Sunday, June 22, 2014

Hivrit or Ashuri?

There are two versions of the Hebrew Alphabet. The first version is the one that is also called Phoenician Alphabet, or at least to one not reading it, the difference is not very apparent. A written source I cannot recall the title of has stated this version is called Hivrit. The other version is the one you call very often Square Writing, or at least in German you say "Quadratschrift" and in Swedish "Qvadratskrift". Meaning that it is a writing and that it is square or consists of (incomplete or broken or diagonalised etc.) squares. It is called Ashuri. Or Assyrian writing.

It was pretty certainly derived from the older one as far as general relative letter shapes go. But it was with not very much less certainty in my mind inspired in its general common shape by the cuneiform writing.

Now, there is the thing about Christianity, it is Hebrew. The first book of the Canonical Books of the New Testament begins with a genealogy (as so many exist in Genesis) where the presentation begins stating that Jesus is Christ and that He is Son of Abraham and of King David.

But there is this other thing about Christianity, it is in a sense Anti-Jewish. In a sense meaning that in another sense it is very pro-Jewish or Jewish.

But this does not mean there is no such thing as an opposition to Judaism.

To us Christians, there is a Jerusalem in Heaven. That would mean, though it is often overlooked, Heaven is the remaining and eternal Kingdom of Judah. One consequence is that as among Kings of Judah the queen was not the wife but the mother, so also in Heaven the Queen is the Blessed Virgin Mary.

But another consequence is that it is Heaven which decides where the faithful of the tribe of Judah are.*

To one of the original twelve Catholic Bishops Heaven's Glorious King, the Son of Abraham and the Son of David, said about some at least or perhaps all of the earliest proponents of Judaism:

[8] And to the angel of the church of Smyrna write: These things saith the First and the Last, who was dead, and is alive: [9] I know thy tribulation and thy poverty, but thou art rich: and thou art blasphemed by them that say they are Jews and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. [10] Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer. Behold, the devil will cast some of you into prison that you may be tried: and you shall have tribulation ten days. Be thou faithful until death: and I will give thee the crown of life.

Apocalypse chapter 2

It seems** "angel" of a Church was an old term for bishop, though not applied to the Apostles who were the original bishops, rather to bishops having received succession from them. And it seems then that the bishop of Smyrna was of Jewish origin or had several Christian faithful of Jewish origin and some had been insulted as if becoming Christians was a defection from the faith of the Jewish forefathers, like those fighting under the Maccabees or those loyal to Rohoboam, not because he was good, but because he was of King David. And the ultimate son of David in the royal sense, He tells his bishops that it is us Catholics who are the real Jews, the real children of Abraham, while the early proponents of Judaism, insulting, harrassing and personally persecuting them as well as handing them over to the Romans are not real Jews in the eyes of Heavenly Jerusalem.

Both Catholics and Orthodox pray the psalm "save thy folk and preserve thy inheritance" - implying faithfully that the Church is this people of God.

Pius XI said "how can a Christian be Antisemite? Spiritually we are all Semites." Yes we are, but perhaps the ones usually called Jews aren't.

Bergoglio claims to be a Jew and a Christian - a Jew while saying the Psalms and a Christian while celebrating Holy Mass (insofar as he does so validly). To me that sounds like saying:

"I am an Assyrian when I say the Psalms, but a child of Abraham when I say Holy Mass".

I agree wholeheartedly against him, when the late Abbot of Le Barroux, replying to a Jew who had said we Catholics are heretics or schismatics, that no, on the contrary it is Jews who are heretics and schismatics. They are insofar as they reject Jesus Christ. And Heaven finds them Assyrian. At least those of them who persecute Christians.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
Sunday after Corpus Christi
also known as Corpus Domini

* A bit like Goering who, no doubt after feeling himself a bit more heavenly than he was as an air force officer, when saving a family of Jews whose friends he and his family were, told the Nazi underling "hier bestimme ich wer Jude ist!" My grandfather heard it from the survivors when visiting the Holy Land. Of course, it is perfectly OK on earth to call adherents of the false religion Judaism Jews and to say one is not Jew because that is how the word Jew is used. That was, some year or years after the Apocalypse was written authorised by the same St John, or by the Holy Ghost writing through him. When "Jew" in the Gospel is used by the narrator, yes, it means that synagogue of Satan, the enemies of Jesus Christ, but in the Mouth of Jesus Christ, Jew, up to his dialogue with Pilate, meant what it had meant since those faithful to Rohoboam for the sake of God's promise to David.

