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Word Mongering: New Missal Translation Edition

I confess I’ve balked at some of the changes, but I must say that the context Fr. Barron puts it in here actually makes me feel pretty excited about going to mass this morning and stumbling through the ch-ch-changes. And check out the epigraph to House of Words!


  1. I’m sorry I didn’t have time to listen to the whole thing, and I’m sure it’s important and relevant, but I can see you enjoyed yourself.

  2. Cubeland Mystic says

    It was totally relevant. He confirmed that the Catholic Church has been blowing smoke for 2000 years and that we should subscribe to the Hobbesian world view.

    I am going to start drinking right after Mass, what is that Vodka that Expat drinks?

    • Ivanabitch will get the job done. Club soda, the juice of a clementine, and Ivanabitch.

    • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

      Better Hobbesian than Calvinist.

      • Cubeland Mystic says

        True, true, true . . . without God all things are permitted. Nothing would get done under Calvinistic Materialism. I think the modern welfare devolved from early 20th C Calvinists who went into government work, lost their souls over several generations of nepotism combined with drug use, and the fruit of their generational interference is the current mess.

        I wonder if you could combine a Hobbesian Ethos with Calvo-Materialism?

        • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says


          1) Do your ‘early 20th C Calvinists’ include progressive (or, ‘Progressive’) reformers? Is that who you had in mind?

          2) Have you studied Rene Girard? I haven’t, but heard about him two or three times, and thought his ideas about scapegoating (and Christ as ultimate scapegoat) sounded like the might-could hit against Hobbes’ theory of the origin of society in interesting, maybe enlightening, ways. For Hobbes, the people suspend their wars with each other and enter into a state of perpetual war with their king (who can destroy any of them), no? Whereas I get the impression that, for Girard, society forms when the people re-aim their antagonisms, not at the king, but at the scapegoat (whom they all destroy). I looked up the Girard article on Wikipedia and did a ‘CTRL + f’ search for ‘Hobbes’, which turned up only one, uninformative, mention. If you know any more about Girard (in general), or Girard and Hobbes (in particular), please let me know. I ask because it sounds like you have thought about, or around, these issues a lot.

          • Cubeland Mystic says


            1) I am just talking about “Whitey” in general running the scene back then. Their ideological background is a guess based on American history. Probably lots of Calvinists working for the government. From what little I know about Calvinism, removing God from the equation what would you get? Calvinistic Materialism is my own creation. You keep the Calvinism but lose the God. Grace comes in the form of a welfare check to the elect, and all things remain in stasis because “what’s the point?” The comedy rises from the blending of the two.

            2) I have not read Rene Girard nor heard of him. I don’t think that with Hobbes it is a state of perpetual war with the king, but a rational acquiescence to his sovereignty. By everyone transferring their powers of waration and violentiquity to the sovereign they build a safe society based on rational self-interest. So the Leviathan keeps the peace, and we are free to make money and practice buggery. Peace is in everyone’s self-interest and the Leviathan keeps the pain away. I don’t think it is in everyone’s self-interest to be at war with the King. I may be recalling the wrong thinker’s term here, but in the “Original Position” (might be John Rawls who was a neo-Kantian) we are all at war with each other, and it was the Leviathan who stabilizes everything by means of the social contract. We move from nasty short and brutish, to lots of love agreeing to be moral.

            Scapegoating is interesting, but I am not sure it fits into the Hobbesian world view. Hobbes was a wanker, and dangerous. I don’t think a Hobbesian world view can incorporate concepts such as self-donation, mercy, and charity as ends in themselves. If some utility can be extracted from them, then by all means, but doing them just because. . .ain’t gonna happen within the context of the social contract.

            If you dig through the mountains of bodies heaped due to ideological struggle over the past few centuries you’ll find Hobbes at the bottom of it.

            • Right. I fear you, you fear me, we agree that it’s best to leave each other’s stuff alone, and set up a king to make sure we both hold to the agreement. The State becomes the arbiter and protector of good by helping us to leave each other alone as much as possible. Charity and the Church become actual problems in such a place. Religion is okay, because it convinces people to honor the law even if they’re too stupid to see the virtue in it, but the Church is a foreign body intruding upon the life of the state. The Kingdom of Fairies, he calls it.

              Girard and Hobbes would be an interesting comic strip.

            • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says


              Thanks much for the response!

              1) Cherchez l’honkey. Got it.

