I never quite understood what John Beeler saw in Owen White's old blog, and I missed his sign-off message from that where I gather he had some rude things to say about his sojourn in Orthodoxy. So now he has decided to join Arturo Vasquez in the ranks of old cranky Catholic Marxists. Now I found a certain charm in Vasquez's messages about folk religion (calling it "Catholicism" is a stretch). Or perhaps I should say revelation. We intellectualized Anglicans just don't do that kind of thing. But then there's the running Marxist denunciad, helped along by White and a few hangers on. I am continually stupid enough to think that when people make these declarations and leave the comments open, that they are also open to a bit of pushback. When it comes to religion and economics, it seems, this is never the case; the followers of von Mises and of Marx indeed seem to far more fervent in their economic than their religious faith.
So I suppose in retrospect it was really a waste of time to engage either of them. I'm emphatically not an Austrian when it comes to economics; laissez-faire isn't ever going to be tried anyway so that's something of a moot point. Their refusal to acknowledge how economic power translates into political power is obtuse. That said, the Marxists have never manage to convince me either. Partly it's because I think the Marxist theory of classes is defective. Anyone can see, looking at a modern corporation, that ownership is not power; and by and large, the kind of people who can write articulately about Marxist thought are by that very capability rendered unrepresentative of the classes they write to defend. White dismissed this with the insistence that I read some Marxist theorist, which I suppose I eventually will. Around that time was when Vasquez started deleting responses.
We then moved on to a typically overheated denunciation of von Hayek. I've not read him, and I don't care to defend him. But eventually the hyperbole got to me. I don't know when von Hayek started having people shot to "introduce his policies" but people are having trouble counting how high the numbers various communist regimes had executed or starved or worked to death. The slaughter should give anyone pause, especially anyone educated. So when I expressed this, um, reluctance to embrace the revolution, Vasquez sneered:
You’re an Episcopalian, so you really don’t believe in anything, so I think you’re safe when the Revolution comes. Besides, isn’t most of your church Marxist anyway? I don’t see why you are on my blog *** about it. Get your own *** sandbox. Or better yet, get a real religion.Well, the Anglican way is to sneer back, so let me just say that he passed up the opportunity to proclaim how the members of my bourgeois church would be shot first, I suppose because his Roman snobbery got a hold on the keyboard first. It's amazing how many Catholics are under this delusion that the Episcopalians have some sort of validity envy of the Roman church, when the truth is that we are more likely to hold it in contempt as boorish, irreverent, pagan, backward, crude, tasteless, heretical, and arrogant to boot.
About Mr. White I have less to say. I didn't follow his old blog as to me it read as something akin to performance art, not to mention that I didn't need him to tell me that I didn't want to join an Orthodox church. I found it repellent to agree with him. So now he's started over as an already jaded cultural Catholic, Marxism intact. And while there are a variety of reasons why I don't put up a picture of myself on my blog, Number Two of which is that I do not photograph flatteringly, it gives me pause to go to his front page and be confronted with the sort of visage that, seen in person, would give one the sinking feeling that one was about to be made a participant in a bar fight or some other such recreational violence. It makes me wonder that I, sometimes nicknamed Eeyore as a child, a perpetual pessimist, am made to feel quite chipper about the future of things when I read the two of them.