Is realism realistic?

The smart guys say that since the Wars of Religion politics has been able to build solidly because it has aimed low, at stability and prosperity rather than any transcendent good. It turns out there’s a problem with the strategy: if the Good is excluded from public life the low eventually becomes very low indeed. Politics wholly divorced from the transcendent comes to aim at the abolition of the things that make us human, because they complicate markets and administration. It is no longer war but the degradation of the people that is the health of the state. That’s not going to keep working forever.

8 thoughts on “Is realism realistic?”

  1. The Smart Guys are so Wrong
    The smart guys are wrong in believing the war of religions is over. Whether it is humanism or islam or scientology/L. Ron Hubbard-nonsense or another religion versus Roman and other Catholics, a religious war continues. The war continues even between the Bushian believers in some sort of pseudo-religion Bushians rely on and refer to as America. Bushians play like they believe in America, as it exists today subject to Bushian perverseness such as Bill Clinton and modern Supreme Court utterings about morality. Few Bushians (such as the silly Mrs. W Bush) disagree with Supreme Court atrociousness; yes they purport to oppose the gas chamber-like belief that is abortion. Is it an opposition as empty as a statement such as “read my lips, I am against abortion”? What other notable monstrosity do the Bushians disagree with? The Bushians fawn over Islam, the indisputable bane of Christianity. I am bored with listing Bushian evilness. The bottom line is Catholics must learn to fight physically and resign themselves to fighting physically. The religious unrest in France and Australia occurred.

    • No Call to Arms
      Dear Mr. Kalb and Fellow Readers,

      I am not proposing or advocating violence now or in the near future. I am merely advising prudence by Christians in the face of Islam, Scientology, etc.


  2. As it is pointed out now, so it was written thirty centuries ago
    “[…I]f the Good is excluded from public life the low eventually becomes very low indeed. Politics wholly divorced from the transcendent comes to aim at the abolition of the things that make us human […].” (—from the log entry)

    Rightfulness raiseth a folk; sin maketh peoples wretches.” (—Proverbs 14, 34)

  3. Lots
    You have put lots into a few sentences. Your last two sentences are both chilling and true, and repeat a sentiment emphasized endlessly by Madison, Washington, Adams, etc.

    I do, however, object to your use of the term “realism” to describe these developments.

    The Good has been excluded from public life, because: 1. the “good” is created by us, individually,—not by God, not by energy or matter, not by any other external entity or force—but created either by human language, human minds, human decisions, or human opinions and/or desires; 2. therefore, there really isn’t any such thing as the “Good,” and to speak of it as universally accessible is nonsense; 3. all “goods” are therefore individual or group preferences or tastes, each of which holds equal validity and worth; 4. there is no rational way to distinguish or discriminate between competing preferences or “goods”; 5. therefore, public life will banish the notion of the “Good”, or otherwise irrationalism and conflict will prevail; 6. the greatest public “good” is to collectively deny that there is such a thing as the “Good;” and 7. we will just be “realistic” and pragmatic and resolve conflict in the most painless way possible, given that all competing preferences are purportedly “equal”.

    This so-called “realism” or pragmatism actually is founded upon an idealist ontology, which denies realism in toto. If we had access to the real world, then we could argue about it (that is, engage in meaningful politics). But, since we have no access to the real world (or perhaps, there is no such thing as a “real world”), we must therefore be “realistic” and admit that all “goods” are actually private desires and fantasies and deal with them as best we can, pretending as we go that all these preferences are “equal.”

    If all preferences are putatively equal, how are conflicts resolved? Since there can be no appeal to any acceptable notion of the “Good,” and since there is no public morality or tradition or history, and since traditional authority in and of itself is viewed as arbitrary and oppressive, conflicts are resolved either by edict (court or administrative decision, clothed in sheets of “rationality”), persuasion and rhetoric (marketing and public opinion polls), or sheer power.

    Hence, 50% of American adults don’t vote. Surprise.

