Friday, May 04, 2012

Totalitarian democracy

"As history demonstrates, a democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism."

-- Pope John Paul II, Centesimus Annus

Fr. Z, "Pres. Obama’s problematic proclamation for National Day of Prayer (3 May)" (WDTPRS, May 3, 2012)


Robert Allen said...

You spend a lot of time tearing down BO, and rightly so: as I have said here before, he and all the Dems are moral monsters for their stance on abortion. But where is your concern for the poor, for justice, for those who are oppressed and exploited on a daily basis by the money mongers on the right. The HMC, as Belloc makes clear, never stood for unbridled Capitalism. It is a wholly Protestant creation; nay, it is of the essence of that heresy. Those who practice and espouse it also deserve reprobation.

Pertinacious Papist said...

Mr. Allen,

You misjudge me, my friend, though not without cause, since most of my concern is now focused on what I consider our greater immediate threat -- the one posed on multiple fronts by the prospect of a second Obama term in office.

While Republican candidates have generally been better since 1973 in supporting values Catholics find less objectionable in terms of traditional family values, it was the Democrats who, prior to the 1960s, did so.

The Republicans are a mixed bag, as the recent debates clearly showed, ranging across the spectrum from a traditionally Catholic Santorum to a traditional libertarian Paul.

As big a danger, in many respects is the wholly unregulated and morally indifferent "free market," which allows large corporations, in bed with big government, to produce their wares on the backs of third-world slave labor and market their "Super-Size-Me" junk food and addictive pornography to first-world dupes.

On the other hand, too many of the cliches about "peace and justice" and concern for the "poor and marginalized" heard in Catholic precincts these days mask programs that are nothing more than the tired old trendy-lefty policies of the abysmally failed LBJ "Great Society" that feed an entitlement mentality and ensure captivity in impoverishment for generations to come. Solutions to these problems are not found either on the Right in the Autrian-Libertarian logic of a morally indifferent "free-market" or on the Left in Obama's retread of LBJ "Great Society" socialism, but rather in the tradition of Catholic social teaching found in the great papal encyclicals of the last two centuries.

See my "Neocons -- a definition" (Dec. 21, 2005), and "Trotskyite Republicans? Where are we headed?" (Jan 17, 2012).

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

Dale Vree's 2005 essay on Neocons is a great reality check for those Catholics who have swallowed the baited hook of republicanism. It is also a reminder of how far into Neo-Cath slackness NOR has fallen since he retired. Thanks for bringing it to our attention once again PP.

Gens Sherman and Patton are still our greatest foreign policy strategists. Their principles were something very like the following:

(1) Avoid war wherever possible. There's a good reason why they call it hell.

(2) but if you find yourself in one, remember that your goal is to defeat the enemy, which means totally destroying his will to fight YOU.

(3) Paraphrasing Patton, "my goal isn't to die for my country, but to make the other #$#^%$%^ die for HIS country."

That is what war is about. It is a policy Charles Martel and El Cid could endorse.

It is not the kind of neocon "nationbuilding" flummery that has dominated republican thinking about war in recent years. Nor is it the ostrich strategy of anal-cranial insertion that has dominated democrat and libertarian thinking about war over an even longer period.

When was the last time we had a president who understood that? Eisenhower?