Dominacja w kościołach zreformowanej liturgii musiała w naturalny sposób wpłynąć na ukształtowanie postaw i oczekiwań wiernych. Gdy więc po latach tradycyjna Msza św. z powrotem zaczęła gościć w kościołach, uczestniczące w niej osoby niosły na sobie – świadomie lub nieświadomie, czy tego chciały czy nie – piętno liturgii narodowej. W tym znaczeniu możemy powiedzieć, że w tradycyjnej liturgii dokonała się jakaś naturalna zmiana, nastąpił pewien rozwój wraz z wniesieniem do niej doświadczeń przez nowe pokolenie wiernych. Można zaryzykować nawet stwierdzenie, że w tym sensie liturgia odnowiona przyczyniła się do wzbogacenia liturgii tradycyjnej. Po pierwsze, wierni, którzy zostali wychowani tylko na nowej Mszy, doskonale znają tłumaczenie tych samych części stałych Mszy św. tradycyjnej. Dotyczy to zwłaszcza Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei. Po drugie, w naturalny sposób czują oni potrzebę śpiewania tych części w języku łacińskim, gdyż śpiewali je w języku narodowym. Po trzecie, zainteresowanie tradycyjną Mszą św. wymusza zainteresowanie liturgią jako taką, prowadzi do pogłębienia wiedzy, szukania i analizowania różnic i podobieństw. Po czwarte wreszcie, zmusza do dokonywania tłumaczeń łacińskich słów, gdyż zreformowana liturgia rozbudziła w większości osób potrzebę poznania ich znaczenia w języku narodowym.
[N]ie ulega wątpliwości, że osoby, które inicjują dzisiaj powrót Mszy św. tradycyjnej zawdzięczają szereg dobrych nawyków długiemu udziałowi w zreformowanej Mszy św. Przyzwyczajenia te w realny sposób oddziałują na jakość, odradzającej się, tradycyjnej liturgii. Dodatkowo fakt ten wzmacnia okoliczność, że liturgia tradycyjna wraca do kościołów głównie dzięki ludziom świeckim, którzy o nią proszą. Summorum Pontificum Benedykta XVI zezwala każdemu kapłanowi na używanie Mszału św. Piusa V, gdy odprawia Mszę bez ludu, zaś z ludem w zasadzie tylko, gdy wierni zwrócą się z tym do niego. W przyznaniu takiej roli świeckim wyraża się zadziwiająca zbieżność apeli przedstawicieli ruchu liturgicznego o większe zaangażowanie wiernych w życie liturgiczne Kościoła oraz otwarcie się na nich Kościoła na Soborze Watykańskim II. Po pewnej burzy, wywołanej posoborowym zamieszaniem, liturgia tradycyjna ma szansę z powrotem zadomowić się w kościołach oczyszczona i odnowiona, stanowiąca jasno i wyraźnie – jak nigdy dotąd – prawdziwy skarb całego Kościoła.
Jak odnowiona liturgia wzbogaciła liturgię tradycyjną
[Benedykt XVI w liście do Marcello Pery po publikacji książki „Dlaczego musimy nazywać się chrześcijanami”:]
[W] ścisłym słowa znaczeniu dialog międzyreligijny nie jest możliwy [...] [– istnieje] równocześnie konieczność dialogu międzykulturowego, który zgłębia kulturowe konsekwencje podstawowego wyboru religijnego. Podczas gdy prawdziwy dialog międzyreligijny nie jest możliwy bez wzięcia w nawias własnej wiary, należy zmierzyć się w publicznej debacie z konsekwencjami publicznymi podstawowych decyzji religijnych. W tym sensie dialog, wzajemne korygowanie się i ubogacanie są możliwe i niezbędne.
Tłumaczenie listu Benedykta - w sprawie dialogu międzyreligijnego między innymi
A major promoter of evolutionism in our days is the Englishman Richard Dawkins, the author of the book “The God Delusion.” He is now promoting a public campaign to put placards on buses in English cities that read: “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy life.” If I put myself in the shoes of a parent with a handicapped, autistic or gravely sick child, or a farm worker who has lost his job, I wonder how such a person would react to that announcement: “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy life!” “Probably”: He doesn't even exclude the possibility that God could exist! But if God doesn't exist, the believer loses nothing. On the other hand, the nonbeliever loses everything.
Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap
Before Him All Nations Will be Gathered – Gospel Commentary for Solemnity of Christ the King
As soon as I entered a major Chinese airport recently, as a follow-up visit after the publication of my book "The Seven Sorrows of China," and handed off a suitcase full of smuggled medical supplies to some guardian angels from the West who take care of God's precious -- and China's most neglected -- children, I was hurried away to a vehicle by an excited Catholic priest who was a native Chinese teaching in a seminary in a neighboring country.
As we drove away from the airport, the Chinese priest was quick to inform me that he had read my previous book, "The Seven Sorrows of China," and, while complimentary and confirming of the value and accuracy of the text from an inside perspective, he was also adamant in stating that the book was in one way incomplete. “It is a beautiful book and has many good things,” he noted, “but now I challenge you to write something on the ‘Joyful Mysteries of China.’ If you give only the sorrowful side, it will not encourage the people. Jesus had the sorrows of his passion, but also his joys and glories. You must also write about the victories that are happening in the Church in China right now.”
["The Seven Sorrows of China"] recorded incidents such as the mandatory cremation of a neglected child who died after having been rejected by a federal Chinese orphanage and then cared for and loved by a private foreign orphanage, and my meetings with women who had to flee from government and family in order to have a child against the abortion policies of state and clan. I had interviewed a saintly underground Chinese bishop under house arrest following 20 plus years of imprisonment and house arrests, and learned about the documentable government persecutions of bishops, priests, and faithful who refuse to cooperate in any way with the government and its official “patriotic” church. I had related the story of an inspiring region where Catholic-style solidarity enabled a heroic Catholic community to effectually ward off the government’s one-child policy in their families of four, five, six, and even eight children.
I had been advised by certain Catholic watchdog organizations to avoid granting too many details about the powerful spiritual victories of the humble Chinese Church, lest it result in a new wave of persecutions by the regional religious affairs bureaus of the central Beijing government.
We now enter the company of a man of remarkable humility who perseveres under the most delicate of ecclesio-political situations. He is the Catholic bishop of a diocese in China that I must refrain from naming.
Let us call him Bishop “O” for “open” or above-ground church.
This particular bishop was appointed by the Vatican and is in complete conformity with and obedience to the Holy Father (Pope Benedict’s pictures are present throughout his diocesan offices, his seminaries, and even the home of his elderly parents). He is also registered with the government in what they designate as the “Catholic Patriotic Church.” Pope Benedict’s 2007 Letter to the Chinese Church and People made clear that Catholic bishops appointed by Rome could also register with the Patriotic Church Association without any intrinsic violation to the allegiance and fidelity to the Holy Father and the Holy See. This bishop has done just that. And in striving to hold the extremely difficult and sensitive balance between complete doctrinal orthodoxy and papal loyalty on the one hand, and cooperating (without moral compromise with local government authorities on secondary levels of dialogue and social programs on the other, this clever but innocent shepherd has been able to provide his flock with the spiritual access and social safety which is leading to thousands of adult baptisms throughout his diocese each year.
At this first encounter, the head official referred to the bishop with obvious respect in word and in manner. This puzzled us, because it seemed out of place in light of the two radically opposing ideologies that the official and bishop represent.
During the meal, rather amazing events unfolded. The head official toasted the bishop, and offered a brief oration on the respect of the bishop by the people of his region. Everyone then drank to this. Local custom called for all to down a small shot glass of what they referred to as "white wine," which was in fact a hard alcohol similar to a form of grappa, the alcohol strength of which could probably propel several large trucks. Then the religious affairs officer (responsible, keep in mind, for the supervision and oftentimes suppression of unapproved religious activity in the county) stood up, proposed another toast to the bishop, and publicly witnessed to the fact that he had begun attending Mass at the bishop’s cathedral on Sundays, and that the bishop personally was teaching him how to pray! All drink to this.
At this point, you may have circling in your mind certain questions that I had in mine as all this was taking place. Wait a minute! Aren’t these the bad guys? Aren’t these the Communist party members who are implementing the Beijing policies of one child per family, forced abortion, and general persecution of the Church? Should we be cooperating with these guys and the government they represent? The temptation to pre-judge and to spontaneously condemn was great.
The answer: "Shi he bu shi." Yes and No.
