Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The popes against the revolution


The Church has consistently condemned doctrinaire laissez-faire forms of capitalism and insisted on just wages, moderate state intervention in the economy, and the grave duty of the rich to assist the poor.  Everyone knows these things because they are frequently talked about, and rightly so.  But the Church has also consistently and vigorously opposed socialism in all its forms and all left-wing revolutionary movements, for reasons grounded in natural law and Christian moral theology.  This is less frequently talked about, but especially important today, when much of what is being done or called for in the name of justice is in fact gravely immoral. 

Here are some relevant statements from popes of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, organized by topic.  I have selected them from this time period because the material conditions of the poor were worse then than they are today, and yet the popes still condemned extremist revolutionary measures in the strongest terms.  What was true then is a fortiori true now.  To churchmen who are wondering how to respond to the current crisis: Here are your models, and here are your principles.

The Church condemns anarchism and socialist revolution

[A] deadly plague… is creeping into the very fibres of human society and leading it on to the verge of destruction… We speak of that sect of men who, under various and almost barbarous names, are called socialists, communists, or nihilists, and who, spread over all the world, and bound together by the closest ties in a wicked confederacy, no longer seek the shelter of secret meetings, but, openly and boldly marching forth in the light of day, strive to bring to a head what they have long been planning – the overthrow of all civil society whatsoever. (Leo XIII, Quod Apostolici Muneris 1)

[T]he most disastrous national upheavals are threatening us from the growing power of the socialistic movement.  They have insidiously worked their way into the very heart of the community, and in the darkness of their secret gatherings, and in the open light of day, in their writings and their harangues, they are urging the masses onward to sedition; they fling aside religious discipline; they scorn duties; they clamor only for rights; they are working incessantly on the multitudes of the needy which daily grow greater, and which, because of their poverty are easily deluded and led into error... 

There remains one thing upon which We desire to insist very strongly… [for] all those who are devoting themselves to the cause of the people… That is to inculcate in the minds of the people, in a brotherly way and whenever the opportunity presents itself, the following principles; viz.: to keep aloof on all occasions from seditious acts and seditious men; to hold inviolate the rights of others; to show a proper respect to superiors. (Leo XIII, Graves de Communi Re 21, 25)

The Roman Pontiffs are to be regarded as having greatly served the public good, for they have ever endeavored to break the turbulent and restless spirit of innovators, and have often warned men of the danger they are to civil society…

Strive with all possible care to make men understand and show forth in their lives what the Catholic Church teaches on government and the duty of obedience.  Let the people be frequently urged by your authority and teaching to fly from the forbidden sects, to abhor all conspiracy, to have nothing to do with sedition, and let them understand that they who for God's sake obey their rulers render a reasonable service and a generous obedience.  (Leo XIII, Diuturnum Illud 25, 27)

Imperfection in social institutions does not justify sedition

And if at any time it happen that the power of the State is rashly and tyrannically wielded by princes, the teaching of the Catholic church does not allow an insurrection on private authority against them, lest public order be only the more disturbed, and lest society take greater hurt therefrom. (Leo XIII, Quod Apostolici Muneris 7)

The pastors of souls, after the example of the Apostle Paul, were accustomed to teach the people with the utmost care and diligence “to be subject to princes and powers, to obey at a word,” and to pray God for all men and particularly “for kings and all that are in a high station: for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.”  And the Christians of old left the most striking proofs of this; for, when they were harassed in a very unjust and cruel way by pagan emperors, they nevertheless at no time omitted to conduct themselves obediently and submissively…

Christians at that period were not only in the habit of obeying the laws, but in every office they of their own accord did more, and more perfectly, than they were required to do by the laws.  (Leo XIII, Diuturnum Illud 18-19)

Riots and disorder are evil and must be suppressed by the state

Among these duties the following concern the poor and the workers: … not in any way to injure the property or to harm the person of employers; in protecting their own interests, to refrain from violence and never to engage in rioting; not to associate with vicious men who craftily hold out exaggerated hopes and make huge promises, a course usually ending in vain regrets and in the destruction of wealth…

Nevertheless, not a few individuals are found who, imbued with evil ideas and eager for revolution, use every means to stir up disorder and incite to violence.  The authority of the State, therefore, should intervene and, by putting restraint upon such disturbers, protect the morals of workers from their corrupting arts and lawful owners from the danger of spoliation. (Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum 30, 55)

By means of false promises a people is deceived and provoked to hatred, rivalry and rebellion, especially when the hereditary faith, the only relief in this earthly exile, is successfully torn from its heart.  Disturbances, riots and revolts are organized and fomented in continuing series, which prepare for the ruin of the economy and cause irreparable harm to the common good. (Pius XII, Anni Sacri 4)

It is evil to pit classes and races against one another

It is a capital evil with respect to the question We are discussing to take for granted that the one class of society is of itself hostile to the other, as if nature had set rich and poor against each other to fight fiercely in implacable war.  This is so abhorrent to reason and truth that the exact opposite is true; for just as in the human body the different members harmonize with one another, whence arises that disposition of parts and proportion in the human figure rightly called symmetry, so likewise nature has commanded in the case of the State that the two classes mentioned should agree harmoniously and should properly form equally balanced counterparts to each other.  Each needs the other completely…

At the realization of these things the proud spirit of the rich is easily brought down, and the downcast heart of the afflicted is lifted up; the former are moved toward kindness, the latter toward reasonableness in their demands.  Thus the distance between the classes which pride seeks is reduced, and it will easily be brought to pass that the two classes, with hands clasped in friendship, will be united in heart.

Yet, if they obey Christian teachings, not merely friendship but brotherly love also will bind them to each other.  They will feel and understand that all men indeed have been created by God, their common Father.  (Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum 28, 37-38)

The Christian law of charity… embraces all men, irrespective of ranks, as members of one and the same family, children of the same most beneficent Father, redeemed by the same Saviour, and called to the same eternal heritage.  (Leo XIII, Graves de Communi Re 8)

[B]eing as it were compacted and fitly joined together in one body, we should love one another, with a love like that which one member bears to another in the same body…

But in reality never was there less brotherly activity amongst men than at the present moment.  Race hatred has reached its climax; peoples are more divided by jealousies than by frontiers; within one and the same nation, within the same city there rages the burning envy of class against class…

When the twofold principle of cohesion of the whole body of society has been weakened, that is to say, the union of the members with one another by mutual charity and their union with their head by their dutiful recognition of authority, is it to be wondered at, Venerable Brethren, that human society should be seen to be divided as it were into two hostile armies bitterly and ceaselessly at strife?...  And so the poor who strive against the rich as though they had taken part of the goods of others, not merely act contrary to justice and charity, but also act irrationally, particularly as they themselves by honest industry can improve their fortunes if they choose.  It is not necessary to enumerate the many consequences, not less disastrous for the individual than for the community, which follow from this class hatred.  We all see and deplore the frequency of strikes, which suddenly interrupt the course of city and of national life in their most necessary functions, we see hostile gatherings and tumultous crowds, and it not unfrequently happens that weapons are used and human blood is spilled. (Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum 7, 12)

The unity of human society cannot be founded on an opposition of classes. (Pius XI, Quadragesimo Anno 88)

Race must not become an idol

Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community – however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things – whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds.  (Pius XI, Mit Brennender Sorge 7)

Socialism and communism are intrinsically evil

In addition to injustice, it is only too evident what an upset and disturbance there would be in all classes [under socialism], and to how intolerable and hateful a slavery citizens would be subjected.  The door would be thrown open to envy, to mutual invective, and to discord; the sources of wealth themselves would run dry, for no one would have any interest in exerting his talents or his industry; and that ideal equality about which they entertain pleasant dreams would be in reality the levelling down of all to a like condition of misery and degradation. Hence, it is clear that the main tenet of socialism, community of goods, must be utterly rejected, since it only injures those whom it would seem meant to benefit, is directly contrary to the natural rights of mankind, and would introduce confusion and disorder into the commonweal.  The first and most fundamental principle, therefore, if one would undertake to alleviate the condition of the masses, must be the inviolability of private property. (Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum 15)

Social Democracy… with due consideration to the greater or less intemperance of its utterance, is carried to such an excess by many as to maintain that there is really nothing existing above the natural order of things, and that the acquirement and enjoyment of corporal and external goods constitute man's happiness.  It aims at putting all government in the hands of the masses, reducing all ranks to the same level, abolishing all distinction of class, and finally introducing community of goods.  Hence, the right to own private property is to be abrogated, and whatever property a man possesses, or whatever means of livelihood he has, is to be common to all…

It is clear, therefore, that there in nothing in common between Social and Christian Democracy.  They differ from each other as much as the sect of socialism differs from the profession of Christianity. (Leo XIII, Graves de Communi Re 5-6)

Whether considered as a doctrine, or an historical fact, or a movement, Socialism, if it remains truly Socialism, even after it has yielded to truth and justice on the points which we have mentioned, cannot be reconciled with the teachings of the Catholic Church because its concept of society itself is utterly foreign to Christian truth…

If Socialism, like all errors, contains some truth (which, moreover, the Supreme Pontiffs have never denied), it is based nevertheless on a theory of human society peculiar to itself and irreconcilable with true Christianity.  Religious socialism, Christian socialism, are contradictory terms; no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist. (Pius XI, Quadragesimo Anno 117, 120)

Communism is intrinsically wrong, and no one who would save Christian civilization may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever.  Those who permit themselves to be deceived into lending their aid towards the triumph of Communism in their own country, will be the first to fall victims of their error.  And the greater the antiquity and grandeur of the Christian civilization in the regions where Communism successfully penetrates, so much more devastating will be the hatred displayed by the godless.  (Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris 58)

The Church has condemned the various forms of Marxist Socialism; and she condemns them again today, because it is her permanent right and duty to safeguard men from fallacious arguments and subversive influence that jeopardize their eternal salvation. (Pius XII, Evangelii Praecones 52)

Regulated capitalism is not intrinsically unjust

The Encyclical of Our Predecessor of happy memory had in view chiefly that economic system, wherein, generally, some provide capital while others provide labor for a joint economic activity…

With all his energy Leo XIII sought to adjust this economic system according to the norms of right order; hence, it is evident that this system is not to be condemned in itself.  And surely it is not of its own nature vicious…

Those who are engaged in producing goods, therefore, are not forbidden to increase their fortune in a just and lawful manner; for it is only fair that he who renders service to the community and makes it richer should also, through the increased wealth of the community, be made richer himself according to his position. (Pius XI, Quadragesimo Anno 100, 136)

The nuclear family must be defended against socialism

Inasmuch as the domestic household is antecedent, as well in idea as in fact, to the gathering of men into a community, the family must necessarily have rights and duties which are prior to those of the community, and founded more immediately in nature…

The contention, then, that the civil government should at its option intrude into and exercise intimate control over the family and the household is a great and pernicious error… Paternal authority can be neither abolished nor absorbed by the State; for it has the same source as human life itself… The socialists, therefore, in setting aside the parent and setting up a State supervision, act against natural justice, and destroy the structure of the home.  (Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum 13-14)

The foundation of this society rests first of all in the indissoluble union of man and wife according to the necessity of natural law, and is completed in the mutual rights and duties of parents and children...  You know also that the doctrines of socialism strive almost completely to dissolve this union; since, that stability which is imparted to it by religious wedlock being lost, it follows that the power of the father over his own children, and the duties of the children toward their parents, must be greatly weakened.  (Leo XIII, Quod Apostolici Muneris 8)

Communism is particularly characterized by the rejection of any link that binds woman to the family and the home, and her emancipation is proclaimed as a basic principle.  She is withdrawn from the family and the care of her children, to be thrust instead into public life and collective production under the same conditions as man.  The care of home and children then devolves upon the collectivity.  Finally, the right of education is denied to parents, for it is conceived as the exclusive prerogative of the community, in whose name and by whose mandate alone parents may exercise this right. (Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris 11)

Stable families and sexual restraint are a necessary precondition of social order

Truly, it is hardly possible to describe how great are the evils that flow from divorce.  Matrimonial contracts are by it made variable; mutual kindness is weakened; deplorable inducements to unfaithfulness are supplied; harm is done to the education and training of children; occasion is afforded for the breaking up of homes; the seeds of dissension are sown among families; the dignity of womanhood is lessened and brought low, and women run the risk of being deserted after having ministered to the pleasures of men.  Since, then, nothing has such power to lay waste families and destroy the mainstay of kingdoms as the corruption of morals, it is easily seen that divorces are in the highest degree hostile to the prosperity of families and States, springing as they do from the depraved morals of the people, and, as experience shows us, opening out a way to every kind of evil-doing in public and in private life. (Leo XIII, Arcanum 29)

Those who have the care of the State and of the public good cannot neglect the needs of married people and their families, without bringing great harm upon the State and on the common welfare…

But not only in regard to temporal goods, Venerable Brethren, is it the concern of the public authority to make proper provision for matrimony and the family, but also in other things which concern the good of souls.  Just laws must be made for the protection of chastity, for reciprocal conjugal aid, and for similar purposes, and these must be faithfully enforced, because, as history testifies, the prosperity of the State and the temporal happiness of its citizens cannot remain safe and sound where the foundation on which they are established, which is the moral order, is weakened and where the very fountainhead from which the State draws its life, namely, wedlock and the family, is obstructed by the vices of its citizens.  (Pius XI, Casti Connubii 121-123)

Police protection and punishment of criminals are necessary for social order

A peaceful and ordered social life, whether within a national community or in the society of nations, is only possible if the juridical norms which regulate the living and working together of the members of the society are observed.  But there are always to be found people who will not keep to these norms and who violate the law.  Against them society must protect itself.  Hence derives penal law, which punishes the transgression and, by inflicting punishment, leads the transgressor back to the observance of the law violated…

If what We have just said holds good in normal times, its urgency is particularly evident in time of war or of violent political disturbances, when civil strife breaks out within a state.  The offender in political matters upsets the order of social life just as much as the offender in common law: to neither must be allowed assurance of impunity in his crime.  (Pius XII, “Address to the Sixth International Congress of Penal Law”)

The punishment is the reaction, required by law and justice, to the crime: they are like a blow and a counter-blow.  The order violated by the criminal act demands the restoration and re-establishment of the equilibrium which has been disturbed…

Sacred Scripture (Romans xiii , 2–4) teaches that human authority, within its own limits, is, when there is question of inflicting punishment, nothing else than the minister of divine justice.  “For he is God’s minister: an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil.”  (Pius XII, “Discourse to the Catholic Jurists of Italy”)

Destruction of cultural artifacts is a common tactic of communists

Where Communism has been able to assert its power… it has striven by every possible means, as its champions openly boast, to destroy Christian civilization and the Christian religion by banishing every remembrance of them from the hearts of men, especially of the young…

Not only this or that church or isolated monastery was sacked, but as far as possible every church and every monastery was destroyed.  Every vestige of the Christian religion was eradicated, even though intimately linked with the rarest monuments of art and science. (Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris 19-20)

Disguising their true goals is a common tactic of socialists

Although the socialists, stealing the very Gospel itself with a view to deceive more easily the unwary, have been accustomed to distort it so as to suit their own purposes, nevertheless so great is the difference between their depraved teachings and the most pure doctrine of Christ that none greater could exist. (Leo XIII, Quod Apostlici Muneris 5)

In the beginning Communism showed itself for what it was in all its perversity; but very soon it realized that it was thus alienating the people.  It has therefore changed its tactics, and strives to entice the multitudes by trickery of various forms, hiding its real designs behind ideas that in themselves are good and attractive.  Thus, aware of the universal desire for peace, the leaders of Communism pretend to be the most zealous promoters and propagandists in the movement for world amity.  Yet at the same time they stir up a class-warfare which causes rivers of blood to flow... [W]ithout receding an inch from their subversive principles, they invite Catholics to collaborate with them in the realm of so-called humanitarianism and charity; and at times even make proposals that are in perfect harmony with the Christian spirit and the doctrine of the Church… See to it, Venerable Brethren, that the Faithful do not allow themselves to be deceived!  (Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris 57-58)

The Church honors Columbus, despite his flaws

For [Columbus’s] exploit is in itself the highest and grandest which any age has ever seen accomplished by man; and he who achieved it, for the greatness of his mind and heart, can be compared to but few in the history of humanity.  By his toil another world emerged from the unsearched bosom of the ocean: … greatest of all, by the acquisition of those blessings of which Jesus Christ is the author, they have been recalled from destruction to eternal life…

We consider that this immortal achievement should be recalled by Us with memorial words.  For Columbus is ours… it is indubitable that the Catholic faith was the strongest motive for the inception and prosecution of the design; so that for this reason also the whole human race owes not a little to the Church…

We say not that he was unmoved by perfectly honourable aspirations after knowledge, and deserving well of human society; nor did he despise glory, which is a most engrossing ideal to great souls; nor did he altogether scorn a hope of advantages to himself; but to him far before all these human considerations was the consideration of his ancient faith... This view and aim is known to have possessed his mind above all; namely, to open a way for the Gospel over new lands and seas…

It is fitting that we should confess and celebrate in an especial manner the will and designs of the Eternal Wisdom, under whose guidance the discoverer of the New World placed himself with a devotion so touching.

