De Monarchia

De Monarchia is a three-part treatise Dante wrote anywhere between the 1290s and the final year of his life, 1321. Since this wasn’t an era when people tended to date their work, and record-keeping wasn’t as precise as it is today, we can only guess. Some people believe he wrote it when he still lived in his beloved Florence, while others think it was a heralding or commemoration of Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII coming to Italy, and thus written from 1308–14. Still other scholars believe it was one of Dante’s final works, written from 1318–21.

Though Dante argued for the use of vernacular language in De Vulgari Eloquentia, he chose to write De Monarchia, De Vulgari Eloquentia, Eclogues, and Quaestio de Aqua et Terra in Latin because it would assure a much wider audience. If he wrote in Italian, he’d only reach people in his own homeland, border regions, and nearby areas under Italian rule. In the Middle Ages, Latin was Europe’s lingua franca, understood by all educated people.

Because this book isn’t easy to find in translation, and the subject isn’t exactly lighthearted or of general interest, not many modern people have read it. As much of a passionate Dantephile as I am, even I can’t see many people choosing to read it for fun. It’s the kind of thing people might point to on their bookshelves as proof of how intellectual and educated they are, but aren’t very likely to have actually read unless they’re hardcore Medieval history scholars.

De Monarchia comes to about 28,000 words (plus a lot of modern, explanatory footnotes), so it’s not a very long read. Don’t come to it expecting to be blown away by beautiful, timeless poetry. This is about the relationship between religious (i.e., Papal) and secular (i.e., the Holy Roman Emperor). Dante tries to be fair to both sides instead of taking one absolute position and tearing apart any other views.

Dante’s position is that both the Pope and Emperor are human, and derive their authority and power directly from God. Because they’re both humans and peers, they shouldn’t have power over one another. While Dante was always very careful to kiss up to the Pope and take his religious authority seriously, he also didn’t think one peer should rule over another. Only God has the right to do that.

Instead, the Pope and Emperor are two equal swords, each given power by God to rule over their own respective domain. They should respect one another’s different spheres and not encroach upon matters and territories which aren’t theirs.

The purpose for which God created humans, Dante believes, is to make full use of our highest intellectual potential. And to do that, we need universal peace. If we’re forced to deal with wars, internal strife, and political bickering, we can’t accomplish our work very easily or freely.

It’s the natural order of things for one person to assume the leading role in a household, community, city, empire, etc. Very rarely can two equals share power without clashing, since the desire to be top dog and have no competitors is so strong.

Thus, the world needs one unified leader for its well-being.

Humanity is made in the image of God, and “is ordered for the best, when according to the utmost of its power it becomes like unto God.” And when we unite as one, we most live up to our Divine image, since God is also one. However, we need a single monarch and empire to achieve this oneness.

Justice is most effective when the monarch is just, and the worst enemy of justice is greed. Dante idealistically believes this perfect world monarch has no reason for greed, since he has nothing to desire with all his power and wealth. Greed is only manifested among rulers of individual cities and kingdoms.

Love and charity exist to the highest degree in this monarch, and thus his sense of justice is magnified and most effective. Because of this great love, humans are most free when ruled by a monarch instead of game-playing politicians.

Dante supports local rulers and laws, since every region has different needs, but the monarch should still govern in general matters germane to all humans.

As an Italian, Dante was obviously biased in claiming his Roman ancestors as the noblest people on Earth, and therefore deserved precedence over all others. He cites myths and fictional stories with heroes who can do no wrong, exaggerated and apocryphal historical stories, and Biblical literalism.

Dante interprets the Romans’ many military victories over other empires and huge expanse of territory as proof God was on their side. Lots of theological opining under the guise of historicity and political science follows.

While Dante believes the Pope has authority to rule the Church, he also thinks the Pope should stay in his lane and not meddle in secular governance. In other words, he advocates separation of church and state. Radical thinking for the 14th century!

In 1329, De Monarchia was burnt at the stake as heretical, due to charges brought by French cardinal Bertrand du Pouget. This was the same person who sought to have Dante’s bones burnt at the stake.

In 1559, the Inquisition included De Monarchia in its first index of forbidden books. It remained on the list till the end of the 19th century.

Some thoughts on my political homelessness, Part IV (Critical theories)

Another prime reason I’m now politically homeless is because of how so many people on my purported side of the aisle have enthusiastically, unthinkingly embraced postmodernism and its various critical theories. All of a sudden, everyone is falling all over themselves to mindlessly virtue-signal and deliver creepy, ritualistic mea culpas.