** I hold this theory not of myself, as if I had invented it, but I adher to the conclusions of a convert to Catholicism, who wrote a book about why Catholicism is truly Biblical when he had been ordained priest. I cannot remember his name, but his book cited or adapted a verse of St Paul about "one God, one faith, one Church" or sth like that. As its title.

Friday, June 20, 2014

I have honestly not read Penty or Gill, except ...

Except in the excerpts and insights provided by "Patrick Odou" (whether that be his real name or a pseudonym) on Tradition in Action.

I have read Chesterton and Belloc extensively.

I did very much know the quote (or similar words):

"It is my experience that the sort of man who does really become a Distributist is exactly the sort of man who has been a Socialist ... Mr Belloc himself had been a Socialist; my brother had been a Socialist; I had been a Socialist."

I have for that matter read Cecil Chesterton's The Party and People - from back when he was indeed a Socialist of some sorts. He had the gumption to see through certain Socialist / Trade Unionist bad ideas which have not been seen through by the Socialists. For instance, he was for National Autonomismo in much the same way as Franco was after the Spanish War - an era which I consider, in terms of political and economic ideas, as more correct than the more Capitalist Technocracía later on (from 1960's).

One can add a few connexions here.

The Christian Socialist thinker (basically Syndicalist, therefore close to Guild Socialism) de la Tour du Pin was admired by the Swedish Social Democrat Hjalmar Branting - who was less anticlerical and less Jules-Ferry-like than August Palm. He was also admired by Maurras.

Maurras once was asked "de la Tour du Pin, does he belong to Action Française?" and answered "No, it is Action Française that belongs to de la Tour du Pin" (not quite translatable "être de", which of de la Tour in relation to AF meant belong to as a member and of AF in relation to de la Tour meant discipleship). On another occasion he said that "beyond Socialism there is Syndicalism, beyond Anarchy there is Monarchy: some therein see [the] evil, we therein see [the] good". José Antonio Primo de Rivera, murdered by the Reds (therein at least like José Calvo Sotelo), had (if my memory does not betray me of way long ago when I held in my hands a German book with quotes of his speeches in translation) said:

Karl Marx was a talented Jew, who saw the problem of Capitalism but not the solution to Capitalism.

Lyndon LaRouche made the point that Marx did not see Usury as the problem of Capitalism - which is the correction I would like to add to Primo de Rivera Junior, whether Lyndon LaRouche approves of him otherwise or not.

I approve of much of LaRouche's observations, but not all, for instance I consider his insistance on technical progress to be a mistake.

And of course, his Church History is erroneous, as is Kent Hovind's - what do you expect from people raised as Devout Protestants?

But his analysis of Modern Banking is spot on.

Now, NEP ...

“Distributists would point out that the Bolshevists are returning to the system of private property. After putting millions of people to death, …. they have to come to the conclusion that pure Communism does not work, because it destroys initiative and leaves people without a motive in life. Hence, in the future, people in Russia will be permitted to own property up to a certain amount.

In 1936 Stalin made a softer program with regard to property, without renouncing any of the Communist principles. Above, the dictator in 1935

"The new Constitution (1936) guarantees private property in houses, household furnishings, articles of personal consumption and comfort, and savings accounts; further, it permits a peasant on a collective farm to own animals, implements, and a small plot of land, while he may dispose of his crops freely” [emphasis added] (p. 88).

Is Patrick Odou aware that Stalin later abolished the NEP*?

I would consider it very idiotic to classify praising NEP as praising Bolshevism, since Bolshevism was trying and then abolishing NEP. Thereafter only Hungary within and Jugoslavia just outside Warszaw pact practised NEP.

And if you are going to hate Jugoslavian economic policy because Stepinac was persecuted, how come the Church over and over again condemned the persecutions of Diocletian while still having no beef against the same Diocletian's Decretum Maximum, which regulated prices by Maximum pricing?

How come moral theologians have reasoned about "just price" that a maximal just price should not exceed twice a minimal just price for same goods?** Or whether it was from middle that the factor was two to either extreme.