[T]he bishop commented at one point, "There is a saying here that each diocese in China is like living in its own country." Every diocese in China has its own unique situation in relation to the local government. While it can be said that most dioceses experience consistent persecution from the local government as a logical application of the Beijing central government policies against religious freedom and personal/family dignity, (however slightly they may be improving on the federal level), nonetheless there are exceptions where local officials have providentially seen the social good effected by the Catholic Church's presence in the region, and have decided to grant increased, though still restricted, liberty and even some form of respect to the Catholic presence in their county.
Is this a case of inordinate cooperation with an evil authority? In what way is the bishop's approach different from an unacceptable form of moral cooperation with unjust authority -- a cooperation embodying a consequentialist, the-end-justifies-the-means, type of activity, which St. Paul and the Church rightly condemn?
As St. Thomas Aquinas reminds us, we must always make key distinctions regarding matters of faith and morals. The bishop is not offering any proximate moral cooperation to anything intrinsically evil that may be enacted by the local government and its officers of religious oversight. Rather, he is cooperating in areas of dialogue between state and Church, coupled with encouraging the solutions to local social problems and legitimate civil advancements for the county, and this has earned the local authorities' trust of the bishop -- a trust which has led to unique opportunities for previously underground Catholics to worship in public and for other Chinese of the area to be exposed to the wonders of Catholic mystery and beauty, for the salvation of their families and friends.
[T]he level of respect and even praise offered by the local government for this particular bishop must be seen as exceptionally rare in China, particularly in light of this bishop's refusal of any moral compromise of Church teaching or practice. But this bishop has used the local government's providential honoring of his person and role to full advantage for the Chinese people of God in his diocese.
The array of spiritual fruits emanating from this diocese is nothing short of inspiring. Vocations are strongly on the rise. We visited a minor seminary with nearly 100 young men discerning the priesthood. An order of religious sisters numbered more than 70, with the vast majority younger than 40 years of age, and resplendent with smiling faces and joyful strides in their walk. These sisters as well as other religious of the diocese participate in medical outreach programs and educational services to the people of the region.
Several parishes have had more than 100 adults enter the Catholic faith at Easter, and the bishop has promised his presence at the Christmas and Easter celebrations of parishes with the greatest number of catechumens becoming baptized. The bishop also has an intense program of Catholic evangelization, where catechists are trained to go out two by two, door to door, following the Gospel instruction of the Lord with literal simplicity and profundity. And this, with the permission of the local Communist authorities!
How many dioceses in the Western world, free from any form of Communist domination or harassment, can boast this quantity and quality of ecclesial fruits?
The second joyful face of the Chinese Church is usually a hidden face. Hidden behind walls, behind bars, behind police blockades. He is an underground bishop, and his great offering to the Church in China is his "white" martyrdom, and what seems at times to be his approaching "red" or bloody martyrdom.
Let us call him Bishop "U" for "underground," in contrast to the aforementioned Bishop "O" for "open" or above-ground church registered with the government.
In the specific case of Bishop "U" and his relation to the local government, registering with the Patriotic Association would mean direct moral compromise for him and for his people. This is because in his region it would be advancing an agenda that is counter to the teachings of the Church and independent from the Roman Pontiff.
We traveled to his diocese by train, a journey of several hours outside a major city.
I recalled that during my previous visit to this region, we had passed an old abandoned brick structure half in ruins and surrounded by a deserted set of farm buildings, and the underground religious with us had said, "That's our seminary for the time being."
An account of a recent ordination also helps to give flesh to the reality of what a vocation for the underground Church means. A certain seminarian, who actually had temporary access to partial, out of country theological instruction, had been ready for ordination for some time, but he had to await the release of his bishop from prison. Finally, the day came, and the seminarian was alerted to be prepared at any time for the call to come to a specific location for the ordination. Weeks passed, but still no call. Friends from his previous seminary had been writing for months, asking, "When is the date of your ordination?" The humble seminarian responded simply, "I do not know."
Finally, the call came. The seminarian was instructed to go to a certain building, to enter the basement in the dark and to remain until the bishop arrived. The seminarian arrived early in the morning and waited and waited, and still no bishop. Finally at day's end, the seminarian heard the upstairs door open, and someone walking down the steps. It was the bishop, accompanied by one other priest. And there, in the dark, in the basement, without any family members, friends, or even brother clergy save one, the bishop enacted the sacred rite, which transformed the seminarian into another Christ.
Weeks later, the newly ordained priest received correspondence from his previous seminary brethren. Upon hearing that he had indeed been ordained, they asked with jubilation for the young priest to send pictures of the ceremony and the subsequent celebration. But there was no public ceremony, celebration, community laud. The priest went to a designated spot and offered his first Mass the next day in service of Christ and in service of his people. His fellow seminarians in another land just did not understand. So, too, we often do not understand what it means to be a priest of the underground Church in China.
We were told by one his religious daughters that the bishop's superhuman endurance of the never-ending persecution derives from his phenomenal prayer life. Rising early in the morning, he typically makes three holy hours a day (whenever, of course, he has access to the Blessed Sacrament and Mass -- typically not granted him during his imprisonment periods), the offering of Mass, the praying of the divine office, coupled with several rosaries prayed throughout the day. He is ever beloved by his clergy, religious and people, and they would willingly offer their lives for his protection. Some of his clergy have indeed risked their lives to do so.
His serenity can only come from another world. One witness attested to the fact that even during an unexpected visit by police and high officials from the persecuting religious affairs bureau, Bishop "U" never lost his peace. During a brief sojourn of freedom when he returned to his people, witnesses state that, despite the frightening possibility that he would be immediately taken back to prison, he radiated a peace of heart with smile on his face that could only have come from a heavenly source.
The Joys of China (Part 1): The Smiles of a Suffering Church Revealed
The Joys of China (Part 2): Bishop "O" Fosters Church-State Dialogue
The Joys of China (Part 3): Bishop "U" Builds Church From Prison
Iconclasm had lifted its ugly head around 725. Emperor Constantine V Copronymus (741-775) promoted the destruction of sacred images with great vigor, and sought especially to convert monks to his way of thinking. He harassed Stephen [the Younger] in particular; and when Stephen stood his ground, he sent him into exile on the Island of Proconnesus in the Sea of Marmara, meanwhile launching a campaign to defame the venerable hermit.
After two years, the tenacious ruler had the monk transferred to a prison in Constantinople. Still intent on breaking Stephen's will, he had him brought into the imperial presence. He asked him this question: "Does a person who tramples on an image of Christ trample on Christ himself?" Of course not, Stephen replied. But then he drew out a coin bearing the image of Copronymus. "How should a person be treated who trampled on this image?" Constantine, furious at the thought, showed that he considered such an action criminal. "Well, then," the monk replied, "if treading under foot the imperial image is such a crime, would not the treading under foot of the image of Christ be criminal, too?"
For that reply, Constantine ordered that Stephen be scourged. Such was his fury that he seems actually to have hoped the beating would be fatal. When Stephen survived, Copronymus was heard to say, "Won't anybody rid me of this monk?"
Some of those who heard the ruler took him at his word. They sought out Stephen at once, and dragged him through the city by his feet. Then a mob gathered around the monk, pelted him with stones, and finally beat him to death with clubs.
In 787, 23 years after the lynching of St. Stephen the Younger, and in an era in which the Church was freer to counter the political heresy of image-breaking, the Second Ecumenical Council of Nicaea assembled in that eastern city. In this ecumenical council, the gathered Fathers issued a dogmatic definition on the whole issue.
They agreed that it was sinful to give to any religious image the direct adoration that was due only to God. But it was permissible, they said, to venerate such images of Christ and the saints, and indeed, very helpful to do so, in that such images reminded the Christian of those depicted, and prayers addressed to them passed on to the heavenly persons themselves. This official definition has been called the "magna carta" of Christian art, in that it contains the doctrinal foundation on which all the glories of Christian art are based.
St. Stephen the Younger had died defending this legitimate and fruitful Christian practice. It can be said, in fact, that every statue or painting in our churches, and every medal we wear or rosary we recite, owes a debt to his blood.
Robert F. McNamara
St. Stephen the Younger, Martyr
[St. John Bosco:]
In this lower cavern I again saw those Oratory boys who had fallen into the fiery furnace. Some are listening to me right now; others are former pupils or even strangers to me. I drew closer to them and noticed that they were all covered with worms and vermin which gnawed at their vitals, hearts, eyes, hands, legs, and entire bodies so ferociously as to defy description. Helpless and motionless, they were a prey to every kind of torment. Hoping I might be able to speak with them or to hear something from them, I drew even closer but no one spoke or even looked at me. I then asked my guide why, and he explained that the damned are totally deprived of freedom.
