A provocative essay at The Josias

John Francis Nieto, a longtime tutor at Thomas Aquinas College in California, has a very interesting and provocative essay at The Josias. It is a long, very carefully argued essay about the insufficiency of the political right and left alike due to the acceptance of social contract theory by right and left alike. (We are no doubt oversimplifying the argument, which is, of course, a risk when describing such a careful argument.) We offer a very small excerpt:

I believe that right and left are both proceeding ‘forward’ toward a more and more perfect system of human management.  This demands global government, a fluid worldwide economy, a thorough-going leveling of individuals through society, so that no one can remain outside the reaches of this management and thus a danger to its integrity.  Everyone can enjoy his pri­vate satisfaction so long as he submits to the system, so long as he is ‘with the program’, as it is vulgarly put.

Where then do right and left differ, if they are in fundamental agreement about the social contract?  I think there are many illusions lurking here and do not have time to consider them.  Let me merely propose for the moment that the fundamental difference is this: the left holds that the original formation of society is a system of oppression and must be superseded by a true social contract, while the right accepts this original formation as a binding contract.

For a devotee of Charles de Koninck, especially his essays The Primacy of the Common Good Against the Personalists and The Principle of the New Order, Nieto’s arguments will sound fairly familiar. However, Nieto takes the time to work out some of the fundamentals of the argument that De Koninck makes assuming that his readers have the fundamentals well in hand. Nieto’s essay also has an interesting biographical component to it.

It is well worth a read.