Friday, February 4, 2011
The Roman Pontiffs on Socialism
A very interesting collection (via Tea at Trianon) of quotations from all the popes from His Holiness Benedict XVI back to Blessed Pius IX on the subject of socialism and how it cannot be reconciled with traditional Christianity. It has become so widespread today, and rather taken for granted, especially in Europe and Latin America, that we can easily forget that not just one pope here or there but every single pope since the time of Karl Marx has consistently condemned socialism and communism as contrary to everything that the Christian religion is about.
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Indeed. Modernism is what begat not just liberalism, but also Communism and Fascism. All these material ideologies were philosophically paved the way for by the French Revolution.ReplyDelete
And before them the American Revolution to a degree, yes?ReplyDelete
In a way, yes, but to a much lesser degree than the French Revolution. The American Revolution was actually a war of secession rather than a true revolution. King George III was still King despite losing the war and there was no class struggle (most of the leading revolutionaries were very wealthy men), no social upheaval and there was no effort to totally remake society. In America they simply broke away from the British Empire, even maintaining to a large extent the British system of government but with appointed senators rather than hereditary lords and an elected executive rather than a monarch.ReplyDelete
The American Revolution was the First in the Modern World, and was built on the original ideas that Drove the French Revolution. I is interesting to note though that other than the Two Thomas’s, Jefferson and Paine, America’s Founders were rather Antipathetic towards the French Revolution. Perhaps because France had been an ally, or because they were it was far more far reaching in the French Revolution.ReplyDelete
Most of America’s Fenders weren’t terribly hung up on the Ideology, with the Soaring Rhetoric mainly used to Justify the Revolution ad to produce support for it. While they mainly were Republicans, they weren’t as openly Hostile towards Monarchy by and large as they were for erecting a new system Which worked toward their advantages and fit their pet theories.
Still, they were Liberals one and all (despite what the TEA Partiers and Glenn Beck prefer to think) and did embrace the ideals. But the True start of this goes back to the English Civil War, Cromwell, and the Roundheads, which produced in the end John Locke.
The real problem is, once you begin down that road toward Egalitarianism and the Rule of the People, then Democracy itself becomes Inevitable, despite how America’s Founders wanted to avoid it. If all men are created Equal and all men ought to have the ability to Vote in Elections to set up the Government or to Run for Office, and if you accept that all power is rightly invested in the will of the people as understood by a Majority Vote, Democracy is a matter Of time. And once you have Democracy, and the ideal that all men should; be Equal, its only a short step towards Marxism. Socialism makes perfect sense from a Democratic View, as it assumes the People as a whole have supremacy over the will of any Individual, and the resources of the Individual should be under the guidance of the Will of the People. One you have that, and the idea That its unfair for some people to be disadvantaged, then the use of Public ally collected Money to pay the poor and ill becomes more plausible. This leads inevitably towards Communism, which see’s no one as superior to an open else, and no one should have the right to have more than anyone else s its unfair, and goes against The Creed that All Men (Now people) Are Created EQUEL!
Loads of people, especially in America, think of Communism as the Opposite of Democracy, and the very Antithesis of America’s Founding Vision. Some even say tat Communism and Monarchism are the same in principle, but they do this without understanding the Theories behind either. But, the Truth is that Communism is a Natural Development, and comes at the end of Democratic Thinking. In that way, Marx, and Lenin for that matter, were right: Communism is the Trust and Highest form of Democracy, and what any Society with Democratic values will endeavour to become.
While this is True, we still today however have Evangelical and Pentecostal Christians who unite Patriotism and Christianity and believe the American Governing Ideal is Divinely rooted in God’s Holy Word, the Bible, and Communism, Monarchy, and all others are not looked well upon by God who wants all men to be Free and live in a Republic.
To them, Socialism is opposed to Christianity, but so is Monarchy.
