Category Archives: Philosophy

Amazon Synod to Renew Bizarre ‘Catacomb Pact’

There is a blaze of commentary about the undisguised pagan activity in the Vatican during the so-called Amazon Synod, including powerful insightful comment from people on the traditional Catholic side. Dr Taylor Marshall and Church Militant are excelling. Dr Marshall with his sidekick Timothy Gordon is terrific on the theological and philosophical implications. Michael Voris continues to pound the clerical weak minds running the show. But for me, the third member of the trio I follow, Michael Matt of Remnant newspaper, is out there leading the charge. His videos are a combination of cold-sober dissection and satirising of the absurdities the Vatican people think we can’t see through. I will continue to provide the link to the best of Matt’s videos.

What Made American Academia Great (and How It Was Destroyed)

BY GARRETT WARD SHELDON| JUNE 21ST, 2019

The processes and ideology destroying American universities described below by Professor emeritus Garrett Ward Sheldon of the University of Virginia are almost an exact parallel with the decline – or rather degeneration – of Australian universities.

Since retiring from the university, several people have asked if I miss it. I tell them I miss what it was, but not what it has become. Higher education in America has gone from being the best in the world to one of the most pathetic. Why? It’s hard to describe what academia was to me and to millions in the past. It was not just a job, but a way of life, and of Western Civilization; and I’m so close to it, that it’s hard to describe—like trying to describe one’s own mother (hence alma mater!).

But let me try. University life at its best was both the most serious, difficult, challenging and maddening existence; and yet, it was also the most exciting, lively, rewarding, and fun experience.

It was deadly serious because we constantly examined the most intense human issues: historical and personal tragedies; ethical dilemmas, philosophical complexities; theological mysteries; and scientific wonders. It was hard because it stretched you intellectually and emotionally, made you question everything and be changed by that knowledge. And it was difficult, because of the enormous workload and demands; assignments, exams, papers, presentations and seminars. I don’t know of another situation, except possibly the military during a war, where one could be tested so much.

Read on…

Short synopsis of ‘In Times of Distress’

On ‘My Books‘ page I have posted a short synopsis of the first book in the Winterbine Tetralogy. I am more than halfway through the writing and am confident of a release date in December 2019.

IN TIMES OF DISTRESS
Book One of the Winterbine Tetralogy.
Fr Jos van Engelen, a Dutch missionary priest stationed in New Guinea, is recalled to Holland in March 1940 to help the Superior-General in combating suspected subversion within the order. At the German invasion of Holland, he is drawn into dangerous covert operations against the Nazis which results in the execution of close collaborators. While in Amsterdam, he saves a young woman and her baby from being crushed in a stampede. It’s the start of a relationship with the young woman and a deadly tussle with her occultist husband. At the same time, he enters into a running conflict with the same subversive elements within his order. The conflict comes to a head during the Second Vatican Council, the result of which is his expulsion to Binawarra, a small country town in Australia. In a parallel plot, Anneke van Engelen, the priest’s niece, goes astray during the student radicalism of the 1960s with disastrous consequences. Fr van Engelen and Anneke van Engelen feature in THE CASTLE OF HEAVENLY BLISS, book three of the Winterbine tetralogy.


The ‘Goddess’, neo-paganism, the occult and Gnosticism are introduced as the themes of the Winterbine series. The ideological conflicts of the 1960s and 1970s form the background.
Publication December 2019
More information HERE.

Edmund Burke and Magna Carta

This was a talk I gave on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

Edmund Burke devoted the eighth chapter in his Abridgment of English History, to King John’s reign. He records that it was near the end of John’s reign that the barons forced him to place the royal seal on the provisions and undertakings that form the document called Magna Carta, Latin for Great Charter. The Abridgment of English History is a little known and almost entirely disregarded work of Burke’s. He began it in 1757 as a commission from publisher Robert Dodsley. It was one of the projects taken up when he abandoned the law to devote himself to a literary career. He never completed the planned series of books. Indeed, chapter eight is the final full chapter. The eight chapters plus a fragment of chapter nine, ‘An Essay Towards An History Of The Laws Of England’, appeared after his death.

The reader has to take seriously Burke’s title to his work on English history because a distinct purpose is revealed in the process of abridgment. Through the sometimes sparse historical details, the reader finds a concentration on the effect of the different settled arrangements (like custom and tradition) on the development of the law governing the English people. The contrast, though nowhere near as explicit as in his later writings, is between law as developed out of the concrete circumstances of a people being a people and law as the product of abstract speculation.  The fragment of chapter nine confirms this analysis.

