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Socrates

Can One Be A Sincere Catholic And A True Socialist?

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Socrates
Per CMom's request, and because I believe this concerns issues much larger than just Barrack Obama (the original thread topic) I am continuing a debate begun in an "Election Section" thread here.

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Socrates
[quote name='Didymus' post='1536267' date='May 21 2008, 01:28 PM']but i am not one of the many you are referring to. why would you even bring this up? If business became so big and powerful that it was able to grab a hold of our leaders, then government would in fact have a sort of control of business. They would be excessively and unjustly intertwined.[/quote]
This is a big "what if" not grounded in the historical reality of fascism.

[quote]I never used fascism and nazism interchangeably, so stop bringing up irrelevant facts to make yourself look better in this argument.
tell me WHY... can you even distinguish between the National Socialism of the Nazis, the failed Socialism of the USSR and the form of Socialism proposed by critics such as Herbert Marcuse.

Just because Pius XI condemned what was before him in the 1930's or whenever it was doesn't mean there aren't better, more democratic forms of the goodness one can draw from democracy and socialism.[/quote]
I was simply clarifying some facts, and pointing out that Fascism and Nazism are not the opposite of Socialism (as is often falsely believed in liberal circles), but are similar. It was you who introduced fascism into the discussion.

And in Quadragesimo Anno, Pius XI condemns not just Communism or Nazism, but socialism as a general principle, even in its "moderate" or "Christian" forms.

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Socrates
[quote name='Didymus' post='1536258' date='May 21 2008, 01:17 PM']In 117. Why?

I see no answer given. A democratic socialism is not necessarily irreconcilable with the teachings of the Church.[/quote]
Pius XI clearly condemned [i]all[/i] forms of socialism. As I posted before from [i]Quadragesimo Anno[/i]:
[quote]That We, in keeping with Our fatherly solicitude, may answer their petitions, We make this pronouncement: Whether considered as a doctrine, or an historical fact, or a movement, [b]Socialism, if it remains truly Socialism, even after it has yielded to truth and justice on the points which we have mentioned, cannot be reconciled with the teachings of the Catholic Church because its concept of society itself is utterly foreign to Christian truth[/b].[/quote]

[quote][b]If Socialism, like all errors, contains some truth (which, moreover, the Supreme Pontiffs have never denied), 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.[/b][/quote]
Socialism is condemned period. There is no exception made for "democratic socialism" (and in fact, the 1930s "moderate" socialism the Pope was condemning usually claimed to be "democratic.") Democracy is a false idol, anyway (the Church is a monarchy). If the Pope specifically condemns even "Christian" socialism, he would certainly make no concessions for "democratic" socialism!

As for a "why", this is explained in the following paragraphs:[quote]118. For, according to Christian teaching, man, endowed with a social nature, is placed on this earth so that by leading a life in society and under an authority ordained of God[54] he may fully cultivate and develop all his faculties unto the praise and glory of his Creator; and that by faithfully fulfilling the duties of his craft or other calling he may obtain for himself temporal and at the same time eternal happiness. Socialism, on the other hand, wholly ignoring and indifferent to this sublime end of both man and society, affirms that human association has been instituted for the sake of material advantage alone.

119. Because of the fact that goods are produced more efficiently by a suitable division of labor than by the scattered efforts of individuals, socialists infer that economic activity, only the material ends of which enter into their thinking, ought of necessity to be carried on socially. Because of this necessity, they hold that men are obliged, with respect to the producing of goods, to surrender and subject themselves entirely to society. Indeed, possession of the greatest possible supply of things that serve the advantages of this life is considered of such great importance that the higher goods of man, liberty not excepted, must take a secondary place and even be sacrificed to the demands of the most efficient production of goods. This damage to human dignity, undergone in the "socialized" process of production, will be easily offset, they say, by the abundance of socially produced goods which will pour out in profusion to individuals to be used freely at their pleasure for comforts and cultural development. [b]Society, therefore, as Socialism conceives it, can on the one hand neither exist nor be thought of without an obviously excessive use of force; on the other hand, it fosters a liberty no less false, since there is no place in it for true social authority, which rests not on temporal and material advantages but descends from God alone, the Creator and last end of all things[/b].[55][/quote]


[quote]I dont even know why you posted 116. I have never advocated.. nor will I ever think of advocating an alteration of Christian doctrine so as to bring Socialists more into the Church.[/quote]
It was part of the section condemning socialism, including of the non-communist variety.

