Sunday 5th July 2015

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Trahison Des Clercs

August 7, 2014 Frontpage No Comments

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

There is a long string of words and phrases I used to come across quite often, but seldom see anymore now that William F. Buckley is no longer with us.
I have in mind terms such as a fortiori, supererogatory, chiliastic, mutatis mutandis, immanentize the eschaton, and quod licet Iovi non licet bovi. (Look them up: They are effective figures of speech, except for the fact that hardly anyone will know what you mean if you use them. That never bothered Buckley. He thought it a valuable teachable moment when you had to get out your dictionary.)
Another of Buckley’s favorites was “trahison des clercs,” a phrase with its roots in a 1927 book with that title by the French philosopher Julien Benda. Benda was describing the intellectuals of his era (the “clercs”) who abandoned the task of reasoning dispassionately about political and cultural questions for the excitement of turning against old allies in the ideological wars of the time.
Benda’s target was French rightists such as Charles Maurras, but Buckley would use the term to describe the new left professors and media elites who became tub thumpers for the counterculture in the late 1960s, abandoning the scholar’s responsibility to preserve and defend the heritage of the Christian West.
If Buckley were still with us, I have a hunch he might be using the term to describe the left-wing intellectuals who are turning against the teachers unions. Time magazine writer Joe Klein is a case in point. Klein is a classic New York City liberal. Abortion, legalized marijuana, increased taxation on the “rich,” the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, affirmative action, “gay” rights, and same-sex marriage — and the role of trade unions in modern economies: Klein can be counted on to take the position you would hear in the coffee shops of Greenwich Village and the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Even so, Klein is turning on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City teachers union, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), a longstanding sacred cow for liberals. Recent union demands, and Mayor de Blasio’s willingness to concede to them, were the final straw.
Writes Klein, on his July 10 blog site, time.com/swampland, “Which side are you on — the students’ or the unions’?” He agrees that “competent teachers should certainly be paid more, but the protection of incompetence is a national scandal, as is the unions’ resistance to teacher evaluations and charter schools” and “the quiet undermining of educational creativity by eliminating special programs for needy students.”
The special programs Klein is talking about were negotiated in 2005 when Michael Bloomberg was mayor. Bloomberg agreed to a salary increase for New York’s teachers “in return for 150 minutes of special instruction” each week for students “who needed the most help — the bottom third of each class.” In the past spring’s negotiations, the de Blasio administration gave back the 150-minute requirement.
Klein called City Hall to find out why. He was told the program was “inflexible” and a “one size fits all” approach to student needs. Klein’s response: “Translation: It didn’t work. But how,” asks Klein, “do we know that? No studies or evaluations were done.” Klein suspects we are looking at capitulation to the union, rather than a search for sound educational policy:
“We are talking about one of the ground-zero principles of a healthy school system: extra help for those who need it. If the program doesn’t work, you don’t eliminate it. You fix it.”
Klein tells us a spokesman for de Blasio contended the goal was to find more “flexible ways” to help students than the block of 150 minutes of required instruction. “Apparently, ‘flexibility’ is a mayoral euphemism for ‘I cave’,” writes Klein in response. “A mayor who actually cared about education would be seeking longer days, longer school years, more charter schools…and the elimination of tenure and seniority rules to make sure that the best professionals, not the longest serving assembly-line workers, are in the classroom.”
Folks, that last line was written by a New York City liberal, not a correspondent to First Teachers. Change is in the air on this issue. Klein knows it. He points to California, where “a district judge recently threw out the state’s tenure rules. In his ruling, he wrote that the widespread protection of incompetent teachers ‘shocks the conscience.’ A group called the Partnership for Educational Justice, which is led by former CNN anchor Campbell Brown, is filing a similar suit in New York and promises to take the movement national.” It should also be noted that “Obama’s Secretary of Education Arne Duncan praised the California decision, which caused the National Education Association, the country’s largest teachers union, to call for him to be fired.”
On another topic: The use of the terms in the political spectrum— liberal, radical, conservative, reactionary — discussed in last week’s edition of First Teachers. One of the ideas covered in that column was the relative nature of these terms, the manner in which the meaning of “conservative” and “liberal” vary from time and place; that a conservative in Stalin’s Russia, for example, would be very different from a conservative in the United States during the time of Ronald Reagan’s presidency.
A letter from a reader we will identify as L.J.D. of California illustrated how this variation in meaning can confuse discussions of current issues.
L.J.D. was critical of me for using the term “radical” to describe the modern leftists who control our universities, the media, and many of our large corporations. He argues the more correct term for them would be “careerists, defenders of the status quo.” L.J.D. contends that Americans with traditional values and Catholics loyal to the Magisterium are now “the radicals: in both senses of that term: the ones who insist on going to the root of things, and the ones who threaten the comfortable.”
L.J.D. goes further. He maintains that homosexuals, rather than being a radical segment of society, “are the perfect corporate citizens, which is why they are so favored….They are fanatical, compulsive consumers, and they bring little of the family baggage that so complicates the application of the Iron Law of Wages.”
(This is the theory, attributed to the 19th-century French socialist Ferdinand Lassalle, that competition among workers for jobs will drive wages down to the minimal level.)
L.J.D. calls upon Catholics “to work around the educational system, starting with the colleges. We need to arm ourselves at home and in community, and scrape together whatever economic scraps are left to despised and excluded minorities.”

