Cliffs Notes for the (Un) A Ware

I hate self-deluded experts who won’t make an effort….

I offer the following exchange, with some additional color thrown in by yours truly:

a ware November 17, 2017 at 3:31 PM

I resisted commenting but here goes.

You should have stuck to your first instinct.

I admire your writing and mostly agree with your analysis, though I am an anarchist rather than libertarian.

Wow! A real anarchist and not a mamby-pamby libertarian!  Thanks for sharing.

Time to buy old US gold coins

Why this is relevant, we are given not a clue.  In any case, whenever someone who has never commented here before (at least to my recollection) starts his comment with something like “long time reader” or “I admire your writing” I am 99.99% sure that a) it isn’t true and b) idiocy will follow.

I cannot make the reason for your agreement with this thinly veiled Roman apology masquerading as historical/political commentary.

A fair wonderment, but not for someone who says “I admire your writing and mostly agree with your analysis,” given that I have written my analysis on this exact topic more times than any other.

Even a superficial knowledge knows of the Inquisition. If there was some kind of “common” culture it was the result of violence and severe repression of any dissenting views. Suggested reading: A History of the Inquisition in the Middle Ages by Henry Charles Lea.

A typical (and uninformed) stereotype of the time and place.

If the Roman church is the giver of this commonality, it did so just as the Communist Party did in the Soviet Union, with violence and terror.

A typical (and uninformed) stereotype of the time and place.

One has to ignore real history (and many papal bulls) to think this institution is ever been a friend of the average man. That common culture was serf and noble with very little in between.

The serf had much more freedom and law on his side than most would expect, at least for those who go no deeper than the stereotype; the noble even more freedom, and much more than any modern citizen.  Further…he acted truly noble.

The wars of the 20th century had nothing to do with religion, they were ideological wars primarily with the German Succession question complicating matters. I fail to see Protestant fingerprints on them.

Theologically, something is wrong with a religion that at one time would kill you if you possessed that religion’s holy writings. Think about that!

I respect the partisans of the Roman church to defend it however they wish, but I still cannot understand your affinity with point of view.

For anyone who has actually read anything on the topic or my posts on this topic, the above statements would not be so easily offered – at least not without addressing the points previously made.

My reply to his comment:

bionic mosquito November 17, 2017 at 3:51 PM

You claim to be a long time reader, yet I have never claimed that the Roman Church was perfect.

If you want to have a conversation, proceed as follows:

    1) Look to the top of this page.

    2) Click on the “Bibliography” tab

    3) Read every post under the author “Fritz Kern”

    4) Read the post under Regine Pernoud

    5) Read selected posts under RHC Davis (the titles of the posts will indicate the relevant posts)

    6) Read the first post under Jacques Barzun

After you have done this, please reply in a manner that makes clear that you have some understanding of the law and culture of the time.

a ware November 18, 2017 at 4:26 AM

I don’t believe I said you claimed any such thing. The issue is about the author’s claim that the Reformation caused the destruction of some “common culture”. You have not addressed any of my points about THIS particular subject.

So, you weren’t the one who wrote in the first comment above: “I cannot make the reason for your agreement with this thinly veiled Roman apology masquerading as historical/political commentary”?  My confusion…I guess.  I guess I don’t understand what “your agreement” means in English.

The Roman church of the Middle Ages operated exactly as Rothbard describes the State, entity with a monopoly on legal violence over a territorial area.

This is so unbelievably false as to demonstrate your complete and absolute ignorance on the topic.

How can a culture be “organic” with a powerful entity enforcing a so called commonality? How is it different from a king or State doing the same?

Did I use the word “organic”?  No, I didn’t think so.  In any case, this is so unbelievably false as to demonstrate your complete and absolute ignorance on the topic.

Now I could take the same condescending attitude by saying you show little understanding of the actual history of the Middle Ages, but I just ask where I am wrong about this history.

Where are you wrong?  On virtually every important point.

As for Morello’s contention about academia (which I suppose you support), I wonder how Georgetown fits since almost all of our rulers pass through it and it is a Jesuit institution.

Certainly, the modern Catholics demonstrate all of the positive characteristics that we found in Catholic clergy of the Middle Ages (I am sure this will get me accused of ignoring the negative characteristics).  Good call there.