In order, therefore, that the commemoration of Columbus may be worthily observed, religion must give her assistance to the secular ceremonies.  And as at the time of the first news of the discovery public thanksgiving was offered by the command of the Sovereign Pontiff to Almighty God, so now we have resolved to act in like manner in celebrating the anniversary of this auspicious event.  (Leo XIII, Quarto Abeunte Saeculo 1-3, 7-8)

No completely secular solution of social problems is possible

Human society in its civil aspects was renewed fundamentally by Christian institutions… Wherefore, if human society is to be healed, only a return to Christian life and institutions will heal it.  In the case of decaying societies it is most correctly prescribed that, if they wish to be regenerated, they must be recalled to their origins.  For the perfection of all associations is this, namely, to work for and to attain the purpose for which they were formed, so that all social actions should be inspired by the same principle which brought the society itself into being.  Wherefore, turning away from the original purpose is corruption, while going back to this discovery is recovery…

The Church…  provided aid for the wretched poor.  For, as the common parent of rich and poor, with charity everywhere stimulated to the highest degree, she founded religious societies and numerous other useful bodies, so that, with the aid which these furnished, there was scarcely any form of human misery that went uncared for.

And yet many today go so far as to condemn the Church as the ancient pagans once did, for such outstanding charity, and would substitute in lieu thereof a system of benevolence established by the laws of the State.  But no human devices can ever be found to supplant Christian charity, which gives itself entirely for the benefit of others…

Since religion alone, as We said in the beginning, can remove the evil, root and branch, let all reflect upon this: First and foremost Christian morals must be reestablished, without which even the weapons of prudence, which are considered especially effective, will be of no avail, to secure well-being. (Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum 41, 44-45, 82)

Christianity, not revolution, is the true liberator of peoples

Being greatly moved by the deplorable condition of the Indians in Lower America, our illustrious predecessor Benedict XIV pleaded their cause, as you are aware, in most weighty words… [T]he worst of these indignities – that is to say, slavery, properly so called – was, by the goodness of the merciful God, abolished; and to this public abolition of slavery in Brazil and in other regions the excellent men who governed those Republics were greatly moved and encouraged by the maternal care and insistence of the Church. (St. Pius X, Lacrimabili Statu 1)

Let not these priests be misled, in the maze of current opinions, by the miracles of a false democracy.  Let them not borrow from the rhetoric of the worst enemies of the Church and of the people, the high-flown phrases, full of promises; which are as high-sounding as unattainable… Indeed, the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries, nor innovators: they are traditionalists. (St. Pius X, Notre Charge Apostolique 44)

It was Christianity that first affirmed the real and universal brotherhood of all men of whatever race and condition.  This doctrine she proclaimed by a method, and with an amplitude and conviction, unknown to preceding centuries; and with it she potently contributed to the abolition of slavery.  Not bloody revolution, but the inner force of her teaching made the proud Roman matron see in her slave a sister in Christ.  (Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris 36)

168 comments:

  1. Great quotes from the Popes. Bit of a case of preaching to the converted though. Surely it's more urgent to explain Church teaching against the divinization of the market and the "liberation" of economics from morality, which are far more seductive for practicing Catholics these days.

    After all, who lives in a socialist system these days? The North Koreans? Certainly not the Chinese, whose system merely continues millennial Confucianist naturalism, and where the right to get rich is the first law. Contemporary Western society and its evils should be the first stop when speaking of the Church's worries; most of its members lived there and suffer the consequences for their faith.

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    1. Surely it's more urgent to explain Church teaching against the divinization of the market and the "liberation" of economics from morality, which are far more seductive for practicing Catholics these days.

      After all, who lives in a socialist system these days? The North Koreans? Certainly not the Chinese, whose system merely continues millennial Confucianist naturalism, and where the right to get rich is the first law. Contemporary Western society and its evils should be the first stop when speaking of the Church's worries; most of its members lived there and suffer the consequences for their faith.


      On the contrary, my friend, socialism is an evil that's very much alive, at least in the hearts of Antifa and Black Lives Matter (see this article: https://thefederalist.com/2020/06/12/why-supporting-black-lives-matter-is-anti-christian-and-anti-life/).

      On Contemporary Western society and its evils, I agree. In fact, look at all those rich corporations that are funding Black Lives Matter and supporting the riots. These very corporations also support homosexuality and other forms of sexual degeneracy. These corporations exploit their workers, both in the third world and in the first, because they do not give out a just wage. But these issues are not unrelated to the issues Dr. Feser talks about. I believe Tucker Carlson and Dr. E. Michael Jones are correct when they say that all of this race hustling on the Left is a way for the oligarchs that run our country to divide and conquer.

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    2. And Ghengis Khan is an evil. The point is that BLM doesn't run the West. They are just useful idiots. Catholics need to confront the Enlightenment values that run the West today and are the principle danger for us, not just one of its off-shoots, the antifa and BLM.

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    3. Catholics need to confront the Enlightenment values that run the West today and are the principle danger for us, not just one of its off-shoots, the antifa and BLM.

      Well, Edward Feser has done a great service over the years in confronting liberalism, libertarianism, and sexual degeneracy. Even if this article in particular didn't address the issues you're concerned about, it certainly doesn't detract from the rest of his body of work.

      Furthermore, I think this article is useful at a time when the CEOs of Catholic charities and Republican politicians are out supporting Black Lives Matter and Antifa. Statements like "The Church condemns anarchism and socialist revolution," "Imperfection in social institutions does not justify sedition," "Riots and disorder are evil and must be suppressed by the state," and "Police protection and punishment of criminals are necessary for social order." Statements like "Destruction of cultural artifacts is a common tactic of communists" and "Disguising their true goals is a common tactic of socialists" is a noteworthy warning to Catholics taken in by radical rhetoric. For BLM's Enlightenment puppet masters, words like "It is evil to pit classes and races against one another," "The nuclear family must be defended against socialism," and
      "Stable families and sexual restraint are a necessary precondition of social order" are all important statements condemning them on this front.

      If anything, this article should've come sooner.

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    4. Those reading this article are most unlikely to be supporters of BLM or antifa. On the other hand, any Catholic drawn to support anarchists or socialists is rather unlikely to be persuaded otherwise by anything that seems to be arguing in favour of the status quo, don't you think?

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    5. Au contraire, there are a lot of muddle-headed Christians who stand to benefit from reading this article. I know some people who are ill-informed about what the Church teaches, who are confused by the mainstream media about what is justified and what isn't. The clarity provided to us by the Popes is necessary.

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    6. Do they know the Church's position on economics not being a science independent of morality, the relative nature of private property, and its condemnation of the Enlightenment thought that the economic and political status quo is based on?

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    7. No, because when most people think of Catholic Social Teaching or "ethical economics," they think it's social democracy with extra steps. Because that's what a lot of them are taught it is.

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  2. Communism and Socialism have no place in society and the Church as these popes point out.

    Unfortunately, most of the clergy and hierarchy today are socialists who use the label "Catholic" as the hi sounding word to water down the Faith. They are the Church of Sardis in the Apocalypse.

    The real clergy are neither communists, socialists,revolutionaries, nor innovators: they are traditionalist clergy.

    Not just tradition-flavored, but Anti-communist, anti-modernists, etc. The ones who still insist on the teachings of these very popes. The ones who do not push religious liberty (instead of the True Faith), false ecumenism (instead of missionary outreach),
    and unaccountable collegiality (instead of duty).

    In fact, to say Traditional Catholicism is redundant, and to say socialist (liberal) Catholicism is an oxymoron.

    Seek the traditional faith, and the traditional clergy, and you will find them.

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  3. So, since we are talking about the relationship between Catholic teaching and politics(involving especially the left, it seems), how should we understand the Catholic teaching that healthcare is a right?

    What this means is that we should make sure that everyone can use it, but that the method we should use to do that is a pratical issue, so a thing that the Church alone can't say, right?

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    1. Unfortunately, almost everyone who talks about this subject ignores the nuances and distinctions made in Catholic theology where talk of "rights" is concerned. The "right" to healthcare does not entail that the federal government, or even any level of government, should be the one to provide it -- though it doesn't rule that out either. (Though I would say that subsidiarity does rule it out, or at least rules out single-payer (as opposed to assistance to the indigent). How to ensure that everyone has healthcare is mostly a prudential matter about which Catholics can reasonably disagree.

      Anyway, I've addressed this here:

      https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/03/stupaks-enablers.html

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    2. @Dr Feser

      Thanks! what i was thinking was something like that.

      And thanks again for your work! You helped me alot on understanding philosophy, especially the classics, not to mention the help on getting catholic positions. Really thanks!

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  4. I think soclialism should be properly defined first for these criticisms to be valid. as they don't really argue against its core theses. They don't even address it mostly.

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  5. They don't define it because it's definition is well understood: the "means of production" are not be owned by private persons, but by the state. These quotes bear against (a) the typical fraudulent rationalizations by which the socialists push their theories, and (b) the even more usual tactics by which they urge the poor and the masses into action, by thoughtless slogans, memes, pictures and symbols and lies urging them into actions that will hurt the poor even if they also hurt the rich.

    You don't get people rioting by reasoned argument.

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    1. I mean I agree with these points but they just seem to miss some core socialist criticism of captialism. None of this bears against worker controlled businesses which seems to me to be essence of socialism. Plus capitalism is much worse in every regard, it has led to more suffering than socialism and it contains just as much degeneracy. Just look at what corporations are supporting these days.

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    2. they just seem to miss some core socialist criticism of captialism

      Socialism is inherently wrong as a social order. Capitalism (as the popes refer to it) is not. Given that, the right thing to do is to try to FIX the errors in a capitalist system that we have, not to initiate a socialist revolution.

      Plus capitalism is much worse in every regard, it has led to more suffering than socialism and it contains just as much degeneracy.

      Given that none of the moral and spiritual degeneracy we have seen under capitalism has ever been lacking under any socialist regime, I dispute your claim. Soviet Russia was a morally degenerate mess.

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    3. None of this bears against worker controlled businesses which seems to me to be essence of socialism.

      While I would dispute that this is all that socialism entails, if that were all it entailed, the Church would not have a problem with it, provided of course, that private property owners are not compelled to enter into a shared owner relationship with workers. If I and several friends want to start a co-op, that is fine. The situation becomes problematic, heretical and barbarous when we start to discuss the collective (be it workers or the state) forcibly taking what belongs to an owner (specifically the means of production) in order to implement a more "equitable" system.

      On the topic of Capitalism, its greatest strength is also its fatal flaw: it rewards what people desire. In a society as debased as ours, it is inevitable that that sin manifests itself through the capitalist system and rewards people who pander to that debauchery. However, Socialism, inherently, based on the definition discussed in this comment thread, is evil.

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    4. It's simple:
      Capitalism is bad; Socialism is worse.

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    5. I too would dispute whether "workers controlling businesses" is the essence of socialism. First, because the first and best-known socialists didn't angle for them to be "worker controlled" in the sense of "the workers of this particular business control this particular business", but in the sense of "the entire class of workers" control "the entire system of businesses" ... but they always worked it through the state. Second because that is, also, the only way any socialist state has ever tried to implement socialist control, at the state level.

      There is a difficult practical hurdle that I have never seen a solution for, in having a "worker-owned" company. If the current workers own 100% of the shares of a company, in the sense that each of 500 workers own each 0.20 % share of the company. They can only effect "control" through voting for managers and for policies, but in voting for managers they effectively put control in the hands of a few. More centrally, though, what happens to the 0.2% share owned by John, when he retires? If he is forced to give up his share because he is no longer a worker, his so-called "ownership" of it is sharply restricted in rights; if he is forced to sell it (to the company), WHO SETS THE PRICE? If the workers own 100%, there will be no regular market sales of the stock, and there will be no clear basis for a specific price.

      It's not that there is no possible way to have employee-owner companies, but they generally imply the possibility of at least SOME shares owned by others, and/or allow some employees to own a greater share than other employees, which alters the meaning of "employee-owned".

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    6. And if ALL businesses were only owned by their current employees, then all retirees would be left without owning any such assets at all, they would be forced into holding only savings accounts in banks (and banks too would be different because only employees could "invest in" businesses).

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  6. I think the Popes very wisely condemned all the ideologies that followed the Enlightenment. While they may have leaned on this one or that in different texts as the times required, the message is clear: the social philosophies of the last few centuries have been evil. This goes for those philosophers which inspired the left as well as the market-oriented right (whose creation of property as an absolute has nothing to do with its Christian understanding).

    The Enlightenment infighting so beautifully expressed in the toppling of statues of the Founding Father enligtheners by another bunch of enlighteners should be spurring Catholics to carve out their place in the social discourse, not engage in the sterile, emasculating angst of worrying which of Church's ideological opponents they are better off identifying with. How about some optimism. The Popes' teaching is unique and cannot be conflated or allied with any branch of Enlightenment thought. Let's get beyond these failed philosophies at last!

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    1. There's several things wrong with what you've said.

      First, you're an American, aren't you? Chances are, your ancestors were like mine: they came over on a boat to America for the chance to have a better life. You cheering for the destruction of your country's history is about the most impious, ungrateful thing I can imagine. The Popes also said that an imperfect system is no excuse for sedition, and that we ought to be patriotic to our country, so why don't you take to heart all of their advice?

      Second, this attitude of "everything about the Enlightenment is bad! Burn it all down!" is about as well-reasoned as ISIS fanaticism. The Popes also told us of the communist's penchant for tearing down cultural icons for the sake of promoting ideological hegemony. Destroying history is the domain of self-righteous revolutionaries. The reactionary is the keeper of all heritages, including the heritages of revolutionaries.

      Third, look at the wider context. These Enlightenment figures aren't being taken down by Catholic zealots looking create an integralist state. They're being torn down by Leftists because they symbolize "whiteness." Whiteness, for those who don't understand academic jargon, is essentially any characteristic that makes Europeans distinct from other peoples. That includes Catholicism! We're seeing right now calls for ending systemic racism in the Church, calls to remove the statues of our Saints and of our Lord and Savior.

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    2. You haven't read comment carefully. II said it's amusing to see one bunch of enligtheners tearing down monuments to another bunch of enlighteners: all you can assume from this is that I don't belong to either bunch.

      The status quo isn't anarchism or socialism but something else, something that has also been condemned by the Church since it appeared. As Catholics, we are bound in conscience firstly to oppose the evil that actually runs our lives, educates us, entertains us etc, not would-be revolutionary kids from rich white families.

      As for Enlightenment thought containing some truth, well any false ideology or religion has to, or it wouldn't exist. We have the alternative, let's put it out, not join a bunch of losers.

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    3. "Amusing" isn't the word I'd be using when you're seeing a society cannibalize itself, but I'll let that slide. What alternative are you actually, concretely referring to?

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    4. The Church doesn't embrace any concrete political or economic system. What we are bound to do in the first place is not support falsehoods in these matters. These have often been pointed out in Papal teaching. So, anything, as long as it's not false. Pretty broad actually. The status quo is out though.

