No running for the shadows

One of the things I like most about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is that he doesn't let media cycles spook him off of the stands he's taken on principle.  This week he signed two new gunowner-rights bills into law.


Dad29 said...

When SCOTUS declares against nature and nature's God next week, we'll see if Walker "has courage."

He certainly ran for the deep grass when some FedJudge voided a Wisconsin constitutional amendment on that matter, saying 'it's up to the courts.'

Actually, it is NOT 'up to the courts.' Aristotle had it right: the family (social man) precedes the State (political man.) Nothing has changed since--except erotica-driven court decisions.

Grim said...

Well, what Aristotle meant by that was that the state is created by families coming together to pursue a common good (and not, as we have tended to suppose in the Modern era, by individuals pursuing individual interests on a contractual basis). He didn't mean to give the family priority over the state: he actually thought the priority relationship went the other way. Politics 1.2:

"When several villages are united in a single complete community, large enough to be nearly or quite self-sufficing, the state comes into existence, originating in the bare needs of life, and continuing in existence for the sake of a good life. And therefore, if the earlier forms of society are natural, so is the state, for it is the end of them, and the nature of a thing is its end. For what each thing is when fully developed, we call its nature, whether we are speaking of a man, a horse, or a family. Besides, the final cause and end of a thing is the best, and to be self-sufficing is the end and the best."

This is a classic example of Aristotle's way of thinking. The end defines the thing, so that a child doesn't have a nature different from an adult in spite of their obvious differences: rather, a child naturally is becoming an adult, and so the child's nature is to be a man or a woman and not a boy or a girl. And the child is therefore to be educated with an eye toward making them the best man or woman they can be, not with an eye toward satisfying their childish needs.

So he views the state as the perfection of human nature, at least potentially: it enables a kind of good life that isn't possible with families alone. It is only in a state that we can flourish as political beings, as educated beings, as contemplative beings in science and philosophy. So he argues.

I think there's a very strong case in the Nicomachean Ethics for civil unions (that might include all the desiderata for living together, sharing property, having legal authority to care for each other in sickness, etc.) that might be homosexual without in any way affecting the nature of the union. Aristotle talks about ideal friendship in those terms, including coming to live together and hold property in common.

What there isn't in Aristotle is a justification for collapsing the distinction between that and marriage, which is a pre-political function that really is about unifying those pre-political families and making it possible to continue society. That would have struck him as madness.

Dad29 said...

But "pre-political" is the whole point. Adam and Eve were also "pre-political".

Thus--while formation of The State may well be the perfection of families, the State cannot be formed without families.

And families, as you state, make it possible to continue society--but only if they are male/female couples.

Grim said...

That's true. Aristotle would have said that the end of the state has priority, but it is defined in a way by the conditions in which it is possible. He gives an example of the long intestine as being designed for philosophy: it is the long intestine that allows us to digest large amounts of food over time, so that we have an opportunity to contemplate rather than having to work always for new food. Philosophical contemplation is thus the end of our physical design, but that doesn't mean we can elect not to eat.

Ymar Sakar said...

He doesn't need to run from the shadows, all he does right now is run faster than his supporters, who the Wisconsin LEO and unions are hammering flat. Have been for the last 5 years.

Win a war but lose every single one of your critically valued army members. That sounds like Pyrrhic victory.