Actually, for many Americans (perhaps even the public moreso than the politicians) it was the fact that the French had been allies that made them opposed to the Revolution. Louis XVI was like a god in America (the people never knowing about his misgivings on supporting them) and when he was killed the public thought it was an unspeakable outrage and viewed the revolutionaries as barbarians -which they were. For men like Washington, it was simply that, in spite of all the rhetoric, they still viewed themselves as English gentlemen and viewing the French as enemies is the most natural thing in the world for any proper Englishman.ReplyDelete
It is also often forgotten (though not by you Zarove, I know you're all over this subject) that the American revolutionaries were inspired by the "enlightenment" thinkers of Europe -not the other way around. However, the success of the American colonies was certainly a moral inspiration for the French revolutionaries -no doubt about it. And, as you say, as relatively benign as the American Revolution was, they still had removed the cork from the bottle and allowed the genie to escape.
You are also correct (and a book was written about this some years ago) that 1688 laid the foundation for 1776 but setting the precident that the Crown existed 'by the grace of Parliament' rather than 'by the Grace of God'. Ever since the Prince of Orange became King William III and the succession was altered every successive British monarch has known that Parliament put them where they are and what Parliament can give it can also take away.
Shudder at the thought...
Sorry, I study Philosophy, and Psycology, and know this much, that the beelifs we hold to drive us.ReplyDelete
The biggest problem today s wthat we have an unquestionable Dogma about Democracy that does trace back to those Thinkers in the Enlightenment, and their beleifs and Ideals go unc hallenged. They are Sefl Evidently True to the majority of Modern persons, even thugh they clealry have flaws.
The French Revolution was mainly responsible for creating the world's first terrorist state. Terrorism in modern form was born during this time, which made Communism and Nazism possible.ReplyDelete
You might say the liberal monarchy dated back to the Glorious Revolution, or even the systems of Poland and Sweden.
Notice a pattern in American history since the American Revolution. Any progress towards equality and social justice was always met with fierce resistance: slavery, segregation, even in more recent times with universal healthcare and social security. This is where Europe's monarchies have put the US (and Latin America) to shame.
Thank you for the link!ReplyDelete
Sweden only went to a symbolic monarchy fairly recently and the U.S. (born of the British Empire) would not have been very influenced by the Swedes or Poles. As far as Europe being ahead on the "social justice" curve -I wouldn't consider that anything to crow about. Europe has been ahead in going broke because of those policies.ReplyDelete
Sweden developed a political system with an influential Riksdag and cabinet by the 16th century, its first Instrument of Government (written constitution) in 1634, and the Age of Liberty in the 18th century. It gave peasantry representation, something few other countries did.ReplyDelete
Social justice, I mean guaranteeing people a decent quality of life and social security. The reason Egypt and Tunisia exploded as such is the failure to provide both, whereas some other Arab states adamantly do better.
And yet Sweden was not completely democratic until the middle of the last century and prior to World War II had a King who still had final say on most important matters.ReplyDelete
I hate it to break it to you, but no government of any sort ever has or ever will be able to "guarantee" a good life for every citizen. Greece exploded because government generosity bankrupted the nation and Britain's efforts at "social justice" have put them just behind Greece in the area of debt -it is only the respect the pound sterling still has that has kept people from freaking out over Britain.
It is not a difficult concept to grasp: governments cannot *make* money, they can only move it around, losing some in the process. No government can go on taking money from the productive part of the economy and giving it to the unproductive part indefinitely.
I believe in social benefits but also in personal responsibility. It is one thing to have universal healthcare, but do we expect taxpayers to, for instance, subsidise those like smokers, drug addicts, alcoholics, etc who cannot take care of their own bodies?ReplyDelete
And how do you have both? Who is to then decide who lives and who dies? You? Some political pencil-pusher? Drug addicts are breaking the law (at least in most countries) and if it is the taxpayers you're concerned about the smokers and alcoholics pay far more taxes than anyone else, so why then are they denied services after paying the most in?ReplyDelete
There's no perfect system. You either have collective responsibility in which everyone is pulled down the lowest common denominator or you have personal responsibility in which case you must be prepared to allow people to suffer for their own choices.
communism & socialism are the most heinous form of egoism because they hide behind the mask of altruismReplyDelete