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Re: ✠
December 12, 2011, 03:50:17 PM
I've made my allegiance to the Catholic Church explicit in another post, but I understand your uncertainty given my posts in this particular thread. For any anti-liberal institution or ideology the obvious question is how to confront liberalism, which in many ways is intrinsically tied to the psyche and the structure of the modern era. It would be difficult to confront this issue with brevity, but I feel that there is some good headway made here:


These articles are what I would call a populist introduction to true conservative thought. For a detailed analysis one should turn to the metahpysics and politics of Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, Josephe de Maistre, Louis de Bonald, and even Hegel (especially his 'Philosophy of Right').

The first step, inevitably, is to cement a conservative analogue to the liberal intelligentsia.

Re: ✠
December 12, 2011, 05:49:34 PM
"Yes, I'm sure the entire corpus of St. Thomas Aquinas, with all of its philosophical depth, could be summarized as him 'making shit up'."

Seeing as how he was writing about something that probably doesn't exist, yes, he was making stuff up based off of the development of a monotheistic cult out of the middle east.
His arguments for God's existence alone are completely lacking

I'm not saying he didn't write good stuff in a philosophical sense. I studied them in good ol' Roman Catholic School. I'm just saying that he was writing stuff based off of his own interpretation of events that have little evidence for them.

Re: ✠
December 12, 2011, 06:42:24 PM
That's an unnecessary imposition of materialist 'metaphysic'. Aristotlian teleology is a yet to be refuted statement of the existence of unqualified being, i.e. existence in itself, which is the only logical statement of the intelligibilty of the universe. Keep in mind that the intelligibility of the universe, the nature of knowledge, is different from an explanation of the orgins of the material universe. The two are in no way opposed, as substance in material things is a composition of matter and form.


And also:

'Without pretending to span within such limits the essential Thomist idea, I may be allowed to throw out a sort of rough version of the fundamental question, which I think I have known myself, consciously or unconsciously since my childhood. When a child looks out of the nursery window and sees anything, say the green lawn of the garden, what does he actually know; or does he know anything? There are all sorts of nursery games of negative philosophy played round this question. A brilliant Victorian scientist delighted in declaring that the child does not see any grass at all; but only a sort of green mist reflected in a tiny mirror of the human eye. This piece of rationalism has always struck me as almost insanely irrational. If he is not sure of the existence of the grass, which he sees through the glass of a window, how on earth can he be sure of the existence of the retina, which he sees through the glass of a microscope? If sight deceives, why can it not go on deceiving? Men of another school answer that grass is a mere green impression on the mind; and that he can be sure of nothing except the mind. They declare that he can only be conscious of his own consciousness; which happens to be the one thing that we know the child is not conscious of at all. In that sense, it would be far truer to say that there is grass and no child, than to say that there is a conscious child but no grass. St. Thomas Aquinas, suddenly intervening in this nursery quarrel, says emphatically that the child is aware of Ens. Long before he knows that grass is grass, or self is self, he knows that something is something. Perhaps it would be best to say very emphatically (with a blow on the table), "There is an Is." That is as much monkish credulity as St. Thomas asks of us at the start. Very few unbelievers start by asking us to believe so little. And yet, upon this sharp pin-point of reality, he rears by long logical processes that have never really been successfully overthrown, the whole cosmic system of Christendom.


Thus, Aquinas insists very profoundly but very practically, that there instantly enters, with this idea of affirmation the idea of contradiction. It is instantly apparent, even to the child, that there cannot be both affirmation and contradiction. Whatever you call the thing he sees, a moon or a mirage or a sensation or a state of consciousness, when he sees it, he knows it is not true that he does not see it. Or whatever you call what he is supposed to be doing, seeing or dreaming or being conscious of an impression, he knows that if he is doing it, it is a lie to say he is not doing it. Therefore there has already entered something beyond even the first fact of being; there follows it like its shadow the first fundamental creed or commandment, that a thing cannot be and not be. Henceforth, in common or popular language, there is a false and true. I say in popular language, because Aquinas is nowhere more subtle than in pointing out that being is not strictly the same as truth; seeing truth must mean the appreciation of being by some mind capable of appreciating it. But in a general sense there has entered that primeval world of pure actuality, the division and dilemma that brings the ultimate sort of war into the world; the everlasting duel between Yes and No. This is the dilemma that many sceptics have darkened the universe and dissolved the mind solely in order to escape. They are those who maintain that there is something that is both Yes and No. I do not know whether they pronounce it Yo.