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    5. Well, I definitely agree with that. But what we replace the status quo with is important, because there are alternatives to the status quo that are far, far worse.

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    6. The brilliantly-named Anonymous is posing a false dichotomy:

      The status quo is out though.

      The "status quo", though, contains a very great deal of material, some of which is OK, and some of which is very good indeed. You cannot just say "the status quo is out" without distinction without defying the popes, because the popes (as quoted by Feser) are staunchly protective of those portions of the status quo that preserve and promote good things. There are some good schools. There are some good free health clinics for the poor. There are some good businesses. You can't just eradicate "the status quo" without placing all that is IN the current society that is good in grave danger, and this includes healthy families and businesses. Thus, indiscriminate chucking of "the status quo" was the farthest thing from the popes purpose.

      If you have SPECIFIC aspects of the status quo that you think have to go, you could mention those. If you are right, then we could consider whether getting rid of them without a complete revolution of the entire social order might accomplish it.

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    7. Well, the Republic of East Germany must have contained a lot of good material too, and who wants to defend that? Church teaching has made it certain that the status quo has a formal basis which we ought to weed out (the issue of doing this by means of revolution is another matter. Don't confuse the issue).

      The overall basis of the status quo is Enlightenment thought and its pseudo-social constructs like economics as a science independent of morality, the sovereign market, the modern state. The Church has never done more than tolerate these things because it had little choice.

      One can definitely eradicate the status quo without destroying what good exists by moving on from the false principles which dominate Western societies and which prevent the emergence of natural social intermediary bodies. Its militant Enlightenment secularism has ensured generations of Catholics are reared in an atmosphere which conditions them to treat the Church's condemnation of its principles as some kind of cute nostalgia more appropriate to a work of fiction like The Lord of the Rings.

      Let's not be deconstructionist. Things like the United States exist, the philosophical and social foundations of which are at odds with Church teaching. The status quo is out.

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    8. The boogey man here is the church loss of control and physical rule of peoples which accompanied the implementation of Enlightenment ideas. These ideas were later declared blessed by the Popes because they saw a personal benefit to each of the Popes to accept for example, freedom of religion. PBXVI drones on about how this idea of freedom of religion has changed since 1776, but truth to tell is that he finally saw the advantages that freedom of religion provided for the continuance of the RCC. Lack of worldly prestige had Pope Pius IX to pronounce his syllabus of errors, most of which Catholics either don't remember or cringe that the syllabus was ever written. No quotes after PPiusXII?? Did theyall stop writing encyclicals, motu proprios et al about the secular world? Do they not continue the support of Catholic Social Actions for unions and organizing workers to improve their lot. (Wasn't that part of what LeoXIII wrote about?) The Enlightenment had its greatness and problems. The most important aspect of enlightenment was severing the yoke that the Catholic Church was placing on people, especially in Europe. Given distance, most Catholic Bishops in USA at this time simply ignored the anti-American diatribes placed to decry once again the very same Enlightenment ideas the church so happily embraces today. Does John Neumann (sp) Call that " doctrinal development?"

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    9. Down with the Enlightenment. We want our chains back!

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  7. "Police protection and punishment of criminals are necessary for social order." Police protection is a marvelous invention by an English Protestant that has been around less than 200 years. I am glad to see that it is valued so highly in Catholic circles.

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    1. The police were devised to deal with the social turmoil and impoverishment created by the capitalist revolution in (un)merry Protestant England, and became necessary throughout the world with the spread of its "progress".

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    2. The English word police derives from Latin politia, which means ‘civil administration’; in that sense it goes back to ancient times. The Latin word still retains that ancient sense, a point one ought to bear in mind when reading translations of pontifical documents originally written in Latin.

      The modern meaning dates from the 17th century, when Louis XIV established the first professional police force to keep order in Paris. It was not ‘a marvelous invention by an English Protestant’, but a device that Peel freely adapted from European examples already in existence.

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    3. In its modern sense, "police" protection is not strictly necessary for social order; it could be done by the military. That was part of what my post was about, by implication anyway. However, I do think that the modern police force, as invented by the English, is a marvelous institution and preferable to military force (or the mob, or enforcement by other protection gangs, or to anarchy which is the least stable of all).

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  8. “Imperfection in social institutions does not justify sedition“

    Do the statements against sedition condemn all forms of revolution, or just rash revolution? I know Francisco Suarez defended just revolutions. I would be surprised if the Pope Leo XIII was condemning all revolutions.

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    1. Quotidian QuagmireJuly 1, 2020 at 7:18 AM

      Thomas defended regicide, but only when specific conditions are met.

      https://www.catholiceducation.org/en/culture/catholic-contributions/does-the-church-condone-tyrannicide.html

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  9. "Regulated Capitalism is not inherently unjust"

    Yes, but we are not living in regulated capitalism.

    We are in living after the tearing down of Glass-Steagall Act and we are living after the Citizens United decision allowed corporations to have the rights of human beings!

    We have legalized bribery of those seeking power.

    Thus, our elected officials are stooges of the Corporate mafia.

    As a Monotheist, I have a suggestion for you all. Let's wake up and stop minimizing the stealing of power from the people in the last 40 years in the US to the rich and horrifically evil policies created by the bastardization of legalized bribery that funnel almost all of the surplus wealth to the ultra wealthy.

    The 1% through legalized bribery have been taking away opportunity from the people and now control over 50% of the wealth of the world.



    Isn't this conversation premature and misdirected at this time?

    Isn't the problem by many magnitudes unregulated capitalism?

    The Catholic Church used to be against Usury.

    Let's direct the destruction of the family where most of the damage is.

    Let's not be out of touch of the usury from credit cards, etc., monopolies taking over of everything, etc.

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    1. Isn't the problem by many magnitudes unregulated capitalism?

      No, it isn't. No libertarian in their right mind would call what we have today . We actually have more regulations than ever before.

      What we're experiencing right now is pro-big business regulated capitalism, where the laws squash the little guy while giving the big guy political privileges on top of their larger stacks of capital. What we're also seeing is a merging of private and public through the workings of the managerial class. This is outlined in James Burnham's The Managerial Revolution and in Samuel T. Francis' Leviathan and Its Enemies. The more we talk about weak tea talking points like "the free market isn't everything," the more we obfuscate what's actually going on.

      There is a problem of usury, yes, but it's mainly a problem of unjust privilege. Not just usury, but ground rent, intellectual property law, and regulations that benefit large companies. This whole "big government versus small government" trap is what you want to avoid. You want a government that deals with the problems effectively. More or less regulation doesn't matter.

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  10. It is, of course, important to distinguish Marxist socialism with modern day democratic socialism of the sort common in Europe. Many people take the condemnations of socialism to apply to democratic socialism -- but they do not.

    Of the latter, Pope Benedict XVI said:

    > In many respects, democratic socialism was and is close to Catholic social doctrine and has in any case made a remarkable contribution to the formation of a social consciousness.

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    1. This sort of delusion is one of the reasons I thought it important to post these quotes. The remarks from Leo XIII and Pius XI (and I could easily add other papal statements to them) make it clear that it is socialism in general, and not just the Marxist brand, that is condemned.

      The reason is that even democratic socialism -- if it's really socialism we're talking about and not just welfare state measures, regulation of the market, etc. (which do not amount to socialism) -- violates subsidiarity.

      Whatever Benedict XVI had in mind with that ill-advised remark, it is quite asinine for Catholic lefties to grab onto it -- and it comes from a magazine article rather than a magisterial document -- and treat it like some proof-text that justifies them in ignoring the consistent teaching of a series of encyclicals. And that's not just because there are so many clear and consistent statements that do in fact condemn socialism, but because of the natural law rationale for the condemnation. As Pius XI emphasized, violating subsidiarity by taking over from lower orders what they can do for themselves is a matter of grave injustice, not merely prudentially ill-advised.

      If you want merely to criticize capitalism or argue or this or that particular state measure to deal with health care, poverty, etc., that's fine and perfectly consistent with Catholicism. But don't call it "socialism," because that's either highly misleading (if you don't really mean socialism, strictly speaking) or heterodox (if you do).

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    2. When looking at European political parties who call themselves "socialist," it's important to remember that many of them were consciously Marxist when they were founded, but that as the problems with communism became more and more clear, and as they struggled to find a way to make the ideology work, they eventually abandoned it for a mixed economy social democratic model, often while keeping the word "socialist" in their names. This is the case with Spain's PSOE, for example--I was listening to an interview with one of its regional leaders a while back, and he discussed the process of disillusionment with Marxism that went on, leading to the modern party.

      As far as Europe goes, I only really follow Spanish politics, but to the best of my knowledge, something similar is going on in most European countries: the "socialist" parties are center-left social democrats, but there are of course a number of more radical left-wing parties, some of whom are trying to resurrect an old school form of socialism. Some of their ideas can be good, when they're kept in line by the center-left, but their rhetoric tends to be more divisive and revolutionary. I believe that genuine democratic socialism is in this latter category, since their goal isn't a socially oriented mixed economy, but rather to achieve a fullblown economic revolution through democratic processes. Or at least so they tell me.

      I'm not convinced that the focus on the word "socialist" is particularly helpful, though, since it can mean so many different things and it is hard to tell what precisely is being condemned. I would consider myself a distributist and a social democrat, but I have socialist friends, and it's taken me a while to identify where exactly our differences lie. Those differences are ultimately quite large, but on the surface our policies look the same, so I don't think the fact that we're not all socialists would be obvious to anyone who wasn't already familiar with the underlying differences.

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    3. Hello Hypatia,

      As I've indicated, my own criterion is subsidiarity, and I think that is the genuinely Catholic criterion. The family is the fundamental unit of society, and more encompassing levels, such as the state, exist in order to assist rather than absorb it.

      Hence we have a test for determining whether some attitude, view, or party is fundamentally socialist or not: Does it put the accent on the independence of the family, but tolerate the intervention of higher-level institutions where this is necessary in order to assist and safeguard the family? Then it is not socialist, even if the policies that result are sometimes of a "big government" type.

      Or is the attitude instead one of seeing large-scale society as a whole (a class, a nation, a race, etc.) as a big communitarian blob of which the family and individuals are but cells, so that the accent is on collective action and individual and family initiatives are an afterthought? Then we've got an essentially socialist mentality, whether or not it calls itself socialism or "social democracy" or "progressivism" or whatever.

      The latter attitude, I maintain, is not compatible with Catholicism, and people think otherwise because they've bought into the error that if you reject this collectivist mentality then it must be because you've bought into liberal individualism (which, of course, is also incompatible with Catholicism). We get a false dichotomy between a stereotypical Anglo-American classical liberal model and a stereotypical European social democratic model, and then we're told that if a Catholic shouldn't accept the first, then he should accept the second.

      No. A Catholic should accept neither.

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    4. Sounds like Catholic political philosophy mirrors its more fundamental philosophy by being both/and.

      It doesn't choose the individual or the collective, it chooses *both* the individual *and* the collective. Society isn't reduced down to nothing but individuals but at the same time the individuals are not aborsbed into the collevtive.

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    5. Ed,

      I read that
      "The Oxford English Dictionary defines subsidiarity as "the principle that a central authority should have a subsidiary function, performing only those tasks which cannot be performed at a more local level"."

      The biggest threat to subsidiarity in the past 40 years has been the exponential growth of multinational corporations (by definition, not something that is at the local neighborhood or family level) which has gobbled almost all excess wealth and combined with our legal system allowing bribery of politicians and of granting personhood to corporations (Citizens United), it has swallowed up local level control...so there is not much subsidiarity left....

      Example...Walmart has swallowed up like a python the local stores...The 5 or 6 media companies have swallowed up like a python does the many news sources...Net neutrality has been compromised too now.... 1% in America control more than 50% of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. And the bottom 50% of us Americans only only 0.5% of that.

      It is this elite that has sucked a lot of oxygen out of family units and continues to pay bribes to have the government continue policies that privilege the ultra rich and that continues to take away power from the poor. When will this choke-hold of the majority from the knee of the 1% stop getting tighter and reverse itself towards the ability for families and not multinational corporations to feel they have control and they can breathe as last?

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    6. Ed, please kindly see the following so you can see the empirical data on what I just said…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=321&v=zjQm83F0MhQ&feature=emb_logo

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    7. grateful,

      You seem to think I disagree with you, but I don't. I am not a fan of such corporations. See my recent Claremont Review article on Hayek.

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    8. Thanks Ed,

      But Republican and Democrat Neoliberals are a fan of corporations. And so are think tanks that support Republicans like Heritage Foundation, etc.

      I hope you can wakeup your contacts to the eviceration of families and local control by MNCs. It is organization like Heritage Foundation that pushed for Judgements like Citizens United, etc that allows legalized bribery...something which is prohibited by developed European countries and was prohibited by us throughout the US when we were sane.

      We no longer live in a democracy because of policies.

      We live in a plutocracy and oligarchy.

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    9. Something that has bothered me for awhile is what to do about them. Clearly asset seizure or a massive increase in the corporate tax rate would both violate subsidiarity and devastate the engines of our economy; perhaps all we can do then is ride it out until something changes?

      Yet the Corporations clearly pose the same sort of threat that an overreaching state does, only more perniciously because the glove is always hidden.

      The Capitalist system has done a lot for us, but it also feeds on, intensifies and rewards our degeneracy. It needs an adjustment, but what adjustment could we make that isn't worse than the disease? Like with all modern problems, it seems to me that the solution has to start at the cultural level. We have to change the habits and replace the vices with virtues and there's simply no way to do that by fiat. Hence the importance of taking measures in our own areas towards restoration. First of which is growing in personal virtue and building strong bonds capable of rebuilding the lost tribes.

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    10. First I need to correct my grammar...when I said Republic and Democrat Neoliberal are fans of multinational corporations...I meant Republicans not Republican Neoliberals...sadly almost 100% of Republicans today are fans of multinational corporations...by that I don't mean all Republicans don't want MNCs to control all they do in the US regarding shipping out jobs and so on but nearly all Republicans are fine with Multinational Coporations based in the US sucking the blood of billions of people overseas.

      Some 8 MILLION people die from tobacco related related and 400,000 of them are us Americans. I know....I am a physician and the data is out there. Much of all this deaths are from American tobacco companies and data shows that most of the addiction comes at the teen age years...here is just one of a million examples of how subsidiarity is being killed most of all by Multinational Corporations...

      There is much family control lost over their children when their children are living in the addicted mindset...this is apart from the fact that 1 out of 2 smokers die prematurely due to tobacco.

      So it is not just Republican and Conservative Think Tanks that support Multinational Corporations...it appears to me that it is almost the entirety of the Republican party...please correct me if I am wrong

      And some Democratic Neoliberals like Bill Clinton have been almost just as bad

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    11. "Yet the Corporations clearly pose the same sort of threat that an overreaching state does, only more perniciously because the glove is always hidden."

      Good observation....

      But your previous statement of

      "perhaps all we can do then is ride it out until something changes?"

      is aiding and abetting the bribery and destruction of families and local control.

      Our policies privilege the Multinational Corporations....we need to have strong antitrust policies like the previous Republican Teddy Roosevelt...we need to reverse Citizens United so we can restore our democracy....we need to reinstate Glass-Steagall Act so banks cannot gamble with public monies...we need to have a speculation tax so the stock market is not just some game but operates in a more productive way, we have to require companies to pay a livable wage so there is no more slave labor...we need to not allow bailouts of banks...we need to put CEO's and executives who engaged in deceptive schemes in jail...why does a bank teller who steals a 20 dollar bill go to jail but a top executive who engages in 200 million dollar deception get to go off on doing community service...we need to do a thousand other things....

      and that does not require Asset seizure...

      But the MNC need to pay their fair share of taxes....if it wasn't for the government system of intellectual property and the infrastructure of roads, etc. and protections such as police, law system, etc. the Multinational Corporations would not be able to leverage their power so easily and grow so huge in their excess income to trillions and trillions of dollars while the excess income of the people has remained largely flat for the last 4o years.

      The Multinational Corporations in some ways benefits more from infrastructure than the common poor person.

