An Aristotelian preference for balance and variety, a Burkean delight in the little platoons, a Chestertonian love of the local and the down-to-earth—that was Roepke.
This is all very well, you might say, but where are the economics? Actually, Roepke’s technical work on credit, monopoly, the business cycle, interest rates, inflation, employment, and the gold standard was of a very high order. He could wield graphs with the best of them. He did more than complain about Keynes: he out-argued him. To be sure, he insisted on the complexity of his subject because he understood the complexity of the world it sought to explain, parting company with his Austrian colleagues when he thought they overstated the scientific side of economics. “A very inefficient way of producing vegetables,” Mises famously remarked to him as the two men walked by some allotments after the war. Perhaps, Roepke memorably replied, “but a very efficient way of producing human happiness.”
That was his answer to economics as mere technique, as applied science. Even Madame Obama, digging for victory in the White House garden, seems to intuit the wisdom. There she is, a peasant in Prada, urging us onward to spinach Nirvana. Good for her, but even better were she and her husband to understand the point. Roepke might have helped them. The significance of that famous exchange with Mises is that Roepke was epistemologically modest, knowing that the most rational thing about rationality is that it knows its own limits. When even sensible economists forget they are dealing with human beings, we should forget them.
If the Mass is not real, the Faith not Truth, then forever gladly shall I live in delusion, for if it is not Truth, then nothing is, for nothing but Truth can be of such incomparable beauty, and I should live a life of false but such wondrous Beauty before I ever should embrace the profanity of nihilistic Truth.
Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
suffer to redeem our loss, Alleluia!
Fondest wishes for a blessed and happy Easter!
A strange thing happened last night, Holy Thursday, as I walked home from class.
My walk from campus takes me through the parking lot of the Catholic church near my house (where I generally try not to attend Mass). The Holy Thursday Mass had just finished not long before, and (or so I presume) the Blessed Sacrament remained for adoration. As I passed, I slowed, bowed, and crossed myself. Typically, even at the best (by Novus Ordo standards) Masses, I have an unfortunate tendency to allow my mind to wander, not because I wish to, but because my attention span is that of a child’s, at best. For that five seconds that I dedicated my attention to the presence of the Sacrament, my mind was completely empty of anything other than the Sacrament.
Something like that has never happened to me, however brief the occasion was.
What today’s shrill opponents of religion, variously described as ‘New Atheists’, ‘Darwin’s pitbulls’ or ‘Dawkinites’, really hate about religion: its humancentricity.
From Brendan O’Neill, some interesting Triduum reading.
This Easter, as an atheistic editor rather than God-fearin’ altar boy, I’ve had to endure something even more bottom-numbingly dull, hectoring and pious than those Stations, and without even the promise of redemption that is contained in the phantom ‘Fifteenth Station of the Cross’ (which is very occasionally included in some Catholic churches’ décor: ‘Jesus rises from the dead’): that is, I watched Religulous. In a cinema in Covent Garden. In my free time. Surrounded by people who, I’m convinced, were not really laughing at the jokes (there weren’t any) but rather were audibly guffawing as a way of sending smug signals to one another: ‘I hate religion, too!’
I felt far more preached at by American comedian Bill Maher’s road movie-style atheistic documentary than I did by that priest who made me follow him around the church like a candle-carrying muppet a quarter of a century ago. Religulous – a hilarious mixture of the words ‘religious’ and ‘ridiculous’! – confirms what today’s shrill opponents of religion, variously described as ‘New Atheists’, ‘Darwin’s pitbulls’ or ‘Dawkinites’, really hate about religion: its humancentricity. Never mind its authoritarianism or obscurantism, it is its treatment of man as special – as more than a biological being; as capable of rapture; as having, in the words of Genesis, ‘dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and every other living thing that moves on the Earth’ – that really gets their goat.
There will be no more prayer at the campus-wide commencement ceremony after the University Senate voted to eliminate the practice yesterday.
The senate approved a proposal that eliminates a prayer invocation at the university’s annual commencement ceremony in a 32-14 vote after a lengthy debate that touched on the controversial issue of the separation of church and state.
“The real concern this issue raises is the separation of church and state,” Jewish history professor Marsha Rozenblit said. “And that is one of the most important features of our democracy.”
“We need to be careful not to send the message that secular language is seen as superior and acceptable while religious language is seen as inferior and unacceptable,” [Episcopalian chaplain Rev. Peter Antoci] said. “[The university’s chaplains] are a living example of how the university has embraced religious expression and tolerance.”