jeudi 6 mai 2010

Someone posted a link to Fr. Corapi today

and there was a debate about Capitalism vs. Socialism, in which I butted in:

No one brought up what Chesterton considered the mark of Capitalism: Capital being in the main owned by a small and roughly recognisable class known as capitalists and its dividends being handed out to the masses mainly in the form of wages.

In other words: Wall Street, Soros ...

C.: socialism, as such, is not about stealing.

Usual ways of bringing it about in marxist revolutions mean stealing, and there is arguable things for regarding fiscal socialism as a form of stealing.

What was going in in Yugoslavia, economically, was a basically good thing, but in some parts (not Serbia, but like Slovenia) it was brought about by stealing from previous large land owners, which is a bad thing.

It can be argued that Capitalism as practised by Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Pierpoint Morgan, Drexel (OK - there was one Saint after whom Drexel Hill is named) and more recently Soros is a form of stealing.

Quote from [Fr.] Corapi [news]:

Urging attendees to examine the current political climate, he said that "socialism is not in conformity with biblical teaching. Socialism doesn't profit the poor, but only brings poverty and misery. Socialism is about the seizure of power. It only brings everyone down to the lowest common denominator."

True for socialism as introduced in Russia 1917, and partly in Sweden by Social democrats (notably they were fiscally ruining farmers in the 60's, which Franco and de Gaulle did too, but Franco less than de Gaulle, de Gaulle less than they).

Not quite true about some other known forms of it - like Serbian villages in which indeed everyone was poor but everyone had a living long before the Marxists came along. Or the Cæsarian socialism of common goods like libraries (modern), free water in water fountains (modern and ancient), free distribution of wheat grains (ancient, k a Annona).

Further quote from Fr. Corapi:

In his final segment, Fr. Corapi said that in all of his years as a priest, he's never seen such fear in people. "There's a lot of anxiety, a lack of trust in government, elected and appointed officials. There's a crisis of trust," he said. Then quoting from the Gospels of Mark and Luke, he advised "fear is useless; what is needed is trust."

Trust in Government?

Fear may be useless, but trust in government is not Biblical. Trust in God helping Government to avoid disastrous mistakes insofar as it urges for public prayers about it, yes, but in government per se - nooooooooo.

"Cursed is he who putteth his trust in princes" (Biblical quote I have via Chesterton, here is what real quote may be: link) is not about republic vs monarchy, it is about government.

C. : I'd start from here and work my way back: 120. If Socialism, like all errors, contains some truth, 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, Encyclical Letter Quadragesimo anno, on the reconstruction of the social order, May 15th, 1931

ah, socialism as in marxist socialism

I was using the wider connotation still frequent when de la Tour de Pin called himself a socialist.

C. : It's not a word I would use to describe myself. Not if I wanted people to know that I was Catholic. The historical legacy of the term does not connote a series of ideas either singly or collectively that are anything but hostile to the Catholic Church.

Words to describe people include "Catholic" and "Socialist" and I would not describe myself as "Socialist" either but as "Christian Social", "Distributist" or - sometimes - "Fascist."

"Socialism" is a word used to describe either ideology (usually marxist one, as opposed to "Liberalism, Conservatism, Anarchism, Fascism, Christian Socialism, Distributism") or state of society (as opposed to "Capitalist, Feudal, Small Property, Corporativism, Communism as in common property"), I was referring to latter connotation.

Communism as an ideology states Communism as in common property as a final goal to be worked for, Socialism as ideology tries to make Socialist measures predominant (and is thus making the citizen "born an orphan, living a fonctionnaire, dying without heirs"). Both are bad, because as states of society or societal facts [on earth, in wider contexts than family], communism and socialism are good exceptional features, but bad models for wholesale remodelling.

C. : I mean it as it was defined in Quadragesimo anno either as an ideology or as a form of collectivism. If the term is defined in its historical context, that's where it becomes extremely problematic. At the point at which we begin to talk about distributism or corporatism, it becomes more useful and informative to use other terminology, unless as some do, you want to implicate distributism and third way ideologies as a form of socialism.

Distributism=Small Property (if ideology equals effect wanted by it) and Corporativism=Trade Unions Envolving Employers

Socialism=State interference in matters normally left alone.

