The Nugae of The Serious

Maiorum nugae negotia vocantur, puerorum autem talia cum sint, puniuntur a maioribus, et nemo miseratur pueros vel illos vel utrosque.

It is impertinent of people to laugh.  There is a gravity to life from which we must not be distracted by trifles, jests, and general levity.  As Mr. G. Silverspoon says, laughing is the unmistakable sign of lacking a mind.

It is, however, important always to enjoy the serious and sober minded pleasures, such as reading Asimov, watching important, non amusing, films, and appreciating hauntingly exquisite paintings such as Dali’s early work, which are capable of proving the superiority of our own judgements to those of the sensual.  Other restrained, non-trifling, business includes studying the grave and noble art of wealth-getting, getting money, taking stuff from people in a way that they will not notice, or at least in such a way that, should they notice, they still will not be able to recover it, and an exceedingly wide variety of other very diverse disciplines of which, incredibly, this is just the merest smattering (further examples include lending at good competitive rates, managing employees properly to obviate the necessity of paying them, and gently inculcating in those around us an awareness of their moral obligation to give us stuff or do work for us).

The sort of people that do ludicrous things (such as drink, dance, smoke, smile, sing, and even—reader discretion advised—greet each other with a friendliness that can only be described as revolting, and which in our abandoned times occasionally goes so far as to culminate in an actual physical embrace) have introduced an imbalance into our society which must be forcefully corrected.  The more this sort of thing is allowed, the more difficult it is for true Traditional Catholic Morality which consists of the Traditional Three Commandments to take root in our society and transform people into the image of God the Wealthy.  These Three Commandments, as the reader is doubtless already aware, are:

  • Thou shalt be rich.
  • Thou shalt love the Lord, Queen Victoria, with all thy mind, hating children and all mirth.
  • Thou shalt believe that all material things which God the Wealthy hath created, save money alone, are made of the substance of evil.

When men turn from their trifling ways, and follow God’s commands, the world will be a better, richer, place, and all men will attain true happiness by living in accord with their best advantage, as descibed in Lencioni’s The Advantage.

Things We Thought We Were Done With

Uns ist in alten maeren wunders vil geseit
von heleden lobebaeren, von grozer arebeit,
von vroevden hohgeciten, von weinen und von klagen,
von chvener recken striten muget ir nu wunder hoeren sagen.

Pater Edmund mostly hits (as carpenters and lowly folk sometimes say) the little round thing on the end. Now, of course, the critics of Dreher, the third or fourth, if not second or third, wisest and most important person in the history of the world, are silenced. The weirdly prolonged aftermath of Dreher’s recent act of intellectual terrorism should be a sign at least that the issue of “new sorts of community” broadly speaking has a sort of urgency to it at the moment. It’s like Mr. Gulliver Silverspoon says in The Conceited Pillage, “but a bold pedantry, their country’s pride, when once destroyed can never be supplied.”

Utrum Mutuare ad Usuram sit Peccatum Mortale, II

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I respond, it is to be said that to give money in loan at usury is a mortal sin.  Nor is it only a sin because it is prohibited; but rather is prohibited because it is secundum se a sin.  For it is against natural justice.  And this is manifest, if we should rightly consider the account of usury.  For it is called usury from use, fom this, to wit, that a certain price is accepted for the use of money, as if the use itself of the money lent were being sold.  It is to be considered, however, that of diverse things there is a diverse use.  For there are certain things of which the use is the consumption of the substance of the things themselves, as the proper use of wine is that it should be drunk, and in this the substance of the wine is consumed; and likewise the proper use of wheat or bread is that is should be eaten, which is the consumption of the wheat itself or bread; so also the proper use of money is that it should be expended for the exchange of other things.  For numismata are invented for the sake of exchange, as the philosopher says in Politics, VII.  But there are certain things the use of which is not the consumption of the substance of the thing itself, as the use of a house is inhabitation.  It is not, however, of the account of inhabitation that the house should be destroyed; if however it should happen that the house by the inhabiting should be in something bettered or worsened, this is per accidens; and the same is to be said about a horse or a cloak, and other things of this sort.  Because, however, a thing of this sort is not consumed through use strictly speaking, therefore differently either the thing itself or the use is able to be given or sold, or either together.  For someone is able to sell a house, retaining to himself the use of the house for a time; and likewise someone is able to sell the use of a house, retaining to himself the property and ownership of the house.  But in those things of which the use is consumption, the use of the thing is not other than the thing itself, whence to whomever is given the use of such a thing, is given also the ownership of the thing itself, and conversely.

When, therefore, someone lends money under this pact, that the money should be restored to him whole, and further wishes to have a certain price for the use of the money, it is manifest that he sells separately the use of the money and the substance itself of the money.  The use, however, of money, as has been said, is not other than its substance; whence either he sells what is not, or else he sells the same twice, to wit the money itself of which the use is consumption of it.  And this is manifestly against the account of natural justice.  Whence, to lend money for usury is secundum se a mortal sin: and there is the same account regarding all other things of which the substance is consumed through use; as is manifest in wine, wheat, and other things of this sort.