St. John Bosco’s Dream (Vision) Of Hell
According to his own testimony, the Pope who declared the dogma of the Assumption [Pius XII] saw the "miracle of the sun" four times.
This information is confirmed by a handwritten, unpublished note from Pope Pius XII, which is part of the "Pius XII: The Man and the Pontificate" display. The display opened in the Vatican to the public today and will run through Jan. 6.
Pius XII's note says that he saw the miracle in the year he was to proclaim the dogma of the Assumption, 1950, while he walked in the Vatican Gardens.
He said he saw the phenomenon various times, considering it a confirmation of his plan to declare the dogma.
The papal note says that at 4 p.m. on Oct. 30, 1950, during his "habitual walk in the Vatican Gardens, reading and studying," having arrived to the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes, "toward the top of the hill […] I was awestruck by a phenomenon that before now I had never seen."
"The sun, which was still quite high, looked like a pale, opaque sphere, entirely surrounded by a luminous circle," he recounted. And one could look at the sun, "without the slightest bother. There was a very light little cloud in front of it."
The Holy Father's note goes on to describe "the opaque sphere" that "moved outward slightly, either spinning, or moving from left to right and vice versa. But within the sphere, you could see marked movements with total clarity and without interruption."
Pius XII said he saw the same phenomenon "the 31st of October and Nov. 1, the day of the definition of the dogma of the Assumption, and then again Nov. 8, and after that, no more."
The Pope acknowledged that on other days at about the same hour, he tried to see if the phenomenon would be repeated, "but in vain -- I couldn't fix my gaze [on the sun] for even an instant; my eyes would be dazzled."
Pius XII Saw "Miracle of the Sun"
I doubt whether the tradition is reversible at all, but even if it were, the reversal could hardly be accomplished by an incidental section in a long encyclical focused primarily on the defense of innocent human life. If the Pope were contradicting the tradition, one could legitimately question whether his statement outweighed the established teaching of so many past centuries.
I believe that the Pope, without contradicting the tradition, is exercising his prudential judgment that in our time adequate punishment, including the moral and physical defense of society, can generally be accomplished by bloodless means, which are always to be preferred.
The fact that this is likely a prudential judgment throws cold water on the idea that Catholics must assent to a revised teaching on capital punishment that finds almost no cases in which it is acceptable.
I don't hate the men who killed Mamie, nor do I want revenge. I have prayed for not only their capture but their conversion from the beginning. If they are sentenced to death, I am committed to praying for the repose of their souls. I do believe, however, that they should face justice in this life, with the hope of God's mercy in the next.
Praying for those who killed my wife's elderly mother is one of the bitter ironies of Catholicism that I am willing to accept. But wringing my hands and lobbying for their lives is not.
Face To Face With The Death Penalty
[Saint Gregory Thaumaturgus] was the Bishop of Caesarea, a diocese with only 17 Christians at the time. Converted most of his bishopric; tradition says there were only 17 pagans left at the time of his death. Instituted the celebration of martyrs, teachings about the saints, and celebration of saint feast days as a way to interest pagans in the Church. During the Decian persecutions c.250, he and his flock fled into the desert. Worked among the sick when the plague struck soon after, and with refugees during the invasion of Pontus by the Goths in 252-254. Attended the First Council of Antioch in 264-265. Opposed the heresies of sabellianism and Tritheism. Used his legal training to help his parishioners, and settle disputes between them without taking their problems to the civil courts controlled by pagans.
Saint Gregory Thaumaturgus
Keith Humphrey, a representative of another conservative Christian group, the Christian Exodus Project, mentioned that members of his organization had relocated to various places, including South Carolina, Idaho and even Panama, with the goal of establishing independent, self-sufficient Christian communities. He also urged Christians to “purge themselves of the idolatry of statism” and practice what he called “personal secession” by depending on God and the Christian community rather than the state, and avoiding statist institutions through such practices as midwifery, refusing to obtain a Social Security card or birth certificates for children, establishing home schools and home-based businesses, using private currencies and engaging in barter, avoiding corporate jobs and training children in independent living.
You can't break a man that don't borrow; he may not have anything, but Boy! he can look the World in the face and say, "I don't owe you Birds a nickel."
Bankers and Wall Street same as eighty years ago
[Vincent McNabb OP:]
Buy boots you can walk in. Walk in them. Even if you lessen the income of the General Omnibus Company, or your family doctor; you will discover the human foot. On discovering it, your joy will be as great as if you had invented it. But this joy is the greatest, because no human invention even of Mr. Ford or Mr. Marconi is within a mile of a foot.
Individualism does not regard the individual as if they exist in a vacuum, it merely recognizes the individual's sovereignty as co-existing with interpersonal relations, and that it is a fundamental building block of a society. It is erroneous to present a false dichotomy between uniformity and atomism, when neither of the two reflect the nature of an individual let alone a society. Society qua society is founded on voluntary cooperation, but this does not conflict with individual sovereignty. Voluntary cooperation is merely the net effect of people making use of their individual sovereignty, and competition is merely a reflection of the diversity of wants that people pursue as sovereigns. While interpersonal relations are something to take into account, the individual still retains their independence from the transgressions of others in an equilibrium, which aknowledges the competitive element of society that is responsible for creativity and innovation.
Competition and Cooperation
The Central American nation of El Salvador provides an excellent case study in how “actually existing capitalism” came about. The indigenous people of El Salvador, known as the Pipil Indians, were conquered in the early sixteenth century by the Spanish conquistadors. It was not until 1821 that El Salvador claimed its independence from Spain and subsequently became an independent nation in 1839. The system of land ownership in Salvadoran society was communal in nature as late as the end of the eighteenth century with ownership rights relegated to individual towns and Pipil villages. The primary agricultural products produced by the peasants were cattle, indigo, corn, beans and coffee. The Pipil were essentially practicing a type of collective self-employment.
As the international market for coffee expanded, some of the wealthier and more powerful merchants and landowners began pressuring the Salvadoran government to intervene into the economic structures of the nation in such a way as to make the accumulation of personal wealth more rapid through the establishment of larger, private plantations with a more greatly regimented labor force. Consequently, the government began to destroy the traditional system of property rights held by the towns and villages in order to establish individual plantations owned by those from the privileged classes who already possessed the means of acquiring credit. This change was implemented in several steps. In 1846, landowners with more than 5,000 coffee bushes were granted immunity from paying export duties for seven years and from paying taxes for a ten year period. Plantations owned by the Salvadoran government were also transferred to politically connected private individuals. In 1881, the communal land rights the Pipil had possessed for centuries were rescinded, making self-sufficiency for the Indians impossible. The government subsequently refused to grant even subsistence plots to the Pipil as the Salvadoran state was now fully under the control of the large plantation owners. This escalating economic repression was met with resistance and five separate peasant rebellions occurred during the late nineteenth century. By the middle part of the twentieth century, El Salvador’s coffee plantations, called fincas, were producing ninety-five percent of the country’s export product and were controlled by a tiny oligarchy of landowning families.
The phrase “means of acquiring credit” from the previous paragraph is a particularly significant one as the purpose of state control over banking and the issuance of money serves to narrowly constrict the supply of available credit which in turn renders entrepreneurship inaccessible to the majority of the population at large. Indeed, Murray Rothbard argued that bankers as a class “are inherently inclined towards statism” as they are typically involved with unsound practices, such as fractional reserve credit, that subsequently lead to calls for assistance from the state, or derive much of their business from direct involvement with the state, for instance, through the underwriting of government bonds. Therefore, the banking class becomes the financial arm of the state not only by specifically underwriting the activities of the state, such as war, plunder and repression, but also by serving to create and maintain a plutocracy of businessmen, manufacturers, politically-connected elites and others able to obtain access to the narrowly constricted supply of credit within the context of the market distortions generated by the state’s money monopoly.
Indeed, parallels can also be drawn between the structures of contemporary state- capitalism and historic feudalism. Since the High Middle Ages government has been transformed from its earlier identification with a specific person or persons into a corporate entity with a life and identity of its own beyond that of its individual members.
James Burnham [wrote in] “The Managerial Revolution: What Is Happening in the World” [...] that modern societies are neither “capitalist” nor “socialist” in the way these terms were historically understood. Instead, a new kind of politico-economic order has emerged in modern times where political and economic rule is conducted by a “managerial class” of bureaucrats presiding over mass organizations – governments and their bureaus and agencies, corporations and financial institutions, armies, political parties, unions, universities, media, foundations and the like. Membership in the upper strata of these entities is often rotational in that many of the same individuals shift about from the various sectors of the managerial class, for instance, from elected positions in government to corporate boards of directors to key positions in the media or elite foundations to appointed positions in the bureaucracy.
