Nominalism and modern politics

Aelianus at Ex Laodicea has a short and provocative essay on the seductive error behind much of modern politics (and modern religion, for that matter): nominalism. The last paragraph is exactly right:

The logic of these reflections is that Catholics should join political parties on the basis of their practical proposals, try to reverse and refuse to cooperate in their imorral policies, and place political culture on a much sounder intelectual baisis. In the case of some parties this may be practicaly impossible as their official ideological basis may already be incompatible with the faith. They will just have to be fought. But my enemy’s enemy is not necessarily my friend.

In American politics, I find it to be practically impossible to align oneself with the Democratic Party and be Catholic, because of that party’s ideological support for abortion, which is incompatible with the Faith. The question, then, is whether the Republican Party is worth joining and attempting to salvage. To my knowledge, there is no official GOP stance that is completely incompatible with Catholicism, though we cannot condone Republicans being enamored with capitalism, individualism, and especially these days, torture. So, at this point, if I’m to be involved in politics at all, the GOP is the only viable option. Third parties may in the future be an option if the GOP becomes completely inimical to the Faith, but today, I think it is better to be able to have an impact on American politics and government through being involved with a major political party than to support a third party that has no chance of being elected to any office.


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