Thursday, May 7, 2009

Some Random Thoughts

I wasn't able to comment earlier this evening about the fourth article in Paul Likoudis' "History of the Wanderer" series, which I have the privilege of posting here every week (they were previously published, of course, in The Wanderer). And I'm afraid this will ramble a little; the migraine that made it impossible for me to comment earlier has lifted, but has not completely gone, something that is obvious to me when I try to spell words of more than two syllables. :)

But now that I can at least type again, I wanted to take a minute to reflect on two things: one, how the principles outlined in Rerum Novarum are under attack again in our world, and two, how the once-natural alliance between the Democratic Party and Catholics was forever shattered by the Democratic Party's love of socialism, which the Church rightly condemns, and two, by the party's cheerleading for social ills like abortion and gay marriage, which make it all but impossible for any serious Catholic to support them with votes, money, or any other consideration.

I found this striking, from the very first paragraph of today's article:

Der Wanderer was struggling towards its 24th birthday when, on May 15, 1891, Pope Leo XIII issued the first of the modern papacy’s social encyclicals, Rerum Novarum, which addressed the “spirit of revolutionary change” which is “disturbing the nations,” poisoning politics, upending “practical economics,” creating vast fortunes for the few while throwing the masses into “utter poverty.” He warned: “some opportune remedy must be found quickly for the misery and wretchedness pressing so unjustly on the majority of the working class.”
We may soon be in an economic reality not very different from what Pope Leo XIII was warning about--but the various socialist remedies proposed for the relief of workers will probably be a cure much worse than any disease.

I also found this worth pondering--emphasis added:
“Cardinal Manning enumerates the various forms of social legislation existing in England, and then he continues: ‘Nevertheless, up to now no one has been so blind as to suggest that England is a socialist state. One hears complaints about public schools in France, America, and Belgium for being irreligious, immoral, and not compassionate. But no one would think of suggesting that public schools represent the worst kind of socialism (sic!). But let one strive to protect workers from being exploited through unfair contracts and inadequate wages and one is accused of being a socialist. The ability of people to think clearly has been impaired because they don’t reflect, because they are blinded by excessive concern for their own interests and permit themselves to be ruled by prejudices which they unthinkingly fabricate out of class differences.’
I find it fascinating to see public schools equated with a kind of socialism--and yet, what else are they, really? Is it not the government's attempt to take over what is properly a concern first of families, and then of communities (religious communities included), and to increase governmental influence and control over this area to the point that no one is free to educate his children as he truly sees fit? Things have gotten better in that realm with the advent of homeschooling, to be sure--but let the family farmer decide that his fourteen-year-old son's education should heavily emphasize learning the business of the farm, and only tangentially involve subjects like mathematics or "social studies," and even if he is homeschooling he may face unwarranted interference from governmental authorities who insist that the farmer's son need not study crop rotation, as he won't need to know anything about that, but must study "diversity in literature" to learn about the writings of racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities in order to "hear their voices" and "share their journeys," because it is vital to his upbringing to learn about these things.

We accept the soft socialism of the public school system because we can't conceive of a different way; and some future generation of Americans may accept the much harder socialism of government medicine, of letting bureaucrats and penny-pushers make life and death decisions for them, because they've already been conditioned by the public school system to believe that this is not only the inevitable, but truly the best, way for medicine to be.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's rather ticklish to separate the entire population of the US into just two political parties whose members ascribe to only one of two diametrically opposed positions...socialism vs. ?

(As we recall, the foundation of the USA are democratic principles which then necessarily cannot support systems of communism, Marxism, matriarchal and patriarchal forms of government, socialism, etc. 'ruled' by oligarchies, plutocracies, or dictators.)