Medaille, Mueller and Berry

Here for your delectation are three cracking new Christian analyses of economics:

John Médaille Toward a Truly Free Market: A Distributist Perspective on the Role of Government, Taxes, Health Care, Deficits, and More . You’ll find some of John Médaille’s papers at his website, and at the Distributist Review and Front Porch Republic.

At long last it seems that John D Mueller’s Redeeming Economics: Rediscovering the Missing Element is about to appear. Mueller gives a very significant re-telling of economics’ history with Augustine and Aquinas set in their foundational place, from which I have borrowed. You’ll find some of Mueller’s stuff at the EPPC

And there are some classic Wendell Berry essays in his new What Matters?: Economics for a Renewed Commonwealth.

If you are looking for long-term causes of our ongoing financial crisis, these three are a fine place to start

Death, Life and Mary in London

Whether we like it or not as British citizens and residents of this country — and whether we are even prepared as Catholics to accept this reality and all it implies — the fact is that historically, and continuing right now, Britain, and in particular London, has been and is the geopolitical epicenter of the culture of death. Our laws and lawmakers for over 50 years or more have been the most permissively anti-life and progressively anti-family and marriage, in essence one of the most anti-Catholic landscapes culturally speaking than even those places where Catholics suffer open persecution.

England itself nevertheless has a unique Christian heritage: St. Augustine, the apostle to the English appointed by Pope Gregory, defied the temptation to despair of ever converting the pagan Britons by reminding the degenerate race of the beauty, truth and dignity of marriage. St. Bede’s chronicle of English Christianity recounts this strategy, and, as he put it, “England recovered.” England is also the “Dowry of Mary,” an ancient title going back to the 14th century and even further in the spiritual language of the people. This title signified the fact that from the earliest times English Catholic Christians revered the person of the Mother of Christ with such a singular and wholehearted devotion that the very nation itself was attributed with having a supernatural role (metaphorically-speaking) in the “marriage” between the Holy Spirit and his spouse — the Virgin of Nazareth. That is to say, English Christianity, in the plan of God, has a unique role to play in being a secure foundation (like a dowry in a marriage) to the work of redemption and salvation history globally. England was the first Christian nation to bestow upon the Church the formal solemnizing of marriages, which found expression in the Sarum Rite of Marriage.

Edmund Adamus speaking to Zenit
Edmund runs Pastoral Affairs at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster

An end to business-as-usual

Let me tell you exactly what is going on “out there.” The so-called developed world is watching two giant forces race each other to put an end to business-as-usual for industrial civilization. These two forces are the catastrophe of debt and predicament of oil supplies. They had been running neck-and-neck for a few years, but now the catastrophe of debt is pulling slightly ahead. But even this is an illusion because these two forces are actually hitched in tandem, with the rickety cart of civilization bouncing perilously behind them, and whatever one of these forces does will affect the other. Bad debt will eventually cripple the global oil industry’s ability to perform, and the failures of the oil industry will only amplify the killing force of debt. It’s that simple.
And the simple moral of the story is that the only sane thing America can do is simplify itself, de-complexify its dangerously hyper-complex organs of daily life. I’ve stated them before but, briefly, this means simplifying the way we do farming, commerce, transportation, inhabiting the landscape, schooling, medicine, and banking. Everything we do to add additional layers of complexity to these already tottering systems will guarantee an eventual orgy of blood and material destruction to this land. Everything we do to prop up the unsustainable instead of reconstructing the armatures of everyday life will make American life a nightmare in a very few years ahead.
Jim Kunstler In the headlights

If you are up to it, a gentle review of the issues is always available from the Automatic Earth