Will wait for Trump to buy Greenland instead.

A blank canvas, after all, is better; and there won’t be any obnoxious Italian bureaucracy to tussle with. The absolute quiet, and the big views of ice-floes drifting along the Arctic, will conduce to shared visions of the Cathophate to come.

‘[Michel] Houellebecq is among a growing number of Western intellectuals flirting with anti-liberalism: Perhaps liberalism is not the unmitigated good most of us are raised to believe it is. In an odd way, though, liberalism’s critics end up saying more about the resilience of liberalism than its demise.’

Here’s an excellent, brief, 2018 essay about the trend – especially among a group of Catholic scholars in America – to dump liberal democracy for theocracy. Shadi Hamid’s focus is fundamentalist Islam, but his argument applies as well to the emergence, here, of intellectual briefs for what UD calls a Cathophate.

Ol’ UD remains truly shocked right down to the ground that respectable American academics openly argue for a future of religious tyranny in this country, of “Christian authoritarianism — muscular paternalism, with government enforcing social solidarity for religious reasons.” I mean to say that the moment I grasped what Adrian Vermeulen and Patrick Deneen and company were about, I was fucking gobsmacked, and I still am. I’m still all of a mucksweat about it. I’m like in permanent Margaret Dumont shock.

Chalk it up to UD‘s naivete + emotional instability if you like, but I actually don’t get why all sentient Americans aren’t shitting themselves over being told by Mariolatric Madoffs that they need only invest in the Edmund Waldstein Radiant Future Fund to realize Total Happiness Now and Forever. God does not want you for an Individual Liberty friend! In Bondage and Submission lies Salvation!

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Whew. Hold on. Getting a little hot here…

… Margaret Dumont only pretended to be scandalized by the twisted Marx Brothers; similarly, maybe UD‘s sublimating her actual erotic attraction to The Story of O, Saved by Flagellants… ? To the idea of a total male total priesthood running their switches over her bum… ?

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Yet. As Hamid asks, “Is a lack of meaning really worse than a lack of freedom? … What liberalism’s critics appear unable, or unwilling, to address is whether a lack of meaning is a worse problem to have than a lack of freedom.” Maybe liberalism – “the political order that privileges non-negotiable rights, personal freedoms, and individual autonomy” – issues in some degree of conceptual confusion, and maybe even in a difficulty or refusal to commit oneself to clear philosophical/theological convictions – but is this really so unbearable a position to be in that one’s only option is rule by monks who think burning heretics at the stake is key to good governance?

“Endless free choice,” as Deneen disparagingly calls it, is a dead end. Choice needs to be a means to something else, but to what? Legally based religious systems—which only Islam among the largest religions potentially offers—quite consciously seek to restrict choice in the name of virtue and salvation…

And that’s the thing. Deneen can argue all he likes about the disabling side effects of individual liberty, but what he’s really about is damnation or salvation. The Medieval Church wafts you upward; free thought’s an express train to the abyss.

As the doorbell ringers at the beginning of The Book of Mormon put it: Have fun in hell.

Jumpin’ Jesuits! What the hell’s the deal at Georgetown University?

You name the scandal, one of America’s most Catholic educational institutions has a high-profile entry. Georgetown had more Varsity Blues bogus students than anyone else; its longtime tennis coach is just a plain old career criminal; a half dozen priests with Georgetown associations “have [recently] been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.” It took ages and lots of pressure from students for it to revoke the honorary degree it gave to super-sexed Theodore McCarrick, a regular and adored presence in Georgetown’s chapels and classrooms. And so it goes.

And I mean yeah it really goes. Like every month. This month there’s the knotty little matter of one of its football players getting arrested for first degree murder.

Clearly the Jesuits running the school are weenies. A firm hand is needed, and UD recommends as next Georgetown president Pater Edmund Waldstein, a leader of the Adrian Vermeulen-sponsored Cathophate-to-Come, who would not hesitate to burn people at the stake.

“[O]ne finds herein the remarkably complex phenomenon of a plagiarist plagiarizing a plagiarizing text produced by a different plagiarist.”

Again, the same texts are predicated of differing subjects, which [M.V.] Dougherty said calls “into question the intelligibility of the texts manufactured by the two plagiarizing ghostwriters. Have they each produced coherent works of Catholic teaching, or are the plagiarizing documents simply theological word-salads?”

