The Just Third Way

A Blog of the Global Justice Movement

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Lord of the World, XIII: Unstuck in Time


Properly speaking, The Dawn of All is not one of Benson’s “sensational novels,” except, perhaps, to a rabid anti-Catholic who would be incensed at the description of an admittedly fantastic (in the sense of fantasy) Catholic England in the enlightened twentieth century. Rather, the novel is something of an addendum to Lord of the World, an effort to correct the general misimpression the public had gained of the earlier work.
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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Lord of the World, XII: The “Counterblast”


The trouble with writing a book on a controversial subject is that the book itself tends to become controversial. So it was with Lord of the World, Robert Hugh Benson’s initial foray into the science fiction genre. It became clear almost from the start that, whether people thought well or ill of the novel, the vast majority failed to understand the point the author was making.
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Monday, March 2, 2015

Lord of the World, XII: Denying Truth


Last week we looked at the foundation of the premise in Robert Hugh Benson’s satiric novel, Lord of the World.  That is, take to its reductio ad absurdum everything that the secular world considers good, such as atheism and the establishment and maintenance of universal wellbeing provided by the State (socialism, whatever it manages to get itself called), and show how the secular utopia would turn into a hell on earth.
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Friday, February 27, 2015

News from the Network, Vol. 8, No. 9


If we counted correctly, this is the 1,776th posting on the Just Third Way blog.  Not that we’re in to numerology or anything, but 1776 was the year that George Mason drafted the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which was the forerunner of the Declaration of Independence.  With modifications that conservatives inserted to preserve slavery (over Mason’s objections), the Virginia Declaration was adopted June 12, 1776.
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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Lord of the World, XI: A Turning Point for Humanity


While Lord of the World marked a turning point in the writing career of Robert Hugh Benson, it also chronicled in satiric fashion what Benson saw as a turning point in the human career.  Is humanity meant purely for material wellbeing in this life, or is there something more than that?
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lord of the World, X: A Turning Point for Benson


We’ve been talking about why Pope Francis recommended Robert Hugh Benson’s novel, Lord of the World.  We’ve gone into the background of the novel.  We’ve even given a brief rundown of the author himself.  What else is there to say?  Well . . . maybe a little something about the novel itself might be in order, don’t you think? . . .
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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Lord of the World, IX: The Novel


“I have an idea for a book so vast and tremendous that I daren’t think about it. Have you ever heard of Saint Simon? Well, mix up Saint Simon, Russia breaking loose, Napoleon, Evan Roberts, the Pope, and Antichrist; and see if any idea suggests itself. But I’m afraid it is too big. I should like to form a syndicate on it, but that it is an idea, I have no doubt at all.”  (Robert Hugh Benson, letter to his mother, December 16, 1905.)
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Monday, February 23, 2015

Lord of the World, VIII: Benson Was Born . . .



In C.S. Lewis’s apocalyptic novel, That Hideous Strength, one of the characters, a college professor, excuses himself from something-or-other by saying he has to go home and begin the dreary and wearying task of correcting and grading a pile of undergraduate essays on Jonathan Swift, all beginning, “Swift was born . . .”
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Friday, February 20, 2015

News from the Network, Vol. 8, No. 8


Despite the extremely tense world situation, the stock market is booming; up nearly 150 points just today to yet another record high.  At the same time, analysts are advising ordinary people not to buy hard assets like houses that they can actually use, but to put their chips on the stock market.
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Lord of the World, VII: Democracy’s Last Gasp


If yesterday’s posting didn’t reduce you to raging incoherency . . . there might just be hope for you yet.  If, however, you’ve been spending your time breathing threats and imprecations as you prepare to extirpate all heresy in thought, word, and deed (“No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!”), you might need a reboot of your reason app., and a shift from faith, to reason illuminated and guided by faith in your understanding of the natural law, especially as applied to political science and economics.
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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lord of the World, VI: Reformation and Transformation of Truth


In yesterday’s posting we looked at why Robert Hugh Benson, author of the science fiction satire Lord of the World recently mentioned by Pope Francis as recommended reading (so, have you gotten your copy yet?) seemed to have such a high opinion of rich Americans, yet held their upper class English counterparts at arm’s length.  Given Benson’s focus on vocation, that is, one’s calling in life, this appears to have been because the American “upper crust” had purpose, while that of England had no purpose except to have no purpose.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Lord of the World, V: Benson, Money, and Modernism


One of Robert Hugh Benson’s undeservedly lesser-known novels, Initiation (1914), includes a seemingly trivial detail to which virtually no one today attaches any importance.  That is his choice of name for the ebullient and attractive nouveau riche American couple who fill a minor, if important role in the story: Hecker.  Most people who have read the book don’t even think about the name.
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Monday, February 16, 2015

Lord of the World, IV: The Last, Best Hope


Last week, in the previous posting in this series, we discussed the question of vocation or “calling” as it affected the satiric fiction of Msgr. Robert Hugh Benson, author of Lord of the World (1907) — and (of course) the critical importance of widespread capital ownership to empower people to be able to live their vocations without being unduly constrained by the need to gain a subsistence for themselves and their families.
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Friday, February 13, 2015

News from the Network, Vol. 8, No. 7


On receiving the news from a CIA economist earlier today that an economic collapse is imminent within the next six months, the stock market . . . soared to close at a record high.  On receiving the news last week that things were improving, the stock market . . . soared to close at a record high.
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