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

Recent Comments

Is This Conservatism?

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on Apr 28, 07:38:

"Well, there's this difference..." And it's a true one, but underneath that difference still lies what they hold in common: the deification of choice. The fact that modern capitalism has had more measurable positive results than the Sexual Revolution doesn't negate the former's vast number of liabilities. And not a few commentators have argued that the two are interwoven, that each has, in effect, harnessed the energy of the other. They are able to do so because at root, individualistic autonomy is the d ... [More]

Is This Conservatism?

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 27, 18:14:

but should it not be held in tandem with the fact that we can learn from previous mistakes w/r/t the possible negative outcomes of "little changes"? I absolutely agree that we can learn from past mistakes, and apply better thinking to cases in front of us based on past mistakes. And throw Henry Ford out, his kind of thinking is part of the problem with so-called "businessmen" who think only of profits and not of human beings. The Left ignores the negative ramifications of the Sexual Revolution because ... [More]

Is This Conservatism?

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on Apr 27, 16:46:

"Given that no human can clearly and certainly foresee the specifics of the major shifts that result from the aggregate of the hundreds of the perfectly reasonable and inoffensive little changes, nobody can claim the moral authority to suppress the little changes as being contrary to good order, contrary to a culture, 'destruction' simply rather than growth and development." This is true, but should it not be held in tandem with the fact that we can learn from previous mistakes w/r/t the possible negative ... [More]

Is This Conservatism?

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 27, 15:21:

When the individualism is cast as "liberty," and the material benefits cloud the spiritual, intangible costs, it makes it difficult to critique the system at any sort of fundamental level. The various degradations thus cannot be even conceived as anything other than bugs, and the notion that some if not all of them may in fact be features is given no consideration. Thus the evidence is made to fit the theory and not the other way around. NM, I suspect that while in a theoretical sense what you say and what ... [More]

Anniversary Post--Conservatism Without Craziness

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on Apr 27, 10:38:

Of possible interest... the new issue of Modern Age arrived in the mail yesterday, and the theme is conservatism in the age of Trump. It features essays by Yuval Levin, Patrick Deneen, Samuel Goldman, and new editor Peter A. Lawler, and is examining some of the same issues brought up in these posts. ... [More]

Is This Conservatism?

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on Apr 27, 10:27:

"Markets (and other aspects of society besides markets, too) need to be able to respect and deal with individual goods, such as individual preferences and individual excellences, but WITHOUT elevating that respect to an all-encompassing principle driving the whole shebang. It is that false elevation which represents an anti-Christian anthropology." Agreed. But I think this is the exact problem with "capitalism," at very least in its post-Enlightenment manifestation. The individualist principle has become ... [More]

Anniversary Post--Conservatism Without Craziness

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 27, 10:06:

The conservatives allowed themselves to be beguiled by the fancy of creative destruction not realizing that this gale of entrepreneurship and destruction masked as creation Mactoul, I think the "conservative" sub-species you are primarily referring to here are, especially, neo-conservatives and economic conservatives, who simply in calling themselves '***-conservative' have hoodwinked a lot of conservatives into thinking that "this is cool for conservatives to think." This does create problems, in that t ... [More]

Anniversary Post--Conservatism Without Craziness

Comment posted by Edward on Apr 27, 07:40:

I think Roger Scruton has written somewhere that the purpose of a conservative intellectual is to defend the prejudices of the people, which I think echoes what Tony and Lydia have said. Most people will tend to reason in accordance with their society's prevailing habits of mind and moral principles, and most people are unable to explain from first principles why those habits and principles are either right or wrong. That's a comfort in normal time; an intellectually engaged conservative 100 years ago coul ... [More]

Anniversary Post--Conservatism Without Craziness

Comment posted by Mactoul on Apr 27, 01:16:

One feels here an all-prevailing mania for novelty. This hankering for mere novelty was visible to non-Americans. For instance Evelyn Waugh's Loved Ones which is set in California. The conservatives allowed themselves to be beguiled by the fancy of creative destruction not realizing that this gale of entrepreneurship and destruction masked as creation will not stop in economic sphere only and will overspill in social sphere as well. Even now, most conservatives are singing hymns of praise to capitalism ... [More]

Is This Conservatism?

