Even that motto seems a bit much for some, like Kelley Vlahos:
[The mainstream media-reinforced] narrative seems to be that a “surge” will work anywhere. Unquestioningly, the media will report additional troops in Afghanistan with no mind on how they will get there. The White House said in April that it would not even consider putting more troops in Afghanistan before Iraq was at pre-surge levels (virtually admitting the lack of flexibility in our force strength). It seems that’s about to happen, though, so isn’t this the perfect time to question how many “surges” our Army can take before we are off and running in another direction?
John has an entirely grim and fairly heartbreaking post, to which I have roughly nothing to add. You should read it, though; as if that preamble wasn't enough of a recommendation.
Yes, it's true that throwing up a wall of bullshit to deflect attention from your candidate's deeply unpopular views is a potentially effective means of helping him creep to victory on the strength of contentless non-issues --- like, say, whether his opponent is an insufficiently patriotic crypto-Communist. But to conclude that's all Kristol is up to doesn't give him nearly enough credit for a long-term vision, at least when it comes to tactical moves in the Republican party's internal turf wars. Campaigning on xenophobia, guilt by association, and red-baiting has desperate and unintentionally self-parodic qualities this year that it didn't have as recently as 2004. The likelihood is that John McCain will lose; if and when he loses, the multilateral truce among neos, paleos, reformists, and GOP hacks --- which is about as fragile as the truce in Basra to begin with --- is going to shatter before Obama's victory speech ends.
The neocons are in a decidedly weak position. Fairly or not, it's their foreign policy more than anything else that has made the name of the GOP radioactive --- and even worse for Republican partisans, has destroyed the party's nearly 40-year-old, frequently decisive advantage on national security. And though the Republicans somehow stumbled into nominating their only candidate with a prayer of victory, they exposed the neocons to even more risk by choosing, in John McCain, the most prominent exponent of their philosophy in American politics. Honest neocons like Lawrence Kaplan readily concede that neoconservatism's future rests on McCain's shoulders. Kristol, on the other hand, is trying to reframe the debate to obscure its ramifications for his ideology in case McCain loses.
But what if what Kristol was saying is (at least sort of) true? I mean, aside from Iraq - where Kristol readily admits that the differences are inescapable, though even here it's important to recognize that Obama's own opposition has sometimes been less than inspiring - Sen. Obama has, in no particular order,
and so on. You don't need to be as pessimistic as Daniel Larison or Brendan O'Neill to think that a President Obama is likely to let the anti-warriors down in any number of ways, and perpetuate at least some of the worst elements of the present Administration's militarism and diplomatic ham-handedness. There is, of course, a prominent example in recent memory of a presidential candidate who worried the GOP establishment by promising a "humble foreign policy" only to churn out a series of international efforts that were anything but that.
Now then. You might go over this history and share Ezra Klein's reaction:
Sigh. Maybe after the election.
Maybe. But maybe not. And the point is just that we don't really know. I can say with great confidence that I think a President Obama is likely to be better for the rest of the world, and indeed also for our portion of it, than a President McCain. But we cannot say with any reasonable confidence at all that he will bring an end to the worst excesses of neoconservatism. As one of the disgruntled conservatives now trying to help put back together the pieces of a movement co-opted and then run very nearly into the ground by the likes of Messrs. Bush, Rove, and McCain, I would advise Obama's supporters to hold fast to their principles and keep a critical distance, lest they should find that the future is not all it has been made out to be.
Hope if you must, but try your best not to let yourselves believe.
(Cross-posted at Upturned Earth.)
[UPDATE: More in a similar vein here, from Lee McCracken.]
It's not every day you have the pleasure of reading an article with subheadings like "MINDLESS KILLING MACHINES," but there the fun stops. Killer Robots from Planet Earth are bad for war and bad for peace. Don't make 'em.
supreme issues of national safety. The president alone, as Alexander Hamilton said, is positioned to operate with "decision, activity, secrecy, and dispatch." Of course, Congress can block presidential action, but in this case, most members will be satisfied to stand clear and let the president do what must be done.
Wow, wouldn't it be great if the President had his own Army, so that we wouldn't be stuck when stupid Congress tried to pretend that their constitutional prerogative to initiate war was still in effect? Imagine -- the Defender of the Republic enabled with his own Guard...his own Republican Guard...gee, wouldn't that be something.
