Apr 16, 2014

Obedience Unto Error by HRH Jonathan

     The article that I am writing here today is targeted specifically at Traditionalists. Others may read it, of course, but take this as your warning that if you do not identify yourself as a Traditionalist, you may not get much out of it.

     That established, let us consider, for a moment, a hypothetical scenario. Imagine that a husband and wife are having an argument over how their children should be educated, with both holding radically opposed views. Which one of them, by the tenets of Traditionalism, should get the final word? The husband, of course, given that he holds the authority within the family. But is this true even if his wife is correct? Must he still be obeyed even if he is objectively in error? Of course! Unless he is somehow invalidating his power through immorality or overreach, he must be obeyed. If his authority was only in force when he was right, it would hardly be authority at all. There would be no order in the family, just a continuous debate as to which side, exactly, was objectively correct.
     Moreover, who has the ability to decide what is right for the family and what is wrong? Short of a perfectly understandable hypothetical situation like this one, does anyone but the husband really have the power to declare one path correct and the other one not? And, if we were to declare the husband's authority void when he is in error, why not take that assertion to its logical conclusion? Why not declare all parental authority void when the parents are in error? Why not let the children weigh in, and, if they are correct and their parents are wrong, make it morally imperative that their commands be the ones obeyed?
     It is truly quite easy to see that paternal authority must be inviolate even when it is in error, for the alternatives are chaos, fragmentation, or worst of all, a justification for intrusive power being granted to the State. Furthermore, it is also easy to see that this extends to all forms of just authority. As long as an authority stays within its rightful purview and does not invalidate itself through immorality, it must be obeyed even if it is in practical error. For otherwise, is it really authority? If whoever is right is the one that must be obeyed, is authority actually in place, or is simple utility and common sense ruling the day? It should be clear to anyone who devotes the thought to it that the necessity to be obedient unto error is, in fact, the defining characteristic of authority, not something alien to it.

     And so we finally come to the main point of this writing, namely, the fact that this extends even into the Ecclesial dimension. That this is true should be patently obvious. Why wouldn't it be true? Religious authority and worldly authority differ from each other only in realm and reliability; in substance, they are the same. Therefore, we may see, religious authority must be obeyed even when it is in error, so long as this error is not somehow invalidating.
     So how can it be that there are such large groups of Catholics who claim to be Traditionalist, claim to have a proper understanding of authority, and claim to hold to the Church in a from almost unchanged from its roots, and yet in the same breath declare the Pope and Magisterium invalid? Even if the central government of the Church is in grave error during the present day, unless it has actively overstepped its bounds, a true and proper understanding of authority demands that we continue to give it our allegiance. Even should the worst of the doomsayers be correct in saying that the Novus Ordō of the liturgy is a tool of damnation, and that modern ecumenism can only damage the unity of the Church, and that the Papal government is doing nothing but continuously undermining true orthodoxy, they are still our rightful, lawful superiors, and we must obey them.

     But this is a bitter pill to swallow for anyone raised in the modern paradigm. After all, what could be more undemocratic than obeying someone you disagree with? What could possibly be more repressive, reactionary, patriarchal, fundamentalist, and otherwise backwards than authority? The modern era is built on disobedience to lawful authority. It is the soil in which it was cultivated, and the water with which it was grown. Many moderners even go so far as to declare that there is no authority, and that any institution exists only through the will of its constituents, who have the transcendent right to break it apart and reshuffle it at will.
     Given how useful this notion is in attacking Christianity, it comes as no surprise that the Adversary has infiltrated it into the midst of the faithful. What is especially disappointing, however, is the pervasiveness of the error. In addition to the progressives and humanists that one would expect to be affected, even the stanchest groups of Traditionalists have been led to fighting against their rightful superiors. This is a depressing turn of events, and it must end. We must excise this troublesome, modern infection from our beliefs. We must relearn how to be obedient.

Mar 18, 2014

The Great Flaw of Anarchism [by Prince Jonathan]