As for the question of what an economy devoid of statist, corporatist and plutocratic rule would actually look like, it can be expected that removal of state-imposed barriers to obtainment of credit, entrepreneurship and economic self-sufficiency (as opposed to dependency on state and corporate bureaucracies for employment, insurance and social services) will be one where Colin Ward’s ideal of a “self-employed” society is largely realized. No longer will the average man be dependent on Chase Manhattan, Home Depot, General Motors, Tesco or Texaco for his livelihood or his sustenance. Instead, he will have finally acquired the means of existing economically as a self-sufficient dignified individual in a community of peers where privilege is the result of merit and equal liberty is the unchallengeable prerogative of all.
Early in the twentieth century there were a variety of movements championing the independent small producer and the cooperative management of large enterprises including anarcho-syndicalism from the extreme Left and distributism from the reactionary Catholic Right. These tendencies still exist on the outer fringes of political and economic thought. One need not agree with every bit of analysis or every proposal advanced by these schools of thinking to recognize their visionary libertarian aspects.
An economy organized on the basis of worker-owned and operated industries, peoples’ banks, mutuals, consumer cooperatives, anarcho-syndicalist labor unions, individual and family enterprises, small farms and crafts workers associations engaged in local production for local use, voluntary charitable institutions, land trusts, or voluntary collectives, communes and kibbutzim may seem farfetched to some, but no more so and probably less so than a modern industrial, high-tech economy where the merchant class is the ruling class and the working class is a frequently affluent middle class would have seemed to residents of the feudal societies of pre-modern times. If the expansion of the market economy, specialization, the division of labor, industrialization and technological advancements can bring about the achievements of modern societies in eradicating disease, starvation, infant mortality and early death, one can only wonder what a genuine free enterprise system might achieve, and would have already achieved were it not for the scourge of statism and the corresponding plutocracy.
Free Enterprise: The Antidote to Corporate Plutocracy
The split between life and work is probably the greatest contemporary social problem. You cannot expect men to take a responsible attitude and to display initiative in daily life when their whole working experience deprives them of the chance of initiative and responsibility. The personality cannot be successfully divided into watertight compartments, and even the attempt to do so is dangerous: if a man is taught to rely upon a paternalistic authority within the factory, he will be ready to rely upon one outside. If he is rendered irresponsible at work by lack of opportunity for responsibility, he will be irresponsible when away from work too. The contemporary social trend towards a centralised, paternalistic, authoritarian society only reflects conditions which already exist within the factory.
The novelist, Nigel Balchin, was once invited to address a conference on 'incentives' in industry. He remarked that 'Industrial psychologists must stop messing about with tricky and ingenious bonus schemes and find out why a man, after a hard day's work, went home and enjoyed digging in his garden.'
But don't we already know why? He enjoys going home and digging in his garden because there he is free from foremen, managers and bosses. He is free from the monotony and slavery of doing the same thing day in day out, and is in control of the whole job from start to finish. He is free to decide for himself how and when to set about it. He is responsible to himself and not to somebody else. He is working because he wants to and not because he has to. He is doing his own thing. He is his own man.
The desire to 'be your own boss' is very common indeed. Think of all the people whose secret dream or cherished ambition is to run a small-holding or a little shop or to set up in trade on their own account, even though it may mean working night and day with little prospect of solvency. Few of them are such optimists as to think they will make a fortune that way. What they want above all is the sense of independence and of controlling their own destinies.
The fact that in the twentieth century the production and distribution of goods and services is far too complicated to be run by millions of one-man businesses doesn't lessen this urge for self-determination, and the politicians, managers and giant international corporations know it. This is why they present every kind of scheme for 'workers' participation', 'joint management', 'profit sharing', 'industrial co-partnership', everything in fact from suggestion boxes to works councils, to give the worker the feeling that he is more than a cog in the industrial machine while making sure that effective control of industry is kept out of the hands of the man on the factory floor.
For a lucky few work is enjoyable for its own sake, but the proportion of such people in the total working population grows smaller as work becomes either more mechanised or more fragmented. Automation, which was expected to reduce the sheer drudgery of manual labour and the sheer mental drudgery of clerical work, is feared because in practice it simply reduces the number of income gaining opportunities. It is a saving of labour, not by the worker, but by the owners or controllers of capital. The lucky few are destined for the jobs which are either created by or are unaffected by automation. The unlucky majority, condemned from childhood to the dreary jobs, find them either diminished or extinguished by the 'rationalisation' of work.
Can we imagine that in a situation where the control of an industry, a factory, any kind of workplace, was in the hands of the people who work there, they would just carry on production, distribution and bottle-washing in the ways we are familiar with today? Even within capitalist society (though not within the 'public sector' which belongs to 'the people') some employers find that what they call job enlargement or job enrichment, the replacement of conveyor belt tasks by complete assembly jobs, or deliberate rotation from job to job in the production process, can increase production simply by reducing boredom. When everyone in an industry has a voice in it, would they stop at this point? In his brilliant essay Work and Surplus, Keith Paton imagines what would happen in a car factory taken over permanently by its workers. 'After the carnival of revolution come the appeals to return to work' but 'to get into the habit of responding to orders or exhortations to raise the GNP would be to sell the pass straight away. On the other hand production must eventually be got going on some basis or other. What basis? Return to what sort of work?'
So instead of restarting the assembly track (if the young workers haven't already smashed it) they spend two months discussing the point of their work, and how to rearrange it. Private cars? Why do people always want to go somewhere else? Is it because where they are is so intolerable? And what part did the automobile play in making the need to escape? What about day to day convenience? Is being stuck in a traffic jam convenient? What about the cost to the country? Bugger the 'cost to the country', that's just the same crap as the national interest. Have you seen the faces of old people as they try to cross a busy main road? What about the inconvenience to pedestrians? What's the reason for buying a car? Is it just wanting to HAVE it? Do we think the value of a car rubs off on us? But that's the wrong way round. Does having a car really save time? What's the average hours worked in manufacturing industry Let's look it up in the library: 45-7 hours work a week. What's the amount of the family's spending money in a week that goes on cars? 10 3 per cent of all family income. Which means more like 20 per cent if you've got a car because half of us don't have one. What's 25 per cent of 45 hours? Christ, 9 hours! That's a hell of a long time spent 'saving time'! There must be a better way of getting from A to B. By bus? OK, let's make buses. But what about the pollution and that? What about those electric cars they showed on the telly once? Etc., etc.
He envisages another month of discussion and research in complexly cross-cutting groups, until the workers reach a consensus or eventual self-redeployment for making products which the workers consider to be socially useful. These include car refurbishing to increase the use-value of models already on the road), buses, overhead monorail cars, electric cars and scooters, white bicycles for communal use (as devised by the Amsterdam provos), housing units, minimal work for drop-outs, and for kids and old people who like to make themselves useful. But he sees other aspects of the workers' take-over, voluntary extra work for example: 'As work becomes more and more pleasurable, as technology and society develop to allow more and more craft aspects to return at high technological level, the idea of voluntary extra over the (reduced) fixed working week becomes feasible. Even the fixing of the working week becomes perseded.' The purpose of this voluntary extra? 'New Delhi needs buses, provide them by voluntary work.'The factory itself is open to the community, including children; - thus every factory worker is a potential "environmental studies" instructor, if a child comes up and asks him how something works.' The factory in fact becomes a university, an institute of learning rather than of enforced stupidity, 'using men to a millionth of their capacities' as Norbert Weiner put it.
As we are frequently reminded by our own experience as consumers, industrial products in our society are built for a limited life as well as for an early obsolescence. The products which are available for purchase are not the products which we would prefer to have. In a worker-controlled society it would not be worth the workers' while to produce articles with a deliberately limited life, nor to make things which were unrepairable. Products would have transparency of operation and repair. When Henry Ford first marketed his Model T he aimed at a product which 'any hick up a dirt road' could repair with a hammer and a spanner. He nearly bankrupted his firm in the process, but this is precisely the kind of product which an anarchist society would need: objects whose functioning is transparent and whose repair can be undertaken readily and simply by the user. In his book The Worker in an Affluent Society, Ferdynand Zweig makes the entertaining observation that 'quite often the worker comes to work on Monday worn out from his weekend activities, especially from "Do-it-yourself". Quite a number said that the weekend is the most trying and exacting period of the whole week, and Monday morning in the factory, in comparison, is relaxing ' This leads us to ask - not in the future, but in our present society - what is work and what is leisure if we work harder in our leisure than at our work?
