland; that the Germans are not identical with the Prussians of Berlin; that there is a Spanish culture of the very highest value to Europe; that it is in very grave peril through an active anti-national and detestable clique which has seized power; and he would learn something of the great religious quarrel in France, which is of the highest political importance to our time. He would understand how that religious quarrel in France weakened the French at their entry into the war; especially how it weakened them in their failure to negotiate a lasting peace and in their subsequent foreign policy. Much more than this, such a Press would keep general interests in their due proportion; it would not emphasize the horrible or the obscene; it would not prefer tranquillity to justice in the discussion of social affairs.

On sexual matters it would present the old tradition of decency and sound morals; it would present the right apology for property; it would show what authority was and distinguish it from mere force.

Both the effects which it would have, the effect on people outside our body and the effect on people inside it, would be good; the one for the country as a whole, the other for our particular community. It would meet a great need, and I propose to ask myself how that need can be met.

In the first place we must eliminate a false issue; the need is not met by the presence in the Catholic Press as it now exists of articles of general interest. The difference between what is needed and what exists is a difference in proportion. What is needed, not to compete with, still less to diminish, the existing Catholic Press, with its specialization upon particularly Catholic affairs [mainly upon ecclesiastical affairs] is a Press in which the great bulk of the printed matter shall be general and even in which ecclesiastical and particularly Catholic affairs shall be absent, save as part of the general news.

You may have an article in The New Statesman, for instance, dealing with and ridiculing the American fundamentalist, or dealing with and woefully misunderstanding the relations between the Italian Government and the Vatican, but The New Statesman does not fill more than half its columns with specifically anti-Catholic matter. It will take anti-Catholicism for granted, of course, in everything, because the editor and the readers have never heard of anything else, but it will print matter from a Catholic pen so long as that pen does not present a specifically Catholic plea. It has printed many essays of my own, though sometimes a little doubtful about them when I showed the indirect effects of a culture with which its readers were unfamiliar. I remember one most amusing discussion as to whether I should or should not be allowed to say that Le Misanthrope of Molière and Seville cathedral were the two summits of achievement in Western art. This statement in one of my essays was not objected to because it was specifically Catholic——nor was it; any Catholic is free to think Seville hideous and Le Misanthrope negligible——it was objected to because it sounded bizarre——just as praise of John Bunyan would have sounded bizarre to the Court of Louis XIV.

The anti-Catholic Press around us is what men call today “subconsciously” anti-Catholic. It would not be possible for the Catholic Press of which I speak to be “subconsciously” Catholic, for Catholicism sticks out, and Catholicism knows a great deal too much of its own motives. But it would deal with matters at large without, at any rate, that overt reference to an especial position which has hitherto been the mark of all our journals. The first and most obvious answer to the question “What should we add to our existing Catholic Press?” is a daily newspaper like anyone of those scores of daily newspapers on the continent of Europe which take Catholic ethics for granted and have the Catholic central vision of national and international affairs. We must rule that out. Such a daily paper is not possible.

It might be possible to have a daily newspaper Catholic in the sense in which our Catholic Press is already Catholic; that is, dealing mainly with specifically Catholic things; but it would not be possible to found and maintain a daily newspaper which would be generally Catholic in tone. The thing has often been talked of; it has never been done, because the only conditions under which it could be done are absent.

Those conditions may change. I speak only of things as they are. The conditions which make a daily paper of this sort impossible are the habits of people in this country in the matter of their daily Press. The kind of thing which the English reader demands of his daily paper makes it a thing which our small poor and scattered body could not afford. An Englishman’s daily paper must contain a great deal of matter, the quality being of little consequence; it must be well printed on good paper; it must be delivered very promptly over very wide areas. All this means today an enormous initial capital of some millions and a correspondingly gigantic annual loss unless the paper obtains a circulation of very many hundreds of thousands and a corresponding revenue from the advertisers.

It is as certain as anything can be, that, as things are, no paper with a Catholic tone about it, however indirect, could enjoy those advantages. The same forces which make our average daily paper the despicable thing it is would prevent a daily paper informed by the high culture and sane morals of Catholicism from keeping afloat. If, or when, the customs of Englishmen so changed that they would accept first-rate matter, though printed on a few flimsy sheets, as Frenchmen, Germans and Italians accept it, then we could have a Catholic daily paper; but so long as they demand what they do demand for their morning reading, your daily paper of general interest, but of Catholic morals and outlook, cannot live.

There remains the review——monthly, quarterly or weekly.

Here also we are heavily handicapped by national custom. To begin with, the setting up of type is what is called today in this country a “naturally protected” occupation. There is nothing very mysterious or difficult about it; the working of a type-setting machine was learnt in a few days [some people have told me “in a few hours”] during the general strike; but the terror in which English capitalists now stand of organized proletarian resistance gives to the naturally protected craft organizations the power to receive the wages they demand. They act as they have been trained to act by capitalist society, which denies the doctrine of the Just Price, which proclaims work to be an evil and the goal of human endeavor to be the avoidance of it; which puts it up as an ideal that individuals should get as much money as they possibly can out of their fellows by any means in their power.