I have been very specific in my post about THIS article but you reply with generalities and straw-men which is certainly not conducive to any kind of conversation. I really expected better.

Oh, you’ll get “better” – and get it good and hard.  But…I didn’t expect better from you, because I expected that you would read none of what I suggested before commenting again (either that, or you would just disappear – either reaction is typical).

At least one of us had his expectations fully met.

bionic mosquito November 18, 2017 at 6:31 AM

you ask “but I just ask where I am wrong about this history.”

I have written a few hundred thousand words on this topic, and instead of re-writing all of them in response to your query, I ask you to read a small fraction of these.

We are wasting each other’s time if you won’t even read my answer to your question.

a ware November 18, 2017 at 12:46 PM

Let me make this as simple as I can: How can a libertarian be supportive of an institution that has used repression and violence on dissenting views?

And he still won’t read a single thing I wrote.  If he did, he wouldn’t so naively ask such a question.


The Cliffs Notes Version

The man doesn’t want to read a few posts!  Instead, he wants to lecture without considering that he might not know everything!

OK, I will make this as simple as I can.  Libertarianism in theory is decentralization in practice.  There is not a longer-lasting, more decentralized period of history in the west than the Middle Ages.

Governance during the Middle Ages was very decentralized, in almost every way imaginable.  Was it pure anarchy?  Obviously not.  But we will never get “pure” in a world populated by humans.  Was the non-aggression principle the guiding light?  No.  But only children expect that the non-aggression principle will be the glue that ties man together in peace.

Let’s take a few examples, comparing the modern state to the kings and Church of the Middle Ages and our modern times to the Middle Ages.

Now, to avoid a strawman in reply: I do not claim that the following was purely upheld for 1000 years everywhere in the European Middle Ages; I do claim that the following is a reasonable generalization, and does capture the law of the time; I do concede that as the Middle Ages wore on, some of these protections lost power in some cases – more so in some, less so in others.

Let’s begin, shall we?

Who writes the laws?

Modern state: Monopoly of the state

Middle Age Kings: No

Middle Age Church: No

Who enforces the laws?

Modern state: Monopoly of the state

Middle Age Kings: Monopoly, but subject to voluntary approval of nobles who give this authority – authority that can also be taken away without permission of the king.

Middle Age Church: No, absent concert with a king – who has no authority not given by a noble.

Who can veto the laws?

Modern state: Monopoly of the state

Middle Age Kings: No.

Middle Age Church: No.

Who can interpret the laws?

Modern state: Monopoly of the state

Middle Age Kings: No; the law is subject to interpretation by any noble who can demonstrate old and good law.

Middle Age Church: No; the law is subject to interpretation by any noble who can demonstrate old and good law.

Who can veto the state’s / king’s interpretation / decision?

Modern state: the citizen has no such authority.

Middle Age King: any noble could veto the king’s decision.

Middle Age Church: Could issue an edict against the king’s decision; beneficial to the dissenting noble – and serf!

Does the system support panarchy?

Modern state: No

Middle Ages: Yes

Obligations of common citizens / serfs?

Modern state: 50% or more of income; compulsory obligations (schooling, military service, etc.)

Middle Ages: from a few days to several weeks per year, normally no military service.


Modern State: Yes, just like Rome before the Middle Ages and, until about 150 years ago, after the Middle Ages

Middle Ages: No – serfs were by no means slaves; serfs had many freedoms and powers unknown to slaves and unknown even to citizens of modern states.

Obligation flow?

Modern state: one way only – up – the citizen has obligations to the state.

Middle Ages: both up and down.  Up from serf to noble to king, and down from king to noble to serf.

Does this look like Rothbard’s state to you, man-who-refuses-to-read-and-prefers-the-shortcut-Cliffs-Notes-method-because-it-allows-him-to-get-by-amongst-his-ignorant-running-buddies?


Now, Mr. (un) A Ware, if you make another one of your ignorant statements without reading the posts I have suggested (because the topic is a little more complex and nuanced than your superficial version) – posts that give direct background and sources to every item I have listed here and many, many more that support my contention – and, further, without demonstrating that you are addressing the information in the posts, I will not post your feedback.  You can crawl back under the rock of your ignorance.

And I can get some rest.

Reprinted with permission from Bionic Mosquito.