Continue reading Edmund Burke and Magna Carta

The Philosophy of  Roger Scruton

Mervyn F. Bendle is one of Australia’s foremost conservative intellectuals. He frequently contributes to Quadrant magazine and Quadrant Online, Australia’s foremost organ for the display of conservative thought. Quadrant‘s importance is highlighted by the constant attempts of Australia’s dominant leftist class to shut it down. It is a magazine that belongs in the library of every philosophical conservative. The article below is a survey of the philosophy of the world’s foremost conservative intellectual Roger Scruton. There could hardly be a more readable survey and introduction to Scruton’s thought than this article. Lovers of the writings of Edmund Burke will recognise Burke’s deep influence on Scruton.

Continue reading The Philosophy of  Roger Scruton

culture through reason, natural feeling and the moral imagination

One of the best-known passages from Edmund Burke’s writing is his lament over the capture of the French royal family and their being force-marched twelve miles from the Palace of Versailles into Paris ‘amidst the horrid yells, and shrilling screams, and frantic dances, and infamous contumelies, and all the unutterable abominations of the furies of hell in the abused shape of the vilest of women.’

Burke’s lament was provoked not so much by this melancholy scene and the barbarism of the revolutionaries. It was rather the Revolution Society’s glorification at the Old Jewry of the bloody revolutionary action that moved him. In particular, the raptures of radical preacher Dr Richard Price proclaiming the victory of reason and the dawn of freedom nerved Burke’s pen to write several pages of soaring prose bemoaning far more the ideological defeat of European Christian culture than the tragic predicament of the Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

Continue reading culture through reason, natural feeling and the moral imagination

Reputation, Reason and the Enlightenment Project

Discussion of Chapter Six, ‘Reputation, Reason and the Enlightenment Project’, Second Part on ‘Thought’ of Jesse Norman’s book EDMUND BURKE: PHILOSOPHER, POLITICIAN AND PROPHET

Chapter Six, ‘Reputation, Reason and the Enlightenment Project’ begins the Second Part on ‘Thought’ of Jesse Norman’s book Edmund Burke: Philosopher, Politician And Prophet. Norman surveys the reaction to Burke’s writings and speeches following Burke’s death in 1797. He cites the views of many well-known historical figures in addition to lesser known names in the fields of academia, politics and literature. His conclusion, with which one should readily agree even on a brief reading of the opinions, is that there was much ‘bipartisan esteem’ of Burke’s thought.   ‘Amid the ferment of early nineteenth century social, economic and political change,’ he says, ‘many different writers were able over time to find ideas of enduring value within Burke.’ (KL 2320)

Continue reading Reputation, Reason and the Enlightenment Project

Roger Scruton on Newspeak and the manipulation of language

Most leftist activists aligned themselves with different interpretations of Marxism (Trotskyist, Maoism among others). By the 1960s, after the Russians crushed the Hungarian uprising in 1956, New Left ideas began to modify their Marxist vision. For an explanation of the fundamentals of New Left thinking, so important to the growing hegemony of the left, I will draw on philosopher Roger Scruton’s work. Before doing so, I want to cover the basics of classical Marxism to put the developments into context.

The core of Marxist theory is that any society is made up of an economic base (the forces of production and production relations) and a superstructure of laws, government, conventions, customs, art and so on. The base determines the superstructure of government. The economic base is not static. According to Marx’s key concept of dialectical materialism, a society will experience a clash of classes between those in power and those exploited. The clash will result in a new economic order and a new superstructure determined by that order. This is the working out of the dialectic process. The clash of classes will go onto until classes cease to exist, and people live in a socialist paradise where the alienation of the worker from his essence as a human person will dissolve. Marx claimed we are at this time in the final phase of the clash of classes: capitalists (the exploiters) with the proletariat or workers (the exploited).

Continue reading Roger Scruton on Newspeak and the manipulation of language

Jordan Peterson on postmodernism

Dr Jordan Peterson is the Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto. He hit international headlines because of his refusal to use ideologically made-up pronouns that anti-discrimination legislation is forcing on people throughout the Western world. In the following piece he accurately describes the link between Marxism and Postmodernism/Identity Politics.

Communism was not popularized in the West under the direct banner of communism. Instead, it came largely under the banner of postmodernism, and aimed to transform the values and beliefs of our societies through its Marxist idea that knowledge and truth are social constructs.

Under it, a new wave of skepticism and distrust was applied to philosophy, culture, history, and all beliefs and institutions at the foundations of Western society.

The postmodern philosophy “came into vogue” in the 1970s, according to Jordan Peterson, Canadian clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, “after classic Marxism, especially of the economic type, had been so thoroughly discredited that no one but an absolute reprobate could support it publicly.”

Peterson said it’s not possible to understand our current society without considering the role postmodernism plays within it, “because postmodernism, in many ways—especially as it’s played out politically—is the new skin that the old Marxism now inhabits.” Read on…