  Anarchism is, in its most fundamental concepts, entirely correct. The structure and concept of the State, as it is known today, is nothing more than a vast mechanism for tyranny. It takes away freedom, harms the common good, and commits acts of unjustified violence simply by existing; all of which it attempts to justify using elaborate political theories with deeply flawed foundations. Edan is not statist. I am not statist. To be otherwise is to be fooled. All this I believe and admit freely, yet I am still not an Anarchist. Indeed, both I and the Kingdom are very strongly anti-anarchy. And how, you ask, is this possible? Is that not a paradoxical position? Why do we oppose both the State and its absence?
  Because we recognize the great flaw of Anarchism. We see that it has developed from its perfectly rational basic principles into a greater philosophy that is largely false. Anarchists do not just wish to abolish the State, they wish to abolish all political action, all authority, and the entirety of the social sphere except for economics and the family, and some of them even the latter. This is the absolute height of foolishness, and Edan thus rejects Anarchism, as I shall now explain.
  Man is, as a very wise man once observed, a political animal, and this truth cannot be denied. Throughout all the history of all the world, government and political association has developed amongst civilized men. Furthermore, contrary to the common belief of Anarchism, it has largely done so in a non-aggressive way. After the gradual collapse of the Roman Empire, there was no government in France, Italy, Spain, or Western Germany. This meant that the only people with power in those places were the land owners, and the only material order their employment of tenant workers. Over time, these landowners, these counts and dukes, made deals amongst themselves, refined their feudal (that is, contractual) relationship with their tenants, and appointed some of their number as kings. Although violence and coercion were certainly involved in some times and places, the origin of government in Western Europe was accomplished through nothing more than the ownership of property, which I highly doubt any true anarchist will criticize. Similar origins may be found for much of the government of the ancient world, though, again, coercion is not completely absent from history.
  And, once more contrary to the typical beliefs of libertarians and anarchists, Anarchism has also been found throughout history. Far from being the first authentically new political development in three thousand years, absolute individual freedom with no form of government or authority has been seen in many different times and places. We find examples in the Judges period of Israel, Pre-Islamic Arabia, and Pre-Cromwellian Ireland, to name just a few. It is not necessary here to rely solely on those societies incapable of developing government; anarchy has existed in the world through the Age of Exploration. Indeed, considering the nations that evolved in Southern Africa and Polynesia, it could be argued that even the most technologically primitive societies are capable of forming governments, though most of them abstain. What is interesting here is that all examples of anarchy found historically, no matter what their culture, religion, or level of technology, share a few basic traits: continuous, bloody warfare, the normalization of atrocities, and a lack of any meaningful development in technology or art. Every time it as been implemented, anarchy has had a terrifyingly negative impact on the civilizations it affected. Even the most stable and moral examples, such as Pre-Cromwellian Ireland, were plagued by war and violence.
  Now, these facts alone would not be enough to condone statism. The ends do not justify the means; we cannot use tyranny and violence to end tyranny and violence. It is, as the majority of anarchists observe, utterly irrational. However, it is more than possible to form governments and establish the rule of law without recourse to coercion. A state-like order can be created in a completely permissible way, so why should anarchy be permitted to survive? If a truly lawless condition leads to such horrid things, why do we not agree to create law?
  So we see that Anarchism is disproved by history, but it is not even necessary to resort to that approach. Reason can also be used to show its flaws, and to demonstrate that a moral society is neither anarchy nor the State, but rather a proper, feudal government.
  It is natural for people to turn a blind eye to the errors in their own position. That is simple human nature, and it cannot be totally avoided, only fought. Anarchism, however, suffers from a general naïveté in excess even of that. Possible abuses of its systems and flaws in its concept of legality are ignored utterly, or supposedly defeated with the argument that market forces will eventually lead to their destruction. Even the most legitimate concerns are given no thought, as a rule.
  For example, let us say that there is a particular factory that produces car frames, and, in order to cut costs and run more efficiently, they switch from their existing chrome-coating method to one involving a much more volatile compound. The run-off and pollution from this compound quickly spreads off the lot of property that the factory is built upon, and begins to poison the water supply of a neighbouring residential district. The factory owner has harmed the health of many other people, so is he accountable to pay damages and switch back to the older, safer method? How much money should he pay out? How is that determined? Suppose the people in the district hire one security company to force him to pay out a large sum of money to them, but he claims that he owes much less, and hires a rival company to defend himself. Or suppose that he even claims that he isn't responsible at all. What happens next? Who determines which side is right? If the side that is wrong wins, who can step in to fix it?
  As another problem, is airspace property? Can sections of the sky and upper atmosphere be claimed, bought, and sold? It's an interesting question when there is no central law regulating it, but it is not the problem here. The problem is what happens when there is a dispute. If a road-owning company claims that it owns the air above its property up to the limit of the atmosphere, and a air-liner company holds that airspace cannot be owned because it cannot be worked, who wins the dispute over the first company charging tolls on passing planes? Let's say that the air company refuses to pay the demanded tolls, so the road-owners call in a private security company that agrees with their claims to force the matter, and then the air company calls in their own security that agrees with them. If negotiations fail, a shooting war will result. This is something of an extreme example, but it is entirely possible, and does a good job of illustrating this sort of problem. In a state of true anarchy, serious problems arise because of a lack of authority. Does this not mean that, according to the very laws of success and failure that Anarchism itself upholds as its unique practical advantage, authority will inevitably result? Is it not in the common interest of everyone to not just agree on a standard convention for such matters, but also create some way of solving similar difficulties in the future? And since this authority is so intimately linked to defence and enforcement, doesn't it make sense that it, the police, and the military should be a united organization? We find here the genesis of good government, and, indeed, of all government.
   And so we can see that Anarchism is neither foolish nor evil, but the belief that it can survive for more than a few generations without descending into violence and disruption is most certainly the former. Anarchists are correct in observing that the way things are today is critically flawed, but they fail to see the flaws in their own ideas again and again. Ultimately, they are, as a movement, over-idealistic. Even if they do not consciously realize it, their system is completely reliant on the total or almost-total eradication of human stupidity, selfishness, and disputes.
  In Edan, however, we recognize that such a utopian event is impossible. So we reject the State, then reject Anarchism, and finally establish ourselves to be a voluntary government. We seek to create the authority, stability, and public beneficence of a well-run State, while still maintaining the proper morality and rationality at the heart of Anarchism. Though this may be difficult, it is still worth striving after; and it is an ideal that we will not abandon for as long as the Kingdom survives.

