What’s Wrong with the World

The men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.

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What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

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The day life changed

Comment posted by Cameron on Oct 14, 00:03:

I heard an excellent phrase for this phenomenon (on a comment thread, but don’t remember where): the privatization of government. That’s what you get when capital gets big enough—ostensibly private sphere actors wielding government-like powers (and even powers governments don’t have). ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Rob G on Oct 8, 07:16:

I'm currently re-reading the best, most well-rounded "agrarian" book to have come out in a long time, James Rebanks's Pastoral Song (titled English Pastoral in the UK edition). This book covers just about everything having to do with contemporary farming -- the poetry of life on the land, the economic and environmental concerns, questions about efficiency and productivity -- all while the author recounts growing up in the 70s and 80s on both his grandfather's and father's farms. And although he's describin ... [More]

Unexplained allusions: The sons of thunder

Comment posted by Taryn on Oct 4, 03:16:

I always imagine that Jesus nicknamed James and John as the sons of thunder because of the moment he called them to join him. They worked on their father's fishing boat, but when Jesus called to them they abandoned their family business to join Jesus. I can imagine Jesus waiting patiently on the shore, while the young men make their way to him, all the while their dad is 'thundering' and outraged at his ungrateful children for abandoning the business he worked so hard to build up, and being so worked up abo ... [More]

What Evidentialism is not, redux

Comment posted by ML on Sep 30, 04:51:

Regarding the fallacy of objections, if one hasn't come across and addressed the best objections to Christianity, does this mean one's faith isn't on a firm basis? And how many objections does one need to read before one can "recognize the shape of the argumentative landscape", as you put it? For example, this post lists more than 100 atheistic arguments: https://exapologist.blogspot.com/2019/09/sixty-arguments-for-atheism.html?fbclid=IwAR25FspA3jI4MKranax9y9pWzLb8sbhFPRO9iHOIbL5ONuUiF091-MZOrvg&m=1 It se ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Rob G on Sep 23, 07:47:

"Locke's philosophy was wrong about a lot of things too, but IMO not much or seemingly anything that mattered to his political philosophy." Not so sure about that. If the philosophy of Marx, Mises, or Rand can "matter to" their politico-economic views I don't know why the same shouldn't be true of Locke. https://lawliberty.org/metaphysics-as-politics-d-c-schindler-on-locke-and-liberalism/ Note that the reviewer here doesn't fully agree with Schindler, but IMO he does do a good job of presenting Schindler ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 22, 23:51:

to Mark: Locke's philosophy was wrong about a lot of things too, but IMO not much or seemingly anything that mattered to his political philosophy. Which is just EXACTLY why I chose not to include him in my list of philosophers, after thinking about adding him, for 5 seconds. I have a good bit of skepticism here too. I think Kant matters because Hegel matters, and he matters only because Marx matters. Then again, I'm not sure we'd be talking about Marx–and thus any of them– if Lenin's train from Swed ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Rob G on Sep 22, 08:00:

I felt the same way about crony capitalism as you did, Lydia, until I started reading about the revolving door between the USDA and Big Agra. And the more I looked at it, the more I saw that the same thing was occurring in other government departments. My conclusion eventually was that the bigger Capital gets, the more cronyist it tends to become, and that at high levels there is a symbiosis that exists between big business and big government. Weaver warned of this, by the way, in his chapter on economics ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 21, 16:31:

I think when people talked about crony capitalism before, it wasn't vivid to me. Or, to put it propositionally, I didn't think it was as widespread as it really is. Plus, I always assumed that the person bringing it up had a particular solution in mind--more government. And I was usually (or always) sure that was not a good solution. Now the people who see the crony capitalism here can just agree with me that we're screwed and can only resist as men of honor, in honorable ways, to the best of our ability. ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Jeff Martin on Sep 21, 15:53:

One of the most depressing and disillusioning realizations of the past 18 months has been that almost no one, apart from a tiny number of commies I know, and the dissident Right, was ever really sincere in advancing all of those critiques of the revolving door, crony capitalism, and regulatory capture. If they had been sincere, they would acknowledge that *all* of the same material predicates for those critiques are present in every aspect of the covid response, and especially in the matter of the vaccines ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 21, 14:55:

