July 8, 2020

Be warned, this post is a bit grim. I have entirely lost confidence that there will be a peaceful transfer of power in November. Trump said in so many words in 2016 that he’d accept the results of the election if he won. He’s spent the last four years proving he meant exactly that, and he’s run ads fantasizing about remaining president longer than the two terms the Constitution allows. We’re past the point where we can afford to treat… Read more

June 30, 2020

I don’t know how many of my readers know this, as Patheos doesn’t have a place to put a button for it, but I have a Patreon! If you’re not familiar, Patreon is a site that lets people sponsor your work, at whatever amount they like, piece by piece (you can find mine here). I wanted to say thank you to my Patreon sponsors: Hope Brooks Ben Y. Faroe Annette Goeres Raph Graves JSJ Phoebe Lim Matthew Tiscareno You guys… Read more

June 29, 2020

The news hit today that SCOTUS, in a 5-4 ruling, struck down a pro-life bill in Louisiana. The bill in question (from what I understand) required abortionists to be doctors able to admit patients at local hospitals. There are probably complexities here which I don’t understand, but that seems pretty reasonable to me on the face of it. The vote that decided against it came, ironically, from Chief Justice Roberts, citing as precedent a decision he himself had dissented from—but… Read more

June 22, 2020

For previous posts in this series, see CST 101, 102, 103, 104, and 105A. Capitalism also ignores the effects of scale in its neat little picture of enlightened self-interest. Even if your enterprise start from the bottom—which is rare, but we’ll get to that later—once you’re big enough, your production costs go down, which allows you to undercut smaller businesses by selling the same product (or a better one, or a worse one) for less. Do this enough and competitors… Read more

June 17, 2020

CST 101: A Crash Course in Leftism CST 102: Liberalism vs. the Left CST 103: The Oppression Olympics CST 104: More Like Catholic Socialist Teaching! What are the problems the Church has with capitalism, though? It’s not like it persecutes the Church the way Marxists propose to do, and it lets people buy and sell freely and consensually—what’s wrong with that? There are a few problems with capitalism. First, it’s wrong about how human minds work. Your run-of-the-mill defense of… Read more

June 12, 2020

CST 101: A Crash Course in Leftism CST 102: Liberalism vs. the Left CST 103: The Oppression Olympics Wait, hang on. I called this series an introduction to Catholic social teaching, but all I’ve talked about so far is the ins and outs of Leftism. What gives? Well, here’s the thing: you cannot be a Catholic and a capitalist. I mean, you can—it doesn’t invalidate your baptism or anything. It just makes you a heretic. I am (what fun) oversimplifying. [1]… Read more

June 8, 2020

CST 101: A Crash Course in Leftism CST 102: Liberalism vs. the Left So what is this “New Left” I’ve mentioned a couple of times now? Well, here’s where the hippies come in. In the 1950s and 60s, some thinkers began applying certain forms of left-wing thought to ideas other than class struggle. The horrors of Stalin’s regime had prompted a lot of rethinking among leftist groups outside the USSR, even among self-identified communists. [1] In the US and elsewhere,… Read more

June 5, 2020

For the previous post, “CST 101: A Crash Course in Leftism,” go here. Wait, “versus” the left? We talk about “the liberal left” all the time, liberals are the left. Aren’t they? Once again, I’m so glad you asked. Using the words liberal and left as synonyms is a pretty much exclusively American invention, and, in this particular case, not a very useful one. Time for another quick-and-dirty history lesson. Remember our discussion last time of the left and the right… Read more

June 2, 2020

Where do I get off calling my blog “left-trad,” anyway? Didn’t the Church condemn socialism? And so many leftists are hostile to religion—look at how Marx denounced it. Look at how many Christians were killed by communists! How can a confessing Catholic be a leftist? I am so glad you asked, he said, having put the hypothetical question in the audience’s mouths. To answer that, we’re gonna have to define some stuff, so strap in. The Left is a nickname… Read more

May 31, 2020

President Trump recently tweeted that he’s going to designate antifa a terrorist organization. Plenty of misconceptions about antifa have been in the air for years anyway; the very word makes it sound like a gang or a political party, when in fact it’s just an abbreviation of the word antifascist. (1) Being anti-antifascist sounds an awful lot like being a fascist, but let’s ignore that for the present. I’ve decided to do a quick write-up to dispel three big myths… Read more

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