CNN anchors Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon have the collective brain capacity of rising third graders. OK, fair point—there’s no reason for me to insult our children like that. But the one upside of the tumbleweeds blowing through their minds is that sometimes what the Left is really thinking accidentally rolls out of their mouths….
CNN anchors Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon have the collective brain capacity of rising third graders. OK, fair point—there’s no reason for me to insult our children like that. But the one upside of the tumbleweeds blowing through their minds is that sometimes what the Left is really thinking accidentally rolls out of their mouths.
Don Lemon recently called on Joe Biden to make a speech addressing the riots and explaining how when it comes to reforming the police, he and Kamala Harris “will take care of this problem” after being elected. “But guess what: the rioting has to stop.” Lemon then revealed the problem: “Chris, as you know, and I know, it’s showing up in the polling, it’s showing up in focus groups. It is the only thing—it is the only thing right now that is sticking.”
Think about what he’s really saying here. “Rioting is fine—but only if it helps us win.” There are plenty of signals that establishment Democrats realize they need to pivot toward the pretense of responsible citizenship and denounce the violent. Now that the events in Kenosha and the mob violence surrounding them are becoming the final straw for potential swing voters, suddenly it’s all “gone too far” and we must consider “muh municipal law and order.”
These usefully idiotic clowns and the elites they serve still slap “mostly peaceful” chyrons on their coverage of American neighborhoods going up in flames. Some still think the mob will help them win. But the riots can’t just be put back in the bottle—not because you morons finally blink. Democrats helped open Pandora’s Box this summer. Deep-rooted fear and anger have flown out. There is now no telling where they will roost politically.
BLM and friends are run by very angry, very dangerous extremists who aren’t playing around. They now have hundreds of millions of dollars (at least) at their command. They will not be easily controlled by the brain-dead and/or evil Dems who summoned them. You play with fire, you get burned—as our cities, tragically and needlessly, will continue to do.
The Bill Comes Due
The Left is now very upset that someone showed up with a gun and shot rioters in Kenosha, Wisconsin because they are against…violence and lawlessness and civic unrest? Since when?
I have some big news for every glib apologist and coiffed tankie on the miserably compliant Left: You built this. You refused to condemn and stop it. You asked for this. You don’t get to take the high ground now. You own this. Quite literally: you paid for it. Leftist foundations and politicians have nurtured and grown BLM for many years now. We’re still not sure why more Republican leaders have not pointed out that convicted terrorist Susan Rosenberg is on the Board of Directors for the fundraising arm of BLM, for instance—but they should.
True, we’ve all paid for it. We’ve paid with our tax dollars to put generations of kids through a public school gulag that teaches them to justify exactly this sort of violence based on a toxic combination of identity politics and “America is evil.” We’ve paid the businesses we buy from even as we’ve watched them spend millions teaching and enforcing the same hateful ideology, turning Big Corporate into a giant re-education camp that scares workers into political submission. We’ve paid with our time using social media and the data we’ve given our tech companies as they slyly shape the public square with their speech codes.
But the American people will never forget what you did. What you started. Because we will have to put this evil genie back in the bottle. And it will take time and force—violence—in order to do so.
Among political parties, only the Democrats allowed and tacitly encouraged the destruction of our cities. Of our businesses. Of our way of life. They’ve consistently tried to hide and downplay what has actually occurred. But most people aren’t that far removed from the reality around us—especially with the most important election of their lifetimes coming around the bend like a freight train. Now, after ceaseless riots in the wake of the unnecessary total shutdown of our economy, the Democrats’ panicked ploys to elect Joe Biden are causing millions of people across America to consider moving from their homes.
You have abetted the destruction of our cities so you could win an election. You—you corporate stooges, you glib and sinister Nurse Ratcheds, you elegant child abusers and mob apologists—have become a new party all your own. You are now the BLM-Antifa Party. You are too scared or too complicit to denounce either group.
