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Howdy Fisheaters!

I'm a 35 year old Houstonian man down in Texas who grew up in the Rio Grande Valley as an Episcopalian (which I've always jokingly referred to as Diet-Catholicism). I married a Catholic woman, and my baby girl is getting baptized this weekend as a Catholic. In my 5 years in the libertarian fold, I've come across quite a few Catholics. I've also done some research into the history of Catholicism and found that, much like the ideas of laissez faire economics and natural law liberalism, the Catholic Church has been unjustly maligned and slandered by the conquering Protestant and Godless statists of the modern world. 

I've come to deeply admire and revere the Catholic faith and tradition, and like Thomas E. Woods, one of the libertarian community's most prominent Catholics, despite recent headlines of corruption and the leftist machinations of the current Pope, I regard it as the creator and keeper  of most of what is good in Western Civilization. Like any human organization it has had its faults and has done some bad things in the past, but on net, I believe everyone who enjoys modern Western liberty owes the Church a very large debt of gratitude. For these reasons and many others, I'm seriously considering confirming as a Catholic.

But can I be a Catholic as well as a libertarian?  Clearly the question of the former is more important than the latter, but I have not heard any good arguments against a mutually beneficial union of the two, and I see a lot in favor.

My answer, at least until proven otherwise, is yes, because, for the most obvious reason, it is the only political arrangement which does not violate the 10 commandments. Every state in today's world can be seen with clear eyes as an irreverent, unrepentant, idolatrous, lying, covetous, and thieving mass murderer - a veritable embodiment of the Anti-Christ, which almost without exception attracts, employs, and elevates to positions of immense authority the most immoral (or amoral) members of society. 

Does anyone disagree?

In the interests of having a cogent discussion, I will define libertarianism properly (as it was originally put forward by Murray Rothbard and refined by his heir Hans Hoppe) and address a few common concerns.

Libertarianism Defined

Libertarianism is three principles in one.

1. Self-Ownership - each individual owns his or her own body.
2. Private Property - each individual owns those resources he or she has originally appropriated from nature or those which have been obtained through consensual transfer from a prior owner.
3. Proportionality - to the extent an individual has non-consensually used, abused, or destroyed the property of another, he or she has violated the property owner's rights, and to that same extent, he or she has abrogated his or her own rights until restitution has been made to the victim.

These three principles comprise the non-aggression principle, or the NAP, which states that no one may commit aggression, or initiate violence, against any one else or their property. The NAP clearly and unequivocally outlaws any state or any aggressive monopoly provider of governance. According to this view, taxation is theft, unless it is paid voluntarily (without fear of physical reprisal for non-payment); inflation is monetary counterfeit and fraud; and war is nothing if not mass murder, unless it is waged in self-defense and then only if it restricts its violence solely against the aggressors themselves. Since no state can survive without engaging in one of these three activities, any state can then be rightfully seen as a massively organized criminal protection racket that parasitically survives off the production of peaceful folks.

What follows from a consistent application of the NAP is not non-hierarchical, egalitarian, cultural, political, and moral chaos with no rules and no authority, but rather a theory of consensual governance and authority founded on the inviolability of private property morally acquired

Governance in the free world, then, will be provided by a consortium of private law and professional associations, private defense corporations, insurance companies, private courts, the Church, other religious communities, prestigious or noble families, and other traditional forms of authority. In these private law groups, laws which are not traditionally considered libertarian can be consistent with the NAP so long as membership within these groups is voluntary. A libertarian nation would be a confederation of all sorts of these little and big governance groups, and between these groups would tend to exist what is typically considered libertarian laws, mutual defense pacts, and third party dispute resolution agreements.

My Contentions

Now libertarianism is just an abstract theory of governance. I regard it as a true theory, which reflects the concordance of revealed truth and the truth of human reason, but still, it is just a theory. It is only the skeleton of a just order. It needs flesh and blood to be alive. It needs a living custom and tradition to interpret it correctly and to define property, aggression, and proportional defense, restitution and punishment. Custom is needed to provide a foundation of morality and natural authority which will encourage the proliferation of virtue and the diminishment of vice (since virtue leads to freedom and prosperity, while vice leads to slavery and destitution). I think the Catholic culture and faith is exactly the culture and the tradition required to make liberty work, therefore I contend that libertarianism needs Catholicism. I think it is likely that without Catholicism, there never would have been such a thing as libertarianism.

I also contend that Catholicism needs libertarianism. The current infiltration of the Catholic hierarchy by democratic socialist activists pushing the modern statist agenda of wealth redistribution is a prime example of why Catholicism should also oppose the state and embrace libertarianism. Catholicism is supposed to be about free will and consciously choosing the righteous path is it not? Being forced into it by unrighteous thugs whose agenda it is not to help the poor but to mold an ever-expanding dependent class into an unshakeable pillar of democratic support for state power and authority seems a bit un-Christian to me.