Mar 13, 2014

Reflections on Lent, Politics, Life, and the Kingdom

  Once upon a time there was a question asked by a newspaper. It was "What's wrong with the world?"
  The modern world is a busy, noisy place. People carry phones with them at all times allowing themselves to bombard themselves with multiple forms of messages from around the world as well as music, news, videos, and games. This is so they can focus on what is important to them because the world around them bombards them with music, games, ads, and messages not of their own choosing.
  People are filled with frenetic energy; children study long hours and fill stacks of notebooks with repetitive work, yet knowledge and even their own test scores decline. There are more and more sources of news and information yet each new development is a surprise since no one expected it.
  The election cycle never ends, a constant parade of new names, new faces, new scandals, new "critical" issues, new voices, new experts. yet each election has 'surprises'. And after each election things always get worse, not better.
  Men rush through school with sports and clubs. They rush through their workdays with projects and lunches and travel. Women do the same. They get home to hobbies and entertaining, travel and art, music and decorating. Mothers take their children to art, soccer, math, enrichment, games, dances, and so on in an endless cacophony of activity for themselves and their husbands and their children. Homeschooling mothers take on even more with conferences, plans, meetings, tests and - of course - education.
  Their husbands do the same with hobbies and meetings and day trading and the lawn, lawn, lawn. Friends at the pub, sport, and discussion of politics.
  Why? Why all this energy? At the end of the day everyone is exhausted, yet as much as they complain no appointments are dropped. Why?
  Fear. Fear of reality. The busy, the make-work, the frenetic activity is to escape. Escape from ourselves and the world around us.
  The children are unhappy? You can't blame the mother, she gave them every advantage. The father slaved day and night! It isn't their fault, they worked so hard. The father doesn't get super-rich? The day trading was just a hobby and the small business just couldn't compete because of competition. The wife is cold and distant? well, she just doesn't understand her husband. The wife feels neglected? Maybe if her husband vacuumed more often....
  The modern world fears silence and still. If the reporters and pundits were to shut up for a week or so people would realize that no one really learns anything from them. The bloggers would be forced to admit that they are the fan-dancers of politics - busy fluttering with great energy but, in the end, there is nothing to be seen. Politicians would be forced to admit that they almost never utter a word worth listening to. People would start to realize that the government of, by, and for the people doesn't like the people very much at all.
  Modernism fears silence and still mainly because of one simple truth; in the silence and still we must all admit that we are our own fault.
  When the Times of London ran the article that asked "What's Wrong with the World" G.K. Chesterton replied, simply, "I am."
  That is part of the Church's goal during Lent. To have us all add a little silence and still to our world so we can remember what is wrong with the world. So if you are adding a ton of activities to your Lenten practices I urge you - don't. Take things out; put in silence and still.
  And every day remind yourself - you are your own fault. We are, indeed, responsible for ourselves. And our children. And our marriage. This is easy to forget when a text interrupts candy crush, hard to escape after 20 minutes alone with your thoughts.
  So we should all stop and be silent. Sit, and be still. Unless we are contemplatives, this is more of a leavening to our lives, a depth to our waters. Like the pauses in the Latin Mass; beauty, chant, bells, and song made more beautiful and more profound by stillness and bouts of silence.
  Yes, this matters to the Kingdom, too. Few elections, and all minor ones; important positions are for life; authority is as small, direct, and local as possible; government is as limited and small as possible. The Kingdom of Edan is meant to be as silent and still as possible, like the pauses in the Mass. Love and duty, honor and care all leavened with silence and stillness.
  So sit, and be silent. Take your children to fewer things. Do less and spend more time together in the quiet and the calm. Realize that you are the real you and that you are more in control when you do less.