Yet you now heap fearful denunciations on those who, however ill-advisedly, try to defend the life, liberty, and property that their complicit and incompetent governments will not. We will not mindlessly accept your kneejerk narrative about Kyle Rittenhouse being some kind of crazed Nazi who gunned down innocent protestors in cold blood. Your convenient narrative does not comport with the facts that even the New York Times recently set forth. We will wait for more facts. We will watch all the video. We will not throw him under the bus, and neither should any American who believes in equality under the law.
Of course we don’t want citizens roaming the streets with guns drawn. Of course this tempts fate—and risks more tragic, needless violence. But that’s the point for the BLM-Antifa Party. That’s exactly what they want. That’s exactly what you asked for when you unleashed them.
The “moral” outrage of the twitterati right now is, in truth, shameless cowardice. Do you really think people are supposed to sit back and let “mostly peaceful” militias and mobs destroy their cities because you say so? Kenosha is supposed to welcome out-of-town extremists trained in terror tactics and shelter in place while their city is smashed to bits and burned to the ground?
Every drop of blood that is being spilled, every assault, every cent of the untold billions in property damage perpetrated this summer—all is on you. Every person threatened while at dinner with their family, every kid awoken by the profane screams of organized agitators, every person of every race and class out of work because of a burned-out, boarded-up business. Congratulations. You earned this.
These are now Joe Biden’s riots. These are Nancy Pelosi’s riots. These are Kamala Harris’s riots.
So keep pushing your precious narrative. You can’t stop what you have started. You can’t control or channel it. Today or tomorrow, eventually it will swallow you up and eat you. If every Republican was put on the firing line tomorrow, the next step for the Marxist racialists would be to attack the smiling liberals of our elderly institutional leadership. Big Corporate would be burned to the ground. Companies like Amazon would be gutted and cannibalized. They won’t care that your ligaments creaked as you knelt before them in Kente cloth.
Even so, the out-of-touch wealthy enablers of the elite Left still think they can hold onto power over and against their brownshirts in the streets. For now.
But as the flames get higher, the truth is getting harder and harder to hide. With every passing day between now and November, more and more everyday Americans can see it. Did you hear that? We see you.
In my response to Adrian Vermeule this week, I wrote the following somewhat bleak assessment of our public discourse: We live in a time of intellectual Babel, in want of the shared premises, definitions, history, and intellectual formation by which to engage publicly and profitably in such discussion. The result is suspicion, confusion, division—among the…
In my response to Adrian Vermeule this week, I wrote the following somewhat bleak assessment of our public discourse:
We live in a time of intellectual Babel, in want of the shared premises, definitions, history, and intellectual formation by which to engage publicly and profitably in such discussion. The result is suspicion, confusion, division—among the populace and proliferating elite ideological subgroups—and a great deal of noise as we observe the world fracture around us.
It is likely too late in the life cycle of the republic for any argument to matter. Rather, what is needed most these days is active statesmanship in the service of re-formation, renewal, and revitalization.
Argument is now wearisome—not only because it is often pointless when we share so few premises in common, but also because, having found that certain premises which we once espoused are false, we begin to distrust all premises and assumptions themselves.
Words become burdensome not only when there is no shared language among interlocutors, but also when we come to distrust language itself.
Forget hoping to convince anyone of your argument or conclusion: discourse is meaningless when one’s audience is too ignorant or fractured to understand or agree with most of the central ideas one uses to communicate. And discourse induces despair when, having been burned by bad ideas too many times, we distrust ideas altogether.
This is what the young learn whether or not anyone intended to teach it.
The medium is the message. This is not merely a zany quote from a once-famous student of modern media named Marshall McLuhan. It is a truth buried deep in the geology of Western thought. It is not only the tools and technology we use to communicate that shape our perception of the world and of each other. Institutions do much the same thing.
