Faith schools in the modern British state

Posted by Guest Blogger on Monday, 01 November 2004 11:13.

Americans who don’t realize how traditional complexities often linger in England in spite of the left/liberal tendency of British politics are surprised by the persistence of faith schools there. It shouldn’t surprise anyone, though, that the secular and multicultural commitments of the British state have now made faith schools an issue, or that the issue has its practical complexities that reflect something more general than peculiar English conditions.

The practical problem is that secular multicultural education is always bad, at least on any large scale, because schools of that kind can’t have educational goals that are more sustaining than pliability on the one hand and the effective pursuit of self-interest on the other. If the moral world consists solely of the conflicting purposes of various people, then you either teach children to do what they’re told or you teach them to get what they want. The results of such an outlook when applied to education are fundamental aimlessness, aggression, manipulation, boredom, stupidity, and general bad conduct. Everybody hates everybody, and nobody learns anything.

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Shucks, why’s somebody always gotta go say it better?

Posted by Guessedworker on Monday, 01 November 2004 11:09.

That’s blog-life.  No sooner have I made my, of course, lengthy and laboured point than some guy goes and says it all so much more precisely.  And concisely.  That’s academics all over!

Thanks Kevin.


Buttiglione, a Brit at the Dom and the dog that didn’t bark

Posted by Guessedworker on Sunday, 31 October 2004 16:57.

There has been no shortage of blogging about Rocco Buttiglioni.  He is, or was, good copy.  He brought about a colourfully chaotic passage in EU life, and we should all be grateful for that.  No doubt, the focus will now quickly move on.  His honesty and principle will not be much remembered.  Probably, there was never much chance that he could succeed to the Commission.  But it was a stand worth making, if only to remind us how dominant, arrogant and wrong the left is.

That said, one shouldn’t get too carried away with Rocco’s heroism.  He wasn’t proposing to expunge cultural marxism from the face of Europe.  Quite the contrary -  as a modern conservative politician he was a realist on social policy in the same way that his more or less post-socialist persecutors in the European Parliament are more or less realists on economic policy.  And he wanted that justice job.

So, with this post I will not pile more words onto the mountain of them blogged about the erstwhile Buttiglioni crisis.  Instead, I am going to ask you to make three leaps of the imagination.  If nothing else that is, as my foolish generation used to repeat ad nauseum, something completely different.

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Iraq, 9/11 and the state of the West

Posted by Phil Peterson on Sunday, 31 October 2004 07:28.

At the risk of beating the same drum as the formidable Matt Nuenke, I publish my first post here on a subject which I believe reveals more about the state of the post-modern West than any other: 9-11 and Iraq.

Much ink has been spilled on this, the most remarkable of follies in American history. Some of that ink speaks for folly, issuing a call to arms for further action against Iran, Syria and a few other Neocon favourites in the Middle East. Traditional conservatives and Paleos have, in contrast, attempted to demonstrate the nature of this folly and how the “project” has little to do with conservatism properly understood.

With President Bush running for re-election on essentially one slogan: “9-11 changed America”, it is perhaps a good time to take stock of where America - and where the West - stands after that event.

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Why the war in Iraq will fail

Posted by Matt Nuenke on Thursday, 28 October 2004 08:25.

As the Presidential Elections draw towards their close in the United States, Kerry and Bush strive with increasing intensity to assure us that each is uniquely able to defend America.  But in all the claim and counter-claim the assumption that there can actually be such a thing as a War on Terror goes unchallenged.

Well, is that so surprising?  Modern warfare has always been instigated by the elite and, of course, fought by the masses.  It was won when the elite found it too costly or simply ran out of resources to fight on - usually a shortage of men, materials and/or territory.  The enemy, meanwhile, was crushed as a definable materialistic unit, not as an abstract set of attitudes emanating from the common man.  Warfare was always about governments indoctrinating the people about the rightness of their cause against the enemy, and the people rallying around the cause until victory or defeat was at hand.  Moreover, the victor wrote the history, defining how and why the war was started and what was at stake.

The current conflict is far different, and few are able to comprehend the consequences of fighting such a war using the old assumptions.

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Do liberals discriminate?

Posted by Guest Blogger on Wednesday, 27 October 2004 04:50.

Are liberals willing to practise religious discrimination? In the case of Chris Cranmer, it seems not. Mr Cranmer has won recognition of his satanism on board his Royal Navy ship, meaning that he is free to publicly practise satanic rituals and to have a funeral carried out by the Church of Satan.

But then we get to the case of Signor Buttiglione who has been deemed unacceptable for a position of responsibility with the EU because of his orthodox Catholicism - this despite a promise that he would keep his Catholic beliefs private.

Matthew Parris, in a column in the Sunday Times, wrote of Mr Buttiglione that,

“Signor Buttiglione claims that he has been the victim of anti-Christian discrimination ... I think Signor Buttiglione has indeed been the victim of anti-Christian discrimination, and that such discrimination is now in order ... Catholic teaching on contraception and abortion are unacceptable and insulting, not only to me but also the majority of Europeans, and the overwhelming majority of educated Europeans. I do not shrink from according special status to the educated, for they lead thought.” (via Conservative Commentary)

So, we’ve arrived at a situation where it’s thought reasonable to allow Satanism to be practised in the Royal Navy, but that Catholicism is too “insulting” to be accepted even as a private belief by a political candidate.

Liberals, in other words, will discriminate on the grounds of religion, but just aren’t concerned to discriminate against satanists. In fact, on one very liberal Australian website, satanism was declared to be admirable for its “frank and rational hedonism”. So I don’t like the chances of a return to a more traditional ordering of things, in which discrimination was practised against satanists rather than Christians, at leat not in modern liberal societies.


An Aphorism

Posted by Guest Blogger on Sunday, 24 October 2004 20:15.

“Modern man does not love, but seeks refuge in love; does not hope, but seeks refuge in hope; does not believe, but seeks refuge in a dogma.” —Nicolás Gómez Dávila

I think that this outlines a central flaw in the modern soul.  Everything good and great exists as a means to a pitiful and self-serving end.  We justify our lives by the metric of personal satisfaction.


More than a pretty face

Posted by Guessedworker on Friday, 22 October 2004 17:24.

Something perfectly pointless, egregiously superficial and just plain corny has passed into history with the decision by ABC to drop Miss America from it’s 2005 schedule.  It isn’t a passing that will trouble many.  Last month’s pageant drew a record low of 9.8 million viewers.  The American public has pronounced sentence on the high heels and swimwear, the tiara tat and tearfulness in victory.  No more brilliantly smiling hopefuls from Abbeyville or Rainbow Springs will tell the nation that, yes, they adore children and just want the chance to work for a better world.  I don’t know what “totter off in peace” would be in Latin.  But something like that would seem to be appropriate.

OK, so what?  The Humourless Ones For Whom No Man Ever Cared will savour the moment, obviously.  But why should we bother about the passing of these cattle markets?  Well, it’s simple really.  We should bother because there is more to this than a minor, overdue triumph for sexual equality.  We should bother because of what it tells us about our own wives and daughters and the people they and we have become.

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