[quote]btw, although you seem to find it sufficient to merely quote an encyclical written over 75 years ago, it would help a lot more if you could find fault with what I am referring to. Most Democratic Socialist thinkers today are more critics on Socialism than anything else. I see Communism as a failed Socialism. It is part of the evidence that shows that the society that Marx and Engels laid out in Communist Manifesto is impossible and illogical to even attempt to carry out.[/quote]
For that matter, why quote a Bible written many centuries ago?
The principles remain the same - socialism is no more acceptable to a Catholic today than it was in the 1930s.

And Pius XI clearly distinguishes that he is referring to other forms of socialism than Communism before he makes his condemnation:[quote]113. The other section, which has kept the name Socialism, is surely more moderate. It not only professes the rejection of violence but modifies and tempers to some degree, if it does not reject entirely, the class struggle and the abolition of private ownership. One might say that, terrified by its own principles and by the conclusions drawn therefrom by Communism, Socialism inclines toward and in a certain measure approaches the truths which Christian tradition has always held sacred; for it cannot be denied that its demands at times come very near those that Christian reformers of society justly insist upon.[/quote]
Not only Communism, but "moderate" socialism (which would include "democratic socialism") is condemned.

And Pope John Paul II renews the condemnation of socialism in [i]Centisimus Annus[/i] (1991), condemning not only Marxism, but the modern welfare state:[quote]In recent years the range of such intervention has vastly expanded, to the point of creating a new type of State, the so-called "Welfare State". This has happened in some countries in order to respond better to many needs and demands, by remedying forms of poverty and deprivation unworthy of the human person. However, excesses and abuses, especially in recent years, have provoked very harsh criticisms of the Welfare State, dubbed the "Social Assistance State". Malfunctions and defects in the Social Assistance State are the result of an inadequate understanding of the tasks proper to the State. Here again the principle of subsidiarity must be respected: a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to coordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.100

By intervening directly and depriving society of its responsibility, the Social Assistance State leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic ways of thinking than by concern for serving their clients, and which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending. In fact, it would appear that needs are best understood and satisfied by people who are closest to them and who act as neighbours to those in need. It should be added that certain kinds of demands often call for a response which is not simply material but which is capable of perceiving the deeper human need. One thinks of the condition of refugees, immigrants, the elderly, the sick, and all those in circumstances which call for assistance, such as drug abusers: all these people can be helped effectively only by those who offer them genuine fraternal support, in addition to the necessary care.[/quote]
Not only is out-and-out Marxist socialism condemned, but even the "big government" favored by most liberals.

[quote]What I want you to do Socrates, is show me how [i]I[/i] am on the wrong path and straying from the fold by merely finding an attraction to the belief in a market that focuses more on need then on profit, to the belief that outsourcing and free trade should always be accompanied by a respect for fair wage negotiations and labor unions, and to the belief that even the poorest of Americans ought to have an actual say in our democratic republic, and not just rely on the false and empty promises of the politicians who only serve those who had the money and the power to put them in office, often times themselves.[/quote]
Socialism is not the answer, as the Church repeatedly makes clear.
If you believe in socialism, you are indeed on the wrong path. If not, then you should disassociate yourself from this movement. Edited by Socrates

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dairygirl4u2c
it appears didy was wrong to say democratic socialism could be acceptable.
i will let you guys debate this, but i want to post these quotes from popes.


QUOTE
Now if the earth truly was created to provide man with the necessities of life and the tools for his own progress, it follows that every man has the right to glean what he needs from the earth. The recent Council reiterated this truth. All other rights, whatever they may be, including the rights of property and free trade, are to be subordinated to this principle. They should in no way hinder it; in fact, they should actively facilitate its implementation. Redirecting these rights back to their original purpose must be regarded as an important and urgent social duty.

QUOTE
Government officials, it is your concern to mobilize your peoples to form a more effective world solidarity, and above all to make them accept the necessary taxes on their luxuries and their wasteful expenditures, in order to bring about development and to save the peace

QUOTE
…it has always understood this right within the broader context of the right common to all to use the goods of the whole of creation:the right to private property is subordinated to the right to common use, to the fact that goods are meant for everyone.

QUOTE
Let the working man and the employer make free agreements, and in particular let them agree freely as to the wages; nevertheless, there underlies a dictate of natural justice more imperious and ancient than any bargain between man and man, namely, that wages ought not to be insufficient to support a frugal and well-behaved wage-earner. If through necessity or fear of a worse evil the workman accept harder conditions because an employer or contractor will afford him no better, he is made the victim of force and injustice.

QUOTE
What was true of the just wage for the individual is also true of international contracts: an economy of exchange can no longer be based solely on the law of free competition, a law which, in its turn, too often creates an economic dictatorship. Freedom of trade is fair only if it is subject to the demands of social justice.

