Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Notes towards a definition of freedom, part 5

June 04th, 2017 by Vader

In my last post, I digressed from the main thread of my exploration of the definition of freedom to explore some interesting aspects of schools as institutions that can promote or hinder the exercise of freedom. That side thread has generated some interesting discussion, and I mean to come back to it again. But, for now, I want to get back onto the main thread of my exploration.


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June 04th, 2017 14:40:56

Notes towards a definition of freedom, part 3

May 15th, 2017 by Vader

In the first part of this series of posts, I proposed a definition of freedom as the ability to make meaningful and consequential choices. I offered some explanation of the three elements of this definition, namely: ability, meaningfulness, and consequence. In the second part of this series of posts, I reflected on the significance of freedom as a gift from God, pointed out that there is strong opposition to freedom, and described liberty as the set of social and legal constructs we are duty-bound to erect and sustain to protect and enhance freedom.

In this post, I will discuss some of the aspects of liberty that support the second element of freedom, namely, meaningfulness.


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May 15th, 2017 05:19:17

Reaction versus conservatism

May 04th, 2017 by Vader

Reaction is

…the yearning to overturn a present condition of decadence and recover an idealized past. The pursuit of social transformation distinguishes reaction from the conservative inclination to cherish and preserve what actually exists.
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May 04th, 2017 09:03:04

Bill of Rights, Bill of Responsibilities

April 02nd, 2017 by Vader

It’s an old observation that we need to recognize the civic duties that go with our civic rights. Robert Heinlein even performed a thought experiment in which he postulated a society in which this was a matter of law: Only those who served their time in dangerous public service (including, but not limited to, military service) were entitled to vote or sit on juries, on the theory that only those who showed themselves willing to risk their lives for their society were fit to participate in its most important decisions. Unfortunately, Heinlein’s thought experiment, while it made for a rip-roaring science fiction yarn, was not convincing as a political system; for one thing, it has a slight whiff of fascism that I find off-putting.


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April 02nd, 2017 18:10:34

Straining at gnats

March 13th, 2017 by Vader

And swallowing camels.


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March 13th, 2017 09:51:58

A less than healthy elite

December 13th, 2016 by Jeeves

I have had occasion to reflect on Lord Vader’s historical ruminations vis-a-vis Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman.


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December 13th, 2016 10:25:31

The charming eccentricities of a better elite

November 22nd, 2016 by Vader

Long gone.


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November 22nd, 2016 21:26:21

The decline of the West

September 14th, 2016 by Vader


His Majesty: “On the other hand, at least someone is still having children.”

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September 14th, 2016 07:56:59

Selfie abuse

September 02nd, 2016 by Vader

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September 02nd, 2016 12:23:30

“Why did Tolkien care about the Jews?”

August 31st, 2016 by Vader

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August 31st, 2016 15:31:23

Creation as separation

August 10th, 2016 by Vader

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August 10th, 2016 09:21:02

The face of pure evil

July 27th, 2016 by Vader

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July 27th, 2016 18:19:02

Our friends at First Things

July 18th, 2016 by Vader

Occasionally hit one out of the park.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking this article is really about Trump.


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July 18th, 2016 12:54:51

A Generation of Artisans and Scholars

July 15th, 2016 by The Junior Ganymede


The Junior Ganymede is proud to present a guest post from our friend at Gently Hew Stone.

I loved Aardvark’s recent post about gathering to Zion culturally. That essay made many important points that need to be considered deeply. My post is meant to stand on that one’s shoulders and go a little farther.

In the middle of what might be the essay’s most important paragraph, Aardvark said, “This is not a call to turn the next generation into a generation of artisans and scholars.”

Actually, it should be, and I’ll make the case that it is. Our need to save this and future rising generations is absolutely a call to produce more artists and educators—more people whose profession it is to build and transmit culture. (more…)

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July 15th, 2016 06:09:11

We Need to Gather to Zion Culturally

July 12th, 2016 by The Junior Ganymede

The JrG is pleased to share this guest post from our friend Aardvark.  He proposes a cultural variant of the Benedict Option.

Sometimes I find myself envious of Lehi and his family, or of the early saints; they had somewhere to go. Things got weird, they saw that things got weird, so they packed their bags and left. Sure, I’m glossing over a whole host of important details that would make me less envious of those two parties, but suffice it to say, lately I feel the the desire to leave for the wilderness and gather very keenly.


Alas there are few empty places in the world left to run to, and short of an explicit call to gather from the prophet there are most likely not enough people willing to leave that could make any self-imposed exile sustainable in the long run. It seems that we are left with the Benedict Option as our first step. This idea has been covered on this blog recently and previously, as well as in other places so I’ll avoid rehashing what it is.


Ultimately, it seems that many people I speak with think this isn’t even available as a first step for us anymore. It seems that we are in the world a bit too much these days. For Mormons this appears to be the crux. We have many of the necessary structures in place already to execute a highly successful Benedictine withdrawal, but our desire for respectability keeps us trying to straddle the line. As modern culture continues its willful descent into a Hieronymus Bosch painting, we’ll get pulled down along with it.


As has been observed by others on this blog, we as Mormons have outsourced much of our cultural and social economies to the broader culture; shunning the world then simply will not work. On the one hand, we are too reliant on it for our entertainment. On the other, we cannot retreat or hide from the onslaught of a decadent culture forever, hiding behind rocks that progressively get smaller and smaller. What we need to do, is replace it. Yes, let us replace the decadent culture around us with a rich beautiful culture infused with the sense of divinity we lay claim to as Latter-day Saints. And when I say culture, I don’t mean we should pick off the lowest hanging fruit. I aim for us to retake the ultimate expression of a society’s culture: its theater, dance, music, architecture, sculpture, drawing, painting, and other fine arts. (more…)

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July 12th, 2016 12:00:19