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    12. I assure you that riding things out is not the option I would prefer. I think that for the protection of capitalism as well as for the far more important defense of the family and the body politic we need to curb the abuses and reduce the influence of powerful corporations. However, it is worth noting that the current system has seen our society reach the highest standard of living in human history, largely through the activities of market competition, as well as measures which allow corporations to take mediated risks. Not, don't get me wrong; if we could restore the moral fabric of our society, I would happily kiss our material gains goodbye, but it is still worth considering the fact that multinationals, for better or for worse (I believe that you, Prof. Feser and I are on the same page in arguing it is for the worse) do control the livlihoods of most of our nations' population.

      Compared to most European countries, our Corporate tax rate is relatively high. Increasing corporate tax rates might encourage more defensive thinking on the part of corporations- which, given the moral climate we find ourselves in quite often means compromising either on the quality of their goods or the well-being of their employees; this is despicable behavior, yet it is something we have to take into account.

      The Multinational Corporations in some ways benefits more from infrastructure than the common poor person.

      That might be true, but I am of the opinion that the primary moral purpose for a national government (speaking very broadly) is to mitigate risk. It does so externally through maintenance of defense and good diplomatic ties with other nations, and internally through all the good services you mentioned, as well as through things such as the weather service, etc. But, it also does so through preservation of things such as intellectual property rights, FDIC and, even if there are prudential reasons not to- (and I don't feel educated enough to have an opinion on this) bailouts to banks, many of whom contain the vast majority of private citizens' savings.

      I'm not saying any of this to say we shouldn't do anything, merely that I worry about the unintended consequences of doing so. Certainly asset seizure is an extreme example, so consider a relatively cut and dry one. For example, take the idea of locking up CEO's. While certainly it would be inexcusable to let them get away with crimes such as embezzling millions of dollars, there are a few factors as well: first, white collar crimes don't always leave the same cut and dry evidence of smaller heists, and our legal system very justly maintains the ideal of innocent until proven guilty. If we are too harsh on CEO's when we don't have airtight evidence, pretty soon people won't be willing to take the risk of entering such a high profile job with such an extreme impact on the livelihoods of everyday people for fear of facing legal scrutiny for events beyond their control (perhaps their predecessor left them "holding the bag," for example. I say this not to say that we ought not send criminals to jail, but to demonstrate that even relatively cut and dry cases in managing something the size of an economy have a lot of moving parts.

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    13. The quote that sparked this thread seems to be taken from an essay published 2006 ( Europe and its Discontents ).
      That essay is well worth the read. It is impossible to read the quote in its proper context as an endorsement of socialism.

      Benedict's very short overview can also help to understand why Europeans tend to use the terms socialist and socialism more by reason of historical development of politics while Americans tend to use them according to its current theoretical definition.

      In other words, quite a lot of what Europeans would not hesitate to call "socialist" is not "really socialism but welfare state measures" (as Feser put it).

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    14. @Feser
      I guess part of the problem is defining "Socialism". As you said the Social Welfare State Lot being confused with Socialism proper.

      Well said!

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  11. A sop to power. In other words, let others do the work. The Christian calling is apparently to justify whatever status quo they find themselves living under, never to fight against it. An impossible and cruel ideal judging by their own internecine rivalries, but which they'll readily use for the domination of others. They did during slavery.

    I'm thankful for the Black Christian revolutionaries in our continuing struggles, past and present, that never bought into this doctrinaire acquiescence to evil and injustice. The minority of white Christians, who found the hypocrisy intolerable, and join the struggle are also heroes, not Columbus. One could ask why theology is being used to justify the making of statues at all, much less of terrible people, and which, in many contexts, were made expressly for evil. But then Christianity has been used to justify many terrible things so it is unsurprising.

    Continue to parse the Bible and morph it to whatever cultural wars that animate you. Continue to talk ignorantly amongst yourselves about the Black Lives Matter protests and Black people in general. Others will continue to the work. If injustice prevails, alas, it is your solemn duty to intellectualize and excuse it. If justice prevails, and this country, finally is adequate to its ideals, you can then defend that status quo as if you weren't one its chief opponents.

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    1. Tone done your racism, will you? If you want to convince people that you are not just a racist thug try to explain those statements that you know will be not immediately convincing to your audience.

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    2. I wouldn't waste your words with this one. It looks like its posted purely to troll the honest posters down here. Though, if @Wretched wants to show us he is not merely trolling, he can start by explaining what exactly a "just" society would look like in his eyes. And explain which "struggle" he is referring to, of the many being waged even within the recent controversies and riots.

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    3. I find it telling about Anonymous's emotional state that his immediate response to something was to call it racist, even though upon closer reading it seems to *align* with left-leaning causes rather than condemning them. In any case, Mr. Wretched is mistaken. He seems to be under the impression that the teaching of the Church is supposed to lead to inaction. This is at best an extreme oversimplification - the Church has, as a matter of fact, a preference for order and stability, because those things are necessary for a functioning society and also because Paul tells us to have at least some respect for even deeply flawed governments, if they are legitimate and their crimes bearable. It does not rule out acting for social change - note that the quotes passages only say that SEDITION isn't justified merely by a bad system. There's a whole lot of things one can do for social change without reaching the point of sedition. And even then, the Church does not completely forbid fighting violently against oppression, but only when the oppression is grave, no other less violent course of action has a reasonable chance of success, and the violence itself has a reasonable chance of success. This might be unpleasant to those who thirst for blood and civil war, but it is not cowardice, it is prudence. Perhaps you cannot tell the difference, but that only makes you ignorant, not intelligent.

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    4. The correct procedure is to try a spiritual-theological remedy first, then cultural, then political, then social-economic, with violence coming last, if it is used at all.

      Christianity was unified until Luther, who rejected God-given authority in the Church; and with it, the authoritative interpretation of Scripture. That's where the twisting comes in, along with the disunity.
      With religion shattered, all types of relativism came in, causing most of the problems we see in the world today.

      We need a spiritual solution, not another violent revolution.

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    5. Cantus, that's because that anon is AKG, a hysterical SJW.

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    6. Assuredly that anon is not AKG (whoever that is). And it is not an "immediate response to something" to call it racist but a response to the comment of wretched that exhibits signs of actual racism. To call racism racism does not imply a willingness to call anything racism whether it is racism or not.

      Observe:

      "The Christian calling is apparently to justify (…) slavery. (…) thankful for the Black Christian revolutionaries (…) minority of white Christians, who found the hypocrisy intolerable, and join the struggle (…) Continue to talk ignorantly amongst yourselves about the Black Lives Matter protests and Black people in general. Others will continue to the work. If injustice prevails, alas, it is your solemn duty to intellectualize and excuse it."
      Justice/Injustice is defined by useful or not useful to the black struggle, white people are evil, although a "minority", rare exceptions, cannot stand the hypocrisy (whether of being white or being Christian is not entirely clear). Wretched prided himself in another thread of being "black" and this is why he is saying "amongst yourselves" - he thinks the most important thing about a person is the pigmentation of the skin. That is racism, pure and simple.

      Delete
    7. Of course you're AKG. Not only is it your patented shrill hysterics, but you're also a Muslim. It would be a hell of a coincidence if you're not AKG.

      You're also banned here.

      Delete
    8. You should get your head examined and find out if your brain is still where it should be.

      Delete
    9. @Anonymous at 1:54 AM.

      So Wretched is racist for calling out conservatives and white Christians for supporting racism? That doesn't make sense. I get it you're the same guy who doesn't think Trump is racist right? Which again shows how conservatives are IMPOSSIBLE to take seriously against racist.

      Also I'm not the first Anon who replied.

      Delete
    10. Anon @12:38 PM
      No, Wretched is a racist for judging people by the color of their skin - for assuming that "white" is evil. What that has got to do with "calling out conservatives" is a mystery.
      Kindly provide some evidence when you call people racist. Apparently you leftists are fine with calling others racists, fascists and whatever is your insult du jour, but when it is pointed out that you are what you accuse others of being suddenly you're most sensitive and think it is "hurtful" to be called what you are. If it weren't for double standards you people would have none at all.

      Delete
  12. Destruction of cultural artifacts is a common tactic of communists

    Good thing monuments to ignorance aren't cultural artifacts.

    And no, getting rid of Confederate leaders won't lead us to throwing away Washington, etc... because the sin of the Confederate leaders wasn't that they were slave owners, but that they were ignorant people. The Founding Fathers may have had slaves, but they weren't ignorant just flawed men.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They weren't just ignorant. They literally fought to preserve slavery, and brutally beat and abused their slaves. Slavery was their sin and it should be seen as such.

      Hell the Founding Fathers weren't just "flawed". They committed atrocities like taking teeth from their slaves, attacked and destroyed Indigenous settlements, raping slaves, etc. The only decent one was John Adams. The rest were awful people. But since what they did happened to non-whites I guess it's not a problem right?

      Delete
    2. Slavery was their sin and it should be seen as such.

      Enslavement and even dehumanization can be forgiven, but ignorance cannot.

      Delete
    3. Hey, Anonymous, can you for one gosh darn second stop presuming that we're as awful as you wish we were?

      Delete
    4. When we begin destroying cultural heritage merely because it conflicts with our values, we rapidly destroy our history entirely. Google Palmyra if you get a chance.

      Delete
    5. @CasualThomist

      Michelangelo, Shakespeare, the Eiffel Tower, Mount Rushmore, New York City, the Cahokia City, Rome, Monet, Beethoven, and Ancient Greece are cultural heritage. Heritage is an inherently good thing. An evil heritage is no heritage at all.

      The Confederate leaders should be remembered for being ignorant. The fact that they were enslavers isn't nearly as bad as the ignorance by which they justified their slavery. A new creative style of art that represents their ignobility should replace the glorious, apotheositic statues that currently exist.

      Delete
    6. No. Heritage is heritage. It doesn't matter if you think it's good or evil. To destroy it is to destroy the foundation we stand upon.

      Delete
    7. @MisterGeocon why don't the Japanese use that defense for the Yasukuni Shrine?

      Delete
    8. @Mr Geocon.

      Not surprised you support Confederate statues. You do realize it only lasted 5 years, was made up of traitors to the USA and these statues were put up to terrorize and demoralize black people (not that you care) and to paint these "leaders" as good people when they were evil and vile. Tell me something. All Nazi statues and heritage after WWII were taken down and destroyed in Germany. Is that destroying foundations that society stands on. Tell me what foundations do the Confederate statues stand for? One that wants to enslave, and dehumanize black people? Is that a foundation worth standing on?

      Delete
    9. Anonymous,

      It doesn't matter if it's a "foundation worth standing on." It's the foundation we have. Taking it away will just causing everything to collapse underneath you. This is people's heritage, and to attack it is to attack the living Southerners that exist today. Nobody in the South honors the Confederates for their defense of slavery, but because they defended the South from Northern invaders. Not because of what they believed, but because of what they did.

      Let me ask you a couple of question: why do you want to do this? Do Confederate statues harm you or your people, or are people like you supporting this because it gives you moral catharsis to see things burn?

      How many statues have to be taken down before you personally say "enough is enough"? Andrew Jackson? Thomas Jefferson? James Madison? Abraham Lincoln? Christopher Columbus? The abolitionists? Should Mount Rushmore be dynamited? I mean, most of those people owned slaves, and they were all racist by modern standards.

      Delete
    10. Wow. You really are a racist. These people literally honour the South for their racism and hatred of black people as that is what the Confederacy stands for. That's why the South even fought the North. To preserve slavery. It's like arguing that people have Swastika's not because they are anti-semitic but because the Nazis defended Germany from their allies or some crap, when anyone with half a brain knows the REAL reason they have swastikas is because they are anti-semitic. Same with the Confederate flag. There's a reason white supremacist rallies and the KKK wave and honour the Confederate flag. It is a symbol of white supremacy akin to a Swastika. Confederate statues were built to demoralize and threaten/mock black people so yes they offend me as a statue of Hitler would offend a Jewish person. Hell yeah they should be taken down like statues of Hitler were. Columbus for sure as he was a rapist, slave owner, slaughterer and didn't even land in America and is honoured for no reason. People during his time tried to prosecute him for his crimes. Having a statue of him that Indigenous people have to see is just as bad as having a statue of Hitler. Mt Rushmore was built on stolen Indigenous land and desecrated it along with having the faces of someone (Washington) who destroyed Indigenous villages, so yeah it should go. Jefferson was a rapist of a 14 year old slave, so no big loss. Why are the lives of non-whites not important to you?

      Tell me something. Would you be okay with Germany having statues of Hitler and Neo-Nazis proudly wearing Swastika's and doing so because Hitler defended Germany from the allies or something?

      You are a white supremacist and racist. Simple as that.

      Delete
    11. Speaking as a conservative whose entire life has been lived in Mississippi, I am relieved that our approximately hundred-year-old state flag, which until a few days ago contained the Confederate battle flag in its top corner, was finally voted off the face of the earth and that a new official state flag is incoming. This attempt to quasi-divinize Confederate statues/symbols strikes this Southerner as stark raving nuts. Our state’s representatives made a vote guaranteed to engender far greater understanding, love, and social cohesion amongst our racially divided population (~57% white, ~40% black), a social cohesion which was on the verge of being totally lost this past month due to inane, childish resistance to understanding why black individuals would feel legitimately distressed by not only living under that flag and seeing it day in and day out, but also by our state’s giving it official backing. (The direct harm such a symbol does is psychological — analogous to the distress a Jew would feel were a Swastika to be waved pitilessly in his face.)

      If “heritage” had to take a blow for this cohesion to obtain, then so be it, and any right thinking person would agree. Concrete, particular, lived realities on the ground are more important than feeling snug in some set of anal abstractions. This is especially true with regards to ethical decision-making/applied ethics, which is rendered utterly worthless as a subject if it doesn’t take in lived realities as datum.

      Moreover, there's nothing wrong with preserving heritage, and we should preserve it, so long as we understand that, out of love for our neighbors (a much greater good to aim for), some pieces of our heritage ought to be preserved in museums and not preserved/waved about in public.

      Delete
    12. MG,
      "How many statues have to be taken down before you personally say "enough is enough"?"
      As many as represent a regression, a move backwards on our ongoing road to being a better, more just, more creative, more prosperous, healthier nation.

      We honor Dr Martin Luther King Jr. because he made a positive contribution in the advancement and betterment of our nation. We do not create a national holiday for the KKK, but we don't forget the KKK either, as they have their place in displays in museums, in history books, and in permanent documentation.

      That is where the confederate generals should go, out of the realm of being honored, venerated, and glorified, because such veneration is misplaced and seeks to honor a terrible regression in our history.

      The rightful place for those who committed insurrection in the cause of perpetuating evil is in museum displays and history books along side the KKK.

      "Andrew Jackson? Thomas Jefferson? James Madison? Abraham Lincoln? Christopher Columbus? The abolitionists? Should Mount Rushmore be dynamited? I mean, most of those people owned slaves, and they were all racist by modern standards. "
      They also moved the ball forward, and thus deserve the respect they receive for making positive contributions, great positive contributions, their many shortcomings notwithstanding.

      Delete
    13. Genocide, rape, theft, and slavery are not just "shortcomings". They are regressions. Colombus needs to come down as he didn't even discover America and people during his time tried to prosecute him. He's a scumbag. Also since Mt Rushmore is on stolen Indigenous land and is a desecration which also represents regression it should go as well.

      Delete
    14. Anonymous,

      Calling reasonable people "racist," "white supremacist," or "fascist," for disagreeing with you is also a communist tactic. I don't put much stock in communist trolls like yourselves calling other people racist. Especially those calling them "conservative."

      Delete
    15. That anon is AKG. He is a mentally unbalanced SJW who hates America and Western civilization. He literally thinks that the West has always been more racist and sexist than other civilizations. Muhammad was a paragon of woke-virtue but George Washington was evil! AKG's not worth it.

      Delete
    16. Anon,
      "Genocide, rape, theft, and slavery are not just "shortcomings". They are regressions."
      At that time no, those were not regressions, they were lateral, sideways, neither better or worse than what was ordinary and global in that time.