You say that Gill is not considered a founder of Distributism. I believe you are mistaken here also. He was the principle founder, inspirer, engine, and some would say “heart and soul” of the Ditchling Village; the much heralded model of a Distributist community that was meant to be applied in society as a whole. He was also vice-president of the Distributist League. He maintained regular contact and friendship with other Distributists, including Fr. Vincent McNabb, Hillaire Belloc and Gilbert Chesterton, his close friends. He was considered one of the four principle public spokesmen for the Distributists, along with McNabb, Belloc and Chesterton. For you to claim that Gill was not fundamentally involved with the development of Distributism because “authentic” Distributism only comes from Belloc or Chesterton, is like saying that Lenin did not represent Communism because “authentic” Communism only comes from Marx or Engels.

I have nothing against Ditchling village except certain points about Gill himself. And certain of those points I have only against him if trusting the discovery in 1989 of his diaries as genuine. And I do agree with Tolkien that a man can have saner roots in his public actions - like art - than the precise bad roots of certain bad aspects of his heart. He maintained a reserve on whether Lewis Carroll was really, as claimed, pedophile (if he was, Catholic Ecumenism with Anglicanism may be one root of the modern crisis, Lewis Carroll was a clergyman). But he said that even if he (or rather anyone, not specifying him or that vice) was, that does not make his art all bad. Because there he could draw on resources of his soul not corrupted by his own passions. Not corrupted by his own egotism.

Of course, Belloc and Chesterton knew Gill. But not 24 hours by 24, not 7 days per 7. And they did not believe in investigating families from the outside. Supposing it were true, possible hints would have been overlooked by them. Because they were not in the perversion of certain Communist officials (sometimes in Capitalist societies) who destroy families. They were not guilty of the policy by which Red Indians and Esquimaux of Canada were deprived of children "for the own good" of these, that supposed good being an exchange from Aboriginal to Anglo-Saxon Protestant Puritan culture. That is also one policy for which some want to charge the Church. I believe it was too Distributist for the charge to be true, but not Distributist enough not to be involved in it.

Now, is Capitalism an invention of Rothschild or not?

My dear reader, you concluded by informing me that Capitalism was an invention of Rothschild. I was really amused by this affirmation. But since you want to blame Jews for the birth of Capitalism, let me point out a few of them who are somewhat older than Rothschild.

Did you ever hear about an old Jew called Abraham? He is mentioned more than once in the Bible. There you can read that he accumulated an enormous quantity of gold and silver as well as properties for him and his family and became extremely wealthy. We can easily imagine that he had some organization, like a bank, to manage his goods. Why shouldn’t we consider him as the founder of Capitalism rather than Rothschild? Another Jew was Joseph who was the minister of the Pharaoh. He put aside a huge amount of money and supplies to prepare for the future - a true capitalist. And why wouldn’t David be one of the founders of Capitalism? For years and years he accumulated a great amount of gold, silver, precious stones, fine woods and all kinds of exquisite pieces to be used by his son Solomon? Weren’t these men who amassed and multiplied great fortunes prefigures of bankers? So, all of them can be presented as capitalists before the Rothschilds.

No doubt the Rothschilds thought they were following these examples. Now getting to grips with them:

Did you ever hear about an old Jew called Abraham? He is mentioned more than once in the Bible. There you can read that he accumulated an enormous quantity of gold and silver as well as properties for him and his family and became extremely wealthy.

I used to be pretty good in Genesis history, do not recall the occasion about silver and gold. Unless you mean after helping the king of Sodom against an invader. Even then I think he preferred camels to gold. His riches were mainly cattle and the right to graze and water them. Also, technically he was not a Jew, since Judah was his great-grandson as ancestor of one tribe, that stood out with loyalty in the time of Rohoboam and disloyalty in the time of Jesus Christ - excepting the Christian ones. He also was a Beduin and therefore enjoyed the riches in a kind of tribal communism along the several other members of his family. Under his grandson Jacob there were some 60 - 70 of them. Plus all servants.

We can easily imagine that he had some organization, like a bank, to manage his goods.

I can easily imagine he had an organisation of family members and servants doing shepherding. NOT anything like a bank. Shylock did not quite grasp the difference between the "tokos" of sheep and the "tokos" of gold. Sheep by their nature have offspring (unless one day Monsanto gets its way), but gold by its nature hasn't.

Why shouldn’t we consider him as the founder of Capitalism rather than Rothschild?

Because Abraham stands more for Palestinian economics, just as Rothschild stands more for Shylockean. You know this difference between gold and sheep.

Another Jew was Joseph who was the minister of the Pharaoh. He put aside a huge amount of money and supplies to prepare for the future - a true capitalist.

