Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Stamp a cross on this one, Biff! We need the rubes' support here!

I strongly lean conservative in most of my religious views, and certainly in my political views - or at least I end up supporting positions that you can quickly call 'conservative' at a glance. At the same time, I realize that 'conservatism' is not some monolithic position where somehow there same assumptions and beliefs that get you to 'No gay marriage' also get you to 'Keep taxes low', as much as some people think the two are deeply connected. I'm also well aware that politically, social conservatives and religious conservatives are many times just another political group that has to be appealed to by protectors of interests that not only have little to do with SoCon/religious concerns, but may actually fit poorly with them. And while I get annoyed at liberals pretending that Christ Himself demands Obamacare, I get equally annoyed when it looks like someone is awkwardly trying to appeal to religious right-wingers on the flimsiest of bases.

This article is a good example of the latter. The situation: a conservative condemning an article which advocated for the socialization of law - putting all people in the US in the same situation of having to rely on the same 'pool' of public defenders. No more million dollar defense teams for OJ Simpson - he'll be getting a public defender. And here's the big plea:

Throughout the ages, most religions have rightly condemned envy as a terribly destructive motivator, harmful both to the individual and to the community. The Bible warns of it repeatedly and the thinkers of the Middle Ages elevated (lowered?) it to be one of the Seven Deadly Sins. And yet the modern leftists' embrace of class resentment is nothing more than envy dressed up in the language of virtue.

When someone is talking about the socialization of law - perhaps the one 'industry' aside from national defense where 'socialization' superficially makes a whole lot of sense - and their big play is "tut tut, I believe the CHURCH has something to say about ENVY", my instinctive reaction is "go fuck yourself." I find it hard to believe that the resistance to this idea is borne out of concerns for one of the seven deadly sins - it seems a lot more as if someone is asking "Hmm, how do get the religious nuts on board with this one, because my arguments suck but I still know what conclusion I want to reach here." This isn't a situation where I can point to a serious logical flaw in an argument, because no flaw is really present here. Something about the move just plain smells, and it makes me skeptical.

That's not to say I'm completely on-board with the idea of the socialization of law. For one thing, any such move would automatically result in yet another transfer of power towards the state, which always bothers me. For another, ideally I'd like to see nations where 'socialized law' is in play and if it has resulted in fairness, or just created a new and tasty breed of corruption and bias. But no, I'm not particularly wedded to the intellectual claim that there's something innately right about making it so people with more financial resources are able to more broadly and effectiveness help themselves to justice, whatever that word means once we've decided that some people deserve more of it or a more pleasant version of it if they're willing to pony up the cash. There may be good arguments against the socialization of law, but lecturing appeals to the great sin of Envy ain't it.

Is it just me? You conservative religious who happen to be reading this, please tell me if I'm getting the wrong vibe off Gabriel's piece. Or are you seeing some of it too?


Anonymous said...

I actually think it's a decent article, but I doubt he has a fucking clue, to be as blunt as possible, what he's talking about with that "religion" crap at the end of it. I don't think he's bullshitting because it sort of sounds like something religious people would say, right? Right!

The Fez said...

The article is a poor response to a poor proposal. It would be easy enough to point out that simply socializing law would not necessarily result in some kind of "equality" in justice given that not all attorneys are born equal. You would still be playing a dangerous game of Russian Roulette with respect to what kind of state appointed representation you would receive. It could also be argued that the quality of legal defense would diminish spectacularly.

Appealing to envy when there are straightforward concerns with the proposition in general is just intellectual laziness.

Part of the problem is that there is no longer any standard sense about what journalism is actually intended for. Hell, I'm not entirely sure I know what it is. Are bloggers "journalists", in any sense? Do they need to act according to certain journalistic standards? Do we just write articles now in order to appeal to our ideological tribe?

The problem really isn't that this guy is making a bad case for anything, it's that anybody can make a terrible case for something, and then plaster it all over the damn internet. The quantity of people circulating bad arguments profoundly outnumbers the quantity of people applying some kind of intellectual or journalistic rigor to their approach.

It's impossible to establish any kind of journalistic integrity to the process when everyone can play 'pretend' journalist / commentator / columnist.

Crude said...