+    +    +

Readers are invited to submit comments and questions about this and other educational issues. The e-mail address for First Teachers is fitzpatrijames@sbcglobal.net, and the mailing address is P.O. Box 15, Wallingford CT 06492.

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Untitled 3

Pope FrancisAn Open Letter To His Holiness Pope Francis      Given the controversy and confusion surrounding the 2014 Synod on the Family, the staff of The Wanderer and its supporters thought it appropriate to address Pope Francis with an open letter . . .

Listen to the Pope, Iowa Catholic Leaders Tell GOP

Catholic leaders call on GOP hopefuls to heed pope’s teachings on climate, economics By THOMAS BEAUMONT and RACHEL ZOLL, Associated Press ANKENY, Iowa (AP) — Roman Catholic leaders in the early voting state of Iowa implored candidates for president Thursday…Continue Reading

Supreme Court upholds ObamaCare subsidies

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld ObamaCare subsidies nationwide, in the second major court victory for President Obama on his signature health care law. In a 6-3 decision, the court ruled that subsidies are valid even in states that did…Continue Reading

Synod on the Family’s working document sets the stage for spirited discussion

Vatican City, Jun 24, 2015 / 12:00 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- That the discussion at October’s Synod on the Family is going to be a lively one is indicated by the fact that the most controversial paragraphs of the final report…Continue Reading

Abortion Drone Will Fly Dangerous Abortion Pills to Poland to Violate Its Pro-Life Laws

drone

The pro-abortion organization that formerly ran the abortion boat that distributed the dangerous abortion pill in international waters outside pro-life nations that protect unborn children has come up with a new marketing scheme to push abortion in pro-life nations: drones.…Continue Reading

St. Louis’ Catholic Archbishop Carlson discusses same-sex marriage, clergy sex abuse, racism, more

At their annual spring meeting held in St. Louis last week, U.S Catholic bishops discussed several issues currently facing the Catholic Church, including: the clergy sex abuse scandal, what the Church sees as challenges to marriage, and the pope’s upcoming…Continue Reading

Nienstedt resigns; New Jersey bishop named interim head of Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Archbishop John Nienstedt has resigned in the wake of criminal charges against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for its “role in failing to protect children and contribution to the unspeakable harm” experienced by victims in priest sex-abuse cases. Nienstedt says…Continue Reading

Priests needed: As Church growth explodes worldwide, parishes can’t keep up

Washington D.C., Jun 12, 2015 / 05:11 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The global Catholic population is growing – so quickly, in fact, that priest and parish numbers cannot keep up, says a new study on trends in the worldwide Church. And…Continue Reading

Cardinal Kasper hints at new ‘Vatican II’ strategy to gain approval of Communion proposal

June 11, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – In the face of increasing opposition to his plan to approve giving Holy Communion to people who are in adulterous remarriages, Cardinal Walter Kasper is hinting at a new “Vatican II” strategy for accomplishing his…Continue Reading

No Law Can Be Based on Injustice

In 2010, the United States Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was designed by President Obama and Congressional leaders to expand access to affordable and comprehensive health insurance coverage in the United States. After the law…Continue Reading

Cardinal: Divorced and remarried Catholics need support for conversion, not changes on communion

Catholics who have divorced and remarried need help for the “difficult climb” of conversion and spiritual growth, not a change in Church practice on the reception of Holy Communion, a prominent cardinal said. Cardinal Ennio Antonelli summarized the advice of…Continue Reading

Obama: Without Catholic Nun We Would Not Have Gotten Obamacare Done

(CNSNews.com) – While addressing the Catholic Health Association Conference in Washington, D.C., yesterday, President Barack Obama said that the Affordable Care Act—AKA Obamacare—would not have been enacted had it not been for Sister Carol Keehan, the president of the Catholic…Continue Reading

Cardinal Kasper Backpedals on Papal Endorsement of Controversial Proposal

Almost single-handedly one cleric has turned the Church’s teaching on Communion, marriage and divorce into an international debate. For decades, German Cardinal Walter Kasper has promoted a proposal to allow divorced-and-civilly-remarried Catholics to receive holy Communion after a period of…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI receives honorary doctorates

(Vatican Radio) Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI received Doctorates honoris causa on Saturday from the Pontifical John Paul II University of Krakow and the Krakow Academy of Music. The motivation for the honors issued by the University’s Academic Senate specifies five contributions Pope Benedict has made to knowledge and culture: his great respect for the musical tradition of the Church and remarkable sensitivity to the music of faith; the life-long and constant demonstration of a special concern for…Continue Reading