Mar 11, 2014

Travel Advisory - March 15th through April 15th

  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has compiled the following list of travel advisories:

Should Not Enter (nations or areas on this list are considered of such high danger that the Ministry advises all citizens to avoid travel to, through, or over these places):

Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) [tyranny]
Niger [armed conflict and terrorism]
Nigeria [Islamist insurrection]
Somalia [armed conflict and terrorism]
South Sudan [armed conflict]
Syria [active civil war]

High Risk (nations or areas where people face high risk of injury or detention. The Ministry advises against any non-essential travel to these places):

Afghanistan [unrest]
Algeria [unrest, kidnapping]
Central African Republic [unrest]
Democratic Republic of the Congo [unrest]
Gaza [terrorist activity]
Iran [tyranny]
Iraq [unrest]
Lebanon [unrest]
Libya [unrest]
Mali [unrest]
Mauritania [terrorist activity]
Somalia [terrorist activity]
Sudan [unrest]
Tunisia [state of emergency]
the West Bank [terrorist activity]
Yemen [terrorist activity]

Caution (nations or areas with a risk of injury or detention. The Ministry advises caution for all travellers to these places):

Argentina [active protests]
Burundi [terrorist activity]
Columbia [crime]
Cote d'Ivoire [unrest]
El Salvador [crime]
Eritrea [internal restrictions on foreigners]
Honduras [crime, kidnapping]
Mexico [crime, kidnapping]
Pakistan [terrorist activity]
Ukraine [unrest, possible renewal of armed conflict]
Venezuela [crime, protests]

Other (nations or areas the Ministry determined have 'elements of concern to Edanians')
Haiti [lack of infrastructure]

Mar 3, 2014

Europe and North America Abandon Democracy

  Not too long ago Ukraine descended into violence. While the overall story is oft-repeated the details seem elusive on most news sources, so please forgive me as we sum up.

...

  Ukraine is insolvent: the nation is so deeply in debt that it needs $17 billion USD (almost 10% of Ukraine's annual GDP) to meets its obligations and continue functioning, and it needs this money relatively quickly. It was hoping to receive $20 Bn USD in loans from the European Union so began negotiating a trade deal with the EU that would include such a loan.
  The European Union declined and offered only about $830 million USD in loans and their trade deal required Ukraine to change many internal laws, some of which had no direct bearing on trade.
  Russian then offered $15 Bn USD in loans with a trade agreement that included reducing energy costs to the Ukraine.
  Up against the wall the president of Ukraine was effectively forced to abandon the possibility of a trade deal with the EU and accept a deal with Russia because only Russia was willing to meet Ukraine's needs. This was announced by the Ukrainian government on November 21st, 2013.

  Protests began almost immediately. Some Ukrainian citizens who wish for closer ties to the EU began to gather in Kyiv to protest the trade deal with Russia. By the 24th estimates on the number of protestors ranged as high as 100,000 (although the actual numbers were probably closer to 20,000) and the protestors began breaking police cordons and physically clashing with police. The police responded with tear gas and batons. The protestors began being encouraged and organized by opposition political leaders. The protests also began allowing neo-Nazi groups to take the elad in violence against police forces.
  This is not hyperbole or Godwin's Law - actual self-described neo-Nazi groups led violent attacks on police where isolated groups of police were attacked and their equipment stolen to arm protestors. These protestors, now with riot gear, then continued the escalation of violence.

  Protestors begin assaulting and seizing government buildings, including city hall of the capitol, while continuing violence against police. The protestors used petrol bombs, improvised weapons, and captured firearms to attack police and used arson and burning barricades to distract and repel police. By the middle of January protestors and police were being killed as well as injured.
 
  At the height of the protests prior to any protestors dying the Ukrainian parliament passed anti-protest laws that sparked greater protests and more violence; the laws were repealed and insttead the government offered to release already-arrested protestors and offer amnesty to other protestors if government buildings were released. This exchange of prisoners for buildings was completed by about the 16th of February. On the 18th the protestors began their assaults on police lines and by the 20th had re-taken all the surrendered buildings and taken others, as well.

  During this same time the opposition leaders, who were still leading the protestors, were negotiating with foreign powers for loans and support for when they has succeeded in seizing control of the government. Aresniy Yatsenyuk met with Angela Merkel in person urgin her to impose sanctions and aid the protestors so help them take over the Ukrainian government.

  The opposition tot he elected government in Kyiv was being reflected in greater Ukraine with the Ukrainian-speaking West seizing most government buildings seized by protestors but the Russian-Speaking eastern and southern fringes marked with pro-government forces aiding police is resisting protestors.

  By February 20th enough members of parliament had fled or defected that the opposition parties gained control of the Ukrainian parliament. The president agrees to early elections, has his powers slashed, and several other changes occur in the next few days. Opposition leader Yulia Tymeshenko is released from prison at the vote of the opposition-controlled parliament. By the 23rd the opposition leader and protest organizer Aresniy Yatsenyuk is made Prime Minister as other opposition leaders are placed in charge of the Ukrainian government.

