Saturday, February 11, 2017

A Catholic Anti-Capitalist manifesto, some notes

Dr. John C Roa is a member of the more traditional  “
illiberal Catholics”, which Gabriel S. Sanchez over at DESCRIBES as

“opposed not only the political and economic liberalism which has infected human society, but also religious liberalism...For these illiberal Catholics, the question of the day concerns not the rights of man, but rather the rights of God. Christ the King, not a democratic majority captured by various liberal ideologies, must reign over society.”

He has written a Catholic Anti-Capitalist manifesto HERE.

I offer these notes from his essay :

"A spectre is haunting traditional Catholicism: the cult of Enlightenment capitalism and its ideology of the unrestrained free market. 

It is spiritually devastating, because worship of the unrestrained market drives a stake into the very heart of the Catholic vision, erecting an impenetrable intellectual barrier to the transformation of individual and society in Christ, and turning sincere Catholic believers into schizophrenic practitioners of a blatant practical Modernism.

....some of our Catholic ancestors.... insisted that any coherent response to contemporary evils had to emphasize the truth that liberal capitalism and socialism were actually blood brothers; that both had exactly the same atomistic, naturalist Enlightenment roots; that the arguments of the liberal capitalists had actually given intellectual birth to the doctrines of the socialists; that capitalist excesses had provided psychological stimulus to the desperate spirit of the June Days.

Western civilization grew up emphasizing the existence of an objective order of nature, the importance of individual freedom within that order, and the need for individuals to be enlightened as to the character of nature and freedom through the guidance of authoritative societies like the family and the State. Western thinkers argued that individuals, left to their own devices, simply could not properly see all that needs to be seen to understand either the objective order of things or the essence of human liberty. Individual knowledge and personal freedom could only be perfected though life in community. Social beings alone could become wise and free. Unaided, anti-social individuals could possess but a fragmented, flawed science of nature and knowledge of their place within it. They would thus be condemned to use their liberty to destroy themselves as well as the people around them.

Such ideas, already shaped by the ancient Greeks, really only gained historical clout due to the Incarnation and Redemption. 

A wise economist....would ....take stock of a variety of factors that the collective natural and supernatural wisdom of the ages deemed to be important: a balance of agriculture and industry; neighborhood stability and access to the necessities of life; stewardship of the environment; defense of deeply-rooted customs and the beautiful achievements of high cultures; the demands of justice and charity; the need to transform all things in Christ so as to aid man’s quest for eternal salvation. The truly wise economist would teach that men were not free to gain wealth obtained at the expense of leveling the Roman Forum to create more parking spaces for easier shopping at the Wal-Marts of the Eternal City; of turning patriotic celebrations and sacred festivals into nothing other than elaborate occasions for purchase and consumption; of marketing whatever might satisfy the wishes of revelers participating in Gay Pride Week.

Enlightenment thought, flawed because... Its atomistic freedom reduces men to precisely that unaided, anti-social condition which the previous development of our civilization had condemned as parochial and self-destructive. Its naturalism compounds the problem by prohibiting consideration of God’s plan for His Creation and man’s eternal destiny in secular matters as unpardonably invasive.

Liberal bourgeois capitalists witnessed the way in which the totally free market produced vast wealth for clever entrepreneurs. VoilĂ , a revelation of the infallible framework for a naturalist economic science before which western philosophy and Catholic theology must kneel and worship. Regardless of such differences in emphasis, the "free" individual operating under the spell of all of these "sciences" is everywhere the same: a self-limiting, parochial being; a willful, passionate child who specializes in learning how to get more toys for himself than the other kids around him, regardless or whether he needs or benefits from them. He wants what he wants when he wants it, and no mommy or daddy is going to force him to give up his rattle and learn the meaning of true virtue."

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