      It is true that our founders created a government that provided a means for white male land owners to rule among themselves, excluding all others as not enfranchised or worse.

      The great positive contribution of our founders was the creation of a constitutional republic and a bill of rights that eliminated the king, the queen, the monarch, the dictator. That was an enormous step in the right direction and our founders deserve recognition for that great advancement.

      That process took centuries to complete, but with the advent of the voting rights act, anti redlining laws, and the recent Gorsuch written ruling we have just about completely eliminated systematic bigotry from our legal system.

      Our founders by no means completed that work, but they created the framework for it to commence, a contribution fully deserving of the veneration they receive.

      Delete
    17. So let me get this straight. Calling out America and the West for their racism and sexism means you hate them. What do you expect me to do just sit by and let racism and sexism go unchecked. Oh wait you do. Never mind. Also Muhammad(PBUH) WAS better than George Washington and the Founding Fathers x100000. If you actually bothered to research his life instead of relying on people who don't know anything about Islam or out of context/weak reports you'd know this. Regarding Islam or the life of the Prophet(PBUH). Tell me. Have you looked at the works of Islamic scholars or academics? Read the Quran? Know the difference between the 4 schools of thoughts? Know the difference in grading hadith? Know how the four schools differ in grading hadith? Know the various interpretations of the Quran and hadith according to the 4 schools? Do you know Arabic? Quranic Arabic? If no then I assure you most of the sources you learned about the Prophet(PBUH) from like Robert Spencer or other Islamophobic idiots don't as well. Learning Islam from them is like learning about Judaism from Nazis. Nice try, Dennis.

      @Mr Geocon.

      You're not reasonable that's the thing. You're advocating for racism and white supremacy and defending the glorification of those who did so. No one cares what you think about being called racist in the same way no one cares what Nazis think of being called Nazis. You're just doubling down on your racism instead of trying to understand why people would even think that.

      Delete
    18. @Stardust Psyche.

      ?????. Yeah, I'm sure the Indigenous people and black people who were being killed, raped, and enslaved thought the same thing too. What they are doing to us isn't a regression. That's just normal. I'm sure the abolitionist who were fighting slavery, black people fighting slavery, Indigenous people fighting for their rights, and those who tried to prosecute Colombus thought the same thing as well. You are aware that for example Jefferson was called out for his hypocrisy and actions by Benjamin Banneker? Seriously why is it always whenever atrocities of white men are brought up, we always to have look at their perspective rather than the perspective of the victims?

      Delete
    19. "Read the Quran?"
      Beat your wife.
      Rape your slave.
      Kill the Jew.
      Subjugate non Muslims.

      There is the Quran.

      Delete
    20. I'll post this again. Tell me if you've down the following.

      Tell me. Have you looked at the works of Islamic scholars or academics? Read the Quran fully? Know the difference between the 4 schools of thoughts? Know the difference in grading hadith? Know how the four schools differ in grading hadith? Know the various interpretations of the Quran and hadith according to the 4 schools? Do you know Arabic? Quranic Arabic? If no then I assure you most of the sources you learned about the Prophet(PBUH) from like Robert Spencer or other Islamophobic idiots don't as well. Learning Islam from them is like learning about Judaism from Nazis.

      Little snippet. Regarding concubinage:

      https://asharisassemble.com/2013/07/11/does-islam-allow-forced-sex-with-slave-girls/

      Quote:

      "Here is the PROPER verse 4:24, as it appears in the Quran and not in missionary sex fantasies:

      ”And [forbidden to you are] all married women other than those whom you rightfully possess [through wedlock]: this is God’s ordinance, binding upon you. But lawful to you are all [women] beyond these, for you to seek out, offering them of your possessions, taking them in honest wedlock, and not in fornication.”

      Where is the mention of the word slave or rape? Here is a non-pervert missionary exegesis of the above: The term muhsanah signifies literally “a woman who is fortified [against unchastity]”, and carries three senses: (1) “a married woman”, (2) “a chaste woman”, and (3) “a free woman”. According to almost all the authorities, al-muhsanat denotes in the above context “married women”. As for the expression ma malakat aymanukum (“those whom your right hands possess”, i.e., “those whom you rightfully possess”), it is often taken to mean female slaves captured in a war in God’s cause. The commentators who choose this meaning hold that such slave-girls can be taken in marriage irrespective of whether they have husbands in the country of their origin or not. However, quite apart from the fundamental differences of opinion, even among the Companions of the Prophet, regarding the legality of such a marriage, some of the most outstanding commentators hold the view that ma malakat aymanukum denotes here “women whom you rightfully possess through wedlock”; thus Razi in his commentary on this verse, and Tabari in one of his alternative explanations (going back to ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas, Mujahid, and others). Razi, in particular, points out that the reference to “all married women” (al-muhsanat min an-nisa’), coming as it does after the enumeration of prohibited degrees of relationship, is meant to stress the prohibition of sexual relations with any woman other than one’s lawful wife".

      Also regarding Judaism and Islam:

      https://kavvanah.blog/2012/06/04/how-islam-saved-the-jews-david-wasserstein/

      Delete
    21. "I'm sure the Indigenous people and black people who were being killed, raped, and enslaved thought the same thing too. What they are doing to us isn't a regression. That's just normal"
      Quite possibly, since killing and enslaving each other were common among the indigenous people of the Americas and Africa.

      "why is it always whenever atrocities of white men are brought up, we always to have look at their perspective rather than the perspective of the victims?"
      I don't, but you do, that is, look at it from just one side.

      In almost all cases heroes turn out to be in other ways villains themselves.

      Indigenous people committed atrocities against each other with great regularity.

      Andrew Jackson, the guy on our $20 bill led the death march eviction land theft known as the Trail of Tears.

      Peel back the onion of any particular "hero" and chances are you will find he also did some really rotten things.

      For our founders their villainous acts were about average for their time, and their positive acts were really a great step forward, so I generally give them a positive overall score.

      For a guy like Nathan Bedford Forrest it's pretty much all bad all the way through, so I favor moving his statues to museums or just getting rid of them, while continuing to keep him in the history books and permanent records as a traitor to the USA, and leader of racist American domestic terrorism, the KKK. I don't see an upside to a guy like that, which would warrant any sort of glorification, honor, or veneration.

      Delete
    22. Anonymous,

      I understand completely why people would call me a racist. It's because they are cynical political actors and cowards that think shouting "racist" is an argument. That, or they are being controlled by cynical actors.

      Here's something you should take to heart: I consider you to be just as evil as you consider me. So you are not going to get anywhere by calling me a racist. If you insist on doing so instead of actually, you know, arguing with me, then you are a troll.

      Delete
    23. I'm the only one who is amazed that SP looks more sensible and serious than another poster (AKG)? That's how low AKG has sunk. This is what SJW ideology does to you.

      Delete
    24. Everyone I disagree with is a white supremacistJuly 2, 2020 at 6:46 PM

      Isn't it interesting that no one told basically every Muslim civilization prior to the present day that Muhammad was anti-slavery and anti-concubinage. When the Abbasids were pioneering mass black African slavery, and appealing to Muhammad's example to justify slavery, they were completely delusional. Don't worry, modern revisionists and apologist, though not some more traditional Muslim scholars, are here to explain all and show how woke Muhammad really was. What looks like rape, murder, enslavement was no such thing after all!

      Delete
    25. @Mr. Geocon.

      Here's the thing. We are not in anyway equivalent. You are defending the glorification of white supremacy and slavery. If you think me being against that makes me evil it only shows how delusional you are. It's like a KKK member calling someone who calls out their racism and is against them evil. You are impossible to reason with.

      @Everyone.

      I'll post this again:

      http://nizami.co.uk/muhammad-the-prophet-of-god-didnt-have-slaves/

      Read this quote:

      "Muhammad, the Prophet of God, was neither a slave owner (however benign the misguided make out his so-called ‘slave owning’ to be) nor a slave trader. And neither was he a raqīq trader. He obtained individual riqāq through two ways: either he was given a raqīq as a gift or he bought them, coming to free them all. al-Nawawī stated in a well known position that they were the Prophet’s riqāq individually, and at separate times. What this suggests is that he doesn’t seem to have simply been a raqīq ‘owner’ in the sense that he had scores of riqāq concurrently for the sole purpose of ownership. Successively obtaining an individual raqīq can suggest that the Prophet intended to obtain riqāq for their eventual emancipation. It cannot be said that he did this because he might have looked bad; being the leader of Madinah, he could have had a band of riqāq and nobody would have raised an eyebrow for something quite ordinary and expected at the time."

      Regarding the Abbasid you are aware the Abbasid's purposely used and spread fabricated and weak hadith/reports attributed to the Prophet(PBUH) to use him as an example to justify slavery, obedience to rulers, etc. They weren't appealing to his actual example but fabrication and weak reports. Tell me something. Before discussing the Prophet's(PBUH) life have you looked at the works of Islamic scholars or academics? Read the Quran in full? Know the difference between the 4 schools of thoughts? Know the difference in grading hadith? Know how the four schools differ in grading hadith? Know the various interpretations of the Quran and hadith according to the 4 schools? Do you know Arabic? Quranic Arabic?

      If no then I assure you most of the sources you learned about the Prophet(PBUH) from like Robert Spencer or other Islamophobic idiots don't as well. Learning Islam from them is like learning about Judaism from Nazis.

      Delete
    26. Everyone I disagree with is a white supremacistJuly 2, 2020 at 7:42 PM

      Usual AKG bs: post from highly questionable ideologues and act as if they are experts or something. Also make sure to preemptively dismiss any scholars who might disagree.

      How about you respond properly to the claims.

      Did Muhammad have and take slaves? Unquestionably yes.

      Did Muhammad outlaw slavery amongst Muslims? Unquestionably no.

      Did Muhammad have concubines and allow a man to have sex with his slaves? Unquestionably yes.

      Did Muhammad and the early Muslims launch wars of conquest? Unquestionably yes.

      Did Muhammad and the early Muslims sometimes massacre their opponents? Unquestionably yes.

      Delete
    27. Did you even read what I said, or check out the link or are you willfully ignoring everything I said. The links and quotes answer most of your questions.

      Tell me who are these scholars you use as your sources. I am quoting from actual Muslim scholars, and academics who have dedicated their lives to studying Islam. Have any of your sources done the following: Looked at the works of Islamic scholars or academics? Read the Quran? Know the difference between the 4 schools of thoughts? Know the difference in grading hadith? Know how the four schools differ in grading hadith? Know the various interpretations of the Quran and hadith according to the 4 schools? Know Arabic? Quranic Arabic?

      Regarding concubinage:

      https://asharisassemble.com/2013/07/11/does-islam-allow-forced-sex-with-slave-girls/

      Quote:

      "Here is the PROPER verse 4:24, as it appears in the Quran and not in missionary sex fantasies:

      ”And [forbidden to you are] all married women other than those whom you rightfully possess [through wedlock]: this is God’s ordinance, binding upon you. But lawful to you are all [women] beyond these, for you to seek out, offering them of your possessions, taking them in honest wedlock, and not in fornication.”

      Where is the mention of the word slave or rape? Here is a non-pervert missionary exegesis of the above: The term muhsanah signifies literally “a woman who is fortified [against unchastity]”, and carries three senses: (1) “a married woman”, (2) “a chaste woman”, and (3) “a free woman”. According to almost all the authorities, al-muhsanat denotes in the above context “married women”. As for the expression ma malakat aymanukum (“those whom your right hands possess”, i.e., “those whom you rightfully possess”), it is often taken to mean female slaves captured in a war in God’s cause. The commentators who choose this meaning hold that such slave-girls can be taken in marriage irrespective of whether they have husbands in the country of their origin or not. However, quite apart from the fundamental differences of opinion, even among the Companions of the Prophet, regarding the legality of such a marriage, some of the most outstanding commentators hold the view that ma malakat aymanukum denotes here “women whom you rightfully possess through wedlock”; thus Razi in his commentary on this verse, and Tabari in one of his alternative explanations (going back to ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas, Mujahid, and others). Razi, in particular, points out that the reference to “all married women” (al-muhsanat min an-nisa’), coming as it does after the enumeration of prohibited degrees of relationship, is meant to stress the prohibition of sexual relations with any woman other than one’s lawful wife".

      Delete
    28. Here's something you should take to heart: I consider you to be just as evil as you consider me.

      "Which way am I supposed to go, to the left where nothing is right, or to the right where nothing is left?" -- Itachi Uchiha

      Delete
    29. What happened to this thread? It appears to have spiraled out of control over the last day of my absence...

      Anyways, @BalancedTryteOperators,
      I'm actually rather ambiguous on the topic of Confederate statues, but the reason I brought up Palmyra was that it was destroyed by ISIS for the same reason that the destruction of Confederate statues is sought- because it is a piece of past history that the destroyer finds morally abhorrent. While it might not be good philosophy, my point was merely that we need to make sure that in destroying the statues we aren't costing ourselves a reminder of the past that we need. Just a thought is all.

      Delete
  13. Remember that socialism and communism COMPETE with capitalism in order to corner the market on assent.

    And show me an instance of "unregulated capitalism" and I'll show you a market segment that is regulated in such a way as to keep out competitors to one or two corporate friends of government. Socialism and communism have always been identical to democracies in this sense, playing favorites with a handful of arbitrarily-exempted banks, corporations, and financiers.

    Soros gave $33 million to BLM, btw. The fun fact is that the rainbow corporations will be sabotaged by their own secretly unwoke and vindictive workers.

    ReplyDelete
  14. So Colomombus not actually discovering America, and committing atrocities against the Indigenous people of America such as rape, slaughter, and slavery are just "flaws" to you? If this is "morality" then it's a disgusting kind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AKG? What kind of a person was Muhammad?

      Delete
    2. Are you, then, of the opinion that every warlord and conqueror in history be scrubbed from the books? Should nobody learn of Julius Caesar, of Genghis Khan, of damn near everything that happened in history? We can admit that these men were bad men while still acknowledging their virtues and learning from them, surely?

      Delete
    3. Whatever you think of Muhammad(PBUH) it's not even true at all. Most of these are weak reports, or outright fabrications or out of context distortions.

      @Cantus, there's a difference between learning about someone and glorifying and celebrating them, and downplaying their atrocities (because it didn't happen to white people so who cares right?) and the latter is what you are doing and advocating. You don't see people celebrating Hitler despite some of his "achievements" so why should Colombus get a pass. Hell during his time people tried to prosecute him for his crimes.

      Delete
    4. Either Mohammed is the most misunderstood guy in history, or we can judge him by what Muslims teach today.

      Delete
    5. Muhammad enslaved and massacred no one? He didn't allow the taking and use of sex slaves? How was he better than the American Founders?

      Delete
    6. And all married women are forbidden unto you save those captives whom your right hand possess. It is a decree of Allah for you."

      Should we pull down the mosques alongside the Columbas statues, then?

      Delete
    7. About slavery. Not really:

      http://nizami.co.uk/muhammad-the-prophet-of-god-didnt-have-slaves/

      Read this quote:

      "Muhammad, the Prophet of God, was neither a slave owner (however benign the misguided make out his so-called ‘slave owning’ to be) nor a slave trader. And neither was he a raqīq trader. He obtained individual riqāq through two ways: either he was given a raqīq as a gift or he bought them, coming to free them all. al-Nawawī stated in a well known position that they were the Prophet’s riqāq individually, and at separate times. What this suggests is that he doesn’t seem to have simply been a raqīq ‘owner’ in the sense that he had scores of riqāq concurrently for the sole purpose of ownership. Successively obtaining an individual raqīq can suggest that the Prophet intended to obtain riqāq for their eventual emancipation. It cannot be said that he did this because he might have looked bad; being the leader of Madinah, he could have had a band of riqāq and nobody would have raised an eyebrow for something quite ordinary and expected at the time."

      Regarding concubinage:

      https://asharisassemble.com/2013/07/11/does-islam-allow-forced-sex-with-slave-girls/

      Quote:

      "Here is the PROPER verse 4:24, as it appears in the Quran and not in missionary sex fantasies:

      ”And [forbidden to you are] all married women other than those whom you rightfully possess [through wedlock]: this is God’s ordinance, binding upon you. But lawful to you are all [women] beyond these, for you to seek out, offering them of your possessions, taking them in honest wedlock, and not in fornication.”