Was money even mentioned in the account? He put aside a huge amount of grain, gathered from the farmers and kept in central supplies. Sounds a bit more Communist than Capitalist as a measure to me. You see, the central supplies were owned by the Pharao, not by the farmers. The making of supplies was a real confiscation. Unless indeed even before his day farmers in Egypt were tenants of the Pharao though not quite as much as farmers in Russia were tenants of Stalin.

And why wouldn’t David be one of the founders of Capitalism? For years and years he accumulated a great amount of gold, silver, precious stones, fine woods and all kinds of exquisite pieces to be used by his son Solomon?

You seem to have missed the fact that they were Kings of the Entire Israel (both later kingdom of Judah and later kingdom of Israel). Their amassing of gold amounts to either taxation or state owned investments. In this case there was however a temple to build - prefiguring the riches of Catholic Liturgy and the arts surropnding it, much more than it could prefigure Rothschilds. Unless these are secretly pursuing the goal of rebuilding the Temple that was defiled by Kaiaphas and destroyed by Titus.

And this brings me to another point:

A basic thesis of the Distibutists is that there are two great social evils – Capitalism and Communism – and they pretend to present a solution that, in their view, is equidistant from both.

If Capitalism as they define it (not meaning private property, nor such differences in riches that leave men equal in a moral sense if not in economy, but something else) and Communism as they define it (not meaning NEP) are very close to each other and very far from the good, then the good is pretty equidistant from these pretty twin points.

A Capitalist conspirer is one who conspires to make his company (or the set of companies where his own is a part) mightier than a state. Thereby virtually making it a state. A Communist conspirer is one who strives to make his state the monopolist company in the land. Or if not the state where he rules as dictator, at least the one where he is an official. Someone who wants private property to exist in abundance and be inferior to the state very obviously wants it nearly equidistant from both.

Both Communism (outside brief or narrow experiments in NEP, which is another thing) and Capitalism hate small property. If a man has three cows, a Communist will punish him for owning more than two, and a Capitalist (of the type we are here considering) will punish him for owning less than two hundred. A Communist will punish him for greed, a Capitalist (of the type we are here discussing) will punish him for lack of success of the type wanted by the greedy. Neither the one nor the other really wants him to own so much that he can sustain himself and his own but no more. The Communist wants the three cows subsumed into a Kolkhos or Sovkhos. The Capitalist (of the type were here discuss) wants the three cows subsumed into a larger herd that has some worth among brokers and stock owners across half the globe in Wall Street. The Distributist wants the farmer with three cows to keep his three cows.

Scientific Socialism (Communism) sought the “abolition of private property.” Fabian Socialism sought similar ends through “peaceful revolution.” Utopian Socialism has its “naturalist” distortions of property. National Socialism (Nazism) favored State control of property.

That is no quite what I knew even about National Socialism.

Austrofascism - which was approved of the Church and intended to realise the politics of Quadragesimo Anno - favoured state control over very large properties like the Mines in Upper Austria.

As far as I know precisely the Nazis rather favoured a partnership between state and very large companies. Krupp and IG Farben remained privately owned. If its control was not quite that of the owners, the co-control was that of the Workers. The workers they (and not the state for them) had hired.

29. Finally, the wise Pontiff showed that "employers and workers themselves can accomplish much in this matter, manifestly through those institutions by the help of which the poor are opportunely assisted and the two classes of society are brought closer to each other."[21] First place among these institutions, he declares, must be assigned to associations that embrace either workers alone or workers and employers together. He goes into considerable detail in explaining and commending these associations and expounds with a truly wonderful wisdom their nature, purpose, timeliness, rights, duties, and regulations. - Thus Pope Pius XI in Quadragesimo Anno.

Well, in both Austria of Austrofascism and Germany of the Nazis, associations that embraced workers alone were forbidden (Pope St Pius X had forbidden some of them, those where Catholic workers cooperated with Protestants and Atheists, especially, if I recall correctly, in Catholic countries) but in both countries the associations that embraced workers and employers together were at least allowed. Nazism (like Fascism of Italian type) made them mandatory, Austrofascism made them voluntary (and had therefore between 1933 and 1938 very little opportunity to realise their ideal of a Ständestaat in the slower and more Christian way).

But neither in Nazism (during peacetime) nor in Austrofascism was the state controlling private property.***

Patrick Odou does not make it quite clear what is meant by Fabian socialism pursuing "similar ends". Nor which Utopian Socialism he means when speaking of "its "naturalist" diostortions of property. For de la Tour du Pin and Fourier are not the same. Owen is not rejected by Distributism, but seen as not individualist enough. Chesterton prefers Cooperatives to Capitalism. But small individual families properties to Cooperatives. "Half a loaf is better than no bread."