Comment posted by Lydia on Apr 27, 00:07:

And if anyone tells me (as I just this afternoon read an alt-right site smugly and stridently declaring--and yes, it is definitely possible to be both smug and strident) that I will be somehow forced to choose his "side," even though I deem him to have both wicked ideas and wicked methods, because I won't have a choice, because this is war, etc., etc., then I recognize one thing immediately: This is the language of bullies. No one tells me that I "have to" support something I deem wrong and that in the end ... [More]

Anniversary Post--Conservatism Without Craziness

Comment posted by Lydia on Apr 26, 22:47:

There's a novel that was published, sort of by Dorothy Sayers, after her death. She had outlined it but not written most of it, so someone else, a friend of hers, was commissioned to finish it after Sayers died. In the novel the king of England dies (this is late thirties) and the one who would later get entangled with Mrs. Simpson becomes king. Lord Peter has a conversation with someone or other about the funeral procession for the old king and about what a convenient place it would be for a terrorist to ... [More]

Is This Conservatism?

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 26, 21:55:

In the interests of expanding on the distinction between being conservative and being alt-right, Vox Day has this to say: The Alt Right is an ALTERNATIVE to the mainstream conservative movement in the USA that is nominally encapsulated by Russel Kirk's 10 Conservative Principles, but in reality has devolved towards progressivism. It is also an alternative to libertarianism... The patron saint of conservatives, Russell Kirk, wrote: "The great line of demarcation in modern politics, Eric Voegelin used to ... [More]

Anniversary Post--Conservatism Without Craziness

Comment posted by Urban II on Apr 26, 21:46:

It not quite so much that there never was any consistency in the conservative grass roots, as that most of its people had never had to say why they held to what they held... That's a good point. What is today considered "radical right-wing fanaticism" was common sense 15 or 20 years ago. Back then I can't imagine any parent having to justify their decision to buy their daughter a My Little Pony. Today, you get called a bigot for doing so. After all, it's gender discrimination. ... [More]

Anniversary Post--Conservatism Without Craziness

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 26, 21:08:

We need, especially, men who exemplify it. We need them as husbands and fathers, to lead their wives, to provide for their families, to raise their daughters to be women and their sons to be men. I am tempted to say that young men are going to be beasts, unless pushed hard to be otherwise. The kinds of forces that push or pull them to be otherwise, are Christianity, solid law, and ... good women. By and large, if men - yes, even the young men in this generation - could not get sex from women outside of m ... [More]

Anniversary Post--Conservatism Without Craziness

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 26, 20:45:

I agree that the splintering of conservatives is a problem, but I think this is largely because there never was a consistent conservative movement. It's largely been a conglomeration of independent groups, such as Christians, the Secular Right, libertarians, and neoconservatives. I've often argued with so called conservatives that the "just powers of government" come from God, not the "consent of the governed" and the response is "you're no conservative. Go live in Iran". I think that's almost right, Urban ... [More]

Anniversary Post--Conservatism Without Craziness

Comment posted by Lydia on Apr 26, 18:29:

So we should have simultaneously fought the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany? Sometimes you have to pick your battles. I can sit here in my chair and fight both ways, loudly, and I will. Yeah, it's arguable that we should *not* have allied (as opposed to being co-belligerents) with the Soviet Union. But guess what? I'm not here to argue that. You know why? Because I don't think it's necessary to develop a Complete Theory of Every Alliance in Every Political and War Context in order to make statements about fi ... [More]

Anniversary Post--Conservatism Without Craziness

Comment posted by Urban II on Apr 26, 18:18:

I think *Christians* have splintered more and have gotten more confused--both confused veering left and confused veering...crazy. I think this is true. For instance, the Methodist Church just elected the first openly gay bishop. In that case, a poisonous "alternative" and one I would rather die than belong to. There are poisonous individuals and poisonous subgroups within any group or movement. Nevertheless, I do not describe what I think the Alt Right should be because I'm not interested in flame wars w ... [More]

Anniversary Post--Conservatism Without Craziness

Comment posted by Lydia on Apr 26, 17:25:

I think this is largely because there never was a consistent conservative movement. It's largely been a conglomeration of independent groups, such as Christians, the Secular Right, libertarians, and neoconservatives. I don't fully agree, because I think *Christians* have splintered more and have gotten more confused--both confused veering left and confused veering...crazy. (I hesitate to call it "right.") This is the strategy of the Alt Right. Stop bickering with Republicans and neocons about what a true ... [More]

Anniversary Post--Conservatism Without Craziness

Comment posted by Urban II on Apr 26, 16:12:

I've been reading this blog for ten years. I'm glad to see it still going. I agree that the splintering of conservatives is a problem, but I think this is largely because there never was a consistent conservative movement. It's largely been a conglomeration of independent groups, such as Christians, the Secular Right, libertarians, and neoconservatives. I've often argued with so called conservatives that the "just powers of government" come from God, not the "consent of the governed" and the response is "y ... [More]