That is, institutions—the family, the school, the government, the church, and so on—are also media. It is true that through these media we learn discrete bits of knowledge and specific habits. But ultimately the institution itself is the message: the general trends drown out the exceptions. The one saintly person in our dysfunctional family, the class or two we took with the outlier professor, the politician we think good, or the particular laws we still think wise: all of them are overpowered by the structural failures of the systems in which they operate.
Western political philosophy virtually starts with the observation that institutions, or the governing structures of our various kinds of communities, shape the contours of our psyche. The structures of our communities shape our souls.
We cannot discern the total way in which they shape us; we cannot wrap our minds around them. Rather, they envelop us. They submerge us in an environment constructed by means of certain principles and toward specific purposes as opposed to others, and this environment shapes the way in which we think and live. Institutions are the vehicles that deliver the most meaningful goods in our lives, but they do not just drop off discrete packages. They shape us whole, forming our person and our understanding of the world.
It is very foolish to think that profoundly disordered institutions—whose reason for being is, say, to tell untruths on behalf of power—are likely to produce leaders who can even adequately grasp what is now happening, never mind what needs to happen. Our elite schools are an instructive example: the best graduates received an education despite the institution—in a slipstream of a department or under the tutelage of one or two exceptional professors.
When institutions become rotten enough they can no longer fulfill their proper function, or else they habitually pursue false and evil ends. Such institutions malform and wound human minds and hearts beyond what even the best sorts of words can heal or reshape. There comes a point when it does not matter much if there are still pockets within them that haven’t yet rotted, or a few good people remaining to pursue good ends.
Any remedy for the negative effects we suffered from the deformation and blindness of corrupted institutions must reshape us into something whole and healthy. But the very reason for the existence of these institutions in the first place is that we cannot fully shape ourselves on our own. This is the paradox we find ourselves in today.
We have been habituated to think and see the world wrongly. We need new habits of being, of thought and action, in order to right ourselves. We must turn of necessity to experience and reality when the dreams that have been implanted in our hearts fail and the ideas in our heads have proven false. It’s all we have left. But this is a hard road, and it limits how far we can travel.
We will need new or wholly remade institutions and tools, ordered and used rightly, if we are to return to health. We will also need different educators and leaders. Exceptions do not falsify the point, but prove the rule.
If insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, refusing to acknowledge the need for new institutions at this point in American life is a form of madness.
Habitual indictment of corrupt institutions, leaders, and the general morass has become the Right’s pacifying mantra, a diversion that lulls us into the sleep of inaction. Words do not absolve us from what needs to be done, not written. It is time to act—to attack corrupt institutions and defend the good, yes, but this too is worth little without a positive understanding of what this action is for. And for others to see and understand such a positive vision, what we must do now is show, not tell.
I meant what I said a year ago: “…almost every opportunity the mainstream media has had to moderate or qualify themselves in relation to the Russian collusion narrative has been rejected in favor of all-out attacks. They had better be right. Like most American cultural and civic institutions, the old media is already distrusted by…
“…almost every opportunity the mainstream media has had to moderate or qualify themselves in relation to the Russian collusion narrative has been rejected in favor of all-out attacks.
They had better be right.
Like most American cultural and civic institutions, the old media is already distrusted by historic numbers of Americans, but has not yet been dealt a knockout blow. If it turns out that there was no collusion, CNN has become the Ivy League version of InfoWars.
Trump has already begun to wrest the #fakenews spear—hand-forged for use against him by titans like Obama, Clinton, CNN, and the New York Times—from their hands. The question is whether he’s able to drive it right through their beating hearts over the next year on the matter of collusion. Their hands are wrapped around his so tightly it looks—and, if he is right, will continue to look—as if we are witnessing a kind of old media seppuku.
It is the fact that they are waging total war against an active opponent in the White House that makes this a potential last stand: regardless of the usual obfuscation in the aftermath, if it turns out old media is wrong about Russian collusion and digital media, its collapse will be complete. It will diminish over the next few years, to be re-processed and subsumed forever into a new digital landscape.