But your Distributist friends seem to suffer from an analogous intemperance. In a kind of knee-jerk reaction against the lamentable abuses of Capitalism, they demand that every property be reduced to small proportions.

Every property? Demand? Do they?

Not what I read in Chesterton. What he does recommend is as much properties as possible in small but self sustaining portions. He does not require this of the post-office. There can be, similar to this "Communist" exception to Distributism a case for a "Capitalist" one in Tea Trade. A case for Tetley and Twining and a few more to import most of the Tea in large portions. Or, if the trade were controlled from India, Ceylon, China, for these countries sending the tea off to Europe in large boats owned by large companies. Even if the tea were more often grown on small tea farms. But the point is that bread and cheese are neither imports nor impossible to produce in small properties.

I once made the mistake of thinking Ireland had more cheeses than France. France, as everyone knows, has about 400. I thought Ireland had about 600. Why so? Because de Gaulle made politics for coalescing farms and agricultural companies, thus reducing the number of cheese producers. And DeValera made politics of a Distributist kind, encouraging more small producers to make and commercially sell their own cheese. I found out I was wrong, the Irish have only 150 farm cheese producers. Still more per surface and population than France, thus more than any or almost any comparable part of France (except perhaps Normandy).

My point with history after Chesterton's démise is that de Gaulle was worse than Franco under the Technocracía. Scandinavian Social Democrats were worse than de Gaulle. And Soviet Communists were worse than Swedish Social Democrats on this issue. Except for a short period of going back in the right direction under NEP.

Penty is praising Stalin’s system that so spectacularly failed in the USSR. History tells us that workers were persecuted by the government for owning more than two cows. Was this what Penty meant when he said Distributists aim for “sufficient production?” (p. 103). The quote above leads one to this conclusion.

Penty was praising Stalin's brief experiment in NEP. It did not fail. It was abolished because Stalin was too Communist to keep it up. Where it or sth like it was allowed to flourish after that period, in Jugoslavia and in Hungary, economy did not fail as much as elsewhere during Communism.

So, no, the quote does NOT lead to this conclusion. The whole point of Communism destroying NEP (there were two generations of Kulaks - pre-Revolution Kulaks and NEP Kulaks who were crushed along the invaded Kulaks of Lithuania or Latvia or Estonia, so NEP as such was not destroying Kulaks but making them), the whole point of destroying NEP was that the private property attainable - unlike Distributism - should not be sufficient for sustenance of a family in independence. A bit like the wages differentiated under certain types of Capitalism - where the main sustenance for many a family remains dependent on wages and cannot be transferred to independent small companies.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre University Library
Friday after Corpus Christi

Pope Pius XI wrote:



The Shell Game of Distributists

Socialism and Distributism in Catholic Clothing

A Distributist Manifesto
Strongly Spiced With Communism

Giving Families Equal Properties
Destroys the Natural Order

(which I haven't answered yet)

Regarding Papal Encyclicals
Why Are Distributist Leaders Misleading
Their Audience about Capitalism?

* The abbreviation means New Economic Policy and the Russian words start with the same letters as the English ones. New and Novaja are related on an "Indo-European" level (whatever that ultimately means) and the Russians use same modern international words for Economic and Policy, though with other endings and pronunciation of some letters.

** Not just same general kind of goods, like chocolate or wine or a cup of coffee, but same specific kind, like Toblerone or Rioja or black not so strong coffee at a bar. The maximum and minimum envisaged would of course be on a local level - no one denies Caviare is cheaper where you fish Beluga Sturgeon than where it is imported from Persia or Russia.

*** Is the Nazi "control of private property" (apart from excluding Jews from it) simply its prohibiting interest above a very low annual percentage?

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Answering GRRM on JRRT's character Aragorn

The following is a quote from Rolling Stone magazine, its interview with George R. R. Martin:

Ruling is hard. This was maybe my answer to Tolkien, whom, as much as I admire him, I do quibble with. Lord of the Rings had a very medieval philosophy: that if the king was a good man, the land would prosper. We look at real history and it’s not that simple. Tolkien can say that Aragorn became king and reigned for a hundred years, and he was wise and good. But Tolkien doesn’t ask the question: What was Aragorn’s tax policy? Did he maintain a standing army? What did he do in times of flood and famine? And what about all these orcs? By the end of the war, Sauron is gone but all of the orcs aren’t gone – they’re in the mountains. Did Aragorn pursue a policy of systematic genocide and kill them? Even the little baby orcs, in their little orc cradles?

