Raises the question of to what extent the occasionally intense hostility to the Democratic Party among some of the newest wave of leftist Catholics is due to it being insufficiently economically left - or too consistently socially liberal. https://twitter.com/tara_ann_/status/1378925593220292608
I tend to think it’s a little bit of both, to varying degrees - the left-wing economics are by no means a false front, & entirely consistent with Catholicism. In my opinion.
& it’s certainly more palatable to the secular left... but the (orthodox) Catholic critiques of liberalism, in general, tend to incorporate some right wing elements. It’s destructive to family, community - in particular a permissive attitude towards sexual morality is... v. bad.
& that is also entirely consistent with a strict take on Catholic doctrine. &... ok, I may or may not continue this here, still doing some reading etc
While I’m here, may as well backtrack a bit, for background, explain how I started down this particular line of inquiry... may feel a little out of the blue? & as it happened, what sparked it...
Remember when Kathleen Geier took significant exception to the characterization - well, mischaracterization - of some of her positions/views by my - erstwhile? once & future? Twitter nemesis... yes, ofc, LB.
(Geier’s piece, ICYMI: https://www.alternet.org/2021/03/elizabeth-breunig/
A New York Times columnist distorts my views — while covertly pushing a socially conservative agenda
The provision for a child tax credit in the newly enacted American Rescue Plan Act is arguably the nation's most transformative new welfare policy in decades. Compared to previous government programs...https://www.alternet.org/2021/03/elizabeth-breunig/
& the original Bruenig piece, here: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/19/opinion/child-credit-poverty-work.html
& it was one small part of the Geier piece, really - not even that dramatic, easy to skip over, perhaps... but again, backing up just a bit.
I think when it was primarily liberal feminists, or those deemed liberal feminists, who’d get into it with LB - it was easy (for some) to dismiss their critiques as merely those of liberals, towards the further left.
But when a *socialist* feminist objects to some of Bruenig’s gender politics - it’s hard to deny that there may be authentically, fully feminist critiques to be made, there.
& re: LB: just because a woman holds some left political views, identifies as a socialist, or something - does not necessarily mean she is a feminist. & as I was saying to... someone: Yes, I know journalists do not write their own headlines! However -
If someone writes a piece that could conceivably - conceivably - be titled, “Why Are We Worrying About Women’s Work?” - I am not inclined to think her stances on gender issues are terribly progressive. Unless proven otherwise. Which.
As I’ve mentioned before, I had some pretty intense negative reactions to a couple of LB’s takes - kind of offhand comments, but offhand comments can reveal *a lot* - on gender-related issues, in the fall.
& I think I may have sold myself a bit short in explaining my psychology there - yeah, sure, some of it was probably personal, tends to be with people - & I try to avoid... well, at least getting publicly personal when critiquing others’ views.
Not only is it not very nice, it tends to delegitimize the critique a bit.
All too often a losing battle, there... but I try. But it is also possible to so strongly disagree with some viewpoints, that you in fact *feel* them - those views - to be disagreeable, on an emotional level. But I’m not in the mood to re-hash that, now. I said what I said.
But as to the spark in Geier’s piece... actually, it didn’t really have to do with gender, very much at all. At least not specifically. Here:
At first I found that... puzzling. I know plenty of, one could say, people of faith - my Catholic parents, observant Jews who though not Orthodox, are not secular - whose politics one could say are rooted in personal religious commitments, in part - typically how that works...
But whose religious commitments do not conflict with the norms of a secular liberal democracy. & I know many secular leftists have bones to pick with religion... but I did start to wonder, is there something else going on, politically, with people like LB - & others?
& it seems to me... there just might be.
& it’s not just idle speculation on my part! I’ve done some interesting reading lately on contemporary Catholic post-liberalism? Or anti-liberalism? Most frequently on the right, or right-ish, but sometimes a little on the left, what many of us consider the left...
&... honestly, as for LB... I don’t know. She so rarely makes her position clear in her published work, that - yes one could assume she’s obfuscating. Or...
She may not have a coherent one? Only partially a dig there - some conflicts are difficult to resolve. But as to what I’ve been reading... well, I’ll have to save that for tomorrow. About bed time, here
Ok! As to what I’ve been reading: if you’re interested in the right-wing version of the phenomenon, you can start by googling “integralism” (if you’re not already familiar with the term - I’m sure some are, but I was not until quite recently - & whew, I’ve learned some stuff) -
& while it is essentially right-wing, it is not pro-capitalism... but yes, overall, right wing. & as for the left-wing - putatively? left-wing - version: try “tradinista.”