  As this is occurring protestors in Crimea, which is largely Russian-speaking, are rejecting the new government in Kyiv as illegitimate. The regional parliament in Crimea states that they will vote to decide if they will remain part of Ukraine and armed men seize airfields and government buildings in the Crimea. The brand new government in Kyiv states they will not allow the breakup of Ukraine.

  The new government also beings pleading with Europe and the US for - billions of dollars in loans to prop up the Ukrainian economy.

  The crimean regional parliament asks for help from Russia to aid it in its claims to autonomy. Russia agrees and sends troops too support the new Republic of Crimea.

...
 
  We have been continually surprised at the political developments of the last few years where ostensibly Democratic governments in Europe and North America vocally and materially support the violent overthrow of various governments in the world. This may be most surprising in Ukraine.
  Let us be very clear - what occurred in Ukraine is the violent overthrow of the lawfully-elected government by an armed mob led by the losers of the last election. This was not prompted by mass oppression, nor was it triggered by civil rights violations or the illegal grasp for power - the pretext for this armed insurrection was the government's refusal to sign a trade agreement that would have forced Ukraine to modify its internal laws to be advantageous to European nations without giving Ukraine the loans it needed to remain solvent.

  There are already protests in large cities across Ukraine against this new, mob-seated, government by Ukrainians that reject its legitimacy - if more protests arise led by the new opposition what side shal Europe, the BBC, and similar groups take? Will the violent protestors still have the right to change the government via force?

  The last five years have clearly demonstrated through the words and deeds of European and North American political leaders, pundits, and academics that none of them actually believe that Democracy works. What shall they replace it with?

Jan 31, 2014

"Reactionary" is a Poor Choice of Word [by HRH Jonathan]

There are many words for the movement I tend to refer to as, "Traditionalism." For any group so fragmented and with so many distinct points of origin, this is inevitable; but the number of names for Traditionalism exceeds what even those facts would lead one to expect. Social Conservatism, Traditionalism, Reactionism, Counter-Revolutionism, and Anarcho-Imperialism are all names I've seen applied regularly, but in this brief article, I shall discuss only the third one.
     It is becoming increasingly common for Traditionalists to call themselves, "Reactionaries," that is, followers of Reactionism. This is especially true amongst new converts to our fold, who have gone so far as to take up the name, "Neo-Reactionary," seeing themselves as a new flowering of a concept almost entirely effaced after the last fall of the French Monarchy. These Neo-Reactionaries have formed a rough internet alliance of respectable orthodoxy, though they often have weak communications with the rest of the Traditionalist web. They are laudably pursuing the truth, but today, I have one, seemingly-small criticism to level against them.
     I don't like their name.
     A very common topic in the writings of my father and I is that words have power, and also that their meanings are not always obvious to those who use them. These truths are especially applicable to the term, "Reactionary." A Reactionary is, rather obviously, someone who reacts. Someone who pushes back. Someone only interested in the status quō, the way things stood. Reactionism is, by necessity, defined in terms of its enemies and their choices. Regardless of what its followers actually do, the name conjures up images of people who do not think about the future, or care about what is right, or consider their enemies' positions; but are concerned only with the comfortable past. In just the same way as many have gone astray by referring to, "political science," instead of, "political philosophy," those who call themselves, "Reactionary," are unwittingly defining themselves as everything that is actually wrong with Tradition, and separating themselves from what is good
     Of course, the same problem may be found, with less strength, in the word, "Traditionalism," but I do like this term a good deal more. It is a good catch-all term, encompassing a large number of views; it is already established and well-known; and it is not nearly so bad as the topic of this article. In the end, however, there is not a truly good name for those who desire to restore Western Civilization to its full splendour. At least, not unless you count 'Edanian'.

Jan 29, 2014

Snowstorms in Atlanta and Leadership (a quick take)

  I am sure that a great deal of ink will be spilled for months concerning the snow emergency affecting Atlanta (and, thus, the royal family) but we see this as an excellent opportunity to very briefly discuss the differences between management and leadership.
  Let us begin with a little history. While serious winter storms are rare in Atlanta they are far from unheard of. In 2011 a snowstorm paralyzed large section of the state of Georgia and Atlanta in particular. This event prompted the governor of the state and the mayor of Atlanta to work on improving their winter storm response plans.
  In December of 2013 a large conference of local and state authorities and meteorologists gathered in Georgia to review and confirm this new plan, which was heartily endorsed by the majority of the 200+ attendees. It was put into place for the now-current emergency.
  In press conferences and interview the mayor of Atlanta and the Governor of Georgia are repeatedly referring to two things - what other people are responsible for and that their response to this emergency is "much better" than their response in 2011.
  In the meantime the city is gridlocked with thousands of motorists stranded on the roads in their cars with no serious chance of outside help; thousands more abandoned their vehicles and walked to what private shelter they could find; many more thousands are stranded at their workplaces with no real hope of receiving outside aid - which included hundreds of children stranded at schools; a large number, perhaps a majority, of gas stations are out of fuel and many stores and restaurants are out of food. The direct impact on the people of the region is demonstrably higher and worse than in 2011 and the only real hope of relief is to wait for the weather to change.
  So how can people in positions of responsibility both dodge responsibility and claim that their response is better when the results are worse?
 