              2) I think we’re actually on the same page here — definitely so far as neither of us has read Girard. I get what you and Lickona say about Leviathan, but I do seem to remember that, for Hobbes, we never get rid of the state of war. Setting up the King does not abolish war, but limits its scope to the minimum possible: We subjects have agreed no longer to war against each other, but it’s the King, with his societally-granted monopoly on deadly force, who enforces our own little truces with each other. The King is thus in a state of war against each subject — where ‘state of war’ means merely that the King can threaten violence, not that he’s constantly smashing skulls. And this state of war — King versus all the rest — really is the most limited one possible, for if the King also entered into the truce, he’d cease to be King, cease to have the power to enforce our truces, and bring us back to that state of perfect equality where no one has a clear advantage and everyone therefore is at war. Which, I think, makes it even clearer why we could expect to find Hobbes at the bottom of the past few centuries’ ideological struggles: the State of Nature may be a terrifying and deadly state, but so is Society. Being deathly afraid of the King is awful, but enough less awful than being deathly afraid of all your neighbors that it’s still the better deal.

              And I do agree with you that scapegoating does not seem to fit into the Hobbesian worldview. I was just thinking it was an interesting contrast: According to Hobbes, society is possible because the King can kill anybody; for Girard, it seems that society is possible because everybody has killed (or at least abused and exiled) the scapegoat.

              Anyway, I was hoping on the off-chance that you might be able to point to some Girard-and-Hobbes crossover, because I’d like to see whether they really do contrast or compare in the way that my own underinformed reading suggests — but I won’t research the question unless someone pays me to, which will never happen.

              Maybe Fr Barron has a Girard/Hobbes bibliography ready to hand.

              • Cubeland Mystic says

                It’s been a long time (decades) since I read Hobbes. All of what you said sounds familiar. I read more neo-hobbesianism in college than Hobbes himself. Although I read the Leviathan a couple times. Neo-Hobbesianism was all the rage back then.

                To clarify the heaps of bodies, I think a lot of murderous ideologies have sprung from Hobbes. He seems to be a big player in the thought that gave rise to 19th C materialism, and its effects on the 20th C. Poke around in the mind of a Nazi or Socialist and you’ll find Hobbes in there somewhere turning the wheels of death. It boils down to utility, and how much you got before you get boiled down. If you have little, you become animal feed and fertilizer, if you have a lot you get to direct who becomes animal feed and fertilizer.

                Many many many people see the world through utilitarian lenses. The more we drift from God the more we will be governed.

                Under Christ I see less and less need for government. We seem to be creating bigger and more government. I don’t want less government, I want no government. We should be evolving away from the corruptions of power, but we seem to be making more. We are going backwards toward the abyss.

  3. Jonathan Webb says

    I’ll take a gander when I have thirteen minutes and forty seconds. Thanks The Pot.

  4. Back in the day, I blogged about Girard every couple of weeks for about three years straight … summarized his books, referred to his articles, and even wrote a poem to him on his birthday. Then I realized that I was only one reading those posts—no, not even Churchill, nove even Churchill could be bothered—maybe Potter would join in if I attached a Dylan video or something. Now we’re like the top Catholic blog of all time and I drive a bus full-time, so I read about Girard in the comboxes of posts I hardly have the time to read, much less write (Sniff, sniff)

    Such is life.

    • Jonathan Potter says

      I wondered if the Girard reference would pull you into the fray and out of your Heidegger hole. I’ve been meaning to mention the Peter Thiel profile in the latest New Yacker. An interesting nutjob and a fan of Girard in his undergrad days, apparently.

    • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

      Mr Finnegan,

      Thanks to the ‘Search this website’ feature (i.e., thanks to Dorian Speed), I dredged up those Girard posts you mentioned. I expect to blow the dust off a few of them.

      Is there a book or essay by or about Girard that would serve as a good introduction for a French-illiterate layman? I’m nearing the end of The Last Gentleman and would like a short vacation from Percy-land before picking up Love in the Ruins.

    • Hey, bud, around here we call that being an Independent Scholar.

  5. Jonathan Webb says

    I did so read your posts.

  6. Jonathan Webb says

    In fact it was those posts which made me such a huge fan of the Korrektiv blog site.

  7. Jonathan Webb says

    Great video C.M. Thanks.

  8. Cubeland Mystic says

    Hey I just re-read one of my dramatic comments. It gave me an idea.

    “Backward toward the Abyss:
    The semi-apocalyptic writings of the Cubeland Mystic”

    This could be a best seller. How do I get it in front of Potter?

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