vendredi 26 novembre 2010

Defending Commons and feudalism against Locke on FB, and legal kingship against supposedly powerless one

I am here commenting on a note on someone else's profile: More on Locke and Catholicism: by Joe Hargrave

Well, give me Hooker, then!

"What fewer people may know is that Pope Clement VIII said of Hooker's book, the very same one that influenced Locke, The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity: 'It has in it such seeds of eternity that it will abide until the last fire shall consume all learning.' This, of course, in spite of Hooker's status as a heretic."

Locke in Second Treatise Chapter V agrees with Pope Leo on ONE instance of elementary gain of property rights, but would have disagreed about the rights of dispossessed Connaught Papists to return to Ulster.

Some Anglicans - notably the Anglo-Catholics avant le mot - were less objected to by Catholics than other Prots.

Joe Hargrave:

The one instance means a whole lot.

Since both have it from Cicero, less than a Catholic credential for Locke.

But if your pragmatic or realistic purpose is simply defending the US Constitution, and your seeing attacks on Locke as indirect attacks on it, since Founding Fathers had read Locke more than say Rousseau or what's his name again [Hobbes, he is even, along with Calvin, honoured by comic strips nowadays] "Leviathan", the thing to do might just be, not to say that Locke has a complete Catholic philosophy of property, but to say that nothing really objectionable from Locke got via FF to the Constitution they wrote.

Joe Hargrave:

My purpose is to defend private property and free markets for Catholics against the prevailing social democratic agenda.

But Locke is more Social Democratic than Leo or St Thomas!

Rousseau is of course sufficiently Social Democrat to be Communist, but apart from that ...

Joe Hargrave:

Locke is not social democratic at all. I reject the attempts some make to wring a welfare-state out of his work.

He has one revolutionary principle though: that the property is meant for those who work on it and not those who quarrel about it - if you remember that quote from Treatise II Chapter V. It was of course meant against the Catholic inheritors in Connaught of properties in Ulster worked the last generation before him by either Protestants or their remaining poor Catholic tenants.

You see the same thing in "Responsible rich" who dissuaded Bush from abolishing inheritance duty by appealing to "it is not good to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth". Locke attacks non-laborious means of acquiring property, not because of fraudulence as with ususry, but because of non-laboriousness, as with inherited titles, as with gifts, as with immemorial custom, and so on.

He also has one capitalist thought that amounts to a capitalist fallacy - not in disfavour of wellfare state, that might not be a fallacy but - in favour of usury and unsound over-investment.

He claims that as soon as there is an exchange goods that does not rot for being kept - gold - hoarding ceases to be wasteful.

Now, there are cases of late when attempts at hoarding gold have become wasteful and very much so.

Lyndon LaRouche, if you know about that guy, claims that real physical production (except of condoms and pills and toys including sex toys) is being hampered by Wall Street speculation bubbles.

In the conflict between Fr. Tryphon and Starbucks (a company which fortunately bucked back) Locke might have been adduced to favour Starbucks approriating the label "Christmas Blend" - and suing Fr. Tryphon for having in his monastery another blend that the monastery called "Christmas Blend". Locke does not really allow for the Commons, where a strip of wood or a general description of merchandise such as "Christmas Blend" may stay even against people wanting to appropriate it. Swedish legislation of immemorial times has a legislation favouring the Commons.

You may own a piece of wood in the sense that you may have a right to cut down the trees there or build a house there. But even so you do NOT own the wild berries that grow there or the mushrooms that grow there. They are still anyone's property who deigns to pick them.

Hence you have no right to fence in all of your wood. You can fence in only such places where you want your cows to stay and not to stray (and owning the land means no other man may graze his cows there without your permission, as of everywhere). Did Locke sufficiently allow for difference between staking a piece of land and picking a res nullius to accept that the berries and mushrooms and tenting space (as long s not intruding in owners privacy) of my land may still be res nullius, anyone's for the picking?

By contrast, St Thomas does give a theory of private property meaning it does not absolutely have to be private property in the full juridical sense at all. But he was thinking of feudal property. In practise a feudal lord does about as he pleases on his land - but he cannot sell it, or else he must "sell" his title along with it. Since in feudal theory the real owner is the King or Emperor. Since you "own" its usufruct and tenures only insofar as the King or Emperor "owns" you for a purpose of military or judicial kind. Did Locke allow for such half-ownership - or was he not a bit anti-feudal?

Was Tolkien misrepresented here?

First Things; David B. Hart: Anarcho-Monarchism

My objection when discussing this link led to this:

when interpreting Tolkien, why this:

"But a king—***a king without any real power, that is***—is such an ennoblingly arbitrary, such a tender and organically human institution."

Or maybe he was not at all interpreting Tolkien?

JDB:Perhaps he is making a distinction between power and authority?
CWK: Or the distinction between compulsion and love.

While it is true that Kings had more authority than power in Middle Ages, they did have some real power too.

Magnus Ladulås ("barn's lock") has this surname because he initiated a legislation barring the peasants' barns from getting gate-broken by nobles roaming around. He also changed the hereditary custom of no female inheritors at all (they enjoyed whatever heritage their husbands had) to each sister inheriting the hald part of what each of her brothers inherited (it took yet a while before we had iheritance equality in Sweden).

Magnus Eriksson, who lived a bit later, made away with Westrogothian, Ostrogothian, Sweonic, et c laws and after him Sweden had only the Town Law and the Country Law up to when we got a unified law in the XVIII-th C.

Both were kings before the union with Denmark and Norway (Finland was our own colony).

It seems the legislation process was in equal shares between king and representation, as was again the case between 1809 and 1917.

In the Letter, Tolkien did advocate a King being able to fire his prime minister for disliking the colour of his neck-tie. Not really a question of advocating powerless royalty

CWK:The old Kings ruled by custom as much if not more so than by force of law.

I have heard that too, but I am not sure if it is quite true for the Mediaeval period.

I have heard about Roman Law. I have heard about Visigoth law in Spain and Westrogoth law in Sweden. And of course these newer Swedish legislations. And King Ina's law, that seems to be a simplification of Justinian's CIC, for England, and Salic Law that seems to be an overriding exception (mainly in the inheritance department) overriding relevant parts but nothing else of Justinian.

Of course these written codes incorporated from start as much custom as they did legislation. And in jurisprudence there was and is a thing called "prejudicate" - where law is imprecise a court may look back to court decision so and so, which amounts in a way to a kind of custom.

For later periods, Medieval real law has sometimes survived as custom where not kept up as written law.

Non a rege lex, sed a lege rex - was a Mediaeval saying.

A Deo Rex, a Rege Lex - was a Jacobite one - disputed, I think by St Robert Bellarmine.

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