      Where is the mention of the word slave or rape? Here is a non-pervert missionary exegesis of the above: The term muhsanah signifies literally “a woman who is fortified [against unchastity]”, and carries three senses: (1) “a married woman”, (2) “a chaste woman”, and (3) “a free woman”. According to almost all the authorities, al-muhsanat denotes in the above context “married women”. As for the expression ma malakat aymanukum (“those whom your right hands possess”, i.e., “those whom you rightfully possess”), it is often taken to mean female slaves captured in a war in God’s cause. The commentators who choose this meaning hold that such slave-girls can be taken in marriage irrespective of whether they have husbands in the country of their origin or not. However, quite apart from the fundamental differences of opinion, even among the Companions of the Prophet, regarding the legality of such a marriage, some of the most outstanding commentators hold the view that ma malakat aymanukum denotes here “women whom you rightfully possess through wedlock”; thus Razi in his commentary on this verse, and Tabari in one of his alternative explanations (going back to ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas, Mujahid, and others). Razi, in particular, points out that the reference to “all married women” (al-muhsanat min an-nisa’), coming as it does after the enumeration of prohibited degrees of relationship, is meant to stress the prohibition of sexual relations with any woman other than one’s lawful wife".

      Also if you want to criticize Islam for slavery why don't you hold the same vitriol for Judaism as it allows slavery as well?

      Also regarding Islam. Tell me. Have you looked at the works of Islamic scholars or academics? Read the Quran? Know the difference between the 4 schools of thoughts? Know the difference in grading hadith? Know how the four schools differ in grading hadith? Know the various interpretations of the Quran and hadith according to the 4 schools? Do you know Arabic? Quranic Arabic? If no then I assure you most of the sources you learned Islam from like Robert Spencer or other Islamophobic idiots don't as well. Learning Islam from them is like learning about Judaism from Nazis.

      Delete
    8. We have two reports of an event from two of the earliest and most acclaimed Muslim historians:

      'Kinana b. al-Rabi', who had the custody of the treasure of the B. al-Nadir, was brought to the apostle who asked him about it. He denied that he knew where it was. A Jew came to the apostle and said that he had seen Kinana going round a certain ruin every morning early. When the apostle said to Kinana, 'Do you know that if we find you have it I shall kill you?' he said Yes. The apostle gave orders that the ruin was to be excavated and some of the treasure was found. When he asked him about the rest he refused to produce it, so the apostle gave orders to al-Zubayr b. al-'Awwam, 'Torture him until you extract what he has,' so he kindled a fire with flint and steel on his chest until he was nearly dead. Then the apostle delivered him to Muhammad b. Maslama and he struck off his head in revenge for his brother Mahmud.' - Ibn Ishaq.

      'Kinanah b. al-Rabi b. al-Huqyaq who had the treasure of B. Nadir was brought to the Messenger of God, who questioned him; but he denied knowing where it was. Then the messenger of God was brought a Jew who said to him, “I have seen Kinanah walk around this ruin every morning.” The Messenger of God said to Kinanah: “What do you say? If we find it in your possession, I will kill you.” “All right,” he answered. The Messenger of God commanded that the ruin should be dug up, and some of the treasure was extracted from it. Then he asked him for the rest of it. Kinanah refused to surrender it; so the Messenger of God gave orders concerning him to al-Zubayr b. al-‘Awwam, saying, “torture him until you root out what he has.” Al-Zubayr kept twirling his firestick in his breast until Kinanah almost expired; then the Messenger of God gave him to Muhammad b. Maslamah, who beheaded him to avenge his brother Mahmud b. Maslamah.”' - Al-Tabari.

      What context could possibly make this okay? Why would these devout, highly respected Muslims make this up? If it was false, why spread it? Muslims were more than happy to take anything that placed Islam in question and cast them in to the flames, even for minor issues. It would seem to me that this behaviour from the prophet didn't really bother early Muslims. They didn't see a problem with it.

      There is nothing wrong with concluding that Muhammad was a sinner like the rest of us. There was nothing particularly special about him. It makes much more sense, given that he would pray for forgiveness and to overcome sin. But we aren't the ones saying that any monument to sinful people be torn down.

      "Have you looked at the works of Islamic scholars or academics?"

      Yes. Its because of their work that I am now more firmly sure that Islam has problems that can't be overcome. The Quran has been changed. Muhammad never had the Quran written down in his life time. His scribe, who didn't do it before, went around and spoke to people after Muhammad died to figure it out. The Quran is what Muhammad's scribe decided it was. Muslims have fought over what the Quran says because they had ones that said different things, and Caliphs have written up their own judgements about what the correct one is and performed mass burnings of manuscripts containing anything that said otherwise. The Quran, claimed to have no human influence, has all the literary marks of coming from an illiterate 7th century Arab culture. Homer's Illiad and the Odyssey also came from an illiteral culture and has these marks too, but the Quran has vastly more of them. More can be said. Contemporary Islamic scholars are the ones who confirmed all this.

      "Read the Quran?"

      The story of Iblis and Adam is a 1st century Jewish folk tale, that then was passed around by Christians by the 4th century. Somehow it existed before the Quran, but not before the 1st century, and it was never deemed part of scripture. How? It's seems like Muhammad got the story from the Jews he met, not from God.

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    9. Yeah regarding your accounts? Not the knockout argument you think:

      "Criticism of Ibn Ishaq's Account
      In hadith studies, ibn Isḥaq's hadith (considered separately from his prophetic biography) is generally thought to be "good" (ḥasan) (assuming an accurate and trustworthy isnad, or chain of transmission)[6] and himself having a reputation of being "sincere" or "trustworthy" (ṣadūq). However, a general analysis of his isnads has given him the negative distinction of being a mudallis, meaning one who did not name his teacher, claiming instead to narrate directly from his teacher's teacher.[7] Concerning his sīra, the most notable and widely discussed criticism was that of his contemporary, Malik ibn Anas, who leveled many accusations against Ibn Ishaq.[8][9] Malik rejected the stories of Muhammad and the Jews of Medina on ground that they were taken solely based on accounts by sons of Jewish converts.[10] These same stories have also been denounced as "odd tales" later by Ibn Hajar.[10] Malik and others also thought that Ibn Ishaq relied too heavily on the Isra'iliyat."

      Also:

      https://discover-the-truth.com/2015/04/04/baseless-story-of-kinana-ibn-al-rabi-treasure/

      which explains the whole story.

      Sorry Islamophobe. Thanks for demonstrating your utter ignorance of Islamic history. If you even knew 1/10000th of how to properly study Islam you wouldn't even try to use this. Tell me do you the difference between the hadith and Sunnah? The Sirah? How different hadith are graded? How different hadith are graded according to the different schools of thought?

      Regarding your comment on the Quran. Tell me do you know Arabic? Quranic Arabic? How can you judge the quality of the Quran without even knowing it's language. Have you even read the Quran in its own language or at all?



      Also here's the thing. Muhammad(PBUH) was 100000000x better than these sinful people(Presidents, Confederate generals, etc) so comparing them is not accurate. It's like comparing Jesus(PBUH) to them.


      Who are these "scholars" you claim to have looked at? For the record Robert Spencer, Sam Harris, and people like him don't count.

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    10. "Who are these "scholars" you claim to have looked at?"
      For the accuracy of the English translation of the Reliance of the Traveler scholars include The Islamic Research Academy at al Azhar University.

      For a side by side comparison of Quran translations one good source is
      corpus.quaran.com
      7 translations are compared side by side for each passage.

      For side by side comparison of hadith a good source is
      https://sunnah.com/
      Sahih al-Bukhari is listed first because he is perhaps the most trusted collector of hadith, although 14 are listed.

      If we cannot trust the Islamic sources as they tell us of the robbery, rape, invasion, enslavement, child marriage, mass execution of Jews, torture, and conquest carried out by Muhammad, then how can the Islamic sources be trusted for anything at all?

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    11. So basically you haven't looked any serious scholarly resources and are just superfucially looking at these things without any explanation or context. Islamic sources are reliable, it's your understanding of them that is the issue as you REFUSE to seriously engage in the tradition and are cherry-picking to suit your prejudice.

      Have you even LOOKED at the links I sent which would explain them?

      I'll ask are you aware of the difference in grading hadith? You are aware that not all hadith are reliable and Bukhari's work has been critically examined and reviewed for CENTURIES by Muslims? How the different schools of thought graded them? The difference between Hadith,Sunnah, and Sirah? Can you even speak/read Arabic? Understand Quranic Arabic? If not then you KNOW nothing about Islam.

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  15. I know this list is focused on popes of the last century, but much more could be added by way of the Personalism/Phenomenology of John Paul II and how it actually played out in history with the fall of the Iron Curtain.

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  16. Enlightenment values

    All of the Enlightenment can be summed up in the following point: the whole West was inert for the first 1,500 years inside of a personality type that has inheritance, slavery, favorites, mercy, free association, dereism, and not working as core values. Ever since the Enlightenment, Western man has been in a struggle against this personality type that is more evil than psychopath.

    The Enlightenment is not an intellectual movement in favor of something as much as it is a stance against something too vile to exist.

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    1. All of the Enlightenment can be summed up in the following point: the whole West was inert for the first 1,500 years inside of a personality type that has inheritance, slavery, favorites, mercy, free association, dereism, and not working as core values. Ever since the Enlightenment, Western man has been in a struggle against this personality type that is more evil than psychopath.

      The Enlightenment is not an intellectual movement in favor of something as much as it is a stance against something too vile to exist.


      So, essentially, the Enlightenment is not an intellectual movement, but a stance against a boogeyman of its own creation. Good to know.

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  17. As is often pointed out, the average advocate of “socialism” (in its current popularized form of social programs funded by capitalism) can’t seem to explain it in anything other than vagaries and tripe, but that doesn’t stop them from being highly emotional about it. It’s a rare occasion when you can find someone who feels the need to give some rational justification. What they usually do is point out that a centralized authority is the best way to do things—healthcare for example. They often point out good things the military has provided like TCP/IP or cell phones.

    I try to take them seriously, I really do, but then they start talking about “Democratic Socialism”—which, whatever else that may mean, it clearly does not mean a centralized authority. The only “Democratic” economic system is capitalism where every individual votes on the direction of human endeavor with their dollars.

    Point out the flaws in capitalism as you like, but no other system in history has lifted more people from poverty. And no other system is capable of funding the social programs of the so called “Socialists”.

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  18. The Enlightenment is to blame. Its aftermath sanctioned new artificial entities like the modern state, a sovereign market, and property as an absolute, which have all damaged the natural structures of society ever since. Subsidiarity is destroyed as much by the market as a pseudo-social entity as by the modern state.

    It is not subsidiarity in the Catholic sense to speak of the autonomy of individuals and families while remaining silent as the market and the state make the other structures and layers of society become totally irrelevant. If the family or the individual are not mediated from the state and sovereign market piracy by strong intermediary bodies, they will become irrelevant too.

    Catholic social doctrine is NOT a discussion of individual (or family) versus collective, because the Church has always defended the collectives into which individuals and families were organized. This is in fact their only protection when faced with the new, artificial structures that have taken over since the Enlightenment, the modern state and the market. Historically, the Church fought tooth and nail to preserve those corporate societies when the market revolution arrived. THOSE societies are the ones the Church warms to. Let's try to get warm feelings about that kind of society too, and STOP sympathizing with the sovereign market philosophy which destroyed it.

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  19. It may well be true that class warfare "shouldn't" happen, and that Capitalism isn't, in itself, intrinsically unjust. That doesn't change the fact that, fallen human nature being what it is, class warfare inevitably will ensue in a Capitalist system, which pits capital against labor. (And no, this isn't primarily due to the "envy" of the poor/labor class, who have little power, as right-wingers would have it.) Socialism isn't the answer, of course, for it makes the State the sole holder of productive capital, which makes things even worse, as the holders of capital not only have a direct line to Government, but are government.

    The only answer is for government to come down 100% on the side of labor, with unabashed and unapologetic wealth and income redistribution, with things like universal health care and a UBI. You guys seem to think that issues like illegitimate children, sexual revolution, etc., can be completely segregated from economic ones, which are less important. I say you are wrong, and economics is more fundamental. You do not see all these pathologies nearly as much in the more well-off segments of society.


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    1. This nineteenth century model is dying off fast. Time to ditch all the philosophies, whether leftist or market sectarian which issued from the Enlightenment. In the meantime, free health and whatever are only (necessary) bandage solutions for the disfunctional societies that have resulted from these philosophies.

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    2. LonelyProfessor, We've seen that movie before, in the 1960s and 70s. It doesn't end well. The redistribution of wealth creates multigenerational dependence on government dole, destroys families, and contributes to making our inner cities war zones. In addition, it chokes off the economic growth that could provide the dignity of work for the dependent and those not yet dependent, creating even more dependency in a vicious circle. There is also the moral hazard of paying people not to work. And it concentrates power in the hands of the politicians and bureaucrats who do the redistributing, using it as a bribe to gain and maintain power at the expense of the common good. No, capitalism with a lightly regulated market and a safety met strong enough to help those in need but not so strong it creates moral hazard is, warts and all, the best economic system yet devised.

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    3. Fred,"the best economic system yet devised" has killed off subsidiarity in Western societies. What we have been left with is an atomized construct with nothing between the individual/family, and the modern state/sovereign market. Therefore it's wrong according to Church teaching.

      Opting out is not an effective course of action, so the political system itself will have to make new rules against market piracy, and redimension the state. This can't be done while people continue to argue in post-Enlightenment terms of left versus right etc. The Church has always rejected all the philosophies on offer in the post-Enligthenment. Why can't commenters here get their minds to think as the Church does?

      Are we putting the Church and its view of life into the Sunday morning basket of private devotions and wishful thinking while, the rest of the week, we accept the "real" world of Enlightenment errors? I'm not optimistic about getting a real reply because this is a question of what people really believe in and love.

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  20. Fred,
    LonelyProfessor, We've seen that movie before, in the 1960s and 70s. It doesn't end well. The redistribution of wealth creates multigenerational dependence on government dole, destroys families, and contributes to making our inner cities war zones.

    You seem to have confused the effects of redistribution with the effects of wealth consolidation. In the 50s and 60s, we still had wealth denial in form of redlining, which made white flight into a financially beneficial decision. We still had legally enforceable segregation. We had very little effort encouraging the advancement of the disadvantaged.

    Almost every other country of western European culture has managed to install a proper safety net where health care is not tied to your employer and you are guaranteed a basic, minimum standard of living, and yet still have the majority of people interested in improving their personal situation. Why do you think the US is so morally weak and corruptible that we can't do the same?

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  21. I think a good deal of intellectual humility would do wonders in politics and economics. People need to realize they are not experts and that economics is a VERY complicated thing. Your beautiful social democratic model might not work as well as the free market in some cases. And your ingenious free market model might not work as well as that social democratic model in some other cases. How sure can you really be? We don't understand that much about economics, and there's loads of disagreement on so many issues.

    I think this is also why it is wise for the Church not to talk much about it. It's a messy area and we still have much to learn. I 100% agree that socialism as such is beyond the pale and should be shunned, and in general I don't have a problem with these past statements. But more than that would be complicated.

    If people weren't so confident of their own positions in economics, especially non-experts, we might be able to advance public discourse. But more often than not, people are full of certainties about the smallest things and they can trace immediate relations between such and such model and all ills in the world. This kind of thinking has gotten us nowhere in the past 2 centuries, and will continue getting us nowhere.

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    1. Atno,

      Absolutely correct.

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    2. While Hayek's anthropology got a little weird, he was right about central authority being correct in some cases (e.g. the family), and emergent order being correct in others (Adam Smith's "invisible hand").