When we talk of 'doing our own thing' we are not advocating going back to doing everything by hand. This would have been the only option in the thirties. But since then electrical power and 'affluence' have brought a spread of intermediate machines, some of them very sophisticated, to ordinary working class communities. Even if they do not own them (as many claimants do not) the possibility exists of borrowing them from neighbours, relatives, ex-workmates. Knitting and sewing machines, power tools and other do-it-yourself equipment comes in this category. Garages can be converted into little workshops, home-brew kits are popular, parts and machinery can be taken from old cars and other gadgets. If they saw their opportunity, trained metallurgists and mechanics could get into advanced scrap technology, recycling the metal wastes of the consumer society for things which could be used again regardless of whether they would fetch anything in a shop. Many hobby enthusiasts could begin to see their interests in a new light.
The funny thing is that when we discuss the question of work from an anarchist point of view, the first question people ask is: What would you do about the lazy man, the man who will not work? The only possible answer is that we have all been supporting him for centuries. The problem that faces every individual and every society is quite different, it is how to provide people with the opportunity they yearn for: the chance to be useful.
A Self-Employed Society
Randy Harless has declared sovereignty by renouncing his citizenship and claims his status prevents him from being held accountable for laws of a government he is no longer a part of.
When Harless bought Log Cabin Espresso, located on SR 532 near Good Road, earlier this year, and renamed the establishment Randy Lee Harless, he put his declaration of sovereignty to the test. At the end of July, Harless was notified by Island County Public Health of the suspension of his 2008 food service establishment permit. Failing to respond to notification of continued violations of health codes, Harless was notified he must immediately cease all food service operations.
“It’s my right to own a business,” said Harless. “I don’t need permission.”
According to Harless, his actions are a stand against tyranny. “Nobody stands up for their rights anymore,” he said. “The health department comes along, and they want to have power to control every move of what goes on here.” Harless said he has taken back that control over his establishment. “Under my sovereignty, I have granted myself a health permit,” he said.
Troubles brew for island coffee stand
This thing that I shall bring to your attention is a existing example of counter economics, the process proposed by Samuel Edward Konkin in the New Libertarian Manifesto [...] as a strategy for action against the state. The plan? To build a new society within the shell of the old.
[C]ertain sections of Palestine are currently being blockaded by Israel. You have all the elements of statism here, an army, some politicians, stolen land and a few thousand people without many basic supplies. Stuff’s gonna happen. However, there are some courageous and entrepreneurial individuals who are fighting by creating smuggling networks by digging tunnels under the border between Gaza and Egypt.
[D]eep beneath the watchtowers and fences of Gaza’s 10-mile long border with Egypt, a sprawling warren of hand-dug burrows now supplies everything from food, petrol and designer jeans through to guns, drugs and black market Marlboro cigarettes.
“We bring through laptops, clothes, computers, medicines, mobile phones and even people,” said Hisham al Loukh, 23, another tunneller. “There was even a bride from Egypt who came through one recently to get married to a man in Gaza.”
Welcome, this is the counter economy in its most elegant form. These tunnels are 30 feet deep and run for 300 yards, a complex structure and organisation obtained by a group of individuals who have voluntarily cooperated in order to overcome the little problem of starvation. [...] These tunnels were originally used for destructive purposes, involving the importation of explosives to be used against Israel! Thanks to the counter economy, these tunnels have now been put to a productive use. They have provided employment and supply to “an area which currently has 80 per cent unemployment”. Further still, “Some local shops honour tunnellers in the same fashion as “martyred” local militants, displaying pictures of them clutching spades and drills rather than assault rifles.”
However, this tale is not without its villains. Like any good tale of good vs evil, the state has warped and twisted the market in its destructive lust for power and control, causing the counter economy to grow in retaliation. Beside the obvious effect of the Israeli military on the Palestinian people, there is pressure from both the Israeli and American adminstrations on Egypt to shut down the tunnels.
The threat is not just from earthfalls. The Egyptian government, which has traditionally turned a blind eye to the tunnels because of historic sympathy for Gaza’s Palestinian residents, is now under growing pressure from both Israel and the US to shut them down, and in recent months Egyptian border guards have started dynamiting any entrances that they discover.
“They also pump in water, poison gas, and even sewage,” said Mr Sazzar. “But they do not stop us. If part of one tunnel gets blocked, we just dig a new branch in a different direction.”
On the Gaza side, little effort is made to hide the tunnels, which lurk under a network of tents and jerry-built shacks along the border.
Israel, which withdrew its forces from Gaza in 2005, has occasionally sent warplanes to bomb the passageways, but has not done so since striking a cease-fire deal with Hamas three months ago.
[T]here are even rumours that Hamas, the ruling faction in Gaza, is imposing unofficial taxation on all smuggled goods. So much for governments protecting their people, right?
The moral to the story is that the counter economy is something that exists everywhere, in all circumstances, so long as there are people. Clearly, the counter economy is a productive force that works to improve the lives of individuals even in the most dire of circumstances. It’s a natural and elegant response to statism and coercion that forgoes violence in favour of economic revolt. You can’t try and crush a people, whether it be an entire nation or a small community, without them finding ways around your blockades, rules, taxes and legislation. To those sceptics who doubt the scope or the potential of the counter economy, I put it to you that the existence of the counter economy is intrinsically tied to that of the human species. So long as there is people, there is counter economic activity.
To the Counter Economic Sceptics
To be governed is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorised, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the public interest, to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolised, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonoured. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.”
– Pierre Joseph Proudhon
Updated News Digest November 2, 2008
I would suggest [...] that statists are fools with their heads in the clouds at best and blood on their hands at worst. The crimes that states have committed are so much vaster than the crimes they pretend to shield us from.
My fundamental view is that states are immoral and evil institutions and that they ought to be abolished [...] One does not compromise with evil if one is to be a moral person, and besides, a compromise with evil today will always be met with a request for further compromise tomorrow, increasing evil’s presence in the world. You don’t choose the “lesser” of two evils, and you don't surrender to the apology that says that the state is a "necessary" evil. You also don’t try to reform evil by attempting to circumscribe it with paper nonsense like constitutions and treaties. So long as people give moral support to the evil institution that is the state, evil will continue to thrive at the core of our social existence.
There are a number of different narratives of how states might eventually cease to be. First of all, the state is emphatically not going to abolish itself, anywhere or at any time. The people who profit from state evil are not going to give up those illegitimate profits, having one day awoken with a moral conscience and newfound respect for their fellow human beings. They are going to fight very hard to hold on to those privileges.
Violent revolution to eliminate states and replace them with functioning anarchist societies is very unlikely to be successful in this generation or the next few generations. Where such is attempted, it is much more likely that the leaders of the revolution would in fact become the core of a new state, just as illegitimate as the last, though founded on different mythology. Bloodshed should not be our goal.
There is a beautiful vision I read of someplace, of people just gradually withdrawing their support for the state, first at the fringes and then spreading inward as generations go on, with the end result that one day, the very last state employee turns off the light at the very last state office and quits his state job. There are extremely powerful forces arrayed by states against society to ensure that this doesn’t happen, no matter how glorious the vision may be.
The only practicable strategy to contribute to the minimization and elimination of the state today that I am aware of is called agorism, a term coined (I believe) by Samuel E. Konkin III back in the 1970s. Agorism’s political philosophy is anarchism and its revolutionary praxis is what Konkin termed counter-economics. The revolutionary path, in brief, is simple: arrange your individual affairs such as to have as little contact with states as possible; avoid paying taxes where possible; avoid taking state services or engaging state businesses where possible; expand “gray” markets; establish enterprises and trading networks with like-minded people; develop non-coercive means to provide the services that states claim monopoly power over today. The seed of agorism, I believe, grows in the heart of nearly every person already.
Mike Gogulski interviewed: "The Seed of Agorism Grows in Every Person"
[B]y the way, I didn't ask Patri Friedman before posting a copy of the image here. His whole point is that we shouldn't have to. We credit him and link back, of course, because credit is like time or money, in that when you take it from someone, that person actually loses something. Copying the image while still giving him full credit is exactly in the spirit of his post.
"Piracy Is Not Theft" graphic by Patri Friedman
There's a word for all the stuff we do with creative works — all the conversing, retelling, singing, acting out, drawing, and thinking: we call it culture.
Culture's old. It's older than copyright.
The existence of culture is why copyright is valuable. The fact that we have a bottomless appetite for songs to sing together, for stories to share, for art to see and add to our visual vocabulary is the reason that people will pay money for these things.
Let me say that again: the reason copyright exists is because culture creates a market for creative works. If there was no market for creative works, there'd be no reason to care about copyright.