Normal should remain normal (which is why I am no socialist), but exceptions should be possible.

C. : Socialism is ugly government where the god is manifested in the State and transcendance is militated against both by the education system and the official pronouncements of the government, and religion gets transformed into an ecstatic brand of montanism, or shamanistic tribalism.

As to religion, there are other effects of socialism, and these are not always of it. Otherwise you sum up well what the word has come to stand for. Nevertheless, I consider public toilets that work a beneficent act of socialism in a legitimate sense of the word.

PS: Since posting link (see comments below) C. Looked it up, and debate continued today:

C. :
"The rise of the robber barons in the USA and the writings of Charles Dickens in England pointed out that an unfettered capitalism often leads to a system of monopolies that oppress the majority of the country in incredible ways. Thus, some of the antitrust laws were passed under President Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican. Basically, since the latter ... See Morepart of the late 19th century and most of the 20th century, we have retained capitalism, but gone away from the laissez-faire conception."

T. Roosevelt was indeed a progressivist, and despite Dickens' portrayals providing a kind of justification for progresssive reform and increasing state ownership of and interference in production, Little Dorrit which itself shows the shortcomings of government.

I suppose public utilities like public fountains are like many of the vain promises of government. Oftentimes, public facilities are dangerous or (poorly maintained) to use in inner cities

That does happen too.

In Paris half of the toilets were out of order a few months ago.

I do however endorse anti-trust legislation.

Neglecting public utilities is one way for Government or Administration (or even its employees) to say "we do not give a damn about the poor".

Keeping public utilities in good shape was the glory of many an Emperor and Christian King.

I think a fair deal is keeping toilets and running water public and restaurants and drinks private.

I mean: a toilet should not stink, a water fountain should not have rust mixed with the water, but to food and beverages there are artistic variations.

Back to anti-trust: yes, forbidding trusts, asserting minimum wages, maximum prices IS government intervening.

And for that matter government may need to own things, partly in order not to either over-tax or borrow, and partly in order for trust size companies not to be in the hands of gangster capitalism.

C. : A solution is the privatization of government and the abandonment of the idea that earthly life is anyting more than a way-station to a better, or worse state of being contingent upon what we've done with the resources we have.

Much labor conflict, which is a result of the unfettered and immoral protestantic groups trampling on traditional folk-ways, churches and the like are on the same trajectory as the Revolutionaries of the late 18th Centuries who saw armed revolt (and murder) against their masters in government as a business opportunity.

Btw, the wealthy owners and great princes (whom we still have controlling things today, democratic propaganda not withstanding, should found institutes, pensions, hospitals, spas and baths to care for the poor.

It would be a patriotic duty as it was in Roman times... all the more wonderful if it were done anonymously through the Church.

which was added friday 7/V/2010

Privatization of government AND abandonment of the idea that earthly life is anything more than ... et c.

A) What you mean by privatisation of government is not really clear, and some scenarios that spring to mind are frankly gruesome (Lankhmar, or that city in one of the Conan books where he had to flee fast, not for killing, but for doing it ... See Moreoutside the killers' guild)

B) Earthly life is certainly nothing more important than waiting for Heaven or Hell, but since static waiting without struggle for earthly happiness is very little pursued, there is a legitimate concern for spreading earthly happiness, like when emperor of Brazil bought free all slaves in Brazil or General Robert E Lee freed all of his (before losing the battle of the confederacy) or when Henry IV promised and tried to keep the promise of one coq au vin per sunday.

C) When it comes to benefices given by sovereigns, two things have generally stopped Holy Church from insisting they should "not let their left hand know what does their right hand":

i) since they are posh, their good example is an occasion for "let your light so shine before men"

ij) since they often have to do bad things when getting or keeping power, not as an absolute, but relatively to their earthly ambitions, even legitimate, they usually are in need of having their names on a list for the Chaplains' or Monks' prayers.

And since they are more looked on than others, it is plain harder for them to do good in secret than for some others.

2 commentaires:

  1. Quoth C. : Like when Robert E. Lee knelt next to that black man at Mass when others were avoiding him. The gesture was definitely Christian and not apparently advantageous to him.

    Quoth I:

    Now that is certainly true!