Another random post.
Thinking about some arguments that Catholic philosophers have made considering what's wrong with the secular, protestant, world I have to say that there's one point on which I agree.
Which is to say in the difference between a monarchy supported by the ideology of the Catholic church and one not supported by anything except itself.
I can imagine the anger that subjects of Protestant princes must have felt upon learning that instead of being ruled in the name of some ideas which they may not have agreed with or understood they were now being ruled in the name of sheer power.
Thomistic political philosophy has a lot of leeway in analyzing situations; it is a modification of Aristotle after all and leaves the impression of being very modern, compared with the protestant political philosophy which started coming out of the 16th century.
So in place of a doctrine which said that there were various levels of being in the world and that kings were just prominent people from the community who had been authorized because of their talents to be the guides for the people on the level of the polity came the doctrine that kings rule because they own the country; it's theirs and they have a right to it.
What a difference.
I'm not supporting the Catholic point of view as much as pointing out maybe what we've lost in throwing out so much of that intellectual world view which was categorized as 'medieval' and replacing it with secular doctrines that paint the world in as stark and unforgiving a way as is possible.
Maybe if we didn't repeat to ourselves that life was about survival of the fittest or that it's the money which matters, 'cause that's where the power is, or any of the other realist barbs which U.S. society runs on and instead admitted a more idealistic view in the way in which medieval thought was idealistic---concerned with man as a full creature, acknowledging the different spheres of man's activity as being valid and natural---then these phrases might not turn into self fulfilling realities.
Sure, power and in particular the power of states would still be a force,
but it's a question of whether you want the power of a state in its raw form front and center, exposed, glorified, flaunted in the face of the world or whether you have to dig down beneath the layers of sweet sounding lies and good political gestures to find it. To find the raw power beind things.
And, for that matter, would you rather trust a politician who was, after being a political person and one thoroughly imbued with his party's ideology, was concerned as all politicians are with power issues, or a politician who obviously didn't even care about the political philosophy that his party was espousing, or political philosophy in general, or even politics, really, except when it touched on hot button issues, but who put out his love of using power against other countries as a key defining feature, and who obviously didn't care at all about even making a show about concealing patronage and influence?
Which one would you rather have?
They're both politicians so the answer isn't going to be good either way but nonetheless it's something to think about.