Content isn't king: culture is. The reason we go to the movies is to have something to talk about. If I sent you to a desert island and told you to choose between your records and your friends, you'd be a sociopath if you chose the music.
Culture's imperative is to share information: culture is shared information. Science fiction readers know this: the guy across from you on the subway with a gaudy SF novel in his hands is part of your group. You two have almost certainly read some of the same books, you've got some shared cultural referents, some things to talk about.
When you hear a song you love, you play it for the people in your tribe. When you read a book you love, you shove it into the hands of your friends to encourage them to read it too. When you see a great show, you get your friends to watch it too — or you seek out the people who've already watched it and strike up a conversation with them.
So the natural inclination of anyone who is struck by a piece of creative work is to share it.
Why I Copyfight
[Hermann Goering said:] Of course people don’t want war. Why should a poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best thing he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
Hermann Goering Speaks an "Eternal Truth" at Nuremberg
The unconscionable truth is that war makes a great business. As people are killed in war, there are always those who make big money killing in war trafficking. Just for the record, let it be noted that as the resources of others are destroyed by war, those however who make war their trade in effect, build up their wealth. But the question remains and begs for an answer: When is a war just?
The answer to this is curiously found also in questions: Was there ever a just war in human history? Was the 1st World War just? In other words: Was the holocaust just? Was the systematic extermination of the Jews just? Was the 2nd World War just?
In other words, was the atomic bomb explosion in Hiroshima just? Was the indiscriminate killing of many thousands of civilian men, women and children just? Is the Iraq War just?
In other words: Is it just to have thousands of invading soldiers killed and more thousands of locals sent to their death as “collateral damage” – with more people still to be killed as the days go on and as the war continues?
It is definite and defined that any and all wars are unjust. In other words, there is no such animal as a just war. Only fools say otherwise. Only clowns wear smiles during war. And only those whose business is war, rejoice when war is actually waged.
Everybody else – if still alive and well – think, feel and say that there are no winners in war. And those who want war, let them go to the front lines and do their war dance there until they stop a bullet at hitting somebody else in its way.
Oscar V. Cruz
Anarchic Ireland and Iceland worked peacefully for very long periods of time (Ireland was ended by Britain, Iceland by Christianity) because of the common law, or points from which negotiations start, or Schelling points. People not subscribed to the same law/police/defense agency could interact with each other just fine because they all started from very similar Schelling points.
The Native Americans and the Europeans came into conflict on the local level because the groups had vastly different Schelling points as they pertained to property rights. And since property rights are emergent and based on nothing more than what everyone relevant to you agrees to, different views of property are demonstrably important. As in, differing Schelling points lead to war.
This is why the mild west was so mild. Upon embarking into the more or less "lawless" territories, settlers knew what they were getting into, and knew they had to define property rights and the law. And they started from the Schelling points of statist property rights, although the homesteading principle was used more in the anarchic west than the statist east, evidence that the US statist property law back east was suboptimal. And so the anarchic west saw property law syllogistically superior to that of the statist east, which in all likelihood also contributed to their lower per capita homicide rate.
However, whenever the US government took hold in an area, there was no opposition, there was no guerilla war. And from what little evidence we have, homicide rates typically increased when government was imposed on an area and the emergent legal systems disbanded.
An even starker example was seen in anarchic Pennsylvania. From 1684 to 1696, Pennsylvania had no effective governance. William Penn was granted governorship of what is now Pennsylvania by some sacred cow in England for who the hell knows what reason. Penn tried to raise various import duties in 1684, but some men offered to raise 500 pounds for William Penn instead so as to spare the colony from crippling trade, a proposal Penn agreed to.
Hearing of Quaker persecution in England, Penn left for England. He returned to find that the citizens of Pennsylvania simply weren't paying the taxes and that the council, which originally existed merely to ratify Penn's wishes, had virtually taken over. Pennsylvania was self-governing, though the council rarely met, and was no more effective at tax collection than Penn himself, and so Pennsylvania essentially fell into anarchy. In 1684, Pennsylvania had a population of 8,000, and in 1689 it was about 12,000, growth which occurred in anarchy yet with no apparent chaos.
However, in 1696 the new Governor Markham was able to get the council to agree upon taxation under the condition that the council would now have legislative powers itself. They were able to collect on the taxes by pitting Quakers against non-Quakers by raising property requirements for voting so that the typically well-off Quakers had more clout than the typically urban poor non-Quakers.
De facto anarchy was able to reign for 14 years in Pennsylvania, but was ended, just as it was ended in the western territories, because the council was still deemed as legitimate. The council, while ineffectual, was never dissolved outright. And while taxation was opposed, taxation itself in theory was seen as something that could be legitimate, and so Pennsylvania eventually consented to it once the Quakers were cut what they thought was a good deal. The legitimacy of government was still part of the Schelling point in the minds of Pennsylvanians, and so government always had a foot in the door.
While existing in functional anarchy, Pennsylvania had no systematic justification for their this "system" of anarchy, and so relapse was inevitable. And because the western territories weren't an explicitly anarchistic society, a state was still in the trade space, the Schelling point, despite anarchy being the "system" that prevailed for quite some time.
In order for a stateless society to be maintained, the state must be pushed out of the Schelling point. Not only must anarchy occur, but the members of the stateless society must recognize the state as an UNnecessary evil in order to prevent a relapse, a relapse that can only occur with consent, and consent that can only occur if the population doesn't have a systematic anarchist philosophy, or at the very least understand the horrible nature of states.
In terms of offering positive alternatives to the welfare state, I am very much for the development of non-state charities, relief agencies, orphanages, youth hostels, squats, shelters for battered women, the homeless or the mentally ill, self-improvement programs for drug addicts and alcoholics, assistance services for the disabled or the elderly, wildlife and environmental preserves, means of food and drug testing independent of the state bureaucracy, home schools, neighborhood schools, private schools, tenants organizations, mutual banks, credit unions, consumers unions, anarcho-syndicalist labor unions and other worker organizations, cooperatives, communes, collectives, kibbutzim and other alternative models of organizing production. I am in favor of free clinics, alternative medicine, self-diagnostic services, midwifery, the abolition of medical licensure, the repeal of prescription laws and anything else that could potentially reduce the cost of health care for the average person and diminish dependency on the medical-industrial complex and the “white coat priesthood.” Indeed, I would argue that the eventual success of libertarianism depends to a large degree on the ability of libertarians to develop workable alternatives to both the corporation-dominated economy and the state-dominated welfare and social service system.
What might be some “thick” [libertarian] values, while irrelevant to the coercive authority of the state per se, that might be helpful as part of a broader foundation for combating actually existing states of the kind found in the contemporary First World?
1. A defense of the sovereignty of particular nations against imperialism, multi-national nation-states, and international quasi-governmental bodies.
2. A defense of the sovereignty of local communities and regional cultures against the power of overarching central governments.
3. “Ethno-pluralism” or the view that each unique ethnic group should have a territory where it is a demographic majority and with a political system representative of its cultural foundations. The Swiss canton system may well be the most advanced model of this type of any system currently in practice.
4. The view that cultural differences are best dealt with according to the principles of individual liberty, voluntary association, pluralism and peaceful co-existence where possible, yet where this is not possible localism, decentralism, secessionism, separatism and mutual self-segregation are likely the most preferable alternatives.
5. A distinction between natural or voluntary hierarchies and authorities, and coercive or artificial ones.
6. Recognition of the iron law of oligarchy, or the view that elites are inevitable, and an emphasis on meritocracy, as opposed to simply tearing down all authorities, institutions, and organizations, thereby creating a power vacuum that allows the worst to get to the top.
7. Recognition of the legitimacy of Otherness, and an understanding that true “tolerance” is not simply tolerating people one likes, but tolerating those whom one finds personally repulsive. Just as toleration of the Other is not synonymous with approval or agreement, so does tolerance of one’s self by the Other not grant the right to demand approval.
8. Recognition of the inherent inequality of persons, groups, cultures, nations, etc. and that effort to impose artificial or unnatural equality can only result in tyranny, chaos or stagnation.
9. Adherence to what traditionalist Catholics call the “subsidiarity” principle, meaning that problems are best dealt with on a decentralized basis by those closest to them, rather than on the basis of abstract solutions imposed from above.
10. Application of the insights of modern social psychology, which indicates that most people are herd creatures, and inevitably get their sense of “right and wrong” not from any innate sense of conscience or a rational evaluation of available facts, but according to cues taken from leaders, peers and perceived sources of cultural authority.
