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THE NATURE OF TRINITARIAN POLITICS
by James Reed
A Blessed and Holy Christ Mass Season to All
"All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them whatsoever I have commanded you." Matthew 28: 18-20.
"No man can serve two masters, for he will either hate the one or love the other, or he will cling to the one and leave the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." Matthew 6:24.
"He that would be greatest among you shall be your servant." Matthew 20:27.
The League website features a magnificent paper by Assistant Professor Dennis R. Klinck entitled "Towards a Trinitarian Politics." Assistant Professor Klinck is in the Department of English, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon. The paper will take some digesting because it is scholarship at its best - and what better time to digest it than during the more leisurely period just after the Season's main festivities.
As a plain man let me state what I see as the main thesis. Politics is typically dominated by philosophies which are either reductionistic (i.e., everything is matter) or else pluralistic and chaotic, lacking coherence and unity. If God plays a part in the metaphysical or ontological (i.e., what exists) systems of such politics, God is likewise monotheistic or pluralistic, which implies fragmentation.
The doctrine of the Trinity gives us an image or vision of diversity in unity. God's Trinitarian nature implies that God is both Whole, but also diverse, a unified Society. This foundation provides a building block for a functional model of society. God, as sovereign of the world has a trinitarian function of the omnipotent creator of reality, as the benevolent moral guardian of cosmic order and also as a righteous judge.
The metaphysical essence of the Trinity should be mirrored in any healthy society and if it is not, it is certain that in the long- term that society will wither and die on the vine. The Trinity thus supplies a model of the relationship of God to man, of the governor to the governed and a prototype of the constitution of the good and just sovereign. The great philosopher Emmanuel Kant in his treatise, "Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone," compares "an ethical common wealth to a household (family) under a common, though invisible, moral father, whose holy Son, knowing His will and yet standing in blood relation with all members of the household, takes His place in making His will better known to Them; these accordingly honour the Father in Him and so enter with one another into a voluntary, universal, and enduring union of hearts."
Social, political, metaphysical and theological reality is three-fold, not Unitarian or dualistic or even pluralistic Hewlett Edwards points out in "The Cultivation of History." Part of the social dislocation present in the modern world, especially in our alienated financial system with its monopoly on the creation of credit, stems from a "flagrant evasion of obvious truth." As Edwards continues: "Rejection of the tripodal (Trinitarian) framework - the only framework which fits man and society into the universe - has, in its later course, exalted 'Totalitarianism', 'Communism'; and now an oncoming Luciferianism salutes and summons the 'Atomic Age'.
That is the evil that the social credit movement now faces in what will be mankind's most important battle.
WHERE THE HEART IS
by Elizabeth Edwards
Elizabeth Edwards' review of Witold Rybczynski's delightful short history of the evolution and development of the Home will be enjoyed by our readers as they take a short respite after the Christmas Festivities. She writes: In this delightful, erudite and extraordinarily interesting book "Home: A Short History of an Idea," Professor Rybczynski explores the history of the Home since mediaeval times, particularly as a continuing idea re-flowering in every emergent household. He is concerned especially with the effects on it of the relatively recent idea of Comfort, drawn out from the possibilities of technology according to individual needs.
In the sense that 'Home is where the heart is,' home always has and always will be the most lively force: indeed, the womb of all willed activity. But it is also the place where one lives, where one goes out from and comes back to, for different reasons and in different modes throughout history. It is this sense of a dwelling that Professor Rybcsynski takes as his baseline. He considers the inter-relation of the building and its contents to the shape of life and intentions of those who live within it.
In modern terms you could ask, how does the modern luxurious machine-equipped flat affect the direction of thought of those who live in it? He specifically rules out of his material the surroundings of the very poor from the earliest ages, as poor folk have little control over the surroundings and so of the on-going development of the idea of the home. Which is a pity, because we all know people who with the aid of an old shawl, a picture, a bowl of wild flowers and a stick fire will make a home out of a hovel.
However, Professor Rybczynski begins with buildings. The earliest secular buildings of any size were largely influenced by the Benedictine monasteries, those preservers of skills and technology. Houses were designed as all-purpose halls in which everybody did everything; all everyday living took place. They were usually crowded with family, servants, retainers and guests. Cooking, eating, working, amusement, bathing, sleeping, entertaining, all took place in the one great hall open to the rafters overhead. Furniture was portable and foldable. Trestle tables were dismantled and put against the wall when not in use for dining, working or writing. Stools and benches were moved to where they were needed for conversation or work.