QUOTE
To labor is to exert oneself for the sake of procuring what is necessary for the various purposes of life, and chief of all for self preservation. Hence, a man's labor necessarily bears two notes or characters. First, it is personal, inasmuch as the force which acts is bound up with the personality and is the exclusive property of him who acts, and, further, was given to him for his advantage. Secondly, man's labor is necessary; for without the result of labor a man cannot live, and self-preservation is a law of nature, which it is wrong to disobey. Now, were we to consider labor merely in so far as it is personal, doubtless it would be within the workman's right to accept any rate of wages whatsoever; for in the same way as he is free to work or not, so is he free to accept a small wage or even none at all. But our conclusion must be very different if, together with the personal element in a man's work, we consider the fact that work is also necessary for him to live: these two aspects of his work are separable in thought, but not in reality.

The preservation of life is the bounden duty of one and all, and to be wanting therein is a crime. It necessarily follows that each one has a natural right to procure what is required in order to live, and the poor can procure that in no other way than by what they can earn through their work.

QUOTE
"Individual initiative alone and the interplay of competition will not ensure satisfactory development. We cannot proceed to increase the wealth and power of the rich while we entrench the needy in their poverty and add to the woes of the oppressed. Organized programs are necessary for "directing, stimulating, coordinating, supplying and integrating" (35) the work of individuals and intermediary organizations. It is for the public authorities to establish and lay down the desired goals, the plans to be followed, and the methods to be used in fulfilling them; and it is also their task to stimulate the efforts of those involved in this common activity. "

QUOTE
property is acquired first of all through work in order that it may serve work. This concerns in a special way ownership of the means of production. Isolating these means as a separate property in order to set it up in the form of "capital"in opposition to "labour"-and even to practise exploitation of labour-is contrary to the very nature of these means and their possession. They cannot be possessed against labour,they cannot even be possessed for possession's sake, because the only legitimate title to their possession- whether in the form of private ownerhip or in the form of public or collective ownership-is that they should serve labour,and thus, by serving labour,that they should make possible the achievement of the first principle of this order,namely,the universal destination of goods and the right to common use of them.

From this point of view,therefore,in consideration of human labour and of common access to the goods meant for man,one cannot exclude the socialization,in suitable conditions,of certain means of production.

QUOTE
Legislation is necessary, but it is not sufficient for setting up true relationships of justice and equality...If, beyond legal rules, there is really no deeper feeling of respect for and service to others, then even equality before the law can serve as an alibi for flagrant discrimination, continued exploitation and actual contempt. Without a renewed education in solidarity, an over-emphasis on equality can give rise to an individualism in which each one claims his own rights without wishing to be answerable for the common good.

QUOTE
In other words, the rule of free trade, taken by itself, is no longer able to govern international relations. Its advantages are certainly evident when the parties involved are not affected by any excessive inequalities of economic power: it is an incentive to progress and a reward for effort. That is why industrially developed countries see in it a law of justice. But the situation is no longer the same when economic conditions differ too widely from country to country: prices which are " freely n set in the market can produce unfair results.

QUOTE
Given these conditions, it is obvious that individual countries cannot rightly seek their own interests and develop themselves in isolation from the rest, for the prosperity and development of one country follows partly in the train of the prosperity and progress of all the rest and partly produces that prosperity and progress.

QUOTE
Interdependence must be transformed into solidarity, grounded on the principle that the goods of creation are meant for all. Avoiding every type of imperialism, the stronger nations must feel responsible for the other nations, based on the equality of all peoples and with respect for the differences. Edited by dairygirl4u2c

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kujo
[quote]In recent years the range of such intervention has vastly expanded, to the point of creating a new type of State, the so-called "Welfare State". This has happened in some countries in order to respond better to many needs and demands, by remedying forms of poverty and deprivation unworthy of the human person. However, excesses and abuses, especially in recent years, have provoked very harsh criticisms of the Welfare State, dubbed the "Social Assistance State". Malfunctions and defects in the Social Assistance State are the result of an inadequate understanding of the tasks proper to the State. Here again the principle of subsidiarity must be respected: a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to coordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.100

By intervening directly and depriving society of its responsibility, the Social Assistance State leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic ways of thinking than by concern for serving their clients, and which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending. In fact, it would appear that needs are best understood and satisfied by people who are closest to them and who act as neighbours to those in need. It should be added that certain kinds of demands often call for a response which is not simply material but which is capable of perceiving the deeper human need. One thinks of the condition of refugees, immigrants, the elderly, the sick, and all those in circumstances which call for assistance, such as drug abusers: all these people can be helped effectively only by those who offer them genuine fraternal support, in addition to the necessary care.[/quote]

Awesome...I will throw this at my African Politics professor tomorrow!