That snark safely out of the way, I want to reiterate that I really think the definitive point here is that the neocons in favor of bombing Iran are simply wrong on the merits, and opening up the entire question of whether they are wrong 'ideologically' is probably a gigantic waste of time. Yes, there's something of a judgment call here, but unless things have really gone off the rails neoconservatism doesn't simply mean mess up someone who does stuff you really don't want them to. Believe me, if an Iranian nuke really represented the supremely dire thing Muravchik & Co. thinks it does, I'd be entertaining the use of supremely dire force.
But it doesn't. Doesn't mean we have to like it. But supremely dire force is not properly calibrated when used in response to not supremely dire threats. And yes, even pinpoint strikes on Iran are supremely dire judging on the direct consequences they'll unleash upon US assets and personnel. Yes, I think these are worse than Iran having a bomb. And none of this means I wouldn't be pleased and grateful if Israel decided an Iranian nuke was wholly unacceptable and bombed accordingly.
Finally I can respond to Noah's very sharp and smartly reasoned post.
Noah thinks the charge of emotivism can be overused. He's right. He is also right that honor registers in the realm of feeling, that an opposite of honor is shame, and that shame is also felt. And he is right to imply strongly that it is right to feel the honor and shame that redound to one as a result of one's behavior.
But Noah rises to an unhelpfully high level of abstraction by casting my argument in terms of "banish[ing] feelings entirely as a source of value." I read that phrase aloud and I hear Max Weber lite. He did enough already to set us down the perilous road of separating facts from 'values.' I still do not know, unless I am walking through Wal-Mart, exactly what a value is. But I am not rude enough to stop the conversation there, and I think that specifically in Noah's terms he means the following:
I can appreciate the suspicion of feeling as a primary source of value (though neither am I convinced that that suspicion amounts to a knock-down argument against); I’m not at all ready to jettison feeling as a guide to judgement. And I don’t think Mr. Emotivism meant to do so either; quite the opposite.
I am more suspicious of talk of 'primary sources of value' than I am of feelings. Talk of 'feeling as a guide to judgment,' on the other hand, is something I can actually deliberate about without taking a walk through the set of What Dreams May Come, and I'm glad Noah cast it in those terms because I wholly agree that feeling must -- as in we have no choice -- factor into our deliberations, judgments, and actions. And I agree that MacIntyre agrees.
But here's the catch. Feelings can impel us toward and through deliberation, judgment, and action. But they can also shut down and steer us away from thinking, deciding, and doing certain things. Feelings can motivate, and supply us with the resources to achieve, a practice of self-conscious denial that can range from the very simple to the highly elaborate. Feelings can lead us to the conclusion that genocide is happening in Darfur but in the end it's okay that we're not doing anything about it. Maybe this is true -- maybe it withstands the test of fully reasoned thought -- but that doesn't at all mean that anyone who arrives at that conflicted conclusion by any means is equally correct in process or outcome. Feelings can lead us to privilege the way events or actions or nonactions make us feel over what they actually are.
And this leads me to closely and carefully challenge Noah's suggestion that honor cannot be possessed "in an objective sense." Strict as I am about 'sense' language I prefer to say that honor is objective. I know this sounds outrageous to a lot of people, so I will restrict myself for now to saying that it is objective in a very narrow fashion. I submit that it is objectively dishonorable to crawl around naked and sharing a pig trough with porcine companions. Of course on some flourishing alien planet there may be some highly significant waiver applicable to some ceremony where naked pig food eating is a trial of great honor. Indeed in an African culture I read about at some point this semester the coming of age ritual involves ritually receiving the abuse of the tribe. But we need to be nimble enough and honest enough to recognize, sociologically speaking, that when transgressions are permitted they do not necessarily cease to be transgressions. Nowhere is there a better case of the truth of this than war. Anywhere there is civilization murder is not honorable. Anywhere there are people murder generally and characteristically causes guilt and shame. But war waives some of the rules pertaining to murder.