There might be one fixed bed in a corner out of the way, for important personages, and sometimes beds were built into the wall, like cupboards, but others were either foldable (and parked against the wall in daytime) or portable, used as seats. Where there was a bed, several people slept in it, but most of the simpler folk slept on the floor. There was no privacy at all; life was carried on in a crush of company. There was little place for privacy, for abstract thought: anyway for ordinary people this was already accepted in the religion that was the foundation of their busyness.
towns grew up outside the feudal system, and the burgesses had fairly capacious
houses of their own, they automatically adapted the same system. Town houses were
usually of several storeys. The tradesmen and merchants ran their businesses on
the ground floor, with the living quarters above. Again, the living quarters consisted
of a single large chamber, the hall, open to the rafters, where all living activities
The Meaning of Arrangements
in a Household
There was present very strongly an idea of suitability to a hierarchy, as part of a ceremony, almost a rite, to which living, including housekeeping, must be dedicated. The mode of people's dress, the manner of its adorning, meant how they fitted into society. Different foods and dishes, often elaborate, were symbolic of something quite other than nutrition or delicacy. Everything had a meaning other than its function, and just as important. This was not, at any rate at first, simply a matter of regulation, but because that was the way people thought. Chairs were not thought of mainly for their ease to sit in: they were a symbol of authority. The master of the house sat in a chair: everyone else on stools or benches.
convention persisted even to the etiquette at the court of the Sun King, Louis
XIV of France, long after it had faded elsewhere and chairs were not uncommon
in humble homes. At the court, armchairs were reserved for the King, chairs without
arms for superior courtiers, backless stools for some of the nobility, and unpadded
folding stools for lesser notables.
the end of the Middle Ages the advantages of privacy began to be recognised. Kitchens
had already split off the hall, and rooms, as they became smaller, could be devoted
to separate functions: used to separate different groups of the household -- family
from servants, for instance, or parents from children. The household became less
of a public place, and a new age of the family began.
Incorporation of the Idea of Comfort
The new form of domesticity was embodied in new forms of furnishings. When the purpose of furniture was use and comfort, close attention to shape produced the chairs of Sheraton and Hepplewhite, patterns that for ease have never been surpassed. (They actually allowed new postures of sitting comfortably). By the end of the eighteenth century comfortable and elegant furnishings were available to a broad clientele.
During the nineteenth century vast improvements in the heating and lighting of houses improved their comfort too, and with the use of gas and electricity and a shortfall of domestic servants in less wealthy households, pioneer housewives started to think about making domestic arrangements more efficient and less labour intensive. They thought about planning the kitchen and about the application of the new sources of power to domestic equipment.
One of the illustrations in this book depicts a row of electric pans and jugs of about 1900. Vacuum cleaners came in at about the same time, electric washing machines in 1909, dishwashers in 1918. They were mostly adaptations of hand-operated machines already in use. The history of these improvements and appliances must fascinate any housewife, and others too; but there is no space to go into details here. Incidentally, they all appeared at a much earlier date than I, at any rate, realised -- and in America, of course, where the servant problem was more acute.
The fashion for white arid sparse interiors replaced the (doubtless overdone) patterning of high Victorian and Edwardian rooms: furniture, what there was left of it, had to fit in with this modernism first, even if the result was not very comfortable. Chairs must make an artistic statement in the newest materials -- say stainless steel and leather, or webbing -- and not necessarily allow easy sitting. The ruling idea had changed from comfort and utility, together with good looks, to fashion, with maybe some comfort, and maybe not.
Demand for visual space brought back the all-purpose Hall with its multifarious activities, abolishing intimacy and privacy to the bedrooms. Crowding was in again, not this time because it was necessary, but because open-plan was stylish and getting together fashionable. But it is neither efficient for living, nor altogether comfortable, though perhaps good practice in mob psychology. We could well ask ourselves what sort of thought and activity is encouraged by such a style of living.
what is a home for? Is it just for showing off?
For what is Home? Certainly it is not merely a house, despite the obnoxious habit of transatlantic house-agents of using 'house' and 'home' interchangeably. Nor is it just a matter of furniture and accessories -- a furnished house is not a home, either. There is a human component: it must be truly and faithfully lived in. And that involves the purpose it is used for, and the free choice of arrangements and all the fittings that makes it suitable and delightful to those who live and work there.
Home a Workshop
of the Spirit
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