11. Recognition of the value of intermediary institutions, such as families, communities, voluntary associations, independent business and labor organizations, charities, philanthropies, private schools and universities, cultural organizations, and even private citizens’ militias as a bulwark against the all-encompassing authoritarian presence of the state, and the need to defend the sovereignty and legitimacy of such institutions.
12. Recognition of Acton’s dictum that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Libertarians should aspire to be the elite leadership corps of a larger, broad-based populist movement that encourages the development of local sovereignty and secession movements in opposition to the central government and the empire. Given that the majority of the U.S. population lives in approximately one hundred large metropolitan areas, a class-based radicalism would essentially pit the urban poor and working classes and their natural allies (the so-called “red state rubes,” the lower to lower middle classes from the rural areas and smaller towns) against the urban liberal-bourgeoisie elite who staff and maintain the managerial bureaucracy on behalf of the plutocracy. The political arrangements likely to emerge from the victory of such a radical movement would involve a kind of cultural separatism. Culturally conservative rural communities, small towns, “red states” and elsewhere would be free to separate themselves from the perceived ills of “liberal” society as would socially conservative urban racial minorities, Muslims and others who might also have their own separatist enclaves. Yet independent metropolitan city-states would likely remain as cosmopolitan in nature as they are now, perhaps more so, as the expulsion of the state and the overthrow of the plutocracy should bring with it greatly expanded economic opportunities with urban areas becoming even greater centers of trade and cultural exchange than they are now. Minus the overarching authority of the federal government or the influence of socially conservative or religiously fundamentalist rural counties and small towns, urban centers could begin to experiment with many of the radically anti-authoritarian ideas favored by libertarians and decentralists, such as drug decriminalization, citizen militias, common law courts, restitution-based penal systems, the abolition of compulsory education, a free-market in health care (including alternative health care and prescription medicines), expanded rights of self-defense, non-state social services, alternative media, the elimination of zoning ordinances, the repeal of the drinking age and other “victimless crime” laws, urban farming and so on.
Should Libertarianism be Cultural Leftism without the State?
I believed that you could constrain the State, but since I’ve become a realist – I’m an anarchist. So if there is a little bit of a State, it will grow. So the only realist position is the anarchist one.
I think that, ultimately, every human being is interested in right – and especially in these very basic rights: do not kill, do not steal, to not assault and keep your promises. If you go to Patagonia or if you go to Mongolia, you are unlikely to find somebody who’d say “I don’t mind being killed, I don’t mind being raped, I don’t mind being robbed.” These are the fundamental prohibitions that libertarians see as being the fundamental human rights. Do not kill and so on. These prohibitions are human.
[T]he technology today is no longer one that will foster the State. Actually it is turning against the State. It is transborder, and it’s now becoming more and more difficult for a nation state to regulate its economy – because business moves – it’s more and more difficult to make claims about reducing unemployment, about giving more benefits to people and so on.
So more and more the ideology that has been dominant since, say, the late Enlightenment, or the French Revolution, until probably the 1980s – that ideology is on the way out. And I think that libertarianism is going to be the ideology that people will turn to simply because every day I look around and I don’t see any other competing ideology.
[I]n reality, I don’t think you convince people. You do not tell them “This is the way to think.” They discover it by themselves. But in order to discover it, our books, our publications, our websites, our blogs must be there. Then people will stumble upon them and they say “this is what I was looking for. This is what I sort of had in my mind, I could not put it into words. But now I realise this is what I was thinking.”
Interview with Christian Michel
(Wywiad w tłumaczeniu na język polski:
"Neither business commitment nor social life should deprive a husband and wife of the tenderness of being together. Children should not come home to find their parents always away," [...] cardinal [Joseph Zen, the bishop of Hong Kong] said.
"'To live together' is the secret to the success of a family," he continued. "Husband and wife must use every possible means to spend time together and have time to be close to their children. Christmas and the feast of the Holy Family encourages us to strengthen or, if necessary, to revive the tenderness of the family.
"Christmas is a feast that gathers the family. Let us begin with Advent: The Church has a special liturgy encouraging us to make our homes churches."
Cardinal Zen also encouraged the use of the Advent wreath, saying that lighting "one more candle on each Sunday of Advent can create a wonderful atmosphere."
Put Family First, Urges Cardinal
The two roses at the bottom represent Mr. and Mrs. Martin. The two bigger roses above them the two eldest sisters, Marie and Pauline (also in the convent with Therese) the rose directly below the face is Celine - the last sister to enter the Carmel, after their father had died. Therese is the rose to the left of the face, and Leonie's rose is to the right. She became a visitation nun.
The other four buds represent the four other children the Martins had, who did not live past early childhood. Helene was a little younger than Leonie, and Helene died about aged and a half. Melanie Therese was the child born before St. Therese, and she died about aged one or two. Two infant boys, who did not live very long were born after Helene, Joseph, and Joseph Jean. All the children had the first name of Marie, including the boys.
Chasuble by St. Therese of Lisieux
On, Ludwik Martin, urodził się w 1823 r. jako syn kapitana armii francuskiej. Zdobył zawód zegarmistrza. W wieku 23 lat zapragnął wstąpić do klasztoru, ale przeszkodziła mu w tym nieznajomość łaciny. Osiedlił się w Paryżu, a potem wrócił do rodziców w Alencon. Tu otworzył zakład zegarmistrzowski. Swój czas dzielił pomiędzy pracę zawodową, ćwiczenia duchowe, dzieła miłosierdzia, łowienie ryb i czytanie książek. Zapewne tak toczyłoby się dalej jego życie, gdyby pewnego dnia na moście św. Leonarda nie zobaczyła go pewna dziewczyna i nie usłyszała wewnętrznego głosu, który jej powiedział: „To ten, którego przygotowałem dla ciebie”. Po trzech miesiącach od tego wydarzenia, 13 lipca 1858 r. 35-letni Ludwik Martin został mężem Zelii Marii Guerin.
Ona, Zelia Guerin (ur. w 1831 r.), córka żołnierza cesarskiego, a później żandarma, nierozumiana przez matkę, pozostawała w wielkiej przyjaźni z siostrą i bratem. Chciała zostać zakonnicą, ale rozmowa z przełożoną, osobą doświadczoną w kwestii powołań, sprawiła, że odłożyła swą decyzję na później. Nigdy jej nie żałowała. Nauczyła się sztuki robienia koronek i w wieku 20 lat założyła własne przedsiębiorstwo.
We wszystkich sprawach małżeństwo Martin podejmowało wspólnie decyzje. Pisząc o podjętych decyzjach, Zelia nie zapominała nigdy dodać: „Mój mąż zgadza się na to”. Wiedziała jednak doskonale, że potrafi wpłynąć na decyzje Ludwika i zawsze osiągała to, czego pragnęła „i to bez walki”.
Zelia miała jasny obraz roli kobiety jako żony i matki. Pisała o tym do brata, udzielając mu rad na temat wyboru żony: „Najważniejsze, by znaleźć kobietę o dobrych przymiotach, która by nie lękała się zabrudzić ręce w pracy, nie przywiązywała większej wagi do toalety, niż to wypada, która by umiała wychować swoje dzieci do pracy i pobożności”.
[W]arto oprzeć naszą małżeńską miłość na miłości Boga, który sam jest Miłością. Może wtedy łatwiej będzie pochwalić żonę za dobry obiad, powiedzieć mężowi, że nasza miłość do niego trwa nadal. Może wówczas miłowanie żony, jak siebie samego, nie będzie wyrzeczeniem, ale przyniesie radość. Może wtedy poddanie się mężowi nie będzie ofiarą, lecz wspólnym dążeniem do szczęścia.
Zelia uważała, że „zajmowanie się dziećmi - to praca przyjemna. Gdybym tylko to miała do roboty, uważałabym się za szczęśliwą kobietę”.
Podobne uczucia do swoich dzieci żywił Ludwik, który poświęcał im wiele czasu. Dużo radości dawały mu wspólne spacery z córkami. Gdy tylko pogoda sprzyjała, przechadzki a czasami wycieczki całej rodziny były stałym elementem niedzielnego wypoczynku.
Państwo Martin nie rozpieszczali swoich córek. Zelia nie ulegała ich kaprysom: „Nie rozpieszczałam jej, jak była maleńka i nic jej nie przepuściłam. Nie dręczyłam jej, ale musiała ustąpić”. Znała pragnienia swoich córek dotyczące spraw materialnych: „(...) mówiły mi, że pragnęły mieć torby podróżne, jakie mają wszystkie ich koleżanki”. Podchodziła jednak do nich bardzo rzeczowo: „Pozwalałam im mówić, ale ponieważ kupuję im tylko rzeczy konieczne i mogły się bez tych toreb obejść, więc nie uważałam za potrzebne spełnić ich prośbę”. Zdawała sobie sprawę, że po tak długim czasie oczekiwania „teraz jakaż to będzie dla nich radość”, gdy otrzymają wymarzony prezent. Bardziej pobłażliwy był Ludwik, szczególnie czuły na płacz dziecka: „wtedy zaczęła płakać i Tatuś ustąpił”.
