Monday, April 23, 2012

The Lively, Colorful (and Confused) Jesuits

Whether from the right or the left, many of the the most colorful and skillful television debaters seem to have some Jesuit training. Pat Buchanan, John McLaughlin and Jerry Brown all fit the model. In debate, these guys are tough and tell it the way they see it.

Buchanan attended Jesuit-run Gonzaga College High School and Jesuit affiliated Georgetown University. Brown attended the Jesuit-run St. Ignatius College Preparatory and then he entered Sacred Heart Novitiate, a Jesuit seminary, intending to become a Catholic priest.

McLaughlin attended Jesuit-run Boston College and actually entered the Jesuit order of the Roman Catholic Church as an ordained a priest.

As great as their debating skills are, Jesuits are, generally, not so good when it comes to understanding economics, even Buchanan falls into the protectionist trade camp, though he is generally free market oriented.

But, the closer you get to the Jesuit core, the more advocacy of central planning you see.

Tom DiLorenzo writes:
American Jesuits, most of whom seem to be Marxist ideologues hiding behind priest's collars, have produced a "faith budget" that argues for an even larger welfare state.  Here is one cheerleader from Loyola University New Orleans expressing his welfare statist dreams.  They seem to have no conception (or do not care) of how welfare statism crowds out private charity of the type the Church is supposed to be involved in.
When it comes to debate the Jesuits put on a good show, but when it comes to economics, you are much better off studying the Spanish scholastics and the early-French Catholic students of economics Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot and Étienne Bonnot de Condillac,and  then Frédéric Bastiat and Jean Baptiste Say .


  1. Gary North reports here:

    that according to Malachi Martin, the language of Marxism via Liberation Theology has "swept" the Jesuits since the '60s, which explains this.

  2. Malachi Martin isn't exactly the most reliable source, but it is correct to say that Marxism via Liberation Theology dominates most Catholic economic thought. I studied Liberation Theology in college (which i find very ironic) and it wasn't until later I woke up and purged the pseudo-intellectual and pseudo-Christian drugs they had put in my mind.

    There are still good Jesuits. Sadly, in the old days you could assume all Jesuits were good. John Courtney Murray put an end to that. Now each Jesuit University has one or two really solid ones (usually in the Philosophy Department where they don't have much influence) while the rest are living very well pretending to be freedom fighters from their desk chair.

  3. 99% of Jesuits are heretics. As the saying goes, "The only thing worse than a Jesuit is a former Jesuit."

  4. The Jesuits are an odd mix of very good and very bad priests (and former priests: Martin, McLaughlin). Tom Woods doctoral thesis, which became his book "The Church Confronts Modernity", was jarring to read because the Jesuits in it were consistently orthodox, unlike today when it is a very mixed bag.

    I have my own personal memory of McLaughlin. In the late sixties I had my first job: a stock clerk at a high-end men's clothing store in Providence, Rhode Island. One evening Father McLaughlin came in to buy a new jacket. This was certainly not the place where the Franciscans down the street did their shopping. My first reason not to be impressed with the man.

  5. If the church goers still give 10%, then they might as well encourage the gov't to do the actual spending.