Common Concerns Addressed

Abortion

The legitimacy of abortion is not a consensus view among libertarians. There are many pro-life libertarians, and I believe that even our strictly principled amoral arguments are better than those of our abortionist colleagues. Legalizing abortion is said to be in line with respecting the right of self-ownership of the mother to decide what to do with her body, but it neglects the innocence and the rights of the unborn child. The unborn child may not be a complete self-owner yet, but he or she still has the right to not be aggressed against. The abortionist view also neglects the responsibility of the mother in knowingly engaging in an act that may result in pregnancy, thus creating an unspoken contract between the mother and unborn child. The modern state takes on many of the responsibilities of adulthood for its citizens, like saving for retirement, providing healthcare and housing, and providing a safety net for those who find themselves unemployed. This infantilization leads to more and more irresponsible behavior and more and more dependence on the state. Abortion is just another way it is doing this.

Homosexuality

Libertarians are not obliged to support or accept alternative sexual orientations. I certainly don't. The ancient forms of social punishment, such as ostracism and excommunication, can be employed without violating the NAP in order to combat sexual deviancy. Violence against homosexuals, and for that reason alone, however, would be unjust. Would Jesus condone stoning a gay man to death for being gay? The state is also largely responsible for the explosion of gay culture. The state forces us to accept all alternative lifestyles or else it level anti-discrimination laws against us, and the state owned media pushes this social agenda down our throats in a near endless stream of pro-gay propaganda. This is a massive subsidy for scandalous behavior that otherwise could be corrected by simple disassociation or admonishment.

Drugs, Prostitution, Pornography, and other Deviant but Nonviolent Behavior

So long as humans exist, so will these sorts of things. Libertarians are looking to legalize these behaviors not because we cherish or advocate them (well, to be fair, some are and do...), we advocate legalization because it is a disproportionate punishment for the offense. And it is still an offense! Here the Christian libertarian would try to council a better path, and if that failed, and the behavior was becoming a problem, dissociation and social ostracism can be a very effective tool.

Immigration

The 'open border' position of many libertarians on immigration is also not a consensus view. Immigration is purely a problem created by the state. In the free society there would only be consensual movement or trespass on owned property or there would be movement on unowned property. The mass migration of Muslims into Europe and the supplanting of Christian culture by a culture of Islam is not a neighborly Christian policy; it is a policy of the suicide of the West. I don't think that's what Christ had in mind for his flock. 

Greed

Capitalism, it is said, is a system of unrestrained greed which harms the interests of the most vulnerable in society, but this just isn't true. Capitalism, or the system of free trade and private property, has created the biggest increases in both living standards and the population the world has ever known. This didn't happen because God's plan was finally abandoned; it happened because of the successful culture the Church shepherded through the Middle Ages. Also, greed is a ubiquitous condition of our fallen human nature, and no one is immune from its touch - certainly not those agents of the state clothed in immense earthly power who's task it is to regulate greed out of existence.

Materialism

When it was generally conceded by socialists that nothing raises living standards for the poor like capitalism, the charge of materialism was then leveled at the proponents of free trade. The argument was that new wealth was corrupting the working and middle classes into a strictly materialist existence. I agree of course that there is more to life than material satisfaction, but who are we to decide how much material satisfaction is sufficient or righteous for others? What if having a few billionaires is the natural requirement for keeping the vast majority out of abject poverty? Wouldn't that be worth it? Remember that it was St. Paul who said that it was the love of money, not money itself, that is the root of all evil. In the end, turning away from God is a choice regardless of how much wealth we have, and the Devil has his tactics of tempting both the poor and the rich.

Conclusion

From the Catechism on Authority:

CCC 1901 states: "The diversity of political regimes is morally acceptable, provided they serve the legitimate good of the communities that adopt them."  I can agree with this, but that is an awfully big proviso, and I think most political regimes do not live up to this. At the very least it does not explicitly outlaw a libertarian confederacy.

In CCC 1902, Thomas Aquinas states that:   "A human law has the character of law to the extent that it accords with right reason, and thus derives from the eternal law. Insofar as it falls short of right reason it is said to be an unjust law, and thus has not so much the nature of law as of a kind of violence."  Aquinas recognizes the concordance of revealed truth and truth discovered by God given human reason. In order for a law to be just, it must be in accord with both. To me, this means the law must adhere to both the NAP and the Decalogue.

CCC 1903: "Authority is exercised legitimately only when it seeks the common good of the group concerned and if it employs morally licit means to attain it. If rulers were to enact unjust laws or take measures contrary to the moral order, such arrangements would not be binding in conscience. In such a case, "authority breaks down completely and results in shameful abuse.""  No clearer case can be made that Catholics should reject the quintessential justification for state power and authority that the ends justify the means. The libertarian doctrine is the only political doctrine which judges equally the means as well as the ends in the provision of law and order. I don't think Jesus would accept the "necessary evil" justification of the state.

I'm not saying every Catholic has to be a libertarian. This is a choice we must all decide for ourselves. But I am saying that libertarianism is at least compatible with Catholicism. If you disagree, please feel free to weigh in!