For most Americans, the results will be deeply unsettling, but mesmerizing: like watching the old family car catch fire, crackle, and melt as it goes up in smoke.”
The car has caught fire. No doubt 30-40% of the nation expected to see St. Robert Swan Mueller III personally put the Orange Bad Man in cuffs for everything from soliciting micturation to daring to fire St. James Brien Comey Jr.—never mind conspiring with Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin to steal the 2016 election from Hilary Clinton the Gray in order to become the Orange Bad Man of the United States of America.
It’s ironic that conspiracy theory maestro Alex Jones was banned by legacy digital media companies even as CNN sounded increasingly like Info Wars. CNN went “all in” on their own conspiratorial narratives, and will never be regarded the same by the American public. Info Wars was at least entertaining—the digital news equivalent to professional wrestling.
As I’ve also said repeatedly over the last year, CNN will likely either go out of business or be bought up and completely overhauled in the next few years. MSNBC is second place because it doesn’t pretend about who it is or what it does. CNN, which doubled down on the collusion conspiracy while continuing to pretend to being the sole objective cable news channel, has thus been doomed to third place. And third prize is—you’re fired.
Elsewhere, bratty Harvard Law grads get jobs at the New York Times because and not in spite of performative racial temper tantrums that fall flat with all but a tiny percentage of the population (the recently miseducated elite). The news relentlessly focuses on divisive identity politics, through the lens of identity politics. Instead of asking real questions and making new hires to reflect the obvious lessons of 2016, the American media energetically doubled down on on fist-clenching resistance.
But its brain activity remained strictly low energy.
Anti-Trump fervor and the hatred and revenge-based energy that identity politics provides are almost all that’s left, and thus the fires had to be stoked daily at full steam. At least one of the two might be an outdated fossil fuel—an increasingly unsustainable resource.
A media that prostitutes itself to the demands of the Left is decades old news, however, even if it is less trusted now than ever. As with the Kavanaugh fiasco, the real culprits are the politicians who shamelessly pushed the collusion narrative from the start, and the government officials who aided and abetted them.
And yet again, they failed.
The wildest part of it all to me is just this: the Democratic party took an unpolished, scandal-prone President who hijacked the Republican party and rendered him bullet proof. He’s been galvanized. Dipped in zinc.
After suggesting he worked with a foreign enemy of the United States of America for three years, what the hell are you going to throw at him now? And who’s gonna believe you?
From the start, when Obama and Clinton rolled out the narrative, it had a hare-brained “the deplorables don’t like Russia” and a too-clever-by-half “anything to delegitimize the election results” sheen to it. Think about how simultaneously arrogant and dumb the gambit was—and thus representative of our pathetic, ham-handed leadership class.
They could have addressed—God forbid—real political issues, or actual political disagreements. They could even have focused on making a scandal out of something much less exotic, like tax returns, instead of going for an all out national disinformation op.
Then again, our fearless leaders are often in their 80s, or the scions of dumb wealth and even more moronic fame. The youth are generally highly ranked ignoramuses and obvious hot house flowers. They lack prudence, or, in modern language, the higher level predictive capacity of the frontal lobe.
Kamala Harris is not dumb, and she may be sacrificially stretched in a series of politically correct purity tests to hold the fracturing coalition together one last time, but the Left’s 2016 rivening will not be long now—if not 2020, in 2024.
What the Right and Left become is still a wide open question; the leaders of the right have been at least temporarily dethroned, and those on the left will be soon to follow. The revolution has only just begun.
Meanwhile, the media and the Democratic party are busily committing repeated acts of public self-harm.
I don’t want to minimize the very real possibility that President Trump sabotages himself, or the certainty that the feckless and confused Republican establishment does its best to sabotage him.
But right now mainstream American media is at its lowest point in the history of the last century, the Democratic party is about to rip itself into pieces in their primary season from hell, the last parts of the administrative state the Right respected are wholly discredited, and Donald Trump is basically bulletproof.