Now taking the items one by one:

Ruling is hard. This was maybe my answer to Tolkien, whom, as much as I admire him, I do quibble with.

My own quibble with him is he didn't go the whole hog and go Geocentric in real life too. As well as Young Earth Creationist. But yes, ruling is hard.

However, there is a difference between a system in which ruling is hard but possible and a system where it seems as if staying not just in power but even in your personal honour and life requires resorting to dirty tricks. One in which good rulers are systematically eliminated. GKC in The Return of Don Quixote starts out with a play on the return of Richard the Lion Hearted to England - where he is promptly opposed by bad barons. A line from the blank verse drama goes "What wild white terror if a king were good!". I will give you the quote in full:

Shall I who sing with the high tree-tops at morning
Sink to be Austria; even as is that brute
And brigand that entrapped me, or be made
A slave, a spy, a cheat, a King of France?
And what crowns other shadow this the earth?
The evil kings sit easy on their thrones
Shame healed with habit; but what panic aloft
What wild white terror if a king were good!
What staggering of the stars; what prodigy.
Men easily endure an unjust master
But a just master no man will endure
His nobles shall rise up, his knights betray him
And he go forth, as I go forth, alone.


My point is, in the Middle Ages there were lots of people who might have wanted to weed out good kings from the landscape (I am btw not inclined to agree with the sentiments on Austria, being born there). In the Modern World they have by and large succeeded.

Lord of the Rings had a very medieval philosophy: that if the king was a good man, the land would prosper.

But it is true. The hard bit is just having the king being a good man and still staying king. Effectively so.

We look at real history and it’s not that simple.

Having a king that was a good man was always the tricky part. And especially maintaining his power as well as his innocence. Chesterton had a few things to say about the Parliament who betrayed King Richard II.

Tolkien can say that Aragorn became king and reigned for a hundred years, and he was wise and good.

It is possible.

But Tolkien doesn’t ask the question: ...

Well, thing is that Tolkien pretty certainly did go into realistic detail while preparing the chapters of the novel, he did not show all of it in them.

What was Aragorn’s tax policy?

I will give you the countryside of Medieval Sweden/or same land of Early Modern Ages.

Tithes were payed to the Church, and as the name suggests, they were ten percent of whatever type of income they applied to. They did not apply to wages or any servants' daily food, but to solid income of property owners. Tithes from grain were divided as follows:

  • 1/3 to parish priest.
  • 2/3 further divided:
    • 1/3 thereof to the Bishop
    • 1/3 thereof to the Church
    • 1/3 thereof to the poor.

Other tithes from farmers were entirely in the hands of the parish priest. Milk tithe was given in the form of cheese. "Priest cheese" - prestost - is still a cheese brand, somewhere between cheddar and tilsit in quality in memory of this custom.

The bishop had less from each farmer than the parish priests had. Parish priest had 1/3 or 3/9, but bishop only 1/3 of 2/3, or 2/9. This does not precluse the bishop had more income than the parish priest. The priest only had it from a parish, the bishop from an entire see - in the Middle Ages Sweden had seven of those, and all of Finland was the one see of Abo.

Whether priest or bishop got such and such a part of the tithe, it was to be spent at his discretion. They were not supposed to spend it on wild partying. But if they did, that was their business, as far as the taxes were concerned. It was not their business as far as the Church was concerned. Especially as far as superiors were concerned. A bad priest would have to answer to his bishop. A bad bishop would have to answer to the Archbishop of Uppsala. To be clear: the Uppsala of the Archbishops was not identical to the Uppsala of Odin and the Yngling Dynasty. In present day Uppsala, the latter is called Gamla Uppsala - Old/Elder Uppsala. It was abandoned as Swedes became Christians and the Christian Uppsala was a few miles aside.

The Church was one beneficiary of the tithes. It would be dispensed with according to orders of the bishop and was not his own. A Church needed repair? The tithe of the Church. A village needed a new Church and could not pay it all? The tithe of the Church. A student needed to be sent to Sorbonne, to study Philosophy under St Thomas Aquinas? The tithe of the Church. Alas for Sweden, at a certain period two students, brothers, were sent to Wittenberg. You can imagine whom they studied under. A cathedral needed a school so the knowledge acquired at Sorbonne could be of profit to Swedes not leaving the country? Tithe of the Church.