Zgoła inaczej traktowano prośby córek związane z obecnością rodziców przy nich. Zelia przerywa pracę w warsztacie, gdy chora córka „nie chce, by prócz mnie ktokolwiek jej dotykał”.
Zelia i Ludwik zabierali dziewczynki na uroczystości religijne, zachęcali je do częstej modlitwy oraz żywo interesowali się ich życiem duchowym, gdy przebywały na pensji w Mans: „Myślę, że przystąpicie dzisiaj, w dzień Wszystkich Świętych, do Komunii świętej, jak również jutro, w Dzień Zaduszny”. Jednocześnie córki były świadkami udziału rodziców w codziennej Mszy św., wyjazdów pielgrzymkowych ojca, wspólnej modlitwy, działalności rodziców w stowarzyszeniach katolickich, poszanowania odpoczynku niedzielnego („...należy bardzo na to uważać, by nie pracować w niedzielę”).
Ludwik [...] uczył [dzieci] dobroczynności: „W czasie spacerów tatuś lubił dawać mi pieniążki, abym zanosiła je spotkanym ubogim”. Państwo Martin często udzielali pomocy osobom ubogim, interesowali się ich losem, występowali w obronie ludzi pokrzywdzonych, cierpiących.
Podstawową lekturą religijną w domu państwa Martin były książki: „O naśladowaniu Jezusa Chrystusa”, „Podręcznik chrześcijanina”, „Rok liturgiczny”, wiersze Wiktora Hugo, Lamartinne'a, gazeta „La Croix”. Być może w obawie przed złym wpływem prasy „Tatuś zabronił nam czytania jakichkolwiek dzienników”.
Żarliwość religijna Ludwika i Zelii Martin pozbawiona była wszelkiej dewocji. Zelia szczerze, bez ogródek wydawała swój osąd: „Mamy od tygodnia dwóch misjonarzy, którzy prawią nam trzy nauki dziennie. Według mnie, jeden nie mówi lepiej od drugiego. Z obowiązku jednak chodzimy ich posłuchać i, dla mnie przynajmniej, jest to jeszcze jedna pokuta więcej”. Uważała również, że nic złego się nie stanie, gdy czteroletnia Terenia pomodli się następnego dnia, gdy zapomniała to zrobić wieczorem. Nie jest również zadowolona, że Marynia codziennie o szóstej rano uczestniczy we Mszy św., gdyż uważa, że jest to zbyt wczesna pora dla młodej dziewczyny.
Podstawą wychowania, a szczególnie wychowania religijnego jest przykład rodziców. Nie można nakłaniać dziecka do praktyk religijnych, gdy nie czynią tego rodzice. Byłaby to obłuda, którą dziecko szybko odkryje. Takie postępowanie rodziców może prowadzić do ukształtowania postaw konformistycznych nie tylko w odniesieniu do życia religijnego.
[W]łaśnie szczerość, prostolinijność, brak sprzecznych komunikatów przekazywanych dzieciom może być dla dzisiejszych rodziców wzorem wychowania chrześcijańskiego w ogóle, a religijnego w szczególności.
[Zelia Martin w]ielokrotnie wspominała w swych listach, że musi przerwać pisanie, bo któreś z dzieci pragnie się z nią pobawić czy o czymś powiedzieć. Czasu dla córek nie żałował też Ludwik, odbywając z nimi częste spacery lub bawiąc się z nimi w ogrodzie, czy też wykonując dziecinne zabawki. Szczególnie dużo uwagi poświęcał im - zwłaszcza najmłodszej Tereni - po śmierci żony. Rytuałem staje się codzienna przechadzka „Króla” (Ludwika) i „Królewny” (Tereni), „w czasie której tatuś kupował mi zawsze mały prezencik za drobne pieniążki”. Czasami zabierał też dziewczynki na połów ryb. W czasie wakacji jechał ze starszymi do Paryża lub organizował im wypoczynek nad morzem. Poważne potraktowanie przez Ludwika Martin decyzji czternastoletniej Teresy o wstąpieniu do Karmelu świadczy o tym, że znał swoją córkę; wiedział, że pomimo młodego wieku jej decyzja jest dojrzała, a nie jest to jedynie zwykły dziecięcy kaprys.
Rozmowy z dziećmi, wspólne rozrywki, wycieczki, spacery to okazja do lepszego zrozumienia dzieci, poznania ich problemów, możliwość pomocy w kłopotach. Umożliwia to także dzieciom lepsze poznanie i zrozumienie rodziców, ich poglądów, wymagań, uczuć, norm moralnych, wartości, które cenią. A to z kolei pomaga w budowaniu właściwych więzi emocjonalnych w rodzinie. W rodzinie Martin nigdy tego nie brakowało. Obecnie zapominamy często, że dziecko najbardziej w swoim życiu potrzebuje obecności fizycznej i psychicznej obojga rodziców. W pogoni za środkami materialnymi, które mają służyć zapewnieniu lepszych warunków rozwoju fizycznego i intelektualnego dzieci, rodzice mniej dbają o ich rozwój emocjonalny i moralny. Sądzą, że najważniejsze są przyszłe sukcesy dziecka na polu zawodowym, społecznym itp. W rezultacie, jakże często spotykamy wspaniale wykształconych, rozwiniętych intelektualnie lubi fizycznie młodych ludzi, którym brakuje moralnego kręgosłupa. Wychowanie moralno-etyczne wymaga bowiem od rodziców poświęcenia dziecku czasu, odpowiednich kwalifikacji moralno-etycznych, budowania więzi w rodzinie, dojrzałości rodziców do pełnienia ich ról. W pogoni za złudnymi wartościami, wielu rodziców nie znajduje na to czasu, zapomina o tych zadaniach, uważa je za nieistotne lub przerzuca ciężar odpowiedzialności w tym zakresie na inne instytucje. Ludwik i Zelia Martin są tutaj przykładem umiejętnego łączenia tych powinności rodzicielskich; dbając o rozwój talentów córek, ogromną wagę przywiązywali do przekazu wartości.
Obecnie zauważa się często wśród rodziców dwie skrajne postawy. Jedni rodzice, idąc za modą wychowania bezstresowego, przyzwalają dziecku na wszystko. Inni, obawiając się zagrożeń, jakie niesie dzień dzisiejszy, przesadzają z dyscypliną i rozliczają dziecko z każdego działania. W konsekwencji w przyszłości młody człowiek nie potrafi ponosić odpowiedzialności za swoje wybory lub ma poczucie małej wartości. W swojej mądrości wychowawczej państwo Martin wiedzieli, że zakazy są konieczne, gdyż dostarczają dziecku wiedzy o tym, co dobre a co złe, natomiast rygoryzm odbiera wiarę w siebie.
Ludwik i Zelia Martin jako rodzice w pełni zaspokajali potrzeby fizyczne i psychiczne swoich dzieci. Z niezwykłym wyczuciem kierowali ich rozwojem moralno-religijnym, pomagali w dojrzewaniu osobowości. Byli niezrównanymi wychowawcami i jednocześnie przyjaciółmi córek. Stosowany przez nich system wychowawczy oparty był na wiedzy o człowieku i wiedzy o wartościach. Zdumiewające jest to, że ci ludzie, żyjący w XIX wieku realizowali w swojej rodzinie współczesne zasady wychowawcze: typ wychowania partnerskiego z zachowaniem autorytetu rodziców.
Zwyczajni rodzice (?)
Zwyczajni rodzice (?)
There was hugely more sense in the old people who said that a wife and husband ought to have the same religion than there is in all the contemporary gushing about sister souls and kindred spirits and auras of identical colour. As a matter of fact, the more the sexes are in violent contrast the less likely they are to be in violent collision. The more incompatible their tempers are the better. Obviously a wife's soul cannot possibly be a sister soul. It is very seldom so much as a first cousin. There are very few marriages of identical taste and temperament; they are generally unhappy. But to have the same fundamental theory, to think the same thing a virtue, whether you practise or neglect it, to think the same thing a sin, whether you punish or pardon or laugh at it, in the last extremity to call the same thing duty and the same thing disgrace—this really is necessary to a tolerably happy marriage; and it is much better represented by a common religion than it is by affinities and auras.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton
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