As a friend suggests, maybe we should rename the Democratic Party the “Committee to Re-elect President Trump.”
5 points that cancel each other out, with the final score to be determined. 1) A positive. What’s clear is that amidst the extreme and bordering-on-insane media narratives—which show no signs of abating—every time Trump gets a chance to speak directly to the people with a normal political speech in hand, he does rather well….
5 points that cancel each other out, with the final score to be determined.
1) A positive. What’s clear is that amidst the extreme and bordering-on-insane media narratives—which show no signs of abating—every time Trump gets a chance to speak directly to the people with a normal political speech in hand, he does rather well.
His first State of the Union was a case in point: all sides admitted it went very well, reality briefly shone through the clouds (“I guess this man’s election was not the end of the world, after all”), and then the turbulence of the news cycle suddenly began again.
Since the campaign against Trump—begun by Obama and Clinton with the power of the federal government—aims to fundamentally de-legitimize him, any time he gets to speak in traditional ways he is “normalizing” himself and thereby obtaining at least a marginal win.
In fact, one could make a case that a normal, “just read the words” political speech tour and a habit of giving them every so often from here on out would solidify a 2020 win and a place in history beyond. As Michael Uhlmann suggests.
2) A potential short term positive. Given his solid floor of 40% support, it’s the deeply confused 10-20% of the electorate that matters.
Along with everyone else, Trump’s likely given up on Congress to come up with a suitable compromise on immigration and the budget. If so, the question is how the speech plays to actually wavering voters and meandering independents in the context of ferocious media narratives, especially if Trump starts to make the case for emergency powers for The Wall on the basis of both this speech and his previous compromise offer: “I tried to reason with Congress, but…”
In other words, will this speech undercut the Left’s inevitable response to emergency wall building (Executive Branch Tyranny!) in the eyes of swing voters? What Trump needed to accomplish rhetorically is determined by the ways in which the media tries to browbeat and shame that 10-20% from supporting him, and this speech seemed to give him cover and favor with them, in part because it set forth a plausible argument for immigration reform to the confused and undecided.
3) A historical neutral. The two points above also apply in some ways to previous Republicans, and it often failed to work for them.
Of course, one might well wonder how much the State of the Union really matters for any President, ever.
4) This was a squandered opportunity to call out Congress’s bipartisan failures and put the pressure on it directly, with authority, on immigration and the budget. He could have better described the history of immigration over the last decades and all the broken promises by members of both parties that led to millions of illegal immigrants. He could have condemned Congress for not passing an actual budget for many years. And then he could have said in even stronger terms, to them, in front of the people: “Get it done, or I will do it myself.” Granted, he did say “I will get it built.” And much of the argument could and likely will be accomplished in an emergency powers speech that specifically deals with immigration, or a speech explaining a deal—if one is somehow reached. But the entire framework for this argument could have been—but was not quite—set last night in front of a larger audience. We will find out if the “kinder, gentler” gambit worked soon enough.
But only political victory can stop elite mobbery of our political discourse. Between the “bombshell” Buzzfeed story that, “if true,” was finally going to sink Donald Trump, and the savaging of the MAGA hat wearing Covington High School teens, the tired old media has had another banner week. This promises to be yet another year…
But only political victory can stop elite mobbery of our political discourse.
Between the “bombshell” Buzzfeed story that, “if true,” was finally going to sink Donald Trump, and the savaging of the MAGA hat wearing Covington High School teens, the tired old media has had another banner week. This promises to be yet another year of its protracted seppuku with the very #fakenewsspear the media forged with Trump in mind.
Distrust and animosity deepen. Contradictions heighten. And as the media’s slow motion suicide rolls on, people are daily inoculated from the old illusions of “news” media.
