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From: Thomas Bitterman <tom@bitterman.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: The Best Introduction To The Mountains
Date: Fri, 04 Jan 2002 16:32:43 -0500

Adam Stephanides wrote:

>Andy, I think you're putting too much emphasis on the libertarian elements
>in Wolfe's political thought (which are certainly present), at the expense
>of his call for submission to legitimate authority, which is just as
>important, if not more so.  This is clear in the opening paragraphs of
>Wolfe's essay, both the very first paragraph--one of the "definite duties"
>of "Dark Ages" peasants was submission to those whom God had appointed to
>rule over them
This pretty standard Catholic fare for every society everywhere.  See, 
for example:
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03794b.htm, which states:
"Love for his country will lead the citizen to show honour and respect 
to its rulers. They
represent the State, and are entrusted by God with power to rule it for 
the common good.
The citizen's chief duty is to obey the just laws of his country. "

>--and the code of conduct Wolfe learned from his father:
>"Legitimate authority was to be obeyed without shirking and without
This may actually be a heresy (kind of, it is described as" now 
abandoned by all Catholics, and
has become obsolete"), and it's unlikely Wolfe means it in the simple 
sense in
which it is stated.  See, for example: 
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02137c.htm :
"A legal enactment may be immoral, and then it cannot in conscience be 
obeyed; or it
may be ultra vires, beyond the competence of the authority that enacts 
it, in which case
compliance with the law is not a matter of obedience, but of prudence. "

on the same page, Pius IX (in his _Syllabus_) condemns the following 
"It is allowable to refuse obedience to lawful princes, and even to 
rebel against them"

Perhaps he has reserved some wriggle-room in "legitimate", but it seems 
unlikely given
the "Luciferian" element in Vodalus's opposition to the autarch.  Wolfe 
seems to be
implying that any form of civil disobedience is immoral.  I can't find a 
better cite,
but see: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03794b.htm:
"According to that teaching citizens are religiously bound to reverence 
and obey their
civil rulers in all matters which belong to the sphere of civil 

>And afaik, in none of his works does Wolfe reject the state in toto, merely
>unjust states.  (And I would disagree with your reading of "The Death of
>Doctor Island."  Doctor Island represents authority in general, not just the
This is straight Catholic doctrine again: from 
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03794b.htm, quoting
Leo XIII in "Immortale Dei":
"Man's natural instinct moves him to live in civil society, for he 
cannot, if dwelling apart, provide himself
with the necessary requirements of life, nor procure the means of 
developing his mental and moral
faculties. Hence it is divinely ordained that he should lead his life, 
be it family, social, or civil, with his
fellow-men, amongst whom alone his several wants can be adequately 
supplied. "

Catholics have traditionally been Aristotelian (man as a social animal, 
naturally impelled to form a
state) as opposed to contracturalists (like Hobbes, where forming a 
society is purely a matter
of choice).  This alone would make this topic difficult for a 
Catholic/libertarian mix.

On the topic of the progenetic model of leadership, any comments on the 
theory that Silk
is a clone of Pas?  It would support this model, and make it easier for 
an eventual Pas
takeover of Silk (as, for, what happened with Oreb).

Pas comes off as a very Gnostic-type figure, aping the Catholic social 
order in which everybody
has their own special talents.  It is interesting of Wolfe to turn the 
tables on the Gnostics.
In "standard" Gnostic cosmology, the "real" God lies outside of the 
lower order the demiurge
(ie, the Catholic God) rules over.  In the Whorl the Catholic God is 
outside, and the demiurge
is inside, and the "Gnostic" Silk is actually correct.  But this post is 
getting too long already.


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