The reason why I raise this prickly point is because what I really want to claim is that honor is objective only insofar as guilt has a minimal objectivity. We all recognize that people who feel no guilt are not wholly persons, that there is something radically defective about them. Surely many things can be crimes, and not all things that are crimes in one place at one time are crimes in others. We can be very historicist about the nature of crime and still admit that crime -- culpable wrongdoing -- is an objective thing however the contents might vary through history. Certain regularities emerge. But now I want to emphasize that shame and guilt are two different things. Someone might, for example, do the right thing in a way that causes them to appear to have done the wrong thing; that appearance brings great shame upon them while, at the same time, they (rightly) feel no guilt. There are complex variations on this theme. But if MacIntyre is right that all moral dilemmas can ultimately be resolved, even if at great cost and pain, then it is quite possible to encounter situations in which you will come out with zero guilt and some amount of shame. It is along these lines that I see objectivity in guilt as compared with the greater subjectivity of shame.
This is important because the honor/shame dichotomy that Noah sets up is not inaccurate but is also incomplete. Innocence/guilt overlays it. We recognize this in the idea of defending a woman's honor, for example. And if you accept this basic distinction, you can follow my line of thought to the possibility that -- just as someone can aptly feel shame but no guilt -- one can inaptly feel honor while guilty. In fact, by lifting the analysis to the abstract level of feelings as 'a source of value,' it becomes hard to recognize the importance of the distinction I am making: that we can use feelings of honor to prevent us from deliberating over whether or how we are guilty, passing a judgment in that regard, and then acting on it.
Now my worry over Huckabee comes into focus. I'm going to lay out some hypotheticals to explain. It may be the case, for instance, that staying in Iraq as a matter of strategic fact is not a good idea. Or it may be the case that staying in Iraq is not good as a matter of moral fact -- on the basis that most Iraqis want us to leave, or that we killed a lot of innocent Iraqis, or that we're wasting our national blood and treasure, or plenty of other theories. It isn't decisive to my analysis whether or not leaving in Iraq is the right thing to do strategically or morally or practically or whatever. But what is decisive is that by declaring the matter settled simply by deeming it dishonorable to leave -- with the only possible implication being that, 'in an objective sense', ending a war like Iraq on terms like those that would exist if we left is definitionally dishonorable -- it is precisely the process of judgment that is being disabled or severely crippled.
If we characterize feelings abstractly as 'sources of value', and judgment as something feelings can 'guide' us about, rather than guide us to, then we hamper our ability to recognize that the Huckabee argument, though possibly arriving at the right answer, does so in a dangerously vague and possibly mendacious way. Instead of sharing a deliberation about what honor is with regard to our presence and behavior in Iraq, arriving at a judgment, and acting it out, we foreclose deliberation, fail to make a true judgment, and continue our behavior without having to risk the pain of encountering dilemmas, contradictions, and crises created by any contradiction or guilt that we share. This would be a great misfortune.
Specific to Iraq, there is another layer here. It may be dishonorable to remain in Iraq even if in the long run we end up helping a lot of Iraqis whose lives, at least collectively or nationally speaking, we upset severely. But the Huckabee argument makes posing this question impossible, unthinkable. Even if you want to completely subjectivize honor, this possibility remains. On the other hand, the guilt of remaining in Iraq may be greater than the guilt of leaving. But this possibility also has to go unconsidered. Why? How? By an appeal not to honor, which requires a plausible and eventually persuasive public account of what honor is, but to 'our sense of honor,' which is some kind of curious phantom that has all the trenchant meaninglessness of the safe punt into abstraction that characterizes 'values' talk. We don't have to explain to ourselves what 'our sense of honor' actually is, because it can magically both vary wildly in radical subjectivity and unite us all together. We can use feelings to avoid an entire, and entirely crucial, exercise of politics. Regardless of how you feel or think about the Iraq war, this is really a colossal and upsetting failure of America. If you can say one thing about the neocons it's that many of them have the courage to keep putting forward actual arguments about why their policies are good ones. Unfortunately their arguments are not as persuasive as one might hope. But we would all do ourselves a service to recognize that the passions can compel us to act as well as become resources for us to avoid thinking about, talking about, deciding about, and doing things about circumstances of ours that we'd rather not trouble ourselves about too deeply.
The NPod column in question is about my favorite Jewish topic: the 'scandal of particularity', namely, that the Jews are God's chosen people. The great genius of the Jewish religion, by my lights, is that it takes truth and particularity to be intimately compatible. We are so accustomed in the wake of Christianity to think that anyone who thinks they know the truth is certain to insist that other people know the same truth (by force, if necessary) that we forget the Jewish example. And by 'we' I mean lots of people and particularly Norman Podhoretz, who writes of
the very Law that, through the instrumentality of God’s choice of them, would at the end of days be accepted by all mankind.