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Didymus
[quote name='Socrates' post='1536874' date='May 21 2008, 11:32 PM']Not only is out-and-out Marxist socialism condemned, but even the "big government" favored by most liberals.[/quote]

JPII seems to be condemning the excesses and abuses.

[quote]In recent years the range of such intervention has vastly expanded, to the point of creating a new type of State, the so-called "Welfare State". This has happened in some countries in order to respond better to many needs and demands, by remedying forms of poverty and deprivation unworthy of the human person. However, excesses and abuses, especially in recent years, have provoked very harsh criticisms of the Welfare State, dubbed the "Social Assistance State".[/quote]

Couldn't the Church find fault with any governmental policy if it were excessive?


[quote name='Socrates' post='1536874' date='May 21 2008, 11:32 PM']Socialism is not the answer, as the Church repeatedly makes clear.
If you believe in socialism, you are indeed on the wrong path. If not, then you should disassociate yourself from this movement.[/quote]

[b]
you did NOT answer my question.

Please please please forget anything I said about the word socialism, democratic socialism, marxism, communism, etc. since it is so difficult for you to answer what I am saying without continuously telling me about how the Church condemns socialism

please ANSWER MY QUESTION.[/b]

lets try this again:
[quote name='Didymus' post='1536258' date='May 21 2008, 02:17 PM']What I want you to do... is show me how [i]I[/i] am on the wrong path and straying from the fold by merely finding an attraction to the belief in a market that focuses more on need then on profit, to the belief that outsourcing and free trade should always be accompanied by a respect for fair wage negotiations and labor unions, and to the belief that even the poorest of Americans ought to have an actual say in our democratic republic, and not just rely on the false and empty promises of the politicians who only serve those who had the money and the power to put them in office, often times themselves.[/quote]

NOTICE THE EMPHASIS ON "I" IN THE FIRST SENTENCE. I DO NOT EVEN MENTION THE WORD "SOCIALISM" IN THIS QUOTE.


ANSWER.

THE.

QUESTION. Edited by Didymus

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Aloysius
and what you described in that paragraph alone, purely, is not socialism. at all. there would be ways of going about trying to make those things happen which would be socialism, however, and those would be wrong.

unions are not socialist, they're the ghosts of the old trade guilds and they're good (except that in practice today they tend to do a lot of unnecessary and stupid things that get in the way and do not really help workers out)

any degree of socialism is a degree of denial of private property and thus breaks the 7th commandment. if you reject the denial of private property absolutely and do not think private property should be denied to any degree, you're not a socialist. you should look into distributivism. because the problem with capitalism is not too many capitalists, but too few... the real way to care for people is to give everyone the chance to be a "capitalist" and own private property, not to make all property subject to the government.

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Apotheoun
[quote name='Didymus' post='1543509' date='May 26 2008, 01:33 PM']JPII seems to be condemning the excesses and abuses.
[quote]In recent years the range of such intervention has vastly expanded, to the point of creating a new type of State, the so-called "Welfare State". This has happened in some countries in order to respond better to many needs and demands, by remedying forms of poverty and deprivation unworthy of the human person. However, excesses and abuses, especially in recent years, have provoked very harsh criticisms of the Welfare State, dubbed the "Social Assistance State".[/quote][/quote]
Catholic doctrine does allow the State to intervene in the economic activities of society, but only in a supplementary role, and only for very brief periods, "which are justified by urgent reasons touching the common good." With the aforementioned information in mind, it is clear that the permanent interventions of the so-called [i]Welfare State[/i] evince a conception of the State that is contrary to its true nature, since it promotes a paternalistic form of government that in due course enlarges "the sphere of State intervention to the detriment of both economic and civil freedom."

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dairygirl4u2c
when he said "democratic socialism" he might not have been talking about full fledged socialism. if this were the case, that would be okay. full fledged capitalism, in certain conditions, can be wrong too.

that's an intersting point about the two systems. full fledged socialism is always wrong, but full fledged captialism, in practice and not acting optimally (ie perfect information, and rational actors), isn't always wrong but depends on the conditions.

[quote name='Aloysius' post='1543666' date='May 26 2008, 04:35 PM']any degree of socialism is a degree of denial of private property and thus breaks the 7th commandment.[/quote]

how can you say it's breaking the commandments at any degree..... when i have posted above quotes from popes who said private property rights must be subjected to ensuring everyone has a basic minimum who works and acts reasonably? Edited by dairygirl4u2c

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