As I’ve mentioned a few times before, I’ve been a passionate Native American ally since I was 5-6 years old. Native American rights, representation, and education are causes near and dear to my heart. Yet it’s never occurred to me to constantly prattle on about this or overstep my bounds as an ally who’s not actually Native American and wasn’t socialized in that community. To do so would be cheap, insincere virtue-signalling.

Before everyone rushed to make their social media profile pictures black squares in June, add the BLM hashtag, and start constantly talking about things like their support for Black-owned businesses, there was nary a whiff most of them felt so strongly about these issues! I’m far from the only one who suspects they just mindlessly hopped on a bandwagon because they saw everyone else doing it.

I’d take them more seriously if they’d demonstrated a longtime, consistent commitment to such issues, not only after they burst into the national spotlight and became a trendy cause du jour. In previous generations, people embraced environmentalism, anti-harpooning, and feeding starving African kids with the same short-lived burst of insincere intensity, and quickly moved on to the next big trend without a single backwards glance.

Critical theories have long since moved beyond the purview of out of touch academics in ivory towers. Even preschools are now adding mandatory training units and indoctrinating little kids with reified racial stereotypes. Many schools also have mandatory indoctrination sessions on the nebulous, pseudoscientific concept of gender, and since it’s bundled with anti-bullying awareness, parents are unable to opt their kids out of it.

I’m gobsmacked at how so many people on my supposed side of the aisle see nothing at all creepy about little boy drag queens, drag queen story hours at libraries, or the Q***r Kid Stuff YouTube channel geared towards toddlers. Would they also cheer on strippers and porn stars in full fetish gear reading to little kids or JonBenét-style beauty pageants for little girls?

This shouldn’t even be a right vs. left thing! This should be about plain common sense and understanding basic concepts of child psychology and cognitive development. It’s unreal that many people who’ve been solidly left-wing their entire lives are now called far-right conservatives for objecting to this.

You need to give your head a shake if you approach every single thing you ever do or say with the question “How does this help/hurt my xyz privilege?” It must be exhausting for such people to get through each day.

Speaking of, critical theory offensively claims the only reason people in a majority group ever help people in a minority group is to be paternalistic or advance their own privilege. What a giant middle finger to all the Righteous Gentiles who risked their lives or were killed on account of saving Jews from the Nazis, to white lawyers and judges who helped to end Jim Crow, to white allies who were beaten, arrested, or killed for their Civil Rights activism, to men in government who finally did the right thing and passed hard-won legislation granting women the vote.

After all that beautiful bridge-building and all those decades of progress, society is now more deeply divided than ever. The worst racism, misogyny, and homophobia in years have been rebranded as woke and progressive. It’s now acceptable to demonise anyone who objects to the new groupthink. This has been a huge boon for real bigots, people who no longer have to hide their true feelings and can now freely express them under the guise of being good neoliberals.

They’re creating a boy crying wolf effect, making legit concepts into sneeringly-dismissed jokes due to constantly flinging these words and phrases about, and preventing serious dialogues about important issues.

My core political values haven’t changed, but the current mainstream woke groupthink ideology of the various leftist parties no longer represents who and what I am. Some things are too significant to agree to disagree about. I care about real issues which impact the poor and proletariat, not freaking pronouns and “microaggressions.”

Some thoughts on my political homelessness, Part III (Lockdown lunacy)

Another big reason I no longer have a political party to call home is because of my purported side’s views on this apparently permanent lockdown. Who are these people cheering on the end of normal life and snitching on anyone who hasn’t happily been locked at home for ten months and counting?

Yet again, this is an issue of class privilege and shining example of how the current public face of the Left is profoundly out of touch with our historic proletarian demographic. It’s easy for them to giggle about how it’s totes no big deal to work and go to school from home, only leave to buy essential groceries, and have no contact with anyone outside the house when they have lots of money in the bank, several computers, jobs with remote options, and huge McMansions with big yards.

How many poor and working-class people have regular, guaranteed access to computers or even smartphones? Some people have had to do college classes from their phones in parking lots, because they have no WiFi or computers. And forget about working remotely when your industry requires in-person work. How can people in mill towns or working retail perform those tasks from a damn computer?

Many of my K–12 classmates came from poor and working-class homes. Thus, their parents had far greater priorities than enriching educational experiences outside of school. When you live paycheck to paycheck and are exhausted by the weekend, you can’t take your kids to a museum or Ren Faire. Having a computer is a luxury. Many of my classmates went right into the working world after graduation, or attended local colleges with low tuition.

These weren’t people with the luxury of deciding between Harvard, Yale, NYU, and Bryn Mawr, or spending over a decade in academia studying Medieval French music. Being out of physical school for almost a year has taken such a toll on kids who aren’t from comfortably bourgeois families. How can we pretend Zoom school is exactly the same as bricks and mortar school?