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    3. If people weren't so confident of their own positions in economics, especially non-experts

      I defer to "the experts" in a lot of areas, and I have no trouble admitting they know a lot more than me. But there are a few areas where, without being a bona fide expert myself, I happen to know that the field is rife with people who DO have degrees and professorships, but who are barking up the wrong tree in major ways. And whose capacity for reasoning is markedly low. We have seen professional philosophers come here at Ed Feser's site, and make fools of themselves (Prof. Law, for example), showing that they didn't know what they were talking about and could not reason their way out of a paper bag. So-called "New Testament Studies" is another field where I seen supposed "experts" blather absolute crap.

      In the field of economics, there is something of a mixed bag: the field is in a state where different schools have opposing foundations, and as a result, at least one school of economics is somewhere between wrong and grotesquely wrong. Socialism has been proven to be wrong economically (let aside from morally) but we still get people cranking out socialist economic theory. And even within the schools of economics that are not so far out to lunch, there is so much unknown about it that economics seems to be (with psychology) one of the few fields that are not 20-20 even in hindsight. Given that, I will sometimes go with a non-expert over an expert, especially when the non-expert is the one saying "we can't be sure of that" and the expert is insisting that he can be sure.

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    4. Tony,

      It's true that some "experts" are just bat-shit crazy. It's also true that the "experts" (along with the masses) can be lost in echo chambers (I think we have a lot of that going on today). But no one is completely wrong on everything and there is typically some grain of truth that can be acknowledged in any given opinion.

      The people that call themselves "socialists" today typically have no idea what they are talking about, but it is good to steel-man their arguments (even when they happen to be really bad) and take critique as an oportunity for improvement.

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    5. Tony, I'm extremely confident the Church knew what it was talking about when it taught that economics is not pure science, but an activity intricately bound up with the moral order and subject to rules that come from beyond the mere mechanics of economic activity: if the "market" is allowed to make up its own rules it inevitably becomes piracy. Property comes to mean MY property (or that of my gang).

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    6. @Atno: Sure, people should be humble about what they know and don't know, but I think there's still an obligation to inform oneself about economics, especially when economic arguments are center-stage in social and political debates. A good place to start is Tom Woods' The Church and the Market. It comes highly recommended from our host.

      @Anon, I defy you to show me where the Church has ever taught that in a definitive manner. It is simply wrong, so if she did, she would be fallible. Since the Church's and the popes' teaching magisterium is infallible, they never taught this.
      There is an ethical dimension to all activity and hence to scientific investigation of everything - does this mean that all sciences fall under the Church's teaching magisterium?
      Economics is simply dispassionate analysis of how society functions. Men who disregard the laws of economics in enacting laws and setting up social institutions will be as successful in their endeavors as aviators who disregard the laws of gravity.

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    7. Thomas Woods is an Austro-Libertarian who regularly throws out Catholic doctrine when it conflicts with the rulings of Pope Murray, such as on abortion or gay marriage. I would recommend Chris Ferrara's The Church and the Libertarian as a detailed critique of Austro-Libertarianism from the perspective of Catholic teaching.

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    8. Every word of Church teaching on the subject is predicated on the basis that this activity is subject to morality. Please show where it doesn't accept this.

      All human interaction has a moral dimension, which is the Church's business. The contemporary pseudo-science of economics claims to be a dispassionate analysis of how society functions. But it makes its own depraved theories of how it thinks society SHOULD work a kind of divine absolute (as per Burke's well known belief). Obscene.

      The only thing about which there is any certitude here is that economics cannot function like gravity. The principles of economics, like politics, are inextricably connected to morality. We are not talking maths or electrical engineering. It's interesting to see how closely this brand of Enlightenment thought mimics the marxist conviction that only ITS interpretation of society is "scientific" and therefore correct.

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    9. It should also be said that despite the constant Austrian attempts to pass off their theories as definitive expressions of economic laws, this is far from proven in many instances. The same, indeed, goes for Neoclassical economics, especially the central models. Just look at the Marginal Productivity Theory, which is used to suggest that labour, capital and land are remunerated according to their contribution to productivity. This lies in tatters after the Cambridge Capital Controversy, although it is still taught to undergraduates as an economic law.

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    10. @Jeremy Taylor: What did Tom Woods do to you to make you calumniate him so? Can you tell me some theories that have been proven wrong? I'm not sure what exactly it is you think the Cambridge controversy proved or disproved.

      @Anon: Do you have an argument? Or are you content to just virtue signal your contempt for a science you apparently don't bother to understand? I don't have to show you anything - it's you who make a very bold claim about Church teaching without backing it up. Twice.
      As for Marxism, at least the Marxists tried to understand how society works. They were wrong in just about every way possible, but at least they made the effort. Which is more than you seem to be willing to do.

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    11. Read Ferrara's book. Woods is a Rothbard groupie. Like most Austro-Libertarians, he worships Rothbard and Mises to an embarrassing degree, and, yes, that includes sympathetic comments towards things like anarcho-capitalism or the idea that one can be personally pro-life, but believe the state should respect a woman's choice to get an abortion.

      The Cambridge Capital Controversy was the final nail in the coffin of the marginal productivity theory of retrns, for a start. There's no non-circular way to aggregate capital, which means one cannot properly distinguish the productivity of capital as opposed to the other factors of production.

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    12. The Austro-Libertarians are extreme classical liberals. It is very hard to square that with Catholic thought, hence so many of the more hardline ones don't. There's also no secular adulation I can think of that matches how many Austro-Libertarians treat a few fringe economists. They are the oracle's of all social, political, and moral truth. Not even the Marxists can match that.

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    13. Kristoffer Hansen, you need to show where the Church accepts your view on economics being a "science" independent of morality. As for the contrary view, it's in every word of Church teaching on the subject. Like the Marxists, those who support economic theories independent of morality and Church teaching are in the business of designing societies that fit their philosophies and interests. They are largely responsible for the unnatural mess we call Western society today, yet have the gall to claim the results of their ideas are as "natural as the laws of gravity. All along they have ganged up using every device, legal and illegal, to ruin forms of economics activity that don't conform to their models. They have destroyed subsidiarity. Society now needs intervention to close down the pirates and allow society at all levels to freely flourish again. This is not socialism (another fake science from the Enlightenment stable) but Church teaching.

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    14. @ Jeremy Taylor,

      I think much of the cult-like adoration of the Austrian school is attributable to its being seen as a counterweight to blank slate theory as represented by Gunnar Myrdal (who shared the Nobel with Hayek in 1974). Given the two options, I’d gladly suffer the Austrians over the authoritarian and technocratic “blank slaters”. Austrian economics is quite good at identifying what is wrong, but it’s not so good at prescribing what is right.

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    15. @ Kristoffer Hansen,

      Several people use the username “anonymous”. Some of them are pretty reasonable, but the one you are interacting with (also known as AKG, or AKC, or whatever) is just a nut who comes here to suck all the oxygen out of the room and make it impossible to have a discussion. I’d suggest not interacting with him. He will never stop pumping out words, so save your keyboard.

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    16. @Jeremy Taylor: I suggest you actually read Woods' own books instead of relying on hearsay about his ideas and positions. Anarcho-capitalism is a perfectly respectable position for any Catholic to hold. Absence of state does not mean absence of hierarchy and governance.
      As for the Cambridge controversy - I've never seen that spin put on it. "Capital" is not productive as such. The prices of individual capital goods are explained by their marginal productivity like all other factors. Capital is the monetary expression of an entrepreneur's capital goods. The return of capital (interest) is explained by time preference.
      There's no opposition between classical liberalism and Church dogma. Some individual classical liberals were also anticlerical and atheists. But many were also devout Christians and Catholics. Your comment about adulation is just silly and not deserving of further comment.

      @Anon: I need to show no such thing. I claim no special Church authority for my position - you do. You continually reference the whole of Church teaching but have so far failed to provide a single instance of any pope or council explaining the epistemological and moral character of economics. If all of Church teaching testify to the truth of your position this should be pretty easy to do. So why don't you?

      @T N: Perhaps you're right. Still, it might be a lesson for others in how not to argue.
      By the way, I would be interested to learn what you think the short-comings of Austrian prescriptions are.

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    17. Kristoffer,

      All you are doing is confirming you are an extreme classical liberal, which hardly makes Woods seem more credible. The idea that a Catholic can be an anarcho-capitalism is preposterous. Extreme liberals are absolutists on autonomy, which is not Church teaching. And they reject such doctrines as just price and just wage (which are not the same as the market rate, necessarily).

      The point of the Cambridge Capital Controversy is that capital cannot be aggregated in a non-circular way, which undermines Marginal Productivity Theory. One cannot obviously just add the myriad forms of capital together, except by using their monetary value. But the monetary value of capital depends on its productivity. If capital cannot be aggregated in a non-circular fashion, then we cannot assign mathematically it's productivity, and therefore neither can we do so for labour or land. The Marginal Productivity Theory falls apart as a theoretical model, and with it the theoretical support to the idea you are paid according to your productivity.

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    18. For the third time you need to provide proof for your claim the Church teaches that economics is a science with its own rules, independent of morality.

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    19. @Jeremy Taylor: I'll consider being called an extreme classical liberal a badge of honor. For the rest, I can only suggest you actually read Woods' book, it might teach you a thing or two about economics as well as about traditional teaching on just prices. If my recommendation is not enough, perhaps this one is:
      "Woods' book is a welcome antidote to the various combinations of economic incompetence and self-righteous posturing... that too often masquerade as the only authentic interpretations of Catholic social teaching." - Edward Feser
      As for capital, well, we seem to be talking past each other. Capital cannot be aggregated, no - and so what? is the proper response. That's long been known among economists (or at least among those familiar with the Austrian school). This has nothing to do with marginal productivity theory, however, since the return to capital (unlike the prices of individual capital goods) is not determined by marginal productivity but by time preference.

      @Anon: I think we're done here. You claim Church authority for your own position bu fail to point to a single line from any document to substantiate this claim. Your claim that I need to prove anything is mistaken - if anything, it shows that you don't understand the limits of the magisterium, since what you ask for is more a question of philosophy of science or epistemology more than anything else.

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    20. Yes we're done. You can't substantiate your claim that the Church has abdicated its regulation of economic activities with morality.

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    21. Anon, I don't agree with your underlying premise: that "economics" is not a "science" if it is imbued with moral requirements. That's not how the Church addresses such things. In practice, "moral theology" is a science, as is "moral philosophy" - they are distinct disciplines with their own sets of principles and methods - i.e. distinct sciences. That they are, also, imbued with moral principles just means that those disciplines are part of the larger study of humanity insofar as man is moral - which is a whole range of distinct disciplines. Economics, also, is one of those disciplines. It has non-moral principles, and moral principles, and so conclusions in economics are imbued with moral character.

      There's no opposition between classical liberalism and Church dogma.

      Well, yes, there is. Classical liberalism (for example, that of Locke) was repudiated by the Church, in the Syllabus of Errors. (Not surprising, given that Locke repudiated earlier Church teaching, including that man has a social nature and that the state is natural to man.) If you mean, however, neoclassical economic theory, that's another matter.

      The popes from Leo XIII through Pius XI to JPII all supported the economic principle that labor and capital were both due a portion of the productive output. The Cambridge Controversy may have (the argument was never clearly settled) called into question one specific theoretical model on how we allocate the productive output between labor and capital, but even if you set aside that one model, doing so does not disturb the underlying principle that the popes supported. The popes never weighed in on a specific model to resolve the proper allocation mechanisms, but they most certainly rejected the marxist / socialist answer to the difficulty.

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    22. I actually like Tom Woods and have a lot of sympathy for some Austrian arguments and the free market (though I disagree with the triumphalist tone a lot of them employ - precisely what I have criticized here - and disagree with them over other issues). Even though I can appreciate their defense of the free market, I also have some social-democratic leanings and am interested in stuff by, e.g., Adrian Pabst and Blue Labour. That is sorta what I was getting at, too - I don't consider myself to be set in any particular camp; I would say that I have *tendencies* and *leanings*. I tend to favor free market capitalism, but I also am attracted to socdem ideas, universal healthcare, and so on. I favor pragmatism in economics - but then again, not absolute pragmatism, since some values are non-negotiable. I think it's a healthy position. It isn't about lacking any conviction or position, it's just having self-awareness about one's own positions and understanding that I may very well be ignorant on some matters that affect them. I have my own economic views and tendencies, but I'm also (almost) always open to changing those same views. I think economics is very complex and people (especially laymen) ought to be very humble when it comes to it.

      A big problem with current politics is that every side seems super, extremely, duper certain of their own positions. I find that very suspect when it comes to politics and economics, and very risky.

      I am not super, extremely, duper certain of my own views in philosophy of religion, which I know a LOT better than economics. I am very, very strongly convinced of theism, for instance, but I am not super-duper-certain etc., and I have learned the value of humility. I think analytic philosophy of religion is a very good representation of healthy epistemic attitudes, in fact; people can be very convinced in both sides but are still humble and open to a good degree. Atheist philosophers really don't believe in God, but they grant that theism can be reasonable and even that some arguments raise its probability; theistic philosophers really believe in God and are very convinced, but are willing to grant that atheists can have some good arguments and there can be such a thing as reasonable atheism. The principle of charity often informs discussions. The change in tone becomes very noticeable when we move to mainstream political discussion, and I can't help but feel that this is the main problem we have. Tribalism and fanaticism have reached insane levels. Of course, we'll always have some tribalism and some fanaticism, it's normal - society and mainstream culture will never, ever perfectly reflect any idyllic academic, intellectual ambience. But there are degrees to things. And I feel like political discourse and polarization have gone way overboard in the past 15 years or so.

      We *really* need to push for intellectual humility and charity.

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    23. @Tony: I'm glad we can agree on the scientific character of economics. I would quibble that economics abstracts from the moral character of human action, it simply analyses the implications of the fact that man acts. Unlike moral philosophy and theology it simply doesn't deal with the moral aspect of human action.
      That's why, when it comes to popes (or other church dignitaries, for that matter) supporting one economic principle over another, I only listen respectfully - they do not have any special authority here. I'm glad that they reject socialism, but here it should be said that socialism is an immoral doctrine as well as economic nonsense.
      Any argument about allocation has to consider economic questions first, since the distribution of product is not random but integral to the very process of production. Then, if you want a different distribution, you have to justify this somehow, since such redistribution violates private property rights. This justification in part has to again rely on economic arguments (e.g., if you argue that unemployment subsidies are necessary for some reason).
      For instance, Paul VI was a big proponent of state-sponsored aid to poor and developing countries, and he advocated such aid in his encyclical Populorum Progressio from 1967. Now, if we are to evaluate such programs, we have to ask what the ends sought were. If the pope wanted to perpetuate poverty and fasten a corrupt, western-backed power elite on the poor countries - then his prescription was correct. If the goal is to lead backwards nations toward prosperity, however, then foreign aid has been a devastating failure. What's more, economists at the time, before, and since, said that this would be the outcome and that there was only one way to prosperity for poor nations: private property and capital accumulation.
      Obviously, Paul VI did not seek an immoral goal in advocating foreign aid. But he, like everybody else, has to accept the conclusions of economic science. It is especially reckless, if I may say so, to advocate a policy that will abrogate rights of property in pursuit of a greater goal without examining whether such policies will actually attain the goal.
      I stand with Cardinal Newman in saying that the Syllabus has no dogmatic force. It is a product of some Roman theologian or consistory summarizing the propositions the pope had condemned as errors, nothing more. In other words, if you want to say that the Church repudiates classical liberalism, then you cannot point to the Syllabus. You need to read the encyclicals and sermons very handily referenced in the syllabus in order to do that. Of course, I still read the Syllabus with the respect due to it. Incidentally, I find Rerum novarum a much better basis for classical liberalism than I do Locke.

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    24. If you find Rerum Novarum to be a basis for liberalism of any kind, there is no poiot talking to you as you do not understand plain language.

      Delete
    25. @Anon: Perhaps I was not explicit enough in saying that Rerum novarum is superior to Locke's Second Treatise as a defence of private property rights (liberalism is nothing but a social philosophy based on private property). That is, I find it philosophically more sound and more clearly stated.