The next step following on this acceptance of actuality or certainty, or whatever we call it in popular language, is much more difficult to explain in that language. But it represents exactly the point at which nearly all other systems go wrong, and in taking the third step abandon the first. Aquinas has affirmed that our first sense of fact is a fact; and he cannot go back on it without falsehood. But when we come to look at the fact or facts, as we know them, we observe that they have a rather queer character; which has made many moderns grow strangely and restlessly sceptical about them. For instance, they are largely in a state of change, from being one thing to being another; or their qualities are relative to other things; or they appear to move incessantly; or they appear to vanish entirely. At this point, as I say, many sages lose hold of the first principle of reality, which they would concede at first; and fall back on saying that there is nothing except change; or nothing except comparison; or nothing except flux; or in effect that there is nothing at all. Aquinas turns the whole argument the other way, keeping in line with his first realisation of reality. There is no doubt about the being of being, even if it does sometimes look like becoming; that is because what we see is not the fullness of being; or (to continue a sort of colloquial slang) we never see being being as much as it can. Ice is melted into cold water and cold water is heated into hot water; it cannot be all three at once. But this does not make water unreal or even relative; it only means that its being is limited to being one thing at a time. But the fullness of being is everything that it can be; and without it the lesser or approximate forms of being cannot be explained as anything; unless they are explained away as nothing.


This crude outline can only at the best be historical rather than philosophical. It is impossible to compress into it the metaphysical proofs of such an idea; especially in the medieval metaphysical language. But this distinction in philosophy is tremendous as a turning point in history. Most thinkers, on realising the apparent mutability of being, have really forgotten their own realisation of the being, and believed only in the mutability. They cannot even say that a thing changes into another thing; for them there is no instant in the process at which it is a thing at all. It is only a change. It would be more logical to call it nothing changing into nothing, than to say (on these principles) that there ever was or will be a moment when the thing is itself. St. Thomas maintains that the ordinary thing at any moment is something; but it is not everything that it could be. There is a fullness of being, in which it could be everything that it can be. Thus, while most sages come at last to nothing but naked change, he comes to the ultimate thing that is unchangeable, because it is all the other things at once. While they describe a change which is really a change in nothing, he describes a changelessness which includes the changes of everything. Things change because they are not complete; but their reality can only be explained as part of something that is complete. It is God.' - G.K. Chesterton

Excerpted from Chapter VII, The Permanent Philosophy, St. Thomas Aquinas


'Christopher Dawson points out that all religion begins in the intuition of Being.  There are however, two such intuitions, corresponding to what Aristotle identified as the two types of being:  being in act and being in potency.  Both potency and act possess a sort of universality that can bewitch the mind.  The better religions derive from the idea of pure Act, the confluence and coincidence of all positive perfections that we call God.  Being in act has a special intelligibility.  As Aristotle pointed out, the law of contradiction only applies to actual being.  (For example, a cup of water may be both potentially hot and potentially cold, but it can actually be only one or the other.)  The worse religions (Buddhism, gnosticism) find actuality limiting because of its intelligibility–the fact that it’s always just one thing, and not also its opposite.  For Campbell, the great intuition is to see what he calls “being” as the thing underneath all forms, the thing that endures as it sheds one form and takes on another.  Fellow Aristotelians will recognize this principle (which he takes to be ultimate) as matter, i.e. potency.  Pure potency (primary matter) has a sort of universality to it.  It is, in a sense, everything and nothing at once.  In its all-encompassing aspect, it mirrors its opposite, the pure actuality of God.' - http://bonald.wordpress.com/2010/07/17/the-metaphysical-sickness-of-joseph-campbell/

So long as we have a fundamentally different understanding of the nature of being, yours being liberal and mine conservative, I don't think we're going to be able to coherently discuss our respective understandings of religious practice and its associated aspects: authority, patriarchy, etc.

I appreciate your concession to the intelligence of St. Thomas, however. I was expecting some rather childish, condescending, and vehement denial of any non-egalitarian and positive conception of Christianity, and I have been pleasantly surprised.

Re: ✠
December 12, 2011, 07:07:58 PM
"So long as we have a fundamentally different understanding of the nature of being, yours being liberal and mine conservative"

Excuse me? What have I said to lead you to believe I am liberal? I can promise you that I am far from it.

Or is this a "You don't agree with me, so you're one of THEM" point of views?

Re: ✠
December 12, 2011, 07:10:45 PM
No, my considering your understanding of being liberal is explained in the quote above that describes the two fundamental intuitions of being. I'm sure we agree in far more areas than most liberals and I do, given your presence here, and I apologize for any implications made.

Is your username a refrence to Guido von List?

Re: ✠
December 12, 2011, 07:12:24 PM
Oh, my mistake. No apologies are needed.

You and I disagree on some philosophic grounds, but that is to be expected when you consider that conservatism and traditionalism have many schools of thought under one tent.

Re: ✠
December 12, 2011, 07:15:14 PM
You and I disagree on some philosophic grounds, but that is to be expected when you consider that conservatism and traditionalism have many schools of thought under one tent.

A sad state of affairs, considering that intellectual synthesis in the conservative sphere is desperately needed in order to create a legitimate presence of conservatism in mainstream politics and thusly to combat liberalism. I'm pretty sure that's partially what the OP is trying to say.

