Monday, February 4, 2008

Ron Paul and Pius IX

John Zmirak, of Taki's Top Drawer, offers a provocative argument in favor of the Ron Paul Revolution and what could be called Tory anti-statism:

It seems clear that the public sphere in America is irretrievably secular. So the only logical response of Christians must be to try to shrink it. Instead of attempting to baptize a Leviathan which turned on us long ago, we’d do much better to cage and starve the beast. We should favor low taxes—period, regardless of the “good” use to which politicians promise to put it. We should oppose nearly every government program intended to achieve any aim whatsoever. We can make exceptions here and there: We can favor the protection of innocent lives, which would cover things like fixing traffic lights and throwing abortionists into prison. But that is pretty much that. Christian public policy should focus not on capturing the power of the State but shrinking it, to the bare minimum required to enforce individual rights, narrowly defined. Likewise, the share of our wealth seized by the state must be radically slashed, to allow for private initiatives and charities that will not be amoral, soulless, bureaucratic and counterproductive (like the secular welfare state). Instead of asking for handouts to our schools in the forms of vouchers, we should seek the privatization of public schools—which by their very nature, in today’s post-Christian America, are engines of secularism. And so on for nearly every institution of the centralized State, which has hijacked the rightful activities of civil society and the churches, and which every year steals so much of our wealth to squander on itself that we can barely afford to reproduce ourselves.

Zmirak concludes, that while he would essentially prefer a return of the Hapsburg dynasty and that the unity of the crown and altar can be persued in some communities, it cannot be done so here in the good ole USA:

In many cultural contexts, the State can fruitfully employ its power to promote the faith and morals held in common by a community. But that can’t happen here. Not in America. Several of our Founders, and generations of our lawyers, have seen to that. We have no more reason to cooperate with the secular state than Irishmen have to trust the British Crown. And that’s how I reconcile Ron Paul with Pius IX.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Colbert on Ron Paul

Stephen Colbert, political satirist and practicing Catholic, has a hillarious piece on Ron Paul's latest performance at the Republican debate:

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Federal Reserve is No Magisterium

Nicholas von Hoffman writes in The Nation:

Paul is the contender who seems to understand that the Federal Reserve Board is not the Vatican and that its chairman, Ben Bernanke, is not the pope. It's a fixed practice by our politicians to treat whoever is the chairman of the Fed as though he were endowed with infallible powers.

On Wall Street, the sharper ones know better. They understand that lowering interest rates every time the stock market swoons will eventually, or even a lot sooner, bring a world of pain down on us. As it is, thanks to the Fed, interest rates are lower than the rate of inflation. This anomalous condition is called "negative interest," and for savers it means that their money is disappearing even as it rests safely tucked away in certificates of deposit.

Our country's pervasive monetary ignorance is finally yielding to the wise instruction of Ron Paul and the bitter lessons of current experience. Inflation has been a problem in this country for many years, primarily from the fractional reserve banking practices of the Federal Reserve system. To Catholics who are interested in the moral problems behind economic phenomena, I urge a reading of this great essay by Professor Jorg Guido Hulsmann called "The Cultural and Spiritual Legacy of Fiat Inflation":
The spiritual dimension of these inflation-induced habits seems to be obvious. Money and financial questions come to play an exaggerated role in the life of man. Inflation makes society materialistic. More and more people strive for money income at the expense of personal happiness. Inflation-induced geographical mobility artificially weakens family bonds and patriotic loyalty. Many of those who tend to be greedy, envious, and niggardly anyway fall prey to sin. Even those who are not so inclined by their natures will be exposed to temptations they would not otherwise have felt. And because the vagaries of the financial markets also provide a ready excuse for an excessively parsimonious use of one’s money, donations for charitable institutions will decline.