Paper does not come under the same restrictions as printing, but transport does, and much more important than any of these causes in handicapping the weekly or monthly review is, again, the standard in size and outward appearance which public taste demands. You must sell 10,000 copies of a review a week, or rather more, and you must have a solid advertisement revenue as well, to make a weekly review pay. Even so, you must charge double what would be charged in more fortunate countries. A review representing Catholic ideas, but dealing with general matters at large, appearing weekly and costing, say, sixpence, would certainly lose money.
But here comes a very interesting consideration. Need such a paper pay?
That is the main question I would pose here. In my judgment we should not expect nor aim at a profit, and to make a profit a condition of continuance is to doom such a venture from the outset.

In my judgment the failure in the past of all such experiments has been due to an absence of subsidy. It has been taken for granted that a literary and political review of this sort must show a profit or must cease to be. But no one of the anti-Catholic literary and critical reviews would show a profit unless it had an advertisement subsidy. It only gets that advertisement subsidy by being in touch with the anti-Catholic atmosphere in which it lives and in which the readers live, and in which the advertisers live. Had it another tone about it, it would be suspect because it would be reckoned odd, and the advertisement subsidy would not be forthcoming.

I shall be told at this point, by practical men in the advertising trade, that they care nothing for opinions, only for circulation. I don’t agree. I have seen too many examples to the contrary. I have witnessed, for instance, the early days of the Daily Herald, when it was a genuinely socialist organ and not the official thing it has become. Its circulation warranted a larger advertisement revenue than it obtained; and the same was true of my own review, “The Eye Witness,” which exposed the politicians of the Marconi scandal.

We shall not get enough advertisement subsidy to float us. Therefore, I maintain, the subsidy must be provided from some other source. In other words, we shall never have an efficient Catholic Press of the particular kind I am now envisaging unless there be guaranteed support to make up the inevitable loss.

How large would such a subsidy have to be? For a weekly paper properly staffed and paying proper prices to its contributors, at least £5,000 a year.
In that figure is the answer to the question I have proposed myself. If, or when, a subsidy on that scale can be maintained, there will appear an English literary and critical review which will be of the highest value to the nation; but without the clear understanding that a loss must be faced, and a loss of that magnitude, we shall have either nothing or a series of those failures in the future which will continue our failures of the past. And with this very practical conclusion I would end the first part of these remarks.

But there is a second part. Suppose the thing be done; suppose the guarantee obtained and the loss deliberately envisaged. What machinery should be set up for the creation and maintenance of such an organ? I submit the following conditions:

(i) First, that the guarantors of the fund be as numerous as possible. The advantage of numbers does not lie in the opportunity it gives for a larger amount of money so much as in the opportunity they deny of interference with the machinery of the journal. Where one rich man stands the loss upon an experimental review he is always the master; and as he will not be at the pains of editing [for rich men have something better to do with their time], that means double control and failure. Every paper appealing to educated men is made by its editor. An editor whose own salary and whose pay list for others is guaranteed by a group is more or less independent. An editor whose finances come from a patron is a servant; and not even the servant of a man who is capable of giving definite orders, but a servant who has to provide all the initiative and yet suffer perpetual interference. Where the bulk of the money comes from one man, or even where two or three wealthy men are the main guarantors, there is still difficulty. It is essential that the fund should come from a number.

(ii) Next, the sums annually subscribed must be prepaid. You must start at the beginning of each year with a sum equivalent to the anticipated loss and a margin over. You must have that capital ready by you. Otherwise the thing falls into the grip of worry, and worry in the organization of a newspaper is like sand in the bearings of a machine; it checks and slows down everything and at last brings disaster.

It would be unwise to use any considerable portion of such a fund for advertising the paper. A paper of this kind is its own advertisement. The old green Westminster Gazette, which was far the best literary, critical and political paper of its day, would have retained its place and prestige and such circulation as it had [not very large I am told], even if it had not advertised at all.

(iii) There would have to be some sort of council or small body, not for the running of the paper—–it is fatal for such a body to interfere—–but for consultation with the editor, and, when his contract should have expired [one would have to begin with at least a five-year contract], for the renewal of it or the finding of another editor. Upon the editor chosen, the moral success of the paper would depend. To a financial success it would by definition be indifferent. And it is a fairly good rule, when you have your editor and he is giving the results you demand, to keep him; for everything in a newspaper of the cultivated sort depends upon personality and unity. The choice of the right editor would be vital. He had better not be elderly; he must have training in the business; it is most unlikely that you would find such a man among the authors and one chance in a hundred that you would find him in a profession not literary. You should look for him among the daily journalists.

