There is no way that in the space I have here I can do justice to everything James V. Schall has taught me over the years, from his book “A Different Kind of Learning,” which introduced me to a new and truly subversive curriculum that wasn’t being taught in the postmodern university, to a passage I read two hours ago while preparing to write this essay. The latter, from “The Order of Things,” has to do with what happens to virtue in a corrupt political regime. I’d like to end with it, and encourage you to buy any of Fr. Schall’s books. A master is passing from the scene, but if we’re lucky his wisdom will be with us for a long time:
“The achieving of a higher end was often possible in corrupt regimes, even if not widespread or easy. Gulags and concentration camps produced more than their share of saints. Not infrequently, life in a disordered polity led to martyrdom or a life of suffering. But this conflict reminds us again of the very nature of the order of polity, that it stands under a higher order that limits it. The polity can either contribute to or hinder this higher order, but it cannot eliminate it even if it kills, say, Socrates or Christ, or even any ordinary citizen.”
Mark Judge is the author of A Tremor of Bliss: Sex, Catholicism, and Rock ‘n’ Roll.