  Because of the way they think. These politicians and bureaucrats have been trained to manage not to lead.
  Managers focus on reducing costs, minimizing risks, controlling the use of time, communicating between groups, etc. All very useful tasks and skills but, in the end, the main focus is on minimizing the perceived risks to themselves and their organizations. This is not a negative, it is a positive as long as all you expect from a manager is management.
  Leaders focus on giving people a higher purpose and motivating them to excel and, ultimately, on achieving the best possible result.. In the end the main focus is on achieving the best possible result of their duties and responsibilities. This can be expensive and will involve risks and can directly clash with the core goals of management.
 
  I believe that both the mayor and the governor fully believe that they are, yes, providing a 'better response' to this snow storm than the last. Why? Because I am convinced that they are using project management tools and metrics. A disaster response plan was created by various committees over time; this plan was reviewed and accepted by various other committees and by the conference members in December; this plan is being followed and they are checking off little boxes on the project management applications at a steady pace; reports are being sent to those who are supposed to receive them; etc.
  Or, in other words; responsibility was spread as widely as possible; many other managers agreed that this management plan had steps that managers could understand and report on; the various people who farmed out their responsibility are receiving reports from their subordinates that allow them to tell others they are doing as the plan tells them to.
  Or - each team has minimized the perceived risks to themselves and their own organization and can point to how they are reducing costs, minimizing risks, controlling the use of time, communicating between groups, etc. To a manager those things are what is important.
  In the meantime the 9th largest city in the United States, a city larger than Singapore, is effectively shut down.
 
  The lesson is clear: do not ask for leadership from managers.

Dec 20, 2013

Travel Advisory for Edanian Citizens. 20/12/2013 through 31/03/2014

  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has compiled the following list fo travel advisories:

Should Not Enter (nations or areas on this list are considered of such high danger that the Ministry advises all citizens to avoid travel to, through, or over these places):

Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) [tyranny]
Syria [active civil war]

High Risk (nations or areas where people face high risk of injury or detention. The Ministry advises against any non-essential travel to these places):

Afghanistan [unrest]
Algeria [unrest, kidnapping]
Central African Republic [unrest]
Democratic Republic of the Congo [unrest]
Gaza [terrorist acticity]
Iran [tyranny]
Iraq [unrest]
Lebanon [unrest]
Libya [unrest]
Mali [unrest]
Mauritania [terrorist activity]
Niger [unrest]
Nigeria [terrorist activity]
Somalia [terrorist activity]
South Sudan [war]
Sudan [unrest]
Tunisia [state of emergency]
the West Bank [terrorist activity]
Yemen [terrorist activity]

Caution (nations or areas with a risk of injury or detention. The Ministry advises caution for all travellers to these places):

Burundi [terrorist activity]
Columbia [crime]
Cote d'Ivoire [unrest]
El Salvador [crime]
Eritrea [internal restrictions on foreigners]
Honduras [crime, kidnapping]
Mexico [crime, kidnapping]
Pakistan [terrorist activity]
Venezuela [crime]

Other (nations or areas the Ministry determined have 'elements of concern to Edanians')
Haiti [lack of infrastructure]

Nov 15, 2013

Pride, Populism, and the Papacy - from Prince Jonathan

It is a truth often repeated by Traditionalists that the Catholic Church is not democratic. Something that should be repeated more often, however, is the basis of this fact. The Church is not just un-democratic in the accidents of her hierarchy and organization, but also in the substance of her underlying philosophies and assumptions. If the Church were somehow altered so that she was governed by popular vote, but was otherwise unchanged, or if the United States were changed to a government identical with that of the Church, but still maintained its integral character; then they would still be at odds. The modern democratic West is un-Catholic at a fundamental level, and in this article, I will attempt to explain why.

The reason is, in a word, individualism. It has been the tendency of thought in the West since the time of the American Revolution to declare that the primary, or in some cases, the only, driver of morality is individual freedom. The foundation of the democratic spirit is that the individual person is the basis of the world, and that society, government, and all else above him exists only at his sufferance. Unless he goes so far as to directly harm others by his actions, his rights to self-determination are paramount.

We see this philosophy everywhere in the modern world. It is the basis of contemporary secular civilization. Marriage is attacked because, after all, marriage is only an institution, and if a few individuals want to ignore or alter this institution, then it is their prerogative to do so. Capitalism is considered the only moral economic system by many, because it allows individuals to conduct their business however they please, which is the only moral way to proceed. Religion and prayer are removed from public events and venues because they may cause people to feel or think that they cannot live in any manner they want, and we can't have that.