(iv) Here I must add an unusual clause which may be thought paradoxical. There should be no doctrinal control. A review of this kind would not be specifically Catholic. If one made it so it would lose its whole point, and if things appearing in it were subject to a censorship it would cease to be what it was. One would have to trust to the general editorial spirit for one’s results, leaving criticism to the correspondence column or to the results on circulation.

(v) There should be in the format and make-up of the paper and almost in its constitution a very large department for correspondence.

There, I take it, are the main conditions under which the thing should come into existence. They are sufficiently hard, and in the opinion of many they will render the whole idea fantastic. I do not say that the thing is feasible; I do not say that a large guarantee fund is obtainable. All I say is that those are the conditions under which such a paper could exist and that if they are not observed the experiment will fail. If the guarantors aim at profit, if they are few in number, if they interfere with editorial control, it would have been better not to have launched the thing at all. It would be wasting money instead of spending it on a good object.

But is the object a good one? Would a literary and political review of this kind in modern England be first-rate, and if it carne into existence, would it do good to the Catholic cause and to the national cause?

I should answer all those questions in the affirmative, and without hesitation.

Not only would such a review be first-rate, but it would be altogether superior to the ruck of anti-Catholic stuff with which we now have to put up. We are small in numbers, but intellectually we are an elite, and we not only have—–out of all proportion to our numbers—–men available for the best work, [emphasis added] but we have a large margin of indifference and sympathy on which to draw. The journal I have in mind would in a dozen ways express what masses of the educated classes agree with or, at any rate, desire to see stated, and what today they do not see stated. The mere fact that it was not dependent upon an advertisement subsidy would emancipate it; the fact that it had right morals informing it would make it a palatable exception to the stuff upon which we are now fed by the neo-pagan Press of the intellectuals.

Take the attitude of such a review towards the fiction of the moment. All the anti-Catholic critical writing condones or accepts enormities, but in so doing it is not in tune with the best opinion of our time. Reaction against thoroughly bad morals, not only in sexual things, but in other departments of activity, is demanded by an existing and powerful section of general opinion. It is not provided. Or take the effect of a sound international point of view. Today we get nothing but a sort of conventional anti-Catholic litany, an unceasing stream of abuse and misquotation directed against the Catholic side of Europe. It is very wearisome, very futile, and in matters of policy dangerously misleading. We never get Europe presented as it is. The half dozen major problems of international policy turn upon religious culture, and the most important of them upon the conflict between the Catholic and the anti-Catholic culture in Europe. Educated men want to hear these things at least mentioned; they want discussion of them to be in terms of reality, and they are not satisfied. The demand is not met. We get the Prussian case against Poland by the bushel. Whoever hears the Polish case against Prussia? Yet an educated neutral who is indifferent to either side at least wants to hear both, for the fate of his own country will be affected by the sequel to the present conflict.

Such a review would obviously do good to the non-Catholic world. At present the right view of life is not so much denied as ignored. Men do not come across it. Even in the specialized world of apologetics we Catholic writers stand in the rather ridiculous position of perpetually preaching to the converted.

A thoroughly false piece of history comes out; it is well reviewed and destroyed by a competent pen in the existing Catholic Press. No one outside the Catholic world sees that review. Had it appeared in a paper of general information the non- Catholic would have seen it; he would have learnt something. With such a review we should teach, and we should teach a society which is not only insufficiently taught but is growing less and less taught every day——and an expansion of learning is one of the prime necessities of our time.

An example of what I mean which struck me very forcibly at the time was the case of GDYNIA. When that new port with its great coming effect on international politics was designed and begun there was no journal in England giving the educated Englishman any knowledge of GDYNIA. The name still remains, after all these years, quite unfamiliar. I visited the place three years ago; I wrote on it in one of the monthly reviews; I have seen slight allusions to it here and there, but it has never got into the consciousness of the educated public, because GDYNIA is Polish and Poland is Catholic. A journal such as that which I am describing would not exaggerate the chances of growth in Poland, simply because Poland is Catholic; but it would not leave out things essential to a comprehension of Europe, as does all the Press which is anti-Catholic in tone.

Perhaps the best effect of all which such a journal would have, would be its effect upon the Catholic body itself. It would provide an arena for controversy, it would strengthen the confidence of Catholics, it would instruct them, it would provide them with material, and it would be an introduction of it to the non-Catholic body outside.

Having said all this, I must end by repeating what has, I am sure, run through the reader’s mind, if he has had the patience to follow me so far: I mean, that this goal is very difficult of attainment. I should not quarrel too much with the decision that it is even impossible of attainment. But I have noticed in the course of forty years’ examination [it is rather more than forty years], since I first became mixed up with journalism and the survey of contemporary things, that: first, things one would have thought impossible sometimes come off; second, it is the totally unexpected which arrives. The imaginary review of which I have been speaking may appear, after all. More likely something else will appear doing the same work in a quite unexpected fashion.

Taken from ESSAYS OF A CATHOLIC, TAN Books, originally published in 1931.

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