This inoculation is what matters most, as after the cheap propaganda tricks of the televisual era are seen for what they are, they bring diminishing returns. (I’m following our Editor-at-Large James Poulos in making the word “televisual”—and Marshall McLuhan—great again.)
People have only just begun to see the cheap ideological sophistry of the televisual era, in which racism and sexism and other -isms were held up as the greatest, unpardonable sins possible and used as blunt instruments to bludgeon opponents right the hell out of the public square.
For an ever increasing number of people, this tactic isn’t going to work any longer.
In the case of the Covington kids, of course, the intended effect was to obscure and discredit the reason so many tens or hundreds of thousands of people were marching in Washington, DC.
Further, the story was supposed to reinforce the idea that you aren’t allowed to wear a hat supporting the President of the United States. Worse than passive racism, wearing the hat is active “white nationalism” and could lead to the justified public destruction of your life on national television.
Finally, the story was meant to reinforce the narrative that (smirking!) young white men are racists, especially if from private Catholic schools or privileged positions from which they might soon lead.
But, as Poulos might say, digital technology doesn’t care about your televisual narratives.
This realization came too late for the ruling class, which is why they are struggling to control digital forms of communication.
As Poulos points out, they thought the woke future was ensured by digital technology. But digital technology is simply memory and retrieval of information. As opposed to television, which remains the continuous flow of heavily controlled and produced imagery.
In principle, at least, digital technology gives the role of interpretation over to anyone who can retrieve the data.
Thus the era of imaginative narrative fantasy is over. Now everyone begins to deconstruct television. The old morality plays don’t work. Even old forms of advertising don’t work.
So you get what we got: this time around, it’s much harder to execute the Anita Hill/Blasey-Ford gambit, and 30 seconds of Covington video doesn’t cut it, either. Digital technology records and retrieves in potentially all directions, bringing us nearer to the complexity of the real (which TV was used to controlling and simplifying), and rendering propagandizing pundits irrelevant.
The powers that be are racing to control the early forms of digital communication (FB, Twitter, etc.), but it’s a thankless task. You can’t ultimately control digital the same way you could TV. But as they feel their control loosening and watch their formerly manicured narratives begin to grow wild, they are doubling down in response.
Considered in itself, the Covington kids incident was marginal and meaningless in the grand scheme of things happening under the sun. The absurdity of thinking a brief clip of moving pictures of a few people milling about in a throng of thousands constitutes objective “news” about the goings on of the world should be obvious to all but those still stuck in the idiocratic era of TV.
But while the news was fake, the intended effect by the Left of their latest classic cut-and-paste is quite real.
1) Don’t let your kids wear hats supporting a President of the United States we don’t like.
2) Don’t criticize us when we yell out derogatory and hate filled language at high school kids for hours on end.
3) Don’t let your 16 year old look old hippie protestors in the eye and smile.
If you do, we will publicly destroy your life and ignore and drown out your popular protest movement in real time.
Many speak as if the lesson of the last week is that we all need to avoid rushing to judgment and issuing Hot Takes, as if there was some larger goal for much of journalism and political discourse today other than using Hot Takes as weapons in a war based on longstanding judgments on both sides that the opposition must be vanquished.
Our more intellectually-minded pundits would like to think their audience sits waiting to “rationally” evaluate their columns, pining to be persuaded by op-ed reasoning. To “moderate” pundits, such “reasoning” often means either utilitarian policy arguments, laden with data and social science research that can be used as evidence by either side, or a some form of “But both sides…” sermonizing that splits up blame.
In our present circumstances, such reasoning is not persuasive.
There is a portion of the population that is persuadable, of course, by either side. But there is also a political war on, which requires victory (and defeat). And political victory is also a form of persuasion—in fact, it forms the very environment within which political discourse takes place.
This sort of elite mob behavior will never stop because any one of us writes another article on civility, cautioning against Hot Takes and rushing to judgment. It will stop only when such behavior involves tangible losses in the aforementioned war.