This was not all there was to pay for these things.

When a village needed a priest and a Church of its own, it was usual for twelve farmers to make the request, and also to make a contribution. Land was not bought by the tithe of the Church, it was contributed by the village.

Kings and nobles had also endowed the Church or specific institutions thereof - such as monasteries or hospitals. Usually with land. This meant that such and such a farm had some institution of the Church as its owner and the actual farming people just as tenants. That - perhaps - the Church disposed of its net income after people working there were fed, precisely as a farmer disposed of the net income once the people working were fed and the tithes were paid. Or - perhaps, I do not know which - that the Church got a substantial portion of the net income, exceeding the ithe anyway, precisely as a noble would if a noble were owning the land.

The poor were fed and clothed both from the 2/9 of the tithe set aside for them and from voluntary alms. Bishops and priests were supposed to set a good example for the greedier burghers and farmers, and so were kings and noblemen supposed to do.

In the beginning of the Modern Era, the tithe was revised so as to comprise "priest's tithe" (same portion as previously given to parish priests) and "King's tithe" (Gustav Wasa looted the Catholic Church in other ways too, on top of turning it Lutheran!). This is less interesting for this purpose (since this aspect is definitely NOT a model for a good king) than his taxation for the Crown. Now the taxation for the crown had very few functions: army, justice, administration (including the looting and perverting of the Church). It was a set sum to be paid each year by each farmer, and it was calculated on what his land would usually supply in a typical year, and taking five percents of that. So in 1530 the tax that lay on a farmer was typically 15% of all of his income. Or even less, perhaps only the grain was included in the crown tax. If the tithe had remained entirely administered by the Church, the Church would have received about twice as much as the crown. And together they received 15% - as today's Russia or Serbia.

Towns were an entirely other chapter - their laws might have been ultimately modelled, including exception from the crowns' rule - on the position of Magdeburg within the Holy Roman Empire (I think the Hanseatic cities were modelled on Magdeburg, and Stockholm and Visby were certainly two of them).

Aragorn was in the fantasy living not only pre-grace, but pre-flood, so there was no Church. But institutions of Gondor such as libraries and houses of Healing in Minas Tirith, unless funded in ways more typical of towns, would probably have been funded in ways similar to the sketch given.

Did he maintain a standing army?

If thereby you mean a single under a unified command, no. It is sufficiently clear from the novel that Gondor was ruled in a feudal manner. A standing guard or two was maintained at the Steward's or King's immediate disposition. Other territorial lords were contributing with their standing troops.

The reason why in Sweden nobles were not taxed was that they "paid taxes" by serving the community in wars and in the meting out of justice.

What did he do in times of flood and famine?

Apart from the troops already mentioned, there would have been volunteer forces - as originally in Sweden too, before the rise of feudalism. Obviously things were prepared - by tax money or by farms belonging to the local lords - so that both safety boats, dams, and supplies could be put to use when needed.

And what about all these orcs? By the end of the war, Sauron is gone but all of the orcs aren’t gone – they’re in the mountains. Did Aragorn pursue a policy of systematic genocide and kill them? Even the little baby orcs, in their little orc cradles?

Yes. Except orcs were hardly raised in cradles.

Tolkien also stated that in real life there are no orcs. No rational being predetermined quasi biologically for evil.

I have seen some "Israel friendly" Christians disagree on this, saying the Nephelim were "genetically evil". Baruch (whom Bergoglio misquoted in his speech at Yad Vashem as to verse and chapter 2:2) says about the giants of old [26] There were the giants, those renowned men that were from the beginning, of great stature, expert in war. [27] The Lord chose not them, neither did they find the way of knowledge: therefore did they perish. [28] And because they had not wisdom, they perished through their folly. - meaning he doesn't exclude they could have found it if they had tried, if they had had the grace of God.

Later a giant known as Christopher did find wisdom. But that was after the Incarnation.

