This blog features mainly the Cathophate aspect of the weird right…

… but there’s SOOOO much more, as this terrific essay from last year notes.

My Own Private Cathophate

Catholic integralism has enjoyed a small renaissance on the right in recent years, taken up by prominent apologists like Adrian Vermeule, a law professor at Harvard, and Sohrab Ahmari, the op-ed editor at the New York Post.

[In this connection, a] sort of authoritarian tourism [is emerging among] a new generation of right-wingers who, alienated from the secular liberalism of America, are attracted to illiberal alternatives. The same impulses that took [Brent Bozell] to Franco’s Spain now attract the Tucker Carlsons and Rod Drehers of the world to Orbán’s Hungary. Theorists like Vermeule and Ahmari might dream of a Christian commonwealth, but Orbán is showing how it is actually done, providing a real world model to emulate…


Afghanistan’s caliphate will no doubt be Vermeule and company’s next stop on the authoritarian theocracy tourist trail. Excise Mohammed and you’re in the same spiritual universe, with a close to identical social ethos. Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada, with his global ambitions, is a far better tourist attraction than provincial Orbán, for while integralist Hungary contents itself with its iota of irrelevant territory, Akhundzada is just getting started.

‘[W]e never hear people shouting slogans like “This is what aristocracy looks like!” or “The people, under the guidance of virtuous aristocrats, will never be defeated!” Popular movements aim for popular power.’

LOL. Jodi Dean describes the aristocratic Catholic governing authority trying to worm its way into our democratic hearts.

Public morals legislation, the public observation of Christian religious practices, and a family policy aimed toward incentivizing marriage and increasing family size (as opposed to, say, promoting reproductive justice and publicly funded childcare) are hardly the stuff of a multiracial, multiethnic working-class party in a secular society that recognizes the existence of women and the LGBTQ+ community.

Duh. If you want to know what life under a Cathophate would look like, revisit Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, and take a gander at Lady Marchmain – that megaCatholic upper-cruster. She’ll be president, and her son Bridey VP, in the Cathophate to Come, and together their putrescent moral superiority will reduce us all to sniveling drunks, like poor Sebastian.

Scathing Reviews of the book Regime Change by Patrick Deneen, Part 2.

Yikes. Thought the one in the NYT was bad?

Given Deneen’s influence, the incredible sloppiness of the writing in Regime Change is a surprise. Many of his sentences are ambiguous if not incomprehensible, many of his paragraphs internally contradictory. There are places where the literal meaning of the words on the page are precisely opposite to what he plainly intends to convey. (When he says that it was “not uncoincidental” that two related things coincided, I doubt he means they happened together merely by chance.)

Even going to great lengths to puzzle out the strongest versions of the arguments Deneen seems to be making will get the reader only so far. Every one of his major claims disintegrates under scrutiny. You’re left with the impression that he barely understands his own ideas, and that he misunderstands entirely the thing he’s arguing against.

… Yes, people are ticked off about woke overreach by the progressive left. But the idea that most Americans favor a crackdown on pornography or a reintroduction of Sabbath laws or any of Deneen’s other post-liberal fantasies is comical.


Yeah, but when Deneen and his monk take over, this reviewer will be the first heretic burned at the stake.


To make matters worse – taken to task by two lady reviewers in the NYT and Reason.

Post-monk, they’ll only open their mouths to sing the Cathophate’s national anthem, Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed.

‘The political Catholic wants to order the nation and its state to the natural and divine law, the tranquility of order…’

Harvard’s oddest lays out the glorious Cathophate-to-Come.

America’s Theocrats Might Want to Take a Look at What’s Happening in Iran.

Our Christian Nationalists, Cathophate-Planners, and assorted hierocrats need to start thinking about how hard they’re willing to crack down – once they take over the country – on what’s emerging as a more and more secular American population.

Harvard’s Adrian Vermeule and his Xian Morality Brigade fully expect that, when we spiritually parched people taste the blessings of the strict – but loving – Xian state, we will be blissed out, flooded with gratitude, and utterly obedient:

Subjects will come to thank the ruler whose legal strictures, possibly experienced at first as coercive, encourage subjects to form more authentic desires for the individual and common goods, better habits, and beliefs that better track and promote communal well-being.

I’m thinking their Mullah-Doubles over in Iran must have felt just as confident when they decreed deadly divine dicta for everyone (but specially for breasty hairy femmes); yet a glance at the current situation in that glorious theocracy tells you you got trouble right here in Isfahan City.

See, when a small group of woman-reviling fanatics who think they have a pipeline to God take over a government and start imposing their twisted morality on everybody, things might not turn out all that well. Iran’s on fire, sparked by the Morality Police’s inevitable murder of a young woman whose body swaddling was insufficiently tight to excite the squad. Bad girl and now we will beat you and kill you wow did that feel good.

Not sure how much longer the fun can last. The orgasmic release of harlot-homicide may be less and less available to the pious men of Iran as the country’s population torches the cities.

“Ginni Thomas urged Mark Meadows to overturn the 2020 election by any means necessary—while her husband was ruling on cases attempting to overturn the election. A truly extraordinary level of corruption.”

But since Meadows and Thomas did it all under orders from Jesus (their texts are shot through with Good v Evil), we can only join the editorial board of Compact (see post below) and applaud these servants of the Lord. Satan stole the election, but they fought the good fight and will be granted sainthood by President Waldstein in the Cathophate to come.


Meanwhile, Justice Thomas has been hospitalized with Lying Low Syndrome.

‘It’s good to know the integralists are willing to embrace the full implications of their position.’

Read it all. It’s short.

The Cathophate to come! So much to love.

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 Vermeule 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!


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… ?


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 Vermeule-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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