I think, Tony, that a big part of the difference between us lies in the fact that you will probably read Jeff's latest comment and say, "Yes, yes, but just suppose in theory that they *were* beneficent and knowledgeable and were *not* corrupt..." Etc. You postulate the idea that if we really had a beneficent, non-corrupt, knowledgeable human ruler, that would make everything different. I don't grant that. I don't want to speak for Jeff, but I suspect he wouldn't either. Why not? Because the principle is ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Jeff Martin on Sep 21, 13:29:

Those oh-so-much-more enlightened public officials and NGO apparatchiks have presided over third-world vaccination campaigns that resulted in polio outbreaks, mass sterilizations, and so forth, precisely because the authorities are not always so benevolent or competent. It is increasingly obvious - not that it needed to be more obvious after the crimes and enormities of 2020 - that our own authorities are neither competent nor benevolent, and sadly that indictment extends from FraudXi and Collins on down t ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 21, 12:50:

Maybe, in given the current political environment, our government should not be trusted with that kind of judgment about vaccines. That does not mean that in principle governments cannot be trusted with that kind of judgment - that it is IMPOSSIBLE for a people to reasonably trust a government with that kind of judgment. Just for example: In the US today, when universal education is and has been a solid fact of life for our entire lives, the differential between a government official's education and judgmen ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 21, 09:54:

I said, above: But this does not inherently preclude cases like the one where I outlined above, e.g. a very safe, very effective vaccine against the plague, it COULD BECOME a moral imperative for nearly all individuals to receive the vaccine and thus could be a situation suitable for a government mandate. Lydia responds: The final "and thus" is something that I categorically reject.I don't know what I could say to convince someone who thinks that that "and thus," which I regard as a complete non sequ ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 21, 09:45:

Look, I'm pretty much allergic to much that I've seen that calls itself "communitarian," including some of the writing at Front Porch Republic, which I stopped reading years ago because it just irritated me. I've never called myself a communitarian and probably never will. I'll never forget Patrick Deneen's absurd review of "It's a Wonderful Life" in which he made the claim that the new homes that the movie was positive about were probably built on a graveyard, hence desecrating holy ground. (I forget how h ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Rob G on Sep 21, 08:09:

I've read a lot of Scruton, and I'd say that his views on these issues were in many ways closer to Berry's than they were to what passes for conservatism in America these days, especially his writing of the past 15 years or so. I've been saying for a long time that the U.S. right's unfamiliarity with Scruton was regrettable. I note that Etzioni responded to Scruton's critique, and Scruton in turn responded to Etzioni. In this regard it's notable that the "strict" communitarism of Etzioni, et al. has over ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Mark on Sep 21, 02:51:

>> I would suggest that if anything makes a person a realist vs. an idealist it's farming. That's an idealist view right there. Farming won't necessarily cure a person of idealism or any particular bad idea any more than (to limit this for brevity to the topic of physical jobs such as farming, to the extent it is) construction work or other trades. On the other hand, the fact is there are a great many occupations that could cure one of idealism, and work of all types often does, except when they don't. Whe ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 20, 22:31:

I myself think Berry's understanding of macroeconomics is flawed, especially since he doesn't seem to have a good answer to, "If we didn't have the big agribusinesses, how would the millions of city dwellers not starve?" But it's only fair to point out that his fiction is to a large degree autobiographical and that he was a farming kid long before he was an academic of any sort. In fact, I kind of get the impression he was largely a misfit among academics, perhaps unlike the agrarian poets in Nashville. So ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Mark on Sep 20, 20:34:

I just don't see what's been nailed here. These paeans to the supposedly simple life are nothing new. I grew up on a farm in central Indiana steering a tractor in the field when I was 4, my feet not even close to reaching the pedals. Got the pictures to prove it. Crawling speed of course, dad would walk up and stop it when he wanted it stopped. Lived there until I moved out and on my own. Fed calves with a milk bucket whose mothers had rejected them at 6am in the dark before school in a barn probably built ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Rob G on Sep 20, 18:28:

I think Lydia pretty much nailed it, but would add that I'm not presenting a paradox as a solution. What I see as a "solution," if you want to call it that, is the place of balance on the continuum, or at least the honest attempt to come close to that place of balance. And the fact that many agrarian writers have either described such a balance or have themselves striven to achieve it in reality means that it's not just "theory." I would suggest that if anything makes a person a realist vs. an idealist i ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Rob G on Sep 20, 18:28:

I think Lydia pretty much nailed it, but would add that I'm not presenting a paradox as a solution. What I see as a "solution," if you want to call it that, is the place of balance on the continuum, or at least the honest attempt to come close to that place of balance. And the fact that many agrarian writers have either described such a balance or have themselves striven to achieve it in reality means that it's not just "theory." I would suggest that if anything makes a person a realist vs. an idealist i ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Rob G on Sep 20, 18:13:

"No no! But don't get me started." Trust me, my agreement is *extremely* limited, and has far more to do with the state of the institution of marriage in the U.S. than with any support of civil unions or SSM. ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 20, 18:12:

Not a mystical experience. Yes schoolkids could benefit. (I mean, school kids can benefit and become better citizens by reading all sorts of great literature, so this certainly falls into that category. And I could get more specific.) The Amish: Berry would say that he learned from them, not vice versa. He always speaks positively of the Amish in his fiction and portrays them as naturally living out what he has in mind. So he'd probably say they don't need his books. Here's my shot at summarizing: Free i ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Jeff Martin on Sep 20, 17:41:

There is also the God complex of imagining oneself responsible for what are essentially aleatory events, and then projecting that false responsibility upon an entire population, individually and collectively. Madness. The maxim underlying this notion that we are responsible for the aleatory event of respiratory disease transmission would legitimate interference with anything and everything, because even habits, thoughts, ideas, etc. are imitative, mimetic. And, of course, the people pushing this are ex ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Mark on Sep 20, 16:44:

>> In it he distinguishes between the type of individualism that is consciously related to communal good, and that which operates largely by appeals to personal rights and entitlements. Roepke vs. Rand, let's say, or the division on the left between those who emphasize community and those who emphasize individual rights at the expense of same. It does not take a PhD in sociology to see that there is validity in this delineation, and that it exists on a continuum, not primarily as two opposite poles. Of cou ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 20, 16:11:

while from a certain angle I can agree with him on SSM in relation to civil unions, No no! But don't get me started. ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Mark on Sep 20, 16:03:

>> The final "and thus" is something that I categorically reject. Same here. I'm sure I haven't communicated it well, but that's what I've been trying to get across by talking about background assumptions for Christians about God's Providence. Of course, nonbelievers have philosophies of life too that may be identical though they don't believe in a personal God. It may be fate for them, or just basic moral judgment. Either way these form a philosophy of life. I know in the past there've been heated discus ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Rob G on Sep 20, 15:38:

Agreed. I think the fiction is outstanding, and I would say that many of the essays are excellent as well, although because there are so many of them, in a way they can't help being more of a mixed bag. I too wish he was more consistent on the abortion issue, and while from a certain angle I can agree with him on SSM in relation to civil unions, I think his treatment of the issue from a moral/religious point of view is sadly lacking. In terms of left vs. right I once read a quote by Berry in an inte ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Jeff Martin on Sep 20, 14:19:

That Israeli study focused on events occurring during the 42 days following vaccination. That could be read literally, or with some Jesuitical wiggle room. I simply cannot tell which reading is more accurate. In the Anglo countries at least, the two weeks after second dose seems to be the rule. ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 20, 13:36:

Was that the definition used in the Israeli study? That makes it worse than meaningless. If anything, symptoms arising *closer to* the vaccination event are more clearly tied to it. ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Jeff Martin on Sep 20, 13:26:

A Harvard study of VAERS found that the true incidence of adverse reactions was 10-100x greater than what was actually reported. That's a wide variance of estimates, so suffice it to say that there was a problem prior to the deployment of the covid vaccines, which, even apart from the underreporting problem, are causing significantly more adverse reactions than, really, all other vaccines, ever, combined. As I've indicated, I am not "antivax", a term that I find to be increasingly meaningless. I've had ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 20, 13:00:

I didn't know that about not counting myocarditis as an effect of the shot unless it occurs after the second shot. That's absurd to the point of being infuriating. My own reaction was to the *first* shot, and thank God I didn't get the second. Here's a study that comes to the opposite conclusion--for teen boys, the vaccine is more risky, these researchers say. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/10/boys-more-at-risk-from-pfizer-jab-side-effect-than-covid-suggests-study ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Jeff Martin on Sep 20, 12:12:

The Israeli study on the safety profile of the Pfizer vaccine, relative to covid infection, is interesting, but something still smells a little off. We're *not* seeing a consistent signal, across countries, and age demographics, that covid infection causes a risk of myocarditis 3x that of the vaccine, corresponding to vast numbers of people suffering cardiac inflammation. Given seroprevalence studies - see anything by Ioannidis - it stands to reason that we should be be seeing many more such cases than we ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 20, 10:09:

Btw, NM, since I was last posting on W4 regularly, I have read a *ton* of Wendell Berry's fiction and absolutely loved it. I can't get into what I've seen of his essays so much. But his fiction is astonishingly good. The man is talented beyond measure. The short story "Pray Without Ceasing" is one of the best short stories in the English language that I have ever read, hands down. When I go beyond the sheer power of his literary ability and the fascination of his stories and characters and start getting ab ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 20, 09:17:

I want to go way back up to something Tony said upthread. But this does not inherently preclude cases like the one where I outlined above, e.g. a very safe, very effective vaccine against the plague, it COULD BECOME a moral imperative for nearly all individuals to receive the vaccine and thus could be a situation suitable for a government mandate. The final "and thus" is something that I categorically reject.I don't know what I could say to convince someone who thinks that that "and thus," which I regard ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Rob G on Sep 20, 08:55:

No need for me to post as Nice Marmot anymore, btw. Whatever unpleasantness caused me to leave for a while, then come back as NM has largely faded into the mists of time, LOL. ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Rob G on Sep 20, 08:49:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/seeing-the-biomedical-security-state/ Interesting piece today at TAC on the "Biomedical Security State." Jeff mentioned Agamben on the other thread. ... [More]

What We Have Learned

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on Sep 20, 08:11:

The Berry essay I had in mind is called "Rugged Individualism" and appears in his collection The Way of Ignorance. In it he distinguishes between the type of individualism that is consciously related to communal good, and that which operates largely by appeals to personal rights and entitlements. Roepke vs. Rand, let's say, or the division on the left between those who emphasize community and those who emphasize individual rights at the expense of same. It does not take a PhD in sociology to see that ther ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Mark on Sep 19, 21:13:

I just learned by googling that you can apply to the NHSTA for a waiver so you could have a shop install a cut-off switch for the driver side. The creep goes on. https://www.nytimes.com/1997/11/18/us/cutoff-switches-for-car-airbags-will-be-allowed.html Of course, it goes without saying I don't know that you're not better off with an air bag. I just struggle philosophically with safety devices that can harm us without good data to make a judgment one way or the other. It's just so wrong. It seems they say ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 19, 19:57:

Yes, at 4' 9 1/2" and 90 lbs. soaking wet, I would almost certainly be more injured by the airbag than by the accident in any minor accident and have often been a bit concerned about this. But the powers that be have already decided for me. ... [More]

The day life changed

Comment posted by Mark on Sep 19, 19:23:

Oh one more detail on air bags. I think they Congress was initially sold on the idea because of the fact that some people wouldn't wear seatbelts. Airbags were the solution. Now again, I can't say for sure there's no significant additional protection from airbags. Maybe there is, or maybe there isn't. But I don't think anyone cares, and I find that very disturbing since they do harm people sometimes, and they add a lot of cost to vehicles which increases the cost of ownership, which makes life more difficul ... [More]