It is this pervasive, corrosive conceptualization of the world that sets democracy and Catholicism at odds. But why? Why are they in opposition to each other? After all, the foundations of individualism were invented by Catholic philosophers. The fundamental tenets of liberty and human rights were first proposed by the Church, and are still held by it today. So how is it exactly that the Church is un-democratic and un-individualistic?

The truth is that much of individualism is built on solid ground, which many Traditionalists, in their rush to defeat it, forget. The consent of the governed, human rights, and self-determination are good moral points. What is not a good moral point is the equivocation of these things' existence with the supremacy of the individual man. This claimed supremacy and sovereignty, and, more importantly, the conclusions derived from them, are nothing more than perversions and misuses of philosophy, and a twisting of the basis of a moral society.

For the Catholic Church and the societal views she breeds accept these moral points, but individualism is built upon them. It is entirely based upon them, and admits nothing else. All it has is the individual and his rights and wants. In the end, all it has is "me". In its focus upon "me", it makes it all about "me". It is true that societies, governments, and other such things are most moral, perhaps even only moral, when built up voluntarily; but not to make any attempt to elevate it above "me" is foolish. It causes a strange sort of plague of hubris and narcissism whose bitter fruit we reap today.

Being raised and trained to think politically and philosophically only of yourself and your wants and moral position has not shown itself to be healthy. It has created a generation of people worldwide who truly believe that it is a horrid injustice that they are not allowed to bare their nudity in public, or who feel that they should be free to exploit the poor if it is done via contract, or who think that it is only fair that they should be able to dissolve marriage at will. And, furthermore, it has made this generation into an army of critics and would-be emperors, who deride and despise anything done differently than the way they would do it. It has made people hate any wisdom other than their own, try to tear down anything done against their wants, and treat themselves as the source of all doctrine. Argue with me about this being the result of individualism all you want; I have the brute fact of the modern world on my side.

These things, these beliefs and attitudes, are the logical extension and basic conclusion of individualism; and it is them that the Church is opposed. For these attitudes are the opposite of what is Christian, and are indeed an elevation of the spirit of sin. The world is not about us, nor are we the wisest people of them all, nor is it our place to pass judgement on society itself, nor are we the be-all, end-all of morality. A belief in such things can only come from the Adversary, because to believe in them is, however slightly, to equate ourselves with God. Moreover, to embrace them is also to embrace a spirit of Protestantism, which makes "me" the only true interpreter of the Word of God. After all, if I am the source of all authority, who needs the Hierarchy of the Church?

But sadly enough, this individualism is so widely embraced today as to be considered the norm by all. The Pope is criticized for his actions by lay people across America, Theology is ignored or mistaught by those who disagree with it, and all talk of duty or proper society has vanished from the political sphere. Everything is now about maximizing personal freedom, and optimizing things according to individual wants. The world is now about "me", and this deceitful ordering of things must be defeated.

Not defeated by collectivism and centralization by force, as the most devout individualists hold is the only other stance, but by a simple lack of individualism. As Catholics and Traditionalists ought to know, there are many things that matter more than us. If we want the evils of the modern world to end, I say that the best way to do it is to simply take on a little humility, which is, of course, the simplest and hardest task in the world.

Nov 11, 2013

St. Nicholas' Day in Edan

  As we approach Advent and Christmas we also approach the Feast of St. Nicholas, a 3rd class feast and a favorite of the Royal Family. Quite a bit of tradition has grown up around this day, the 6th of December, in Edan. What follows is how the Royal Family typically celebrates this day.
  At bedtime on the night of December 5th all the princes place their shoes on the hearth and then each prince places a single carrot into one of his shoes. Once the princes are asleep the King and Queen also go off to bed.
  In the morning the princes awake to find that St. Nicholas' horse has eaten all the carrots (leaving behind just a few small nibbles) and that St. Nicholas has filled the shoes with candy! The saint has also left each prince a small toy or two and a book.
  This is usually the first day that Christmas music is played in the royal household. Throughout the day the family speaks of the coming of Christmas and the meaning of charity. That night after dinner the King reads from the bible about Our Lady and St. Joseph travelling to Bethlehem in preparation for the birth of Christ and everyone enjoys some egg nog before bed.
 