Immediately we have to ask whether this means that God in the fullness of time will bring everyone around to obeying His commandments or that God will permit his chosen people to kick much ass in the knowledge that one day everyone -- or at least whoever's still alive then -- will be as lucky as they are.
This is an important question because if you answer it in the more proactive and less providential way I have just poked fun at, you head toward what Strauss identifies as a great heresy of that rotten modern ex-Jew Baruch Spinoza. Of course I don't want to say that anyone who thinks Israel has a right to exist is a Jewish heretic. But I do want to acknowledge what Strauss says in his lecture entitled "Progress or Return?":
Spinoza denied the truth of Judaism. [...] "If the foundations of their religion did not effeminate their minds, I would absolutely believe that they might again restore their state, under auspicious circumstances, considering the fact that human things are mutable." [cite] This means that the hope for divine redemption is altogether baseless. [...] the first condition for entertaining any reasonably hope for the end of the exile is that the Jews should get rid of the foundations of their religion, that is to say, of the spirit of Judaism. [...] As far as I know, this is the earliest suggestion of a purely political solution to the Jewish problem: the substitution of a purely political solution for the miracle of redemption toward which men can contribute, if at all, only by a life of piety.
The crisis in Judaism caused by the Holocaust hinged on the inadequacy of a certain kind of passivity to flourishing, and opened a painful question about whether that passivity was inadequate because of an inadequacy of piety. I can't get into that here, other than to flag it and point further to Arendt and Rieff. Here I want to press on with Spinoza and Podhoretz. What would a mind inclined toward Spinozan political Zionism look for in the world?
in addition to the new state of Israel, there was also America, to which over a century ago Jews began fleeing by the millions from two great modern principalities that have likewise disappeared: the Austro-Hungarian empire of the Hapsburgs and the Russian empire of the Romanovs. These Jewish immigrants called America di goldene medineh, “the golden land,” and they were right. Of course, there was no gold in the streets, as some of them had imagined, which meant that they had to struggle, and struggle hard. But there was another kind of gold in America, a more precious kind than the gold of coins. There was freedom and there was opportunity. Blessed with these conditions, and hampered by much less virulent forms of anti-Semitism and discrimination than Jews had previously grown accustomed to contending with, the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of these immigrants flourished to an extent unprecedented in the experience of their people.
Thus it was that even before the remnant of one segment of the Jewish people had returned to its ancestral home, another portion had found another home in a new place and in a new world such as they had never discovered in all their forced wanderings throughout the centuries over the face of the earth.
So Pod says, and hurrah, as far as it goes. But then hear Strauss:
the attempts to solve the Jewish problem by purely human means ended in failure. [...] I do not believe that the American experience forces us to qualify these statements. [...] I share the hope in America and the faith in America, but I am compelled to add that that faith and that hope cannot be of the same character as that faith and that hope which a Jew has in regard to Judaism and which the Christian has in regard to Christianity. No one claims that the faith in America and the hope for America are based on explicit divine promises.
And then Podhoretz again:
If this is the conclusion [Charles Murray's, that the Jews are God's chosen people based on their scientifically-proven history of genius], however playful it may be, that a self-described Scots-Irish secular Gentile from Iowa finds himself forced into on the basis of the empirical evidence, who are we Jews to say him Nay? And if, on the basis of the same empirical evidence alone, and without necessarily relying on the evidence of things unseen that is provided by religious faith, we instead say Yes, then we are driven to join with those of our fellow Jews who, like Mayor Lupolianski, contend that “Jerusalem is not only an inseparable part of the Jewish nation, it is the basis of the existence of the Jewish nation.” And if we agree about the centrality of Jerusalem, we are driven still further: into a spirited rejection of the reprehensible post-Zionist and anti-Zionist ideologues who are only too eager to see Jerusalem divided yet again, or else transformed into the capital of a bi-national state that would eliminate the Jewish particularism of Israel, to be replaced not even by the fantasy of a universalist utopia but rather by an all too real Arab/Muslim particularism. And we are also driven into a rejection, though a much gentler one, of the position taken by certain Zionists who, however regretfully, are ready to accept such a division as the price of peace with the Palestinians.
