Repost of The Consequences of Catholicism for Political Theory

There’s an endemic debate over what people are saying when they refer to ‘the west’. Is the west defined by its whiteness, its wealth, its liberal …

The Consequences of Catholicism for Political Theory

—-I love this post. I think this analysis is clear, and correct.

Ive been following Studebaker’s blog for some years now and I have to say that most of the time I disagree with his political analyses that try to verge over into the philosophical. but this one I think is spot on. So much so that I think I’m going to have to reference it in a paper that I’m developing, hopefully, right now.

I enjoy how he describes the development of what we understand as liberalism, or perhaps just this current brand of liberalism, or perhaps the liberalism that we find now. it makes so much sense: When we put morality as the criterion through which politics it’s justified, we find ourselves caught in a paradox, but more a contradiction, in the effort to ground a real milieu of distinctly individual entities, The name for which is pluralism.

This explains for me the problems that I associate with “conventional philosophy”;  namely, how do we ground the multiplicity of expressed discourses, what we know of as subjectivity, in an arena which gives justice to each as well as all? But further, and I think this is the more aggravating of problems of plurality, how do we give justice to those entities which arrive unethically? Which is to say, for example, terrorists, or murderers, or despots or abusers? I think this is the significant question that Studebaker is outlining. For, we would have to be able to justify the actions of such entities within a larger scheme of ethics, which if we are putting morality above politics, further aggravates the problem because we already know that we can’t find it such a ground in plurality.

So good!

Ben, maybe you could give me the proper citation for this post? Xx






8 responses to “Repost of The Consequences of Catholicism for Political Theory”

  1. Hesiod Avatar

    If you liked Studebaker’s post on this, you should pick up William Connolly’s “The Augustinian Imperative.” Great book going into fuller and academic detail what Studebaker outlines here. I’ve reviewed it on Amazon as well. Great read.


  2. Anthony Garner Avatar

    Zeitgeist: Moving Forward.
    Post religion, there is still much we could do. we do not need to be nihilistic or despairing. We don’t need to believe in some dumb Christian god. But we do need to believe in what the better of the scriptures suggested was the way to treat each other.

    That movie is how I would like to see the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. landzek Avatar

      You’re not gonna like my answer.


      I think that ideas are just ideas. That they don’t move us in any direction. They are always reaction. Ideas are justification.

      And so I generally have a very unfashionable view of big ideas, ideology, systems, global, humanity… All these “big“ ideas just make too much sense to me. It makes so much sense to me, no matter what big idea it is, it all makes sense to me so perfectly that I hate even thinking about it.


      And so that’s why I’m a counselor. Because I’m more concerned about individual people. I don’t really think there is any such thing as ideology. Ideology is whatever people think it is, and so I enjoy helping people negotiate themselves in this ideological world if theirs.

      I know it makes no sense.

      But then also, I just watched the trailer of that movie. I just agree. In general. Every economic system we have does exactly the same thing. It is only with reference to our current situation that we see a difference.

      But the function is always the same: there are people who benefit, and there are people who don’t benefit. The particular organization is nearly incidental. And also, I go to really the basic question involved with at least what I saw in the trailer of the movie: what are we trying to do?

      I think the implicit answer is that we’re trying to allow as many human beings to survive as possible.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Anthony Garner Avatar

        I’m not sure that “we” are really doing that. Take that ghastly Chad bigwig who has just been killed. Or Mugabwe. Putin or Trump. Pol Pot or Idi Amin. And most politicians of lesser notoriety. I think it is mostly about greed for power and money. Staying at the top of the greasy pole. We need to abolish the pole! And abolish “ownership”. Because that way I think many more would survive and in greater comfort.


    2. landzek Avatar

      But my nihilistic philosophies aside: Ultimately there has to be some form of exchange, some form of trade, unless we all just produce our own. Which, I think can only happen in small communities.

      Also, I always think there’s going to be the haves and the have Nots, the greedy and the giving, and these don’t lineup in neat ways.

      It’s difficult to make a comment on just the trailer. maybe tonight I’ll see if I feel like setting in front of the TV for two hours to watch the movie.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Anthony Garner Avatar

        I don’t think the world has to work in that way. Especially with increasing automation and AI. I hope I am right. I desire a fairer, more equal and better world. And I believe it is possible. But that is obviously simply my own subjective opinion! Yes, carry on watching, please. Its the sort of world I think we deserve.


      2. landzek Avatar

        I’m digging the movie. And it has Gabor mate.


      3. landzek Avatar

        Yep. Despite my nihilistic philosophy. …lol. Yes it’s a very compelling argument. And indeed this is how I approach mental health, it’s called “trauma informed”. I work in mental hospital and we treat inpatient up to 100 patients. Including adolescents. The full range, from substance abuse, to anxiety depression suicide, to full on psychosis schizophrenia the very acute issues.

        Biopsychosocial model. Yes

        I’m only about 40 minutes into it. But I got to take it in pieces. So I guess there’s still two more hours left of the movie. Lol.


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