NEO’s recent posts at his excellent blog have got me thinking about ideology again. I do not often talk directly about balanced budgets, but the reader can infer from my posts and comments that I am in favour of them. A government can raise money by either taxation or a loan. Since that loan has to be paid back (unless it is forgiven or discharged by a third party), that really means that taxation is the only means of raising money.
Side note: A government could simply print more money in order to fund expenditure: but this will ultimately result in a devaluation of the national currency since the extra money is not a real representation of wealth (work done or assets) in these circumstances. A devaluation in the currency means it is harder for people with assets denominated in that currency to purchase things (unless the devaluation coincides with a fall in prices).
Taxation can be for valid reasons and for invalid ones. Where it is for invalid reasons, it amounts to theft. This is why many libertarians and conservatives get particularly angry about budget deficits. If the deficit was incurred for an invalid reason, it seems unjust that taxpayers must suffer the economic consequences of ill-advised government expenditure. Nor do individual voters possess much power in regard to the national or state budget: they do not vote on individual items of expenditure.
I generally avoid celebrity news. Although I enjoy films and television shows, I do not necessarily wish to hear actors pontificate on economic, legal, political, or social issues. There are only a few actors I enjoy listening to on those topics, such as Clint Eastwood and James Woods.
The Purge Continues
I have enjoyed listening to Black Pigeon Speaks over the past few years. His views closely align with my own, and I have a soft spot for him because, as a Canadian fighting the culture wars, his position is similar to that of Brits and Americans.
Update: Black Pigeon Speaks has been restored:
The Book of Common Prayer
Although my own preference in churchmanship is congregationalist (I attend a Baptist church, of which I am a member, and by whose pastor I was baptised as a teenager by full immersion), I have learned a lot from other churches over the years through attendance and speaking with other Christians (e.g. here at AATW). One thing that has really impressed me is the Book of Common Prayer, Cranmer’s masterpiece, which drew on older pre-Reformation liturgical traditions. I was reading a portion from it last night (from a Victorian edition) and was struck by the emphasis on glorifying God.
Gavin Ashenden, although not speaking about it directly, made comments about personal devotion in this week’s Anglican Unscripted. He was speaking about his experience in a monastic community, and as I reflected upon it later, I thought about comments people I know have made about the benefits of reading the Offices, even as laity rather than clergy. I believe the Book of Common Prayer can be helpful as an aid to personal devotion. The formal language can help some people to think about the reverence with which we approach God, but (for those who are native English speakers) the intelligibility of the text allows them to appreciate the meaning of what they are saying.
Brexit has become a proxy for various causes of discontent and I think it appropriate to list them again so that, when we pray, we may be specific in our petitions, asking God to enlighten us and bestow upon us the rectification our country needs. While the soul is the fundamental unit to be reformed, and that by the grace of God, political changes can help.
- Indoctrination via the MSM, internet practices, and the education system
- State expenditure on matters that should be dealt with by the private sector
- Spiritual apostasy and heresy in the Church of England
- The diminution and denegration of British identity
- Impediments to the conduct of business (regulations, etc)
- Corporate culture
- Identity politics
- Constitutional reform
- Fractional reserve banking and sound money
Here is some uplifting and contemplative music from The Sound of Music (the Latin is a rendering of Psalm 110: “The LORD said to my Lord, ‘Sit here at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool…'”).
Thanks for the kind words, Nicholas. As you’ll appreciate much of the value of any blog is in its commenters, and that is a place where I’ve been lucky, as we are here. I don’t especially try to do ideology, although my take is actually much like Cranmer’s more secular posts: Current events with an underlying foundation of orthodox Christianity. Sometimes, it works.
Your bullet list here, with very few changes, is appropriate here in the States, and I suspect pretty much across Europe.
Three things which will be occupying much of our thoughts going forward in America before we get overly involved in politics, here again, will be Brexit, as we hope and pray to see Britain again free to make its own way, The situation with the extradition law proposed in Hong Kong (and China in general), and the troubling situation with Iran. And in those narrow waters, the Royal Navy will have much to say, especially if mines continue to play an outsized role. Because the RN has the best anti-mine capability in the world.
In all three cases, it is hard to see what, if any, role we have, but as Lord Salisbury would recognize, we probably do have a role to play in each. In any case, we will be watching and seeing if we can help the situation.
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