The move away from Jewish theology and into ex-Jewish materialism is striking. Podhoretz appears to put his faith in the power of science as the only tool that God has given the Jews to succeed:
I still find it hard to make theological or even just plain logical sense out of the election of Israel—so hard, that I cannot altogether dismiss the old view of it as an oddity to Reason and a scandal to Theology. At the same time, however, I also find myself, if a little mischievously, beginning to think that if the idea of the Jews as the chosen people is taken not as a matter of faith that can never be proved, but as a hypothesis subject to empirical verification, it actually seems to make scientific sense.
A little mischievously! Knowledge will save the Jews, not faith; power will maintain their rightful place in the world, not authority; the spirit of Judaism is a sort of kooky mystery, whereas a bad Weberian scientific politics in servile relation to power is something we can really work with.
I find all this to be quite outrageous. It is one thing to recognize a complex tension and interdependence between reason and revelation; it is one thing to say that Israel deserves to exist in perpetuity for reasons both of this world and beyond. But it is quite another to say that the Jewish religion basically punts the question of how to live back to the Jews themselves, and that Zionism really must be a purely and exclusively scientific doctrine that understands politics as the application of a genius for power, with the use of American greatness as one of the biggest hammers in the toolbox. This may be a mild exaggeration of what Podhoretz is saying, but it might also be a depiction of what he's truly saying. If it is, then it seems apparent to me that Leo Strauss has long ago warned that such a position is not only contrary to Judaism but dangerous to Jews, an incomplete and even impious attitude.
I hadn't intended to wind up speaking in such a severe and controversial fashion, but is there any way around it? As always, I'm open to rebuttals, and remain convinced that Zionism is a fine idea so long as it's grounded and guided firmly by real piety in the Jewish faith.
A few more final words, for now, putting these earlier on Lincoln in sharper relief. There is the strange phenomenon today of Lincoln both disappearing generally and becoming ever-more-totemic specifically. As he ascends to uncriticizable heights among those who think at all well of him, and becomes all-too-easy to kick around for his dwindling detractors, he slips like a receding ghost out of the truly public eye. Why?
Those who criticize Lincoln sometimes have a difficult time countenancing his greatness of soul; they want him to be not just a tyrant but a petty tyrant, and then only a petty tyrant. The cognitive dissonance aspect of this is clear, but there is something more. Those who praise Lincoln most praise him politically, thereby, imaginatively, praising him best. It's uncomfortable enough a reckoning nowadays with the awesome depths of his Christianity, only in which context can we understand his fakir-like faith in America, and thus too the astonishing capacity of his soul to take up -- and set up others upon -- the political crosses of the suffering sovereign.
And this is what Lincoln's small-l liberal fans least want to acknowledge: the suffering of the scourge. War in the terms of the Lincoln myth acknowledges suffering only insofar as it is purified through the greatness of Lincoln's, the slaves', and the 'volunteered' Union Army's glorious political heroism. The movie's called Glory for a reason, Halleluja neatly repressed; the 'local flavor' of the Colored Regiments' hosannahs are clearly staged to give whiteys everywhere a satisfyingly vicarious experience of visceral communal rhythm. The solidarity that Christianity provided slaves and ex-slaves, thin gruel that it was among solid humans deprived of all other (the insinuation is fuller) tools to develop the capability of human solidarity, serves in this fashion as merely the motif of what really matters: political freedom, won by blood against its foes. O happy day.
But of course for Lincoln it was no happy day at the last moment of triumph he could politically enjoy -- his re-inauguration, and from beginning to end his administration brought horrible after horrible year, because Lincoln decided to act as he did. Only Providence could account for the particular horror that the horror played out as long and deep as it did, but Lincoln's courage of action, though he acted politically, was not political courage, at least not as someone who won't cheerlead both for Lincoln and Machiavelli (and a certain, unpopular kind of Machiavelli at that) can understand it. This is because Lincoln's courage to scourge was sacred, not political; that he was President when presented with an inescapable crisis of American legal, political, and moral epistemology meant that the vertical distance between the sacred and the political collapsed in the vacuum of power and authority, which stand in truth in a hierarchical relationship which can only be restored by its reassertion, this even if by force.