If everything is holy, nothing is holy

Comment posted by Lydia on Apr 26, 10:37:

I'd say that other information is relevant to the interpretation. Viz. In 2006 Peter began collaborating with photographer/videographer Connie Barlow to render the particular songs that highlight evolutionary and ecological themes into captioned video formats ideal for contemplative viewing or sing-along in churches and spiritual centers. And "Church of the Earth." "O Sun." "Magical World." It is also relevant that his songs show no awareness of any clear, orthodox Christian theology or of God as a perso ... [More]

Surrogacy, selfishness, and IVF

Comment posted by Leslie on Apr 26, 00:39:

The first IVF was Jesus Christ. Jesus was created outside of Mary womb and implanted inside her by God. To some IVF is only way to conceive a baby. Who are you to say it's wrong? Who are you to judge? You're no one. ... [More]

To be or not to be...human.

Comment posted by Philippe Legault on Apr 25, 21:26:

Let's say one gifted human with a lot of potential has lived a life of pain and anger. This person, if he/she would survive the journey, could have the perception of both side and better understand both parties. The person could make the link between the high link and the humans. It would perhaps encourage all divided groups to join back in with a new perspective. There's still hope for this blue ball and its habitants. ... [More]

Is This Conservatism?

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 25, 19:25:

There is no conflict between community and market if it is kept in mind that market exists in community and for the sake of community. It is conceiving of markets in purely individualistic terms that is erroneous. Mactoul, I think this is entirely right. I think that ideally there is supposed to be a sort of synergy between the community and the individual: the individual commits himself to the common good, and in many ways elevates the common good above an individual's personal good; at the same time, t ... [More]

Metaxas and Brierley interviews

Comment posted by Lydia on Apr 25, 17:46:

Also, I got to decide how much trouble to give the publisher. :-) Ha! At least some trouble, I'm guessing. By the way, I've met Tim and I think he's an exceptionally patient man. Get any publisher/editor who has worked with each of us separately in an unbuttoned frame of mind and ask him which one was the easier author to work with. Go ahead, do it! I'll wait right here. :-) To prove that I've read every word, including notes, I did take a tiny bit of pleasure in the two W4 references. One great thing a ... [More]

If everything is holy, nothing is holy

Comment posted by Timothy McKamey on Apr 25, 14:34:

I went looking for the lyrics of Peter Mayer's wonderful song so I could sing it for our congregation. The song speaks to me in quite a different way, apparently, than it does to Lydia. But I must thank Lydia for her protests because it did generate some great discussion and provided some useful clarification of several theological concepts, particularly those from Perry Robinson and Carol. On first hearing Peter's song last month, it seemed fairly obvious, to me anyway, that he was not making literal stat ... [More]

Metaxas and Brierley interviews

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on Apr 25, 14:15:

Also, I got to decide how much trouble to give the publisher. :-) Ha! At least some trouble, I'm guessing. By the way, I've met Tim and I think he's an exceptionally patient man. In all seriousness, I echo Tony's remarks. The book works just fine for Roman Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox, etc. Lydia constrained her personality, you might say. Or you might say that it's still there and lively. Even at Good Friday and Easter services, I found myself flipping around during the readings to make the connecti ... [More]

Metaxas and Brierley interviews

Comment posted by Lydia on Apr 25, 09:25:

I was wondering, Lydia, whether there was any inclination to put Tim's name on the cover with yours, given the very substantial contribution he made to the coincidences you used. Not really. When Tim's name goes on something, he's an extremely hands-on co-author. The writing and all sorts of decisions, in all their details, are things he gives a lot of time to. He knew he didn't have the time to take that kind of care with the book, so he gave the whole project, qua project, over to me. This allowed me the ... [More]

Is This Conservatism?

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on Apr 25, 08:06:

Yes, Tony, I can certainly see how some sort of exchange system like the one of which you speak could exist in an unfallen world. It reminds me of what St. Maximus Confessor wrote about our free choice in the eschaton, where we will be able to choose between multiple goods, none of them less good than any other, but without the possibility of sin, i.e., a bad choice. Thing is, I don't know of many critics of capitalism that have a beef with markets per se, as markets obviously existed in pre-capitalist soc ... [More]

Is This Conservatism?

