Wednesday, January 29, 2014

On Having a Side

I've complained before about not having a side.  I miss having a side.  You know, a "side".  As in "Hooray for our side!"  In politics I just don't have a side any more.  When I was a boy I had a side and politics was loads more fun.  Now, it's just Hudge and Gudge, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, and . . . who were the two candidates in Pickwick?  I've drawn a blank.  If I remember before I post this, I'll look it up and fill in their names.  If you're actually reading this bit of text, you'll know that the memory remains as fallible as ever.  In any event, I suppose it was always just Hudge and Gudge but I was having too much fun to notice.

In any event, this week's The Wanderer in the "From the Mail" column has a nice piece pointing out why I don't have a side:

An update on the dialectic: The January 16 edition of FTM featured the wisdom of the late Brent Bozell, founding editor of Triumph, on how a truly Christian politics is outside — cannot be part of — the liberal dialectic, that narrow little cell which holds what is acceptable or not to our Republican/ Democrat duopoly.

That same subject was also discussed in a commentary, “ Transcending the Dialectic,” by the late philosopher Frederick Wilhelmsen of the University of Dallas.

“ Close readers of this magazine will have discovered the difficulties of trying to locate the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church in the conventional slots of left, right, and center. The orthodox view of religious authority seems ‘ rightist’; the orthodox limitations on war- making seem to have ‘ leftist’ consequences. The orthodox approach to culture often looks quite ‘ conservative’; the approach to economics and government alarmingly ‘liberal.’ “In politics the orthodox Catholic appears to be a romantic traditionalist one moment and an anarchist the next. Nor is anything more futile than to try to place orthodoxy ‘ in the middle of the road.’ Orthodox Catholics, plainly, don’t fit
anywhere in the philosophical and political dialectic that governs the dying secular order — which is an enormous advantage, of course, since there is no room for them in the conventional coffins in which history is burying the order. . . .

“[ T] he whole meaning of orthodoxy, in the context of the modern world, is that Christianity is
outside the dialectic. . . . The whole political vocation of Christians is consciously and purposively to transcend the dialectic.”