PRO VERITATIS AMORISQUE HUMANITATE

Sincerely,

A Texas Libertarian
Quote:much like the ideas of laissez faire economics and natural law liberalism, the Catholic Church has been unjustly maligned and slandered by the conquering Protestant and Godless statists of the modern world.

It's hard to call capitalism and liberalism "maligned" when every nation in the west is capitalist and liberal, and every country has major political parties that promote these ideas (Republicans in the US for one.) It was in fact the Church that maligned these things. I think it was one of the Pope Pious's that called secularism, democracy, capitalism and liberalism heresies of Americanism, and demanded that the State do its rightful duty and protect the rights and dignity of the working class. I don't recall any Pope saying that the best government is no government. The Church has also never espoused the "NAP" and has in fact encouraged strong leadership and monarchy. If you read through the traditional Popes papers on government, economics and how society should be arranged, you're going to have to spin the hamster wheel for a while to square the circle of Libertarian Catholicism, especially the Anarcho-Capitalism system you seem to be fond of. I used to be way into that stuff and I've heard it all.
By all means, become a member of the Church. If you look into medieval Catholic history you'll see that despite being largely dominated by monarchs, society was quite libertarian and operated on many similar principles that you are describing. This is because authority (the right to say what should happen) was centralized with the king, but power (the ability to make things happen) was widely diffused among lords and churchmen. This system relies largely on good faith, rather than secret police enforcement. That's sort of a tangent but hopefully you see what i'm trying to say. The one thing I would say I disagree with is the notion that Catholicism 'needs' libertarianism, although the institution of the Church has largely been rattled by modern statism. Do remember though that the Church isn't a political entity, it is the one true Church and Ark of salvation, whether you're a libertarian or a monarchist or something in between. I hope you'll come into the Church, it's a true grace to have found it in these dreary days.
Welcome to Fisheaters!

I think there are a lot of libertarian ideas that are compatible with Catholicism, but libertarianism as a whole is not, as the principles of it are not what the Church teaches about authority. I used to be very libertarian before I came back to the Church, but see the relationship between God, the state, and the individual very differently now.

All authority ultimately comes from God, as Jesus told Pilate during his trial. And as our Creator, God has authority over us and He can delegate that authority to others. Man is a social creature, and given his fallen nature, needs some sort of authority over him to allow him to live in a society. The libertarian would substitute voluntary associations for that, and the Church doesn't teach that that sort of arrangement is morally wrong or impermissible, but it's never required it.

We don't ultimately own our own bodies - they belong to God. It might be that certain sins - drugs, porn, fornication, missing Mass on Sunday - should be tolerated by the state instead of made criminal, in order to prevent worse evils that would come about by their criminalisation, but just because God gives us the free will to do such things doesn't mean we have a right to do them. A society could tolerate pornography to keep the government out of the business of suppressing speech it doesn't like, which, in today's Western nations, would result in the suppression of Christianity and any sort of talk opposing homosexuality, unlimited immigration, abortion, etc. That's far different than a 'right' to look at porn because you own your eyeballs.

I agree with you that much of what the state does today is immoral, but that doesn't change the fact that the state's authority comes from God any more than sexual abuse by clergy means the Church lacks authority to teach and isn't the Church founded by Christ. People sin, and any sort of institution is going to have sinners, sometimes really bad ones, in it. Taxation isn't theft, because private property isn't absolute. We all have duties to each other, and that includes using what God has permitted us to have to benefit society. That's not to say socialism is Catholic, since it's not, but if everything ultimately belongs to God, He can authorise the state to use some of that to benefit society. If we're receiving services from Caesar, then it's just to render unto Caesar for those services. There's no 'necessary evil' there, because the authority given to the state is not the same as that given to the individual. That's where the fundamental difference between Catholic teaching and libertarianism is - the libertarian rejects the idea that the authority of the state comes from God.
There are a lot of libertarian, Libertarian, and "libertarianish" candidates I've liked and have voted for (and my politics can look pretty libertarianish), but I have qualms with some of libertarianism's first principles. The question of authority, for ex., and the idea of "self-ownership." 

With regard to the Non-Aggression Principle, where are the lines? Would it be considered "aggression" for a 34-year old man to show porn to a 9-year old boy? I've found that many libertarians use the Non-Aggression Principle as their sole political premise, the single answer to all political issues, and I think that's very naive. 

With regard to "capitalism," you'll find lots of debate about it among Catholics, most of which boiling down, in essence, to whether capitalism necessarily involves legalized usury. Some people I read/listen to and admire (men like E. Michael Jones) use the word "capitalism" as a dirty word because of their definition; others, like Thomas Woods, don't, and it seems to boil down to the questions of usury (which is a sin, whether it should be legal or not), fiat currencies, fractional reserve banking, corporatism, cronyism, etc., and whether "capitalism" necessarily includes them (or, to some, is even defined by them). To me, price and wage-setting are definitely best left to "the market" as a rule (or maybe, likely, always), but I'm very much against the