Oct 11, 2013

The Traditionalism of the Present

[from Prince Jonathan]
  It can be very difficult to be a traditionalist some days. You are continuously mocked and decried as irrationally holding on to something long ago disproven, by people who themselves refuse to consider your position rationally. You are often betrayed or left behind by the political factions who were, mere days before, your staunchest allies and most energetic defenders. You are hard pressed to find anyone who agrees with you, and when you do, you often find that they have a radically different focus, so that you only barely share the same views. Yet, if you have any measure of conviction, you will struggle on all the same, content in the thought that you have the truth. The truth about society, the truth about politics, the truth about the world; that is the nature of traditionalism, and it is that nature that we should embrace.
  For if we do not hold our traditionalism because of its essential truth, if we hold it solely because it is beautiful or ancient or simply preferred by us, then we truly justify the criticisms and hurdles we must so often deal with. Indeed, choosing traditionalism purely because it is traditional is, in a great irony of language, against the spirit of that very concept. Clinging to the past because we like it is, in fact, a liberal choice, an elevation of the individual over society. Pomp, ritual, and solemnity, or age, genealogy, and tradition are not sufficient reasons to hold a complete worldview, no matter how elegant and wonderful they may be.
  This is not to say that these things, these beautiful facets of tradition, are bad. Quite the opposite, they are good. But still, they are not the spirit of tradition, and should not be treated as such. If the outlook of traditionalism had always been accompanied by severity and simplicity, or if there were no rituals or family ties related to it, or even if it were completely new and never before seen, it would still be right. It would still be the same spirit with the same keys to moral order and the betterment of society as a whole. Traditionalism is the proper order of things because of its substance, not its accidents.
  So, to finally state the message of this article clearly, being a traditionalist does not mean that you have to live in the past. On the contrary, in fact; it means you must look to the future. We know the way to proper society, we know the need for a love of duty, for the rule of law, for honour, for identity, and, yes, for respect of what came before. We know that this is the way to build a better country, so we ought to pursue its implementation regardless of what trappings come with it. If we can make it look the way we want it to, so much the better, but this is unnecessary. These traditions of beauty and stability will arise from a well-ordered civilization no matter what, for they come from the spirit of tradition, and not vice versā.
  Indeed, all these magnificent rituals and all these trappings of civilization were once new and innovative. All traditions, and all things loved by traditionalism, were once modern inventions. If we wanted to truly go back to the way things originally were, we would have nothing. Regal garb and majestic crowns, ancient families and royal blood, etiquette, heraldry, and art; all once were newborn and just created. But even then, at their dawn, they were not against tradition; for they sprang from the substance of tradition, which can survive without any ritual.
  So, going forward, we must move discerningly and cautiously as we try to build tradition back up after the wars it has lost. On the one hand, we are commanded by the tenets of traditionalism to respect even the smallest things created by our ancestors. On the other, we must recognize that, in some few ways, the world truly has changed, and we only harm ourselves by refusing to change anything at all to match it. Change, properly done, is traditional; and living in the past, improperly done, is liberal. A great irony, perhaps, but true.

Oct 9, 2013

21st Century Monasteries and Edan

  Various institutions are releasing updated demographics numbers over the next few months and the initial reports are as expected; all of Asia is below replacement fertility, as is all of Europe, all of South America, North Africa, South Africa, and other areas are close. The global fertility rate has been dropping for 50 years and shows no signs of stopping within the next 25, especially since the fertility tempo (average age of the birth of a first child) is also increasing.
  The artificial gender imbalance caused by sex-selective abortion and ubiquitous ultrasounds means that the low fertility rates may be masking a more serious problem - sex ratios so skewed that the next generation will be much smaller than predicted. Areas of rural China have a 14 to 1 ratio of males to females in their young population (under 30 years old) and areas of India have an even higher imbalance, estimated to peak at almost 19 to 1. Overall these two nations alone have no less than 50 million men under the age of 30 who can never have a wife do to an artificial shortage of women.
  The impact has been horrific for women - human trafficking, ubiquitous sexual assault, and physical attacks.
  Meanwhile, the West continues to glorify hypergamy, fornication, and childlessness. Mass media dismisses the family and praises the ill and the dysfunctional. After creating an artificial 'teen culture' mass marketing continues their effort to sexualize all ages. Porn is prevalent to the point that actual art is being pushed out of public consciousness. And self-abuse so common that it is leading to mass impotence in the young.
  The apparent triumph of low, or 'pop'. culture, the dismissal of morals and ethics by those who shout from rooftops for money, the replacement of education with credentialism and the accompanying trend of people delaying marriage and children in pursuit of worthless credentials and the associated high debt will continue to drive down fertility well after demographic implosion begins to destroy the current economic system. After all, a system based upon the assumption of perpetual growth cannot survive contraction!
  And the weaknesses of Democracy are on full display as the various nation-states stagger toward the abyss.
  What can we do about this?
  Everything that matters.
  The core ideals and principles of Edan are focused not just on  the cardinal virtues but also on stability; Edan is meant to endure and thrive in the most difficult of times. How? It is structured like a family which, of course, reflects God's design. Rejecting the horrors of Communism and the dehumanizing effects of Capitalism; standing by the truth and rejecting relativism; maintaining and preserving high culture; reaching out to our neighbors in true charity. These are the things we can and will do.
  Some have called Catholic homeschoolers the monasteries of virtue of the current truly Dark Age. Edan will join them in preserving civic virtue in a world collapsing under the weight of evil.