Basically... there’s been a creepy flirtation with... theocracy (broadly speaking) afoot recently among a small but somewhat prominent/influential cadre of Catholic intellectuals, intellectual-types, &... yikes.
(As for “broadly speaking” - no, not rule directly by the Church... but in some ways close enough... or a little - or a lot! - too close for comfort)
& it’s funny - I was just talking to my Catholic - but not *that* type of Catholic - parents about this, saying seems there’s some effort on the part of some Catholic thinkers to legitimize integralism, intellectually... & my dad replied:
But... you can’t legitimize integralism
But... you can’t legitimize integralism
As in, it is essentially illegitimate.
However! There are certainly some people out there trying
However! There are certainly some people out there trying
& I came away from that conversation with my parents thinking, Ok, guess the whole thing’s kinda fringe? But then I was talking to... someone who’s a bit more connected to certain circles than I am (but who also finds this whole political trend pretty creepy), who did point out -
Hey, Sohrab Ahmari’s the editor of the New York Post Op-Ed page. It’s not *that* fringe. Apparently
No, integralism’s arguably not *that* fringe, currently. Unfortunately. But ofc, actual integralists are quite few in number, at least these days in America. Mercifully.
& given that the vast majority of Americans aren’t even vaguely Catholic, much less, uh, crazypants* Catholic - no, it doesn’t seem the integralists can do too much damage. On their own.
(*re: crazypants: I really try not to use mental health-related terms pejoratively, given my own issues. But sometimes, that’s the best I’ve got... & I think “crazypants” does capture something specific, there)
No, not on their own... but historically, integralism has bled into Francoism, into arguably a form of fascism... I know that last one’s a contested term on here these days, not my area, not my wheelhouse to even try to argue about specifics -
But it does seem right-wing authoritarians tend to stick together - tend to act together - right?
& the integralists are perhaps nothing if not right-wing authoritarians, when push comes to shove... my take on it, at least.
& they seem part of a larger reactionary turn... there were times, this past week or so, when I thought - & felt, re: integralism: Whoa. This is really dark. Just where is - or where might be - this country headed?
But last night - I kept cracking up. It’s just so absurd, so... laughable. Right? Or it should be...
Yes, absurd... & when it comes to the truly absurd, the tradinistas - narrowly defined* - were (are?) a trip. Apparently. If you’re interested in an absolutely bizarre (& pretty brief) read, may I direct you to the 2016 Tradinista! Manifesto: https://tradistae.com/2020/04/30/tradinista-manifesto/
I may return to that later. But as for “narrowly defined” - I think the “tradinista” label may be applied somewhat generally to Catholics who are economically left-wing, more or less, & socially conservative when it comes to issues of gender, sexuality, &c -
But who have not necessarily given up on secular, representative democracy as a means to achieving their political aims. But narrowly defined, the tradinistas were (are?) essentially left-wing(???)** integralists.
& as for representative democracy, giving up on it (?) - when thinking about this part of the thread, I realized: I’m not too clear on what specific *structure* of government contemporary integralists are advocating for... turns out, I’m not the only one.
This piece says, hey, they don’t say they’re *against* representative democracy, so there’s still a place for it... Um. https://churchlifejournal.nd.edu/articles/quirks-in-the-neo-integralist-vision/
Um. Yeah, I dunno... if your politics are centered around bringing the government in line with the official doctrine of the Catholic Church... & you say absolutely nothing about representative democracy... yeah, I’m not feeling too sanguine about the fate of democracy, there.
Not that our democracy is truly representative, of course - but it could get much, much worse.
& as for “left-wing(???)” - an opposition to capitalism alone does not make one a leftist. Not necessarily.
In fact, I saw a piece comparing the tradinistas (narrowly defined) to the Falange. Saying they were essentially equivalent.
I’m not sure I was entirely convinced by the argument - there wasn’t that much of one, & I don’t know that much about the falangists, or the Spanish Civil War in general - but it’s out there.
(Here’s the piece, if others would like to evaluate: https://ethikapolitika.org/2016/10/03/oh-great-falangists-back/)
So. I am not bringing up the tradinistas as evidence of horseshoe theory - overall, I don’t buy into it. While it occasionally may seem to explain some things, it’s way too simplistic. No, the far left & the far right are not the same.
But more... & I’ve said this before!... be careful who you ally with. Just because you share a common enemy... does not mean you have compatible solutions.
I think I will continue this thread... but not tonight. Long week. But: Integralism! As theorized in 21st century America! Wild stuff, folks... wild times