The Long View 2007-08-30: Anarchy! Orthography! Liturgy!

Boyaryna Morozova by V.Surikov (1884-1887, Tretyakov gallery)By Vasily Surikov - Vasily Surikov, Public Domain,

Boyaryna Morozova by V.Surikov (1884-1887, Tretyakov gallery)

By Vasily Surikov - Vasily Surikov, Public Domain,

A bit of a return to current events commentary here. An item of interest is the response of the Patriarch of Moscow commenting on the motu proprio of Benedict XVI allowing greater freedom to celebrate the Latin mass. If you think the Second Vatican Council roiled Catholicism, you should see what happened when the Russian Orthodox Church revised their liturgy in the seventeenth century. Whole villages starved themselves to death because they though the apocalypse was upon them!

Compared to that, guitar at mass isn’t so bad.

Anarchy! Orthography! Liturgy!

A blogger who writes under the name Primordial Slack probably does not intend his postings to read as if they were written under oath; not even when, as in this case, the posting was picked up by Instapundit. Nonetheless, I wonder how many of his readers realize that this is a joke?

Seriously, would you rather live 30 days without a politician or 30 days without a sewage treatment facility in your neighborhood?

The septic tank pumpers, the garbage collectors, and the electricians are the only folks who hold back the threat of a new Dark Ages. They stand alone along the thin, brown line between anarchy and order. Some of the dirtiest jobs are the most vital. And over in Velociville, the truly reliable public servants certainly are doing yoeman's work keeping back the tide of vile bile that would certainly decimate the surrounding civilisation.

If the world was a fair place, the sump-pumpers and bilge-bailers of this world would make as much as a Congressman. They do more for the public good than both houses of Congress.

In the absence of government, people would be dumping garbage in front of your house, until you began firing warning shots to keep them away, which you could not do indefinitely because your local gun store would be unable to replenish its amunition because of the savages who raid the delivery trucks.

As for compensation, you would be amazed at what electricians already make, and they do not invariably do a better job than your local congressman.

Don't get me started.

* * *

Meanwhile, that arch-libertarian Mark Steyn has these thoughts about the uncontainability of a lost war:

The "Vietnam war" was about Vietnam, if you had the misfortune to live in Saigon.

But if you lived in Damascus and Moscow and Havana, the Vietnam war was about America: American credibility, American purpose, American will. For our enemies today, it still is. Osama bin Laden made a bet – that, notwithstanding the T-shirt slogan, "These Colors Do Run": They ran from Vietnam, and they ran from the helicopters in the desert, and from Lebanon and Somalia – and they will run from Iraq and Afghanistan, because that is the nature of a soft, plump ersatz-superpower that coils up in the fetal position if you prick its toe. Even Republicans like Sen. John Warner seem peculiarly anxious to confirm the bin Laden characterization.

The two items above deal with what Daniel Deudney has called the First and Second Anarchies.

* * *

German readers: give me a hand with this:

DüSSELDORF, Germany - As of this month, the German language is officially "reformed." After more than a decade of bitter debate, new grammar rules for the world's 100 million native German speakers are now set in stone.

Is this piece talking about the orthographic reform? Does the reform also include an overhaul of grammar?

* * *

Are Evangelical Catholicism and the Second Religiousness the same thing? This item from John L. Allen of the National Catholic Reporter may have some bearing on the question:

History always cuts deeper than headlines, a point that clearly applies to recent Vatican moves to dust off the old Latin Mass and to declare Catholicism the one true church. Beneath the upheaval triggered by those decisions lies a profound shift in the church’s geological plates, and perhaps the best way of describing the resulting earthquake is as the triumph of evangelical Catholicism...During the last quarter-century...the evangelicals have won most of the fights in terms of official Catholic policy. Whether that’s a rollback on reform or the emergence of a "new, sane modernity," as Pope Benedict XVI claims, is a matter for debate, but there’s no mistaking which way the winds are blowing.

By the way, in case anyone is keeping score, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church is pleased with the recent reauthorization of the Latin Mass:

Rome, August 30, Interfax - Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia has greeted the recent decree of Pope Benedict XVI providing more freedom to celebrate the ancient Latin Mass. ..‘We strongly adhere to the tradition. Without being faithful to her liturgy the Russian Orthodox Church would have failed to survive persecutions in 1920s and 1930s,’ the Russian primate told the Italian daily Il Giornale a few days ago after celebration liturgy in the Cathedral of the Dormition in the Kremlin.

With all due respect to the Patriarch, we must assume he is making nice with the Vatican because the Kremlin is telling him to do so. Does Putin read Solovyev, I wonder?


Happy Labor Day!

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