See, I think his article is weak, with the only offset being that Scheiber's is weak too. Both of them are obnoxious. The best I can say for Malor is that he manages to pick out some weaknesses in Scheiber's article - it's about 'fairness', not 'justice' (except in the twisted way that bizarre liberal natterings about fairness are supposed to cash out to justice.) "Only the rich get justice" is baloney. Whatever OJ bought with his legal team, justice wasn't it.

Here's where things get problematic for me: I'm not very concerned about multi million dollar serial killers or the like. Too small of a group to spend much thought on. I'm more concerned about how wealthy people can use the law as a weapon in ways most people cannot - copyright issues, incidental breaking of law issues, etc. That's where I get spooked - it's not just on the representation front, but the literal enforcement and investigation front. I get spooked at the prospect that if I break a law where Disney or Monsanto is concerned, I am far more likely to go through hell than Disney or Monsanto's minions are if they break a law where I am concerned.

BenYachov said...


When did Voxday go fraking nuts?

Voxyday is a nutter!!!!


Crude said...

What are you referring to, Ben?

BenYachov said...

The subject of whole post in general(see the link). The weird condemnation of "equalitarian Christianity". First I don't think anything he posts there can be reconciled with the clear teachings of Pius IX & secondly it's completely wacky.

It smacks of conspiracy theory on the level of radtradism or Occupy wall street flakery (except to the right).

Why what are your impressions of it?

BenYachov said...

BTW I know it's a little off topic but this thread has been follow for about three days and I didn't wish to distract from your other conversations with this tangent.

Crude said...

No problem, Ben. The problem is, I really don't know specifically what your criticism of him on this is. Flesh it out?

I disagree with Vox often, but he's definitely off on his own in a number of ways. As near as I can tell that particular post was him making fun of Mark Shea for falling for an obvious joke.

BenYachov said...

I am not talking about the one with Mark Shea falling for an obvious joke & Vox gloating over that. The one that appeared in a link in your blog today.

I mean this one from January. I stumbled across it when


I dismissed this "dark enlightenment" stuff as some weird paranoid weirdness of Shea acting all hysterical.

But then I plugged the word "racism" into the search function of Vox's & found this nonsense.

I may flesh out a little more later but doesn't it strike you as off?

I'll put a pin in this & think about it some more after I watch Dr. Who.


Crude said...


You keep linking me page two of the Dark Enlightenment comment section.

Crude said...

Wait, no. I misread. My mistake.

Crude said...

Either way, you'd have to be more specific. The only times I've heard of this Dark Enlightenment crap is via Vox, and the last time I saw it, he was saying it didn't even really exist and was just a loose informal grouping of disparate people online who happened to agree about some controversial topics.

I think I'd part ways with Vox insofar as he explicitly attributes (as far as I know) a lot of ethnic problems to biological rather than cultural issues. That said - be more specific. The post you linked to is some vague, broad series of statements on Vox's part. I don't know what you're taking aim at.

Not trying to be difficult, I just want specifics.

BenYachov said...

>he explicitly attributes (as far as I know) a lot of ethnic problems to biological rather than cultural issues.

Well that I would take issue with. I agree with you.

Vox wrote:
>It has nothing to do with white supremacy and everything to do with white survival.

This sets alarms off in my head. I reject the concept of a "white race" I must protect. Considering in my ancestral land we didn't have a "white race". No we had Saxon and Anglo invaders. Picts, Celts, Brits and Roman Invaders. We where not all the same even though we where all pale skinned & some of us where Ginger.

Which reminds me of a Joke by Jimmy Walker.

Northern Ireland! Protestants against Catholics and Catholics against Protestants. Isn't it funny how a country without any blacks, Jews, Asians or Mexicans can find a way to improvise.

Vox's crap seems racist and that does not sit well with me.

Crude said...


This sets alarms off in my head. I reject the concept of a "white race" I must protect. Considering in my ancestral land we didn't have a "white race".

Well, two things. 1) It doesn't matter if you don't believe there's a 'white race', if everyone else believes there is. 2) Africans had a variety of tribes in Africa, a good share of whom really had it in for each other.

Vox's crap seems racist and that does not sit well with me.

And this is where I get careful. What's the racist part?

BenYachov said...

I need to give you rain check. I just exhausted myself
defending the church on Vox's blog.

There are a few bright lights but not too many are as thick as Paps and twice and arrogant & four times as clueless.

But I hear what you are saying.

Crude said...

No trouble, Ben. Another time.