Monday, May 15, 2006

Larouche Fearful of Catholic Philosophy

I have been an admirer of Larouche’s economic thinking for years but have been equally dismayed by his presentation for the same length of time. I just finished reading, for example, From Kant to Riemann: The Shape of Empty Space. This is a brilliant piece of scholarship but Larouche is like a man carrying too many bags for a short journey—not every concatenation, not every permutation of thought needs to be uncovered to reveal what is essentially the simple message behind the decay of western civilization.

Larouche misses the central error of modernity and as a consequence has to investigate every single detour that European thought has taken since its departure from some presumed golden age of thought. The central error of modernity is the denial of the divinity of Christ and the passing over of its most conspicuous apologist, and illuminator of Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas. For Aquinas there is no conflict between faith and reason, nor is there an epistemological conflict between man and the world in terms of the knowability of reality. Essences in the Platonic sense, known in the mind of Aquinas’ God are also knowable by the intellectual power of the soul (one of the five powers of the soul); they are known or should I say that an essence is known as the thing itself “on plane of the act of knowing”. The sensory data of an object such as a desk or pencil is largely accidental in terms of color and shape, etc., but the quiddity, it’s to be, is essentially known. It is this denial of quiddity, of essence that constitutes a simultaneous denial of the act of existence that is God’s own existence. Is it any wonder then that men who would deny the existence of God would deny the existence of the world and the kind of productive activity both in the banking and industrial spheres that is linked to that felicitous knowledge?

I also find it extraordinary that Mr. Larouche would dedicate so much of his time to relatively obscure thinkers (not that they should be obscure) when one of the most brilliant minds of the second millennium, Thomas Aquinas, remains relatively untouched by the vast searchlight of Mr. Larouche’s intellect. Why waste time on secondary thinkers, when one of the most seminal minds of all time awaits rediscovery? My suspicion is that Mr. Larouche and other members of his organization avoid deep Catholic thinking due to either a pagan or Protestant bias that should not go unexamined. I strongly recommend that Mr. Larouche and members of his organization read two books. Being and Some Philosophers by Etienne Gilson and How to Manage Your DICK: Redirect Sexual Energy and Discover Your More Spiritually Enlightened, Evolved Self by Sean O’Reilly (that would be me). Indeed, I recommended the former to one his colleagues whose name escapes me nearly 20 years ago. I will be happy to send a copy

I would like to leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Ayn Rand:

“Thinking is man’s only basic virtue, from which all the others proceed. And his basic vice, the source of all his evils, is that nameless act which all of you practice, but struggle never to admit: the act of blanking out, the willful suspension of one’s consciousness, the refusal to think—not blindness, but the refusal to see, not ignorance but the refusal to know. It is the act of unfocusing your mind and inducing an inner fog to escape the responsibility of judgment, the unstated premise that thing will not exist if only you refuse to identify it, that A will not be A so long as you do not pronounce the verdict, “It is”. Non thinking is an act of annihilation, a wish to negate existence, an attempt to wipe out reality. But existence exists; reality is not to be wiped out, it will merely wipe out the wiper.”


Anonymous said...

You need to read LaRouche's book The Science of Christian Economy, if you want to clear some of this obvious confusion up. He is a Platonist, that is why he attacks Aquinas' tradition. He is a follower of Cusa, in direct opposition to the influence of aristotilean pagan occultism in the Catholic church...

also, Ayn Rand is a more direct enemy.

You just need to read more LaRouche to answer these questions you have about him, because your speculation is way off.

Sean said...

There is no confusion here. The only confusion is that both Platonism and Aristotelianism have not been understood by the so called critics of Aquinas. "He is a follower of Cusa, in direct opposition to the influence of Aristotilean pagan occultism in the Catholic church... " This is just pseudo intellectual gibberish. Aristotle was about as far from occultism as anyone could be. Cusa was a Boy Scout compared to Aristotle and Aquinas. My recommendation still stands: LaRouche needs to read Being and Some Philosophers by Etienne Gilson-and without his occultist -conspiracy spectacles.

Justin H. said...

"Thomas Aquinas' notable achievement was to raise a standard, to the purpose of obliging a politically hegemonic, pro-Aristotle culture of his time to submit to the doctrinal legacy of St. Augustine: to accept the products of reason, if not yet reason itself. The comparison of the writings of both, and relevant Encyclicals of Pope John Paul II, makes the point clear in practice."

Sean said...

I am in admiration at the economy of words here but this is entirely at odds with the previous comment. Perhaps I should not assume they are linked.

I can only speculate then that this writer is essentially concurring that Aristotle was by no means a cultist. Now it may be that there were those in the Church who used Aristotle to further their pietistic vision of the universe and that I suppose could be described as cultism. To the extent that faith can be corrupted, not complimented by various beliefs--that I would identify as cultism and it is a common error within all religious systems--the desire to manipulate spiritual reality by some sort of system not actually rooted in faith but in something much more akin to incantation.

Given that the Catholic Church actually has a spiritual system of sacramental dispensation as opposed to the social commity of Protestantism such deviations must be rooted out by men and women in possession that rarest of commodities-wisdom.