Also, there’s a reason we rarely, if ever, see poor and working-class families homeschooling or unschooling their kids. That kind of requires at least one parent able to stay home all day, and that’s not possible when they need two salaries to stay afloat. Unlike bourgeois women, working-class women have always worked, even after marriage and kids.

My mother still regrets not working harder to find a way to afford to send me to a private girls’ school after sixth grade. I was certainly smart enough for a scholarship, and the worst of my Aspie issues were resolved by then. Instead I continued in the crappy public school system, which, despite some awesome teachers, wasn’t exactly the best place for intelligent students who wanted more out of school than the basics.

Anyway, so many self-identified U.S. leftists made no bones about supporting indefinite lockdown because “Hurr, durr, Orange Man bad!,” and thus they had to always do the exact opposite. If “Orange Man” was against total lockdown, then, by Jove!, they had to get busy promoting and instituting the most draconian of measures!

Anyone who dares object to such strict lockdown for any reason has been called spoilt, selfish, anti-science, a conspiracy theorist, a right-wing ideologue, and someone who wants to kill Granny. I’m none of those things, but I am deeply concerned about the effects, both short-term and longterm, this is having on the economy and people’s lives.

And how about the heartbreakingly higher rates of women and children being murdered by domestic abusers while in lockdown and unable to leave? Or mental health issues being exacerbated? People unable to pay basic living expenses? Loneliness and isolation, esp. among seniors? Necessary surgeries being postponed and sometimes leading to preventable deaths?

Scientific evidence is starting to come in proving the endless lockdowns in the U.S. and U.K. haven’t had the benefits they were touted as having. Indeed, it’s only made everything worse.

Normal life has to resume sometime. We can’t exist forever in an isolated virtual world, and lockdown hurts the poor and working-class most of all. Yet DNC and Labour Party brass have totally sold out this core demographic to look woke and appeal to blue-haired clowns.

Some thoughts on my political homelessness, Part II (Idpol and wokery)

A major factor alienating me from my purported side of the political aisle and giving me no party to call home anymore is the explosion of idpol (identity politics), SJWs, virtue-signalling, and wokery over the last four years. These clowns need to grow up if they truly believe anyone to the right of Antifa is a Nazi!

I’m really angry that these loons have made themselves the public face of the modern Left, despite being the antithesis of traditional leftist politics, and many of them admitting when pressed that they’ve never read any foundational books or writers from the various movements they self-identity into. Yet this loud, fringe faction has burrowed into government, schools, businesses, charities!

If only this were confined to hippie colleges and scattered weird businesses or organizations. No. Instead, this loud minority has managed to impose their cult groupthink on major schools, formerly respected organizations and professional businesses, serious newspapers and magazines, big-name writers, you name it.

This post would be thousands of words long if I listed every single person or thing they’ve managed to cancel, or went after with flaming pitchforks and are still ranting against for refusing to obediently roll over and tearfully thank Big Brother for stopping the beatings. All while believing they’re the moral ones on the right side of history, and nothing like Nazi book-burners.

Find me one pre-21st century person whose views, speech, thoughts, actions, and writings 100% conformed to contemporary values. Even the most radical people stayed within certain parameters, and may have had some views which were considered progressive in their era but are widely disavowed today. E.g., eugenics and Social Darwinism were quite popular in the late 19th and early 20th century, and twilight sleep birth was initially hailed as wonderfully liberating for women.

These constant mea culpas from people renaming buildings, book awards, and scholarships make my ass sick, as my late paternal grandpap would say. Was anyone pretending people like Woodrow Wilson had modern views and never did or said anything legitimately problematic, or lauding him for his racism? It doesn’t change their historical importance, no matter how many tantrums these blue-haired babies throw. Removing their names and images from the public eye suggests there’s something shameful, sinful, evil about them.

It really angers and frustrates me how these wokesters have thrown around certain buzzwords and catchphrases so often, almost always misusing them, that they’re now considered jokes and not taken seriously. E.g., triggers are certainly real to people with PTSD and traumatic experiences. Actual transphobia does happen. People can have internalized racism, misogyny, and homophobia. Privilege legitimately exists. Things can be truly problematic. Toxic masculinity refers to how rigid, socially-enforced stereotypes hurt men, as evidenced in their higher suicide rates and being less likely than women to get help for things like depression and anxiety.

But to trot these words and phrases out at every little thing that rubs easily-offended wokesters the wrong way? They’ve created a boy crying wolf effect and prevented serious, important conversations about bona-fide issues. Despite how loudly they scream, they do NOT represent the majority of real leftists!