UD can’t wait for Adrian Vermeule’s and Edmund Waldstein’s Catholic state (see details here). UD calls it a cathophate, since it is something of a Catholic parallel to the caliphate some radical Muslims work toward.

In anticipation of that glorious day when the Catholic church is the state, UD has been reading the Catholic press.

The Catholic News Agency is a good source on the sort of discourse we can anticipate from our priest-rulers. Here is one article in that outlet about high-level Catholic preachment.

Many priests plagiarize or employ ghostwriters, or plagiarize and employ ghostwriters. The ghostwriters may themselves plagiarize. And since – again – many priests apparently plagiarize – a lot – the plagiarizers may well be plagiarizing from plagiarizers. The final product, preached by very busy important priest-rulers who use ghostwriters, may therefore be a plagiarized plagiarized ghostwritten statement of Truth to us, their subjects, from the authorities.

It is rather like the mysterious trinity, with Father being the King standing above us mouthing words he pretends to have written — words that tell us the truths we must believe and be ruled by; Son being the plagiarist who feeds stolen words to the words-mouthing Father; and Holy Ghostwriter being the ancient obscure force of originary plagiarism.

Wow. Usually the hardened career criminal on campus can be found somewhere on or around the football team.

I guess at classier, godlier, places, it’s … the tennis coach…

Now, when UD says ‘godly’ she doesn’t mean Libertine University’s Jerry Falwell Jr. I want you to rid your thoughts of President My Brothers in Christ Just Gave My Big Ol’ Dick Ten and a Half Million Dollars to Shrivel Up and Go Away. Jerry’s debauchery has ruled the airwaves for the last couple of weeks; but today I want you to turn your attention to Georgetown University’s Gordon Ernst [scroll down], a truly committed professional long-term larcenist who somehow for over a decade was allowed to swan along the courts of Georgetown impersonating an upscale (gave the Obama kids lessons) tennis coach while fraudulently admitting any kid whose parents gave him two hundred thousand dollars. His wife seems to have been his accomplice and everything… And not one of the Jesuit bros suspected a thing?

The dude just got hit with more charges today – if his criminal enterprise hadn’t been shut down, half of Georgetown’s current student body would be made up of bad tennis players with billionaire forebearers – and it’s clear from descriptions of his MO that if you didn’t fully pay up he came after you. Ask Amin Khoury about that pesky $20,000 Gordie was owed.

I mean, Georgetown really needs to sit down and ask itself why it’s so corrupt, with all its Catholic airs. Something’s deeply wrong with a flamboyantly religious school which long harbored – knowingly? unknowingly? both options are bad – so flamboyantly criminal a person. Throw in Georgetown’s difficulty breaking relations with a whole host of priestly sexual criminals on and around campus, and it makes UD wonder whether she truly wants to live in Adrian Vermeule’s Cathophate.

Shit Fishing in America

Wee UD was so excited to read the opening pages of Christopher Lasch’s Culture of Narcissism (1979). Already tutored in the Wastelander philosophy of her Northwestern University professor Erich Heller (a refugee from Hitler, he came by his despair honestly), she was way ready for the everything’s shit in America thing Lasch had going. She enjoyed imagining herself far superior to the shallow narcissists at the heart of his analysis; and she for sure enjoyed his incessant invocation of an entirely catastrophic US of A.

It took UD years to recognize that total, eloquent denunciations of the total despicableness of this or that culture are seductive and dangerous things. Fascists and communists specialized in them. Sharia-touts will gas on all night about the comprehensive decadence of America and Europe. Cathophates (UD‘s term for Catholics who want to gift us with a Catholic caliphate) write books and books and books with the following come-on: Hey, citizen of a democratic secular state – aren’t you depressed and lonely and empty? Wouldn’t you like to be part of a warm embracing community that will endow your suicidal existence with meaning and purpose and eternal life so you won’t even have death-anxiety?

Elder-UD has learned to appreciate people like Cancel-Culture-Target-du-Jour Steven Pinker. While no Pangloss, he’s not simply one more intellectual trying to snow you with the hopelessness of it all.

Of course UD still thinks things are pretty stinkin’ – what with the ascendancy of Trump – and she still thinks dark-eyed despair sexier than clear-eyed calm… But she’s wary, now, of high-gloss misery peddlers. Cuz most of them are selling something. Something extreme.

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