So, trying this again: I wish you would consider the possibility that I described that post as fascist not because I wanted to use that as a vague insult but because I find that a fair description of the platform you’re describing.
The text of your piece advocates the imposition of an economic platform that you admit is broadly unpopular, enforced if necessary with emergency powers, and dictated by small committees of elites. By invoking emergency powers and admitting that this program would be deeply unpopular with the French people, you’re walking into disturbing territory. Corporate capture of government, enforced by the threat of violence and under the direction of undemocratic oligarchies, sounds like textbook fascism to me. I am opposed to fascism.
Also, I just disagree about the nature of Catholic teachings on the death penalty. The pope is not only the leader of the Holy Roman Church but according to doctrine an infallible (literally) leader of God’s vehicle for righteousness on earth. The last pope wrote unambiguously and explicitly that the death penalty is cruel, unnecessary, and anti-Christian. If your morality is informed by Catholicism (as Douthat’s surely is) when the topic is abortion, it is fair for me to ask that you be consistent when the topic is the death penalty.
Further, I disagree with your argument that it would be better for those condemned to death to be executed rather than spend life in prison. It seems to me that this is straightforwardly contradicted by the fact that most of those on death row (and certainly Troy Davis in particular) fight desperately to prevent their own executions.
I don’t find anything particularly personal about any of that. If you are really personally affronted, please email me at freddie7 AT gmail DOT com.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
PEG's open letter
Pascal Emmanuel Gobry has written an open letter to me here. I am copying and pasting my reply from the comments there below.