In Completing the Groundwork of a Hierarchy of Sovereign Corporations, I suggested that we have all long lived under the government of a stack of sovereign corporations, in each of which we each own an effectual single share; and that a transition to a feudal stack of such sovereign corporations could be effected if these shares were split into two classes of dividend paying shares: D for denizens and C for denizens who are also citizens [for more on the similarities and differences between D and C shares, please review that post].
What would happen if such D and C shares were issued, one of each class to each citizen?
The thing need not be that difficult, in principle.
Consider first that you are already at once a denizen, participant and – provided you are not merely a stranger passing through – a member of a village or neighbourhood, of its county or city, of its province or state, and of its nation. All of us, throughout the world, live this way without a second thought. We each of us bear duties to and enjoy privileges under each of these sorts of sovereign entities. So has it been since the dawn of civilization.
Villages, counties, provinces and nations have furthermore been always ordered, and have always been legal agents. They have acted, owned property, engaged in commercial transactions (even if only so far as to collect taxes or fees and then pay their officers), negotiated agreements, granted benefices, levied penalties, and so forth. They have, i.e., been actual entities – i.e., entities that act – and for a thousand years at least have been treated as corporations (with the sole proprietorships of royal or lordly domains construed as ‘corporations sole’). They have been construed as corporations on account of the fact that they were understood to be real, albeit invisible, bodies.
It’s not terrorism, crime, or wage depression. We don’t have nearly enough of them for those to be major issues (yet). The real reason many don’t like Muslim immigration is this:
This is an excellent propaganda piece for our side. It’s easy for people to say that our country isn’t defined by religion, race, or culture, but to see that picture is to behold the abyss behind those thoughts. “We the people”, it says, meaning this is a picture of us, a picture of Americans. And yet, the first thing you think when seeing that woman is that she is foreign. Not only does she belong to a religion alien to our civilization, she maintains the style of dress and standard of modesty of an alien culture. To notice this is not to criticize. There is nothing wrong with the hijab, but it is not how we traditionally cover our women. Islam is a false religion, but so is Unitarianism, and we easily recognize the former but not the latter as foreign. This woman is probably not a terrorist. She might be able to recite the Constitution from memory, and her political philosophy might be identical to that of James Madison. According to liberalism, according to the First Amendment, she is as American as any one of us, because to be American means nothing more than to be committed to a certain set of procedures of government. If in a hundred years, all Americans were to look like this, liberalism demands you accept that nothing fundamental would have changed.
And yet we immediately sense that the woman in the picture is foreign–her image was chosen precisely for this reason, to show us the implications of our tolerance. If she is “we the people”, than what are we, the people belonging to America’s traditional culture? We are nothing; no such “we” is allowed to exist. No region of the country, no profession, and no association can admit that this woman is foreign to it. People say that Islam is the dog that pisses on every tree; where it comes, it owns. But even if our Muslim American harbors no such designs for supremacy, she delegitimizes our culture just by the fact that we cannot admit her foreignness. A Muslim America wouldn’t necessarily be a bad place. It might have any number of virtues. But would it really still be our country, the same country that exists right now?
The university library is running a promotional campaign to assure students that they are, indeed, welcome inside, where the books are found. The suggestion, as you shall see, is that many are presently skirting the library because they fear that bigots may haunt the stacks, and that hurtful words may be heard among the whispers. Apparently it is this rumor of hostility (and not, say, ubiquitous access to the worldwide web) that has rendered the postmodern library such a forlorn and desolate place. Continue reading
What follows is a summary of an article that yesterday appeared in our local newspaper. It stands, I believe, as a caution to all of us who who have girded our loins and waded into the hurly burly of religious controversy. Continue reading
I conclude that it has two ultimate causes. One is well known: The leftist doctrine that men victimize women, whites victimize nonwhites, normal people victimize sexual deviants, and so on.
But this doctrine has been around for decades, if not centuries. It wasn’t enough to create the “safe space” phenomenon until a few years ago. (Although we can identify a precursor in the various “ethnic studies” programs created starting in the 1960s whose main purpose was to give academically-weak nonwhites a semi-academic field in which they could excel.) Continue reading
It is silly to suggest that morality cannot be legislated. Legislation *just is* the legislation of morality. Laws are formal promulgations of the convictions of the mighty regarding what is ill done, and by implication what is well enough done. Laws tell us what it is important to do, and what it is important not to do; by what they omit to cover, they tell us what is not important, what is in the eye of the Law neither here nor there. Statute by statute, they constitute a written and procedural record of a comprehensive moral vision of things.
Conservatism is, ironically, the one political philosophy that has failed to convert itself into a tradition. Each generation, it must be discovered anew, as a new voice arises to remind us that the job of the Right is not just to be a bit more practical than the Left in how we demand freedom and equality. Roger Scruton was that voice in the late 1970s, and his great work The Meaning of Conservatism reminded us that conservatism is not about freedom but about authority, the authority not only of the state but of a host of autonomous institutions. As he describes in his new book How to be a Conservative, Scruton’s work behind the Iron Curtain softened his attitudes toward Western liberalism shortly after he wrote The Meaning of Conservatism. The experience of socialist totalitarianism inclined him more positively to classical liberalism, if not to its Lockean justifications. In How to be a Conservative, Scruton again attempts to explain his understanding of conservatism. Again it has very much to do with his horror at seeing the institutions of civil society treated as means to an extrinsic end (now no longer called socialism, but social justice). It is a conservatism in the moderate British style, with all the good and bad that come with this approach. He generously tries to see the valid insight driving each ideology of the day; the chapters are named “The Truth in Nationalism”, “The Truth in Internationalism”, “The Truth in Socialism”, etc. (The last-named chapter, though, is mostly about the falsity of socialism.) Finally he comes to conservatism, which supposedly incorporates the truth in these other beliefs while rejecting their excesses. Scruton’s conservatism does, I think, succeed in this goal. It also fails to conserve anything.
You may have seen the article in the New York Times entitled “Christian Leaders Denounce Trump’s Plan to Favor Christian Refugees.” If not, and if you are not already struggling with suicidal depression, you can read it here. This article reminds us, once again, that Christianity is the religion with no benefits. Members pay dues, of course, but the table they spread is open to everyone. Continue reading
Accusing people of fascism seems to be all the rage nowadays. A popular jingle puts it this way:
No Trump! No K.K.K! No fascist U.S.A!
Getting the meter right is a little tricky at first, but as this jingle is almost always a mob chant, newbies seldom have to go it alone. If you try it at home, I suggest that it is most fun to really dig into the three K’s, so that they sound like the rat-tat-tat of a pistol firing, and then stress the first syllable of the word Fascist in what the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins called sprung rhythm. Don’t repeat the rat-tat-tat effect with the U, S, and A., though, since this trips up the meter. Continue reading