Comment posted by Mactoul on Apr 25, 00:21:

There is no conflict between community and market if it is kept in mind that market exists in community and for the sake of community. It is conceiving of markets in purely individualistic terms that is erroneous. ... [More]

Metaxas and Brierley interviews

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 24, 21:16:

I was wondering, Lydia, whether there was any inclination to put Tim's name on the cover with yours, given the very substantial contribution he made to the coincidences you used. :-)) It's really good stuff. People, if you haven't ordered your copy yet, this is a book you want to have. I also thought that you did a very good job of balancing tension across denominational lines in dealing with the Bread of Life discourse in John 6 (item 4 in the first chapter). You are right that the coincidences su ... [More]

Is This Conservatism?

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 24, 20:59:

Maybe that's the disconnect I sense, and I'm reading it into #20. Community is natural to man in a way that the market is not, given the latter's rootedness in the scarcity caused by the fall. That's an excellent question, NM! I have a theory (of sorts) about it, and even though it is by no means a complete theory, I think it addresses your concern at least a little. Let's consider what might human society might have been like 40 or 50 generations after the Temptation, if Adam and Eve had not sinned an ... [More]

Is This Conservatism?

Comment posted by NM on Apr 24, 18:42:

This makes sense. But am I wrong, or does #18 seem somewhat to privilege markets among man's post-fall community activities? Maybe that's the disconnect I sense, and I'm reading it into #20. Community is natural to man in a way that the market is not, given the latter's rootedness in the scarcity caused by the fall. In any case, I'd still argue that our contemporary thinking on the subject of economics is gravely tainted by a false view of human liberty, one that fails to take into account Creation as ... [More]

An International Day of Celebration

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 23, 14:58:

"Inevitable" in the sense of Hillary Clinton's successful campaign? Those who deny these plain facts are the usual cadre of short-sighted self-seekers: wealthy businesspeople, religious fanatics, the uneducated, the political animals, the haters. You have a typo, there, Jake. It should be "successful businessmen..." ... [More]

An International Day of Celebration

Comment posted by Lydia on Apr 23, 08:48:

Great fakeout. The first E.D. was in 1970 on the 100th anniversary of Lenin's birth. ... [More]

Is This Conservatism?

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 22, 15:42:

16: The family is a natural community and is prior to the state. 17: God made a gift of the world to mankind for us to use. 18: Men are rightly free to choose how they will use the world by applying themselves to the resources at hand, taking into account certain social obligations and existing limits on those resources. 20: Due to sin and to local variation in men, resources and in customs, an absolutely unrestrained marketplace does not meet the needs of men. but I'd say that 18 and 19 should deri ... [More]

Is This Conservatism?

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on Apr 22, 11:45:

"I may regret this, but..." :-) "do you mean that my numbers 18 and 19 are wrong?" Not necessarily, but I'd say that 18 and 19 should derive from a variant of 20, and be colored by it, rather than the other way around. I think you're getting the cart before the horse. I see this resulting from a sort of lacuna between numbers 16/17 and 18 -- man-in-community jumps to man as individual in the marketplace. As they say in England, "Mind the gap." Or to put this another way, I don't see it as warranted to ... [More]

Ten Years of What's Wrong with the World

Comment posted by Lydia on Apr 22, 09:33:

Still I do get the feeling that cooler heads like ours will be forced to choose a side (both of whom are enemies). I won't do that. ... [More]

Is This Conservatism?

Comment posted by Tony on Apr 21, 16:08:

I may regret this, but... Nice, do you mean that my numbers 18 and 19 are wrong? Now that I think about it, that could be taken either of two ways: (a) 18 and 19 do not express what conservatives think; or (b) 18 and 19 do express what conservatives think, but conservatives are wrong on this. ... [More]

Is This Conservatism?

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on Apr 21, 14:21:

"An infection that is now beginning to be recognized to what it is, partly thanks to the alt-right." and "If anything, the alt-right's tendency to dismiss issues like abortion or even to actively diss the pro-life movement as 'dysgenic' plays right into the hands of the libertine wing of libertarianism." If the Right needs to learn anything, it's that "choice devours itself" in both the sexual AND economic spheres. There is very little difference between "I can do what I want -- it's my body!" and "I ca ... [More]

Is This Conservatism?

Comment posted by Urban II on Apr 21, 13:04:

There is no reason to not use BOTH good rhetoric AND reason - since reason is actually on our side, (since "our side" is whatever is true). I absolutely agree. I think effective rhetoric must be based on truth. I also think it's important to know when to reason and when to use rhetoric. For example, don't try to reason with the Safespace Warriors on college campuses. They deserve to be mocked, not reasoned with. Effectively, relying on such methods without ever trying to change their thinking through reas ... [More]