The complexities and uncompromising reckonings of this fact -- and, most, its inescapability, unchanged since Lincoln though diligently and ever-more-expertly repressed -- are offputting to moral pragmatists elite and common alike. What Alasdair MacIntyre called a pragmatism and a nominalism of the philosophers and a pragmatism and a nominalism of everyday life takes in the first case "the form of theories" and in the second case "the form of a socially powerful way of reimagining the self." The theory that we may become what we imagine is anti-Lincolnian in every sense -- the strongest in its parodic and lying appropriation of Lincoln's theology of redemption. So the strange complementary hardening of Lincoln worship and disappearance of the public Lincoln looks specifically like what I have started to discuss generally -- Constantian usurpation, which teaches itself that most modern lesson most useful to moderns: the best way to seize power away from those whose power is authorized and to seize the appearance of authority from authority itself in a single stroke is to invert the hierarchical relationship of authority to power. In short, make authority the slave of power, the flattering subject at your royal court, just one of several noble fops among the courtiers, indeed, one with a special little booster seat at the royal table, a special name, that is, conferred title. When authority becomes Polonius, the Claudine usurper has usurped. Lincoln-worship becomes a certain form of court etiquette within the salon society of (small-l) liberal Americanism meant to flatter the particular power of the American political creed.
This is not to be confused with the phrases 'meant to send a message about' or 'meant to send a strong signal about' the 'sense of respect' paid to the particular power of the American political creed. This is real fealty to real power, the political power of enforcing political freedom, the ass-kicking quality of progressive American perfectionism that sees its eternal and present common configuration among optimistic interventionist internationalist neoconservative-neoliberals and neoliberal-neoconservatives. How much do these people really have a repressed disgust for authority? Sometimes only the practical reasons are thought through -- look over there, some human beings just as human as you and I are suffering under the yoke of absurd, primitive, false, and crippling doctrines -- but sometimes it's more than that, a bedrock conviction that all authority external to human power is a fraud and a lie cooked up to keep people from learning and actualizing their full capabilities. All this is inimical to Lincoln, who set the terms of the good life not according to full human capacity but far beyond it and thus beneath it, at the Godly life. As President he could think but not act solely in those terms, and as politician he thought politically too anyway. But saving the union was a frankly Providential mission for Lincoln; he inherited an American political creed as much as through him it was born again. His sacred truths that have now been studiously half-translated (so as to encompass and domesticate the sacred as 'religious-ness', just one of many aspiration-based sets of attitudes about the choices we should make together on Earth) into political optimism, political interventionism, and so forth, and the result of this is that Lincoln is both necessary to have around in a token sense -- in a pinch the gimp of authority may always be trotted out -- and also necessary to keep locked up and gagged in the basement, where in 'normal life' he is of little use and some guilty embarrassment.
* * *
All of this is a particularly pulpy factual exegesis of Philip Rieff's diagnosis of Lincoln as contemporary Polonius in My Life among the Deathworks (2006). "Lincoln suffers for being a scourge and minister of the American social order," he wrote.
[...] He knows that he must pay for the massive bloodletting he has released. Lincoln is still, 140 years after his death, being scourged. Lincoln is the last, and perhaps only, sacred messenger and figure of grace in U.S. history. His memory is a casualty of the war against sacred order and its embodiments. He has been wiped out, replaced by President's Day. The displacement of Lincoln by such a vaguery, meaningless to most Americans, is part of the kulturkampf.
Cultures without sacred messengers are in trouble. Lincoln himself rose from the lowest social classes -- his parents could not read. How is the population to understand the vertical, the rise that is always possible, without the supreme figure of Lincoln?
Lincoln's removal from American mythology -- the elimination of his birthday, the typical criticisms in contemporary documentaries -- is part of a scourge of Lincoln, the minister of highest authority. [...] ironically, this tragedy inverts the real tragedy of the Civil War. It is as a scourge that Lincoln is scourged by highest authority; he pays for the war he believed was just and necessary, as it may have been. Nevertheless, like Moses, he must be scourged. To unleash mass killing, whether just or not, is to be a scourge, which is inevitably transgressive because it is uncontrolled and allows human vanities and excesses to be expressed. But Lincoln's present scourging by [contemporary] elites is for his office of minister, not scourge (171-2).
So can a person rightly and truly mourn the murder of Lincoln in turn while also rightly and truly confessing "sic semper tyrannis." The crucial line between religion/authority and politics/power is kept intact -- not a horizontal Berlin Wall but a vertical chain link that separates in hierarchy. But this mode is entirely inimical to moral pragmatists of the town or gown variety.