If we go to calamities similar to orcs in mountain sides, rather than the examples given, such as orcs themselves or very dissimilar thing, I think instead of calling Austria "brigand" just because its duke and his squire took revenge on Richard after he returned from the Crusade (which was an act of brigandage, since Richard was technically a pilgrim till getting back home) we might see them as expert when dealing with brigands.* It can however be mentioned that the brigands barons who according to legend were guilty were also those who kept Richard Lionheart prisoner.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Library of Mouffetard Street
Ember Saturday of Pentecost
14 / VI / 2014

* See for instance (if you read German): : Hunde von Kuenring : Das Rosengärtlein von Aggstein

Friday, June 13, 2014

Was the Upper Room Built over Tomb of King David?,-ultra-Orthodox-Jews-occupy-and-drive-Christian-pilgrims-from-Upper-Room-31310.html

The Upper Room, where the Last Supper and Pentecost took place, is a room on the second floor of a building near the area of ​​Mount Zion. Since the twelfth century, it's ground floor is also believed to be the site of the burial of King David, although many archaeologists and historians doubt this.

It is not unfitting that the Holy Ghost was Given from Heaven on a site above the tomb of King David. Precisely as it was not unfitting that Christ should die as Redeemer on a site where Adam was buried.

And it is not fitting that Jews should drive away Christians from either of these places.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
Ember Friday of Pentecost
13 / VI / 2014

I must add this: even if the Enemies of Christ are not the true Israel, and are not faithful to the Son of David of whom the Gospel of St Matthew speaks, they did one right thing to be against the visit of that Judaising "Pope". But Christians are not bound to tolerate being chased away.

Hans Georg Lundahl
ut supra.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Was I wrong about the power of the demons?

I had previously argued, that demons were not able to create La Gratusse as anything other than a deceiving image, or possibly a conglomeration of minerals, able to really chew, but not really feed on poor victims. That THEN Bishop St Front or rather God working through him gave La Gratusse a momentary real existence so that it could have a real destruction. It threw itself into the river and was turned into stone. Whatever demons had pseudo-animated or accompanied it went back down to Hell with a punishment added because a saint had cursed them.

I had on that occasion stated a comparison "as the Pharao's magicians could not really turn their staffs into snakes, but only make it seem so to eyes, whereas when Moses dropped the staff it was really turned into a snake and their staffs were really turned into snakes, so that the snake of Moses could swallow it."

I seem to have been perhaps wrong on this one:

It is to be noted, however, that although these works of demons which appear marvelous to us are not real miracles, they are sometimes nevertheless something real. Thus the magicians of Pharaoh by the demons' power produced real serpents and frogs. And "when fire came down from heaven and at one blow consumed Job's servants and sheep; when the storm struck down his house and with it his children--these were the work of Satan, not phantoms"; as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xx, 19).*

That destructions could be really worked by demons, I had no doubt.

But if the word "produced" is here used in the fullest sense, I would have been wrong about the power of the demons.

On the other hand, if produced here only means a quick replacement of a staff taken away and a snake brought where it had been, that would certainly have been within my estimate of the power of demons too.

I am not sure, but it would seem a bit hard to think that snakes can really be created by demons, even if it were out of preexisting wood.

That they can create an illusion of snakes, no doubt. That God can turn an object into a real snake (like that of Moses), no doubt. That demons can carry snakes very quickly, make them calm and invisible when meaning the staff to show and visible and moving when they make the staff invisible, no doubt.

Will have to read up in Haydock on the snakes of the Pharao's magicians.

Ver. 11. Magicians. Jannes and Mambres, or Jambres, 2 Timothy iii. 8. (Challoner)

The pagans represented Moses as the greatest of magicians. (Pliny, Natural History xxx. 1; Justin xxxvi.)

They also, &c. Hebrew has three terms: "wise men, diviners, and magicians;" but the two last seem to be of the same import. "The enchanters did the like by their secret practices," either by words or by actions. Some say these operations were real; others affirm they were only apparent, and mere delusions. (Calmet)

"Whoever believes that any thing can be made, or any creature changed or transmuted into another species or appearance, except by the Creator himself, is undoubtedly an infidel, and worse than a pagan." (Council of Orange.) See St. Augustine, q. 21, de Trin. iii. 7; St. Thomas Aquinas, 2, 2, 9, 17, a 2.

The devil deceived the senses of the beholders; or brought real serpents, &c., thither. (Menochius)

Ver. 12. Devoured. Thus the superiority remained with Aaron. The rod was then restored to its pristine form, ver. 15. (Haydock)**

Seems I was right, after all. At least can be right.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
Ember Wednesday of Pentecost
11 / VI / 2014

* I Pars, Question 114. The assaults of the demons
Article 4. Whether demons can lead men astray by means of real miracles?

** Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.
EXODUS - Chapter 7