Real public cultural consequences—punishments—are necessary to counter outrageous propaganda and vicious mob attacks on the innocent. And the same is necessary for those on the Right who refuse to acknowledge reality. Public shaming and mockery is a two-edged sword.
The barbarous New York abortion bill passed this week reminds us that we live in a nation of technologically advanced savagery. And in one-party states like New York and California, where anything the Left wants now goes, things are about to get much, much worse.
Before Trump, the one-party, failed republics of California and New York were what the Democrats were hoping for nationally for the foreseeable future. Many still think they represent the inevitable destiny of America itself.
As California’s Attorney General, Kamala Harris didn’t hesitate to send the SWAT team into David Daleiden’s apartment, using the full power of the state to shut him down and punish him with the full force of the law, arm in arm with Planned Parenthood and the media.
Here’s a taste of what you had to be able to argue (in Latin) in order to graduate from Princeton in order to graduate back in the day. Robby George would (no doubt gladly!) find himself the leebearal on campus… ETHICS, 1762 1. The highest perfection of men depends on their liberation from all sin….
In the founding era, one graduated by means of a scholastic practice in which seniors argued various propositions (in Latin) in a public forum. These lists of theses give one a sense of what the institution thought, as an institution, ought to be taught to all of its students. Here’s the “Ethics” section for Harvard…
In the founding era, one graduated by means of a scholastic practice in which seniors argued various propositions (in Latin) in a public forum. These lists of theses give one a sense of what the institution thought, as an institution, ought to be taught to all of its students. Here’s the “Ethics” section for Harvard in 1810, translated from the Latin:
Ethics is the science which treats everything pertaining to (mores) manners and morals.
1. Moral precepts are deduced only from the will of God.
2. The precepts which are called the laws of nature reason unfolds to mankind.
3. Wisdom consists in the recognition of the precepts pertaining to morals ; virtue consists in their assiduous observation.
4. The difference between good and evil, virtue and vice, set up by God is immutable; because it is founded on the nature of things.
5. The expectation of reward or punishment connected with the command of God is absolutely necessary for moral obligation.
6. God demands the actions which beget happiness; He prohibits those which bring misery.
7. Therefore when concerning any action there is question of knowing the will of God by the light of nature the investigation must determine whether that action seems to be connected with the increasing of general happiness or the lessening of it.
8. It is necessary that the will of God as a criterion be the test of the happiness of our actions.
9. The divine laws concern especially thought; because on them our actions depend.
10. An action done for the sake of praise or reward ought not only to be good in itself but ought to be done from a just motive and out of reverence for the divine will.
11. Anyone who omits a duty equally with one who violates a clear obligation is to be considered a criminal (omission is as bad as commission).
12. Men are accustomed to act more from habit than from thought
13. Therefore care must be taken that we mold ourselves to good morals by habit.
14. The chief sources of virtue and happiness are the worship of God and the exercise of social feelings.
15. The divine laws for the most part regard the actions which spring from the affections of the soul; therefore care must be taken that we make these affections obedient to reason.
16. In the accomplishment of all duties of benevolence this must be particularly cared for that everyone whose need is the greatest shall receive the most help.
17. Those crimes are less serious which happen suddenly through some perturbation of mind; than those which are premeditated and deliberated upon.
18. Loyalty in the keeping of promises and pacts is particularly necessary in commerce and in social life.
19. Promises and pacts which agree with the laws of nature are always to be observed and fulfilled.
20. Promises which are forced from one by unjust violence or which were made because of deception need not be kept.
21. Even if advantages should accrue to us from violating the law, greater disadvantages will surely come from the same source,
22. Therefore it is not allowed to do evil that good may come from it.
23. To neglect the laws of nature is a crime that must be recognized; those who do this are worthy of punishment.
Matthew J. Peterson is Vice President of Education at the Claremont Institute and Editor of The American Mind. He directs Claremont’s annual fellowships and heads our initiative for a new center to support graduate level scholarship.