    • Thanks for the discussion.
      Thanks for the discussion. On the narrow point you raise initially though it seems to me that the point of the title is clearly that there’s something odd about calling current tendencies of thought “realism.”

      Rem tene, verba sequentur.

      • Realism
        I agree and I understand your irony, which is appropriate.

        Most liberals believe they are realistic and pragmatic people. In fact, most believe they are the only realistic and pragmatic people, and everyone else is a fanatic, a theocrat, or an ignoramus.

        If one accepts liberalism’s premises, this is arguably true. The problem is that liberalism’s premises are preposterous, and just as in logic poor premises lead to false conclusions, the premises of liberalism lead to all the degradation, incoherence, and confusion that constitute our modern cultural and social environment.

        In response to the current state of our collective affairs, the response of liberals is always the same: More liberalism (usually expressed as more education, more integration, more rights, more equality, more compassion, more money, more understanding, more therapy, more medication, more regulation, and more talk).

  4. The experts lay down the law for Catholic MDs reluctant to abort
    “if the Good is excluded from public life the low eventually becomes very low indeed.” (—from the log entry)

    Here from the pen of Paul Belien over at is an illustration of the above—and illustration of how, “when the good is excluded from public life the low eventually becomes very low indeed”: it seems the other side has trotted out its “experts on fundamental rights” again to solemnly tell Catholic MDs in EU member countries they don’t have an unlimited right of “consciencious objection” to performing abortions-on-demand since that conflicts with … what else?—the “fundamental human right” of women to have abortions on demand.

    Here’s Paul Belien:

    “According to the EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights doctors should be forced to perform abortions, even if they have conscientious objections, because the right to abort a child is an ‘international human right.’

    “The Network, which consists of one expert per EU member state, assists the European Commission and the European Parliament in developing EU policy on fundamental rights. The Network wrote a 40-page opinion stressing that the right to conscientious objection is not ‘unlimited.’ The opinion was given in connection with a proposed treaty between the Vatican and Slovakia. [F. Scrooby note: God bless little Slovakia, by the way! Here once again, they don’t flinch from standing up for what’s right, though bigger more powerful nations run scurrying for cover when the forces of leftism flex their muscles.] This treaty includes a guarantee that Catholic hospitals in Slovakia will not be legally obliged to ‘perform artificial abortions, artificial or assisted fertilizations, experiments with or handling of human organs, human embryos or human sex cells, euthanasia, cloning, sterilizations, [and] acts connected with contraception.’

    “The Network states that agreements which guarantee Catholic doctors and nurses a right not to be involved in abortions violate EU law. Leftist groups have complained that some new EU members – namely Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia – are so overwhelmingly Catholic that far too few doctors are willing to perform abortions. This makes it hard for women who want an abortion to find a doctor who has no conscientious objection. In such cases, the EU experts say, doctors should be forced to abort:”

    To see what, specfically, what the “experts” say has to be done about this, see the original log entry at the link. Meanwhile, here’s more from “the experts” to ponder after that:

    “Apart from the right of a woman to an abortion, which according to the EU’s ‘experts on fundamental rights’ overrules the right of medical professionals to conscientious objections, some argue that there is also the right of the unborn child to live. People who think so are looked upon as ‘rightwing loonies’ by self-styled sophisticated secularists. The latter claim that the unborn have no rights at all. The EU experts clearly belong to this group. This explains why, in their search for an ‘adequate balance to be struck between conflicting requirements, which may not lead to one right being sacrificed to another,’ they consider the rights of women and doctors, but do not mention the rights of unborn children. On Christmas Eve this may deserve some contemplation.”

    Indeed. Especially on Christmas Eve. That was very well put, Paul Belien.

    (And Merry Christmas, everybody!)

    Long live free Flanders!

    • Criticism by EU “experts” kills one of Europe’s best governments
      The E.U. leviathan and its hired “experts” are poison for what is right and good.

      Long live free Flanders!


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