Re: ✠
December 13, 2011, 07:42:01 AM
Is anyone else here actually doing the work of cultural rebuilding? The internet arguments are petty bullshit; whoever accomplishes their goal is the only one who can 'win' this out.

Re: ✠
December 13, 2011, 08:06:09 AM
I've learned a lot from the argument. Does it really matter? Whatever anyone else is doing is their business.

Re: ✠
December 13, 2011, 10:07:34 AM

"Is your username a refrence to Guido von List?"


Re: ✠
December 13, 2011, 11:00:26 AM
Is anyone else here actually doing the work of cultural rebuilding? The internet arguments are petty bullshit; whoever accomplishes their goal is the only one who can 'win' this out.

Not this tired shit again!

Yes, many here do work toward that end. That includes but is not limited to consensus-building on the intertard, on TV or in print.

Let me guess: Alain de Benoist, Michel Houellebecq, Julius Evola et al "did nothing" except "write some books (that were then posted to the intertard)".

There is some legitimacy to criticism of the all-talk-no-action folks, but... it is always used to shut down debate and to make the speaker seem grand. You don't want to fall into that trap.

There is also a lot of legitimacy to the idea of having a clear picture of what we want to do before doing it.

One step at a time...

Re: ✠
December 13, 2011, 11:31:41 AM
Well, your analysis of Christianity is wrong. The central basis of Christianity as pointed out by St. Athanasius is theosis, which means deification, 'God became man so that man might become god.' Christianity has pagan roots in the obvious Neoplatonic influences on the early Church fathers, and the Aristotlian influences on Medieval scholasticism. The burning of heretics is the burning of the weak, in that a proper Christian recognizes irrefutably his obligation to fulfill his duty towards theosis, which means accepting the teleological nature of himself or herself and actualizing that to the greatest degree possible. Christ's death is a sacrifice meant to embody the divinization of mankind, not a story of meek surrender in order to encourage the weak. The mistake you're making is a common one made by most modern opponents of Christianity, which is to be completely unaware of its historical and philosophical dimensions. Protestantism is not Christianity, it's a heresy. Egalitarianism, refusal of diversity and tradition, anti-heirarchical revolutions, these are all Protestantism. Also, traditional Catholicism and Orthodoxy are actually experiencing a renaissance of sorts in intellectual circles today. It isn't widely visible in the mainstream media, but that's because the left has an iron-grip on the media and mainstream academia, and has historically seen the Catholic Church (and by that I mean the Roman Catholic Church of the past, but most especially the Catholic Church as in the eternal philosophy of Catholicism) as its greatest opponent.

I've met people like you before. Your concerns are understandable, because I'm against modernity too. But people such as yourself always seemed shocked when they are introduced to the actual philosophical material of the early Church fathers, such as St. Athanasius, the Philokalia, Psuedo-Dionysius, and the Cappodocian fathers, as if this was some sort of Christianity they never knew existed.

Well, you clearly have a wider theological knowledge than me, so I'm going to resist the temptation to enter an argument about my interpretation of Christianity. What I will say however, is that I am not alone in my interpretation and, as you yourself recognise, it is shared by many. Hence, I doubt very much that it is entirely invalid. Protestantism may be a heresy to you, but to the vast majority of people (i.e. everyone who is not a traditional Catholic or Orthodox Christian) it is a perfectly valid form/interpretation of Xianity. Of course, very few of this dauntingly broad category are intelligent or informed enough for their opinion to count on this matter; but enough are. For instance, my own interpretation of Xianity is, predictably, one derived from Nietzsche, Heidegger, de Benoist, Evola etc. And as long as there is even a remote possibility that the interpretations that these thinkers propose for Xianity could arise, take form, and become influential institutions of thought and culture, I cannot accept Xianity as a viable ally. I think we can agree that protestantism could never have developed from paganism.

Anyway, to bring the discussion back on course, I'd like to ask if you yourself, as a traditional Catholic, would welcome an alliance with followers of heathen philosophy? What is your personal reaction to Conservationist's suggestion?

Re: ✠
December 13, 2011, 12:16:58 PM
I welcome an open allegiance with traditionalist pagans, Muslims, Jews, etc.

Re: ✠
December 13, 2011, 03:50:49 PM
On the topic of cultural rebuilding: I do this by simply being Italian and not giving in to the Americanization of who I am. My name is Giovanni, not John or what not. I am not ashamed of the Italian input of culture. Yes, there has been shit storms of fucked up situations. I will NOT deny this. But what I will not tolerate is those who give the Italian way a bad name. I have worked for many years to ensure that a pure sense of Italian culture can be seen and admired, to teach, to inspire.  This is my rant for this evening!

Re: ✠
December 13, 2011, 04:40:01 PM
Bring back the Romans!