      "For, every man has by nature the right to possess property as his own. This is one of the chief points of distinction between man and the animal creation, for the brute has no power of self direction"
      "But with man it is wholly different."
      "he must have not only things that perish in the use, but those also which, though they have been reduced into use, continue for further use in after time."
      "There is no need to bring in the State. Man precedes the State, and possesses, prior to the formation of any State, the right of providing for the substance of his body."
      "God has granted the earth to mankind in general, not in the sense that all without distinction can deal with it as they like, but rather that no part of it was assigned to any one in particular, and that the limits of private possession have been left to be fixed by man's own industry, and by the laws of individual races."

      Those are just some select quotes, the whole thing is well worth reading. Leo XIII later on discusses the harmony of all classes in a manner that might have been taken from classical liberals like Bastiat or Mises.

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    26. Tony, the underlying premise I used was not that economics is not a science, but that it is a science that can be in any way separated from morality.

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    27. Cristoffer Hansen, the main difference between men and animals is Religion, as Lactantius said. A man can live his entire life and save his soul without owning so much as a toothbrush.

      Property is something people need in order to attain other ends. The Church's social teaching does not set up property as the raison d'etre of society or government. Nor does it consider government to be a necessary evil.

      Indeed, even the individuals in a family, which is unable on its own to achieve its ends, are subject to the government of the head of the family. Locke is the opposite in every way of what the Church desires.

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  22. Leo XIII is severely underrated as the radical that he was. The breadth and extent of his output was amazing and rivaled only by JPII among the popes of recent history. I found the excepts from him in the O.P. against sedition to be a necessary remedy for our circumstance. Today, the left claims precedent for all the upheaval in past events like the Revolutionary War, or the Civil Rights Movement. But we would do well to consider the high threshold required to justify such actions and not rush to base them on irrational or insufficient grounds. To do so undercuts not only the attempted goal, but society itself.

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  23. Dr Feser, You "forgot" Pope John XX111


    Rights

    11. But first We must speak of man's rights. Man has the right to live. He has the right to bodily integrity and to the means necessary for the proper development of life, particularly food, clothing, shelter, medical care, rest, and, finally, the necessary social services. In consequence, he has the right to be looked after in the event of illhealth; disability stemming from his work; widowhood; old age; enforced unemployment; or whenever through no fault of his own he is deprived of the means of livelihood. (8)

    Medicare is government provided health care and even Donald Trump doesn't want to end it

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  24. And let's not forget Social Security, which is pure socialism.

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    Replies
    1. And let's not forget Social Security, which is pure socialism.

      No it isn't. What are you, some libertarian who labels just every governmental program "socialist"?

      And why you think anything I said conflicts with John XXIII, I have no idea. (Re: "rights," see the post I linked to in my response to Talmid above.)

      Anyway, I already explained why I focused on the particular popes I did.

      If you've got any other straw men to attack, kindly do it elsewhere.

      Delete
    2. Social Security is socialism. It is not voluntary. Everyone is forced to participate and is taxed. People generally received way more than what they pay. It was New Deal legislation. And Medicare is also socialized medicine for the same reason. In 1965 that's what Reagan called and the AMA called it.

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    3. Don't take my word for it.
      https://mises.org/wire/few-dare-call-it-socialism-social-security-and-medicare

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    4. From Catholic Rep Paul Ryan

      https://archive.thinkprogress.org/a-history-of-republicans-calling-democrats-socialists-777bcd2b7a6d/

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  25. It seems to me that one of the truly prophetic criticisms of market capitalism was provided by Karl Polyani in his book The Great Transformation.

    Meanwhile a culture based on winner-takes-all competitive individualism systematically destroys all previously existed forms of culture, and the biosphere too.

    Every body therefore loses, including the presumed "winners".

    Remember too that most people never win anything at all in their lives and the "losers" are oft-times stigmatized and even persecuted. Such a situation creates an enormous potentially power psychic reservoir of collective resentment - just waiting to explode and bring everything down, especially the elites.

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  26. “[E]very statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” George Orwell, 1984

    (Courtesy of Matthias Felleisen)

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    Replies
    1. @ Danielm,

      Good quote!

      Yesterday I heard an interview with Yuval Levin in which he discusses his book A Time to Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream.

      In the interview he uses the term “performative” to indicate the showy and ostentatious nature of social interaction today, not just between individuals on social media, but from major cultural institutions (like the media, for example); the more shrill the tone, the more social clout one accumulates. He warns about the loss of cultural institutions and the myopic, short term thinking that disorients and makes us aimless and tribal. I thought it might be worth checking out.

      I’m also reading The Revolt of The Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium by Martin Gurri. It discusses how the atomization of society brings down institutions and disorients individuals.

      https://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2020/07/a-failure-of-responsibility

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    2. danielm,

      In your opinion, if people in 1900 have chosen to memorialize and venerate specific people, does that mean every subsequent generation must memorialize and venerate those exact same people? Do you think if we no longer choose to memorialize and venerate these same people, we are powerless to choose new people to memorialize and venerate?

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    3. One Brow,

      has the point of the 1984 passage sailed right over your head?
      Have you ever actually read that book? You should (re-)read it.

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    4. I read 1984 in about 12 hours as a 16 year old teenager. I never forgot it even today as a 53 year old.

      One Brow should give it a read.

      Delete
    5. Keep Calm and Carry On/Son of Ya'Kov,

      I understand the point of erasing the past in 1984, so people would forget what it meant to be free. I also understand the difference between history, which is taught in textbooks, and commemoration, which is done with statues and street names. In 1984, the textbooks were also changed. Who's proposing removing the Confederacy from the American history books?

      Bringing up a dystopian vision does not answer my question. Do you believe future generations are required to revere who we revere? Did you see the toppling of status of Saddam Hussein as an affront to tradition? How about the statues of Stalin that have come down; does that raise the 1984 hairs on your skin? If not, why is it appropriate to tear down Hussein and Stalin, and not Nathan Forrest? Is it because you support the causes of Forrest more than that of Hussein?

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    6. To answer your yes/no questions:

      No.

      No.

      No.

      No.

      As to the why question so rife with poisoned premises as to be impossible to anwer I'll say but this.
      If a Democrat dominated city council had imcomprehensibly decided to erect a statue to honor Stalin that mistake should be corrected at once, hopefully before such a shameful display would go up. If they don't come to their senses legislation to outlaw such statues, perhaps make it a criminal offense for representatives to misappropriate public funds to honor foreign tyrants that have been enemies to the United States in cold or hot wars would be appropriate and apparently needed. Unlawful destruction of that imaginary statue would not be the appropriate way to address that problem.

      One Brow, let me ask you, can you think of any reason at all to see a difference between Stalin and Forrest?

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    7. Keep Calm and Carry On,

      There are many differences between Stalin and Forrest, of course, and most of them indicate Forrest was somewhat less evil than Stalin.

      I do find it interesting that you used the phrase "to honor foreign tyrants that have been enemies to the United States in cold or hot wars", given the Forrest supported a tyrannical regime that was an enemy to the United States in a hot war.

      However, since you were throwing the 1984 comparison at me, did you not notice that the government in 1984 removed the statuary in what you consider "the appropriate way", and the statue of Hussein was removed in what you apparently consider the wrong way, yet you would condemn the former and apparently have no objection to the latter?

      You did't answer the "who's" question, BTW.

      Finally, this is a question for you, not for me. Why do you think your response to the removal of these statues is so at odds with your own stated preferences regarding procedures? While I won't guess at the underlying motivations, they do not seem to be what you are typing.

      Delete
    8. Nobody has "thrown" the 1984 comparison "at you", you chose to engage danielm who shared a quote from 1984.

      Your "who" question is designed to mislead. Parroting the Democrat talking points you try to make it about the civil war and the Ku Klux Klan. Quite ironic.
      Have you already forgotten Secretary Clinton (D) praised her "friend and mentor" KKK member and recruiter Senator Byrd (D)? Or that Bill Clinton (D) said that in order to get elected for the Democrat party his wife's good friend and mentor had to join the Ku Klux Klan?
      Have you forgotten (or never learned in the first place) that the first Repubican President, Abraham Lincoln, fought to preserve the Union and abolish slavery? Make no mistake, BLM marauders do want to topple statues to Lincoln – so the issue is not whether statues to Democrat Klansmen should be removed.

      And just as Eastasia is not erased from the history textbooks in 1984 only its status as ally or enemy is changed at the whim of the party here as well the point is to falsify history. The real targets, are George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and others, whose love for Liberty stands squarely athwart the road to serfdom the left would love to lead us on.

      Now, let's deal with the latter part of your comment.
      What it is that is so difficult for you to understand here I do not know. I'm baffled that you cannot see how and why a lawful decision in the United States of America is different from a decision of a tyrannical regime. But apparently, without someone spelling it out for you, you are not able to distinguish the two. And, if past is prologue, you might kick and scream every step of the way and look for nits to pick if it is explained to you.
      An act can be objectionable in and of itself. To falsify history is a species of telling lies, and is wrong because of it. That is the problem with the statue toppling in 1984: is the attempt to lie with "history." That is precisely what the New York Times tries to do with their 1619 Project. That is what is behind the attempt to remove statues to Washington and Lincoln, Columbus, and actual saints from the streets - they are an inconvenient reminder of the truth and must be removed so the deceit of the left is unopposed in the public square.

      To recapitulate – the act of the 1984 regime is evil regardless of its circumstances because of its nature (as a lie).
      The toppling of Saddam statues during the time those oppressed by him are set free is not evil. It is not an attempt to lie about history, nor is it unjust to not honor a tyrant that has been removed from power. Now, if you could demonstrate how circumstances make it an injust act, please explain that. I certainly don't see it without your help.

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    9. Keep Calm and Carry On,
      Your "who" question is designed to mislead. Parroting the Democrat talking points you try to make it about the civil war and the Ku Klux Klan. Quite ironic.

      Is it as ironic as your confusion of history with statuary?

      Most of the statues and monuments being taken down are of Civil War traitors.

      Have you already forgotten Secretary Clinton (D) praised her "friend and mentor" KKK member and recruiter Senator Byrd (D)? Or that Bill Clinton (D) said that in order to get elected for the Democrat party his wife's good friend and mentor had to join the Ku Klux Klan?

      Have any statues of Byrd been torn down? If so, I'm sure not complaining about it. Is there some reason the mention of Byrd or the Clintons is supposed to have some effect on this conversation? I certainly agree that to be elected within the conservative political party of the 1940s in West Virginia, KKK membership was a benefit.

      Have you forgotten (or never learned in the first place) that the first Repubican President, Abraham Lincoln, fought to preserve the Union and abolish slavery? Make no mistake, BLM marauders do want to topple statues to Lincoln – so the issue is not whether statues to Democrat Klansmen should be removed.

      You mean, that one statue of a black person kneeling before Lincoln in submission in Washington, and it's replica in Boston? Yeah, that's not insulting to people at all. Any other statues a sizable group wants removed, or just those two exulting a white man as the savior to black people. Perhaps that's the image of Lincoln you really like, though.

      The real targets, are George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and others, whose love for Liberty stands squarely athwart the road to serfdom the left would love to lead us on.

      I have seen nothing from you that gives me any confidence in your ability to identify "the real targets". Meanwhile, all over the country, we see statues of Washington and Lincoln go unprotested and untouched.

      Still, that would be Washington, the slaver and land speculator, and Lincoln, the man who said "If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it", so I can see why you would be offended at removing their statues.

      Delete
    10. Keep Calm and Carry On,
      An act can be objectionable in and of itself. To falsify history is a species of telling lies, and is wrong because of it. That is the problem with the statue toppling in 1984: is the attempt to lie with "history."

      In the novel 1984, the changes are not just with statues and street names, but the actual history texts themselves.

      That is precisely what the New York Times tries to do with their 1619 Project. That is what is behind the attempt to remove statues to Washington and Lincoln, Columbus, and actual saints from the streets - they are an inconvenient reminder of the truth and must be removed so the deceit of the left is unopposed in the public square.

      I read up on the 1619 Project misrepresentations, and while real, they don't seem any more egregious than the deceit of the right over the last 400 years regarding slavery.

      I'm well aware that, for you, the owning of slaves (at lest, as long as they were black) is no reason to stop memorializing Washington and Jefferson, and the cutties off of hands or massacres of Native American tribes is no reason to consider Columbus anything but a great man; I can easily believe you would want your children to emulate all three of these men.

      As for Lincoln, there is only one statue (and its copy) that is being objected to by any sizable group, for reasons that have little to do with Lincoln. However, I suppose misrepresenting this is justified in your eyes. I have no doubt you can find a few useful idiots who want to remove other statues of Lincoln, and puff them up into a large movement, just as I could do the same by finding a few conservatives who want to fly the Confederate flag at NASCAR events or cut down statues of Frederick Douglass.

      The toppling of Saddam statues during the time those oppressed by him are set free is not evil.

      I agree. I'm glad to see we have moved past your objections about procedure, and gotten closer to your real objections. I say the toppling of statues to slavers, slave traders, and mass murderers is also not evil.

      Delete
    11. The long string of lies and smears you typed out is not worthy of a reply; the bevy of informal fallacies and sophisms you employ is getting old, especially your favorite, the ad hominem.

      However, your last paragraph is quite interesting.

      Not so much the attempt to distort what was said – after all that is your wont. Although I'm mildly surprised that you didn't go all out and misquoted me as saying "toppling of Saddam statues (…) is (…) evil." That would hardly be more dishonest than your actual misdirection, after all.

      No, what is really intersting is the revelation that you are a mindreader!
      Please do enlighten us as to what my "real objections" are?
      I'm sure they have nothing to do with what was said. Of course, you wouldn't know. After all you seem to rather read minds than texts.

      (Nice kicking and screaming, by the way. Seems my prediction was spot on.)

      Delete
    12. Keep Calm and Carry On,
      The long string of lies and smears you typed out is not worthy of a reply;

      I hear that a lot from people who lack good replies.

      the bevy of informal fallacies and sophisms you employ is getting old, especially your favorite, the ad hominem.

      Perhaps someone so sensitive to lies and smears should not be hastily typing out the lies and smears like "BLM marauders".

      Not so much the attempt to distort what was said – after all that is your wont.

      It's difficult to take this as a serious criticism when you brought Byrd and the Clintons into the discussion for no reason that you were willing to defend. That's some pretty serious projection, since my focus continues to be on the subject of pulling down statuary.

      Although I'm mildly surprised that you didn't go all out and misquoted me as saying "toppling of Saddam statues (…) is (…) evil." That would hardly be more dishonest than your actual misdirection, after all.

      Even if I were so inclined, I would never need to misquote you in order to discredit you; accurate quotes are more than sufficient for that purpose.

      No, what is really intersting is the revelation that you are a mindreader!
      Please do enlighten us as to what my "real objections" are?


      Having already said "While I won't guess at the underlying motivations, they do not seem to be what you are typing.", why would I change that now?

      I'm sure they have nothing to do with what was said. Of course, you wouldn't know. After all you seem to rather read minds than texts.

      Whatever they are, they don't seem to be well represented by "Unlawful destruction of that imaginary statue would not be the appropriate way to address that problem.", since you do approve of the unlawful destruction of some statues.

      You once asked me if I could "think of any reason at all to see a difference between Stalin and Forrest?" Let's try a variation on that one. Can you think of any action by Forrest that deserves veneration and memorialization of the man? Because if all you have is the "Flowers" speech, that's pretty sad.

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  27. I'm tired of hearing the word "racist" partly because many on the left seem to say it impulsively when someone says or does something the accusers dislike. Too often, that word is only a tool to marginalize supposed racists when its users have no evidence for their charge. Impulsive or not, it sounds like a calumny meant silence the accused. The "human parrots," not knowing when to bite their tongues, only lower their credibility.

    The accused deserve the benefit of the doubt. Some Tourette syndrome feel the urge to use obscenities when their illness compels them to tick. But those patients don't yell them to offend anyone. They tick that way because they urge to say them inearly impossible to suppress. So if you think you should exclaim "racist" when someone else uses the n-word, he might be suffering from Tourette syndrome.

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  28. William McEnaneyJuly 5, 2020 at 4:33 PM

    If worker control of business is the essence of socialism, id a neighborhood socialist when each worker in it is self-employed?

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