Government Divides, Families Unite – Pope Leo XIII saw it coming
by Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Senior Fellow in Economics
This brings us to Rerum Novarum, Pope Leo XIII’s masterful document that kicked off modern Catholic social teaching. Americans are inclined to read this document simply as a defense of private property and the right to form independent trade unions. But thinking carefully about the family reveals a deeper meaning. Rerum Novarum is a protest against the tendency of the state to absorb all functions and institutions of society into itself. “It is not right,” Leo insists, “for either the citizens or the family to be absorbed by the State; it is proper that the individual and the family should be permitted to retain their freedom of action.”
Beginning with the French Revolution at the end of the eighteenth century and culminating in the Bolshevik Revolution at the beginning of the twentieth, revolutionary social movements have attempted to give the state complete jurisdiction over every aspect of society. Part of the statist strategy has been to redefine social institutions as mere collections of individuals. Rerum Novarum objects: “Although private societies exist within the State and are, as it were, so many parts of it, still it is not within the authority of the State universally and per se to forbid them to exist as such. For man is permitted by a right of nature to form private societies.”
In the days of the Kings, the Church was roughly equal and sometimes protected the the People. Now there is no effective counter balance to the Gooferment. It’s has destroyed education dumbing down the people, destroyed the Church with the help of pedophiles, and spent the country into poverty. So who will be the People’s champion? Where will the opposition to the new tyrants come from?
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