We should all be positive ambassadors for whichever group(s) we represent. If the only leftists, conservatives, Catholics, Orthodox Jews, Evangelical Christians, Muslims, Hindus, homesteaders, vegans, environmentalists, etc., you know or know of are loud fanatics who make everyone look crazy, now’s as good of a time as any to cross the aisle in good faith and get to know a wider range of people in that group.

Most people just want to quietly live their lives without making waves. Normal, everyday people aren’t newsworthy. You only get attention if you’re very out of the ordinary.

Everyone should make an attempt to follow or befriend people with radically different views. We needn’t agree with them or be converted, just learn where they’re coming from. It’s not healthy to exist in an airtight echo chamber where you’re never challenged.

Real leftists care about issues like a living wage, universal healthcare, educational reform, free or cheap college, and women’s sex-based rights, not navel-gazing bollocks like pronouns, made-up identities like skoliosexual and greyromantic, defending morbid obesity as totally healthy, denying the existence of biological sex, promoting prostitution as a fun career, and pretending random “people” give birth, menstruate, and have cervical cancer.

These blue-haired clowns need to GTFO with their woke groupthink and struggle sessions. I would say they have a mental age of twelve, but that would insult 12-year-olds.

Some thoughts on my political homelessness, Part I

Warning: Any nasty comments personally attacking me will be deleted and the commenters blacklisted.

This is roughly where I’ve consistently measured on the political spectrum since I was a teenager. Probably the only thing keeping me from being all the way to the Left is that I support the death penalty. However, despite my core political views remaining consistent, I’ve felt increasingly politically homeless over the last few years, and my alienation from my purported side of the aisle grows more and more each day. Many other lefties I know feel the same way.

I voted Libertarian in the 2020 presidential election, though I’ve always voted for the Democratic candidate my entire voting life, no matter how milquetoast and same as the old boss. I know a number of other alienated lefties who went Republican for the first time in their lives as a protest vote and/or because at least Republicans aren’t trying to legally replace biological sex with the nebulous concept of gender.

It happened on Biden’s first day, just as he promised for months. He signed an executive order allowing the disastrous, toxic self-identification policy several other countries now have, and which was thankfully soundly defeated in the U.K. recently. Goodbye to women’s sports, scholarships, homeless shelters, rape crisis centres, political shortlists, locker rooms, single-sex swimming pools, everything our foremothers fought so hard to secure.

No, this is absolutely NOT what real feminists ever fought for! We never wanted things like co-ed sports and changing rooms. And for those who, like clockwork, ask, “Hurr, durr, where are all the feminists?,” we’ve been fighting against this and raising awareness of these issues for YEARS! Many of us have been doxxed, no-platformed, fired, stalked, kicked off social media, threatened, you name it.

I’ll be getting into this issue in much greater detail when I resume my Gender-Industrial Complex series! So much has happened on that front since I did that 12-part series in 2016.

Because of the U.S. duopoly, many Americans, through no fault of their own, aren’t aware of the full political spectrum and all the various iterations of left-wing and right-wing beliefs. E.g., Bernie Sanders is considered a centrist in Europe, since things like universal healthcare and a living wage are just matter-of-fact social welfare policies which are proven to dramatically improve quality of life.

Some people are able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and make a success of themselves without free or cheap college education and at least $15 an hour, but that’s unfortunately not possible for most people. How can you pull yourself up by your bootstraps when you haven’t any boots?

The loons in Antifa also are NOT even remotely representative of what real leftists are all about, just as people who bomb abortion clinics don’t represent most conservatives. People on both sides need to quit painting one another with such broad brushstrokes and assuming the loudest, most fringe elements speak for everyone.

I wish more liberals and conservatives both would engage in good-faith dialogue with one another, and actually LISTEN when someone explains why s/he came to have such political values, instead of just hearing and immediately reacting. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with their views or convert to their way of thinking, but at least make an attempt to understand that POV.

I’d be more than happy to explain how growing up poor and working-class led me to my views. Were my life circumstances different, I may very well have ended up conservative, centrist, or only moderately left-wing.

I agree with the theory that there’s been a soft coup in the Democratic and Labour Parties over the last few years, and an overall sea change over the last few decades. The party brass now speaks with such disdain about the proletariat, who traditionally formed their core demographic. These blue-haired fools need to get out of their cushy little bourgeois suburbs and ivory towers and see how we truly live.

I dare them to go to a mill town and announce their pronouns, demand people check their privilege, say they’re lithromantic greysexual moongender, call everyone bigots for understanding biological sex is grounded in material reality, and defend prostitution as an exciting career choice no different than any other job.

This is no longer the party of FDR, Harry Truman, and JFK. It’s been hijacked by clowns who don’t live in the real world. Until they kick out the loud woke contingent, I’ll remain politically homeless.