Univ. of San Francisco Celebrates SCOTUS Marriage Ruling, Despite Catholic Mission

usan

July 2, 2015, at 11:22 AM  |  By Justin Petrisek  | While the U.S. bishops responded to last week’s marriage ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court by upholding the teachings of the Catholic Church, one Jesuit university chose to publicly celebrate the decision in direct conflict with its Catholic identity and mission. Over the weekend, the University of San Francisco (USF), a Jesuit Catholic university, used its Twitter and Facebook accounts to celebrate the San Francisco…Continue Reading

‘No Global’ author at Vatican event on climate and poverty reduction

(Vatican Radio) A Catholic climate scientist and a secular Jewish feminist formed an “unlikely alliance” in the Vatican press office on Wednesday to present a two day conference entitled ‘People and Planet First: the Imperative to Change Course’. The conference, which will take place at the Pontifical Augustinianum University in Rome, includes some 200 political, religious and civil society leaders from all continents who’ll be discussing Pope Francis’ new encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ in light of…Continue Reading

Cardinal Turkson on Laudato si’ and children

pope798

(Vatican Radio) Cardinal Peter Turkson, the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, on Tuesday addressed UNICEF House at the United Nations in New York. He spoke about the new Encyclical of Pope Francis, Laudato si’, and how it relates to children.   The full text of Cardinal Turkson’s remarks are blow   Remarks on Laudato si’ to Child-Focused Agencies UNICEF House, 30 June 2015 Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson, President, Pontifical Council for…Continue Reading

The Popes, Marian Devotion, And The New Evangelization

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Part 3 This is the third article in a series which looks at Marian devotion, and the New Evangelization, in the light of the teaching of recent Popes. It is noteworthy, that even before St. John Paul II became Pope in 1978, he had adopted the Latin phrase “Totus Tuus” as…Continue Reading

Although Their Adversaries Seem Strong . . . Law-School Interns Are Reminded That Even Old USSR Collapsed

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — Almost ready to start applying their new knowledge to battle moral challenges around the globe, law-school students at a dinner here were reminded that the Soviet Union once was regarded as an invincible adversary, but it finally collapsed in relatively short order. The Christian law students from 11 countries, interns…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “The ‘Gay’ Case Against Abortion”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For electronic copies of previous articles on homosexual “marriage,” the special rights agenda, and the role of homosexuality in the Church crisis, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + “Feminists and political liberals have argued…Continue Reading

Protecting Hatred Preserves Freedom

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO The tragedy of a mass murder in Charleston, S.C., obviously motivated by racial hatred, has raised anew the issue of the lawfulness of the state expressing an opinion by flying a Confederate flag at the statehouse, and the constitutionality of the use of the First Amendment to protect hate speech and…Continue Reading

NATO-Russia Collision Ahead?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN “U.S. Poised to Put Heavy Weaponry in East Europe: A Message to Russia,” ran the headline in The New York Times. “In a significant move to deter possible Russian aggression in Europe, the Pentagon is poised to store battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, and other heavy weapons for as many as…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Four Marks Of The Church — Holiness

By DON FIER Part 2 The second of four distinguishing marks or properties of the one true Church, as we saw last week, is that she is “unfailingly holy” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 823). Despite being composed of sinners, “the Church is holy because she was founded by Jesus Christ, who is all-holy, and because she teaches, according…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

  Editor’s Note: D.M. has e-mailed to us the following thoughtful comments: “In a recent reply regarding the bishops and our borders, you noted that our immigration system is ‘badly broken.’ To me that was a bit like hearing the proverbial fingernails on a blackboard. It seems to me that those who seek to dominate all of us use the refrain,…Continue Reading

Chosen By God

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fifteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Amos 7:12-15 Eph. 1:3-14 Mark 6:7-13 In the first reading, Amaziah, the priest of Bethel (the place of the original Temple of the Lord), chastises the Prophet Amos for preaching against the goings on in the House of God. The priest tells the prophet to go and make…Continue Reading

National Mass Recalls Anniversary of St. Columbanus… “Why Are You So Frightened, You Men Of Little Faith?”

ARMAGH, Northern Ireland (ZENIT) — A national Mass of Thanksgiving to mark the 14th centenary of St. Columbanus was held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh on Sunday, June 21. Opening remarks were given by Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, and the homily was given by Fr. Neil Collins. Following are the texts of both, provided by ZENIT News Agency.…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course… Refuting Objections To The Spiritual Soul’s Existence

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 8 The reader will have noticed the progression of thinking in this new series of articles in The Wanderer: Instead of dealing with various topics rather randomly, the section consists of a series of articles in the format of lessons within a course. So, the first topic was the most basic one, that is,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Josemaria Escriva

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 2 With the outbreak of civil war in Spain and the attack on the Catholic Church, many priests and religious were martyred. The existing government changed the constitution to legalize persecution of the Church by closing Catholic schools, ceasing reparation payments, and suppressing religious discussion. Among other things, this helped lead to the secularization of society…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Josemaria Escriva

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 1 God, in His loving Providence and perfect timing, gives the Church holy men and women to guide the Mystical Body of Christ. During the chaos of the Protestant revolt, he provided St. Ignatius and St. Teresa of Avila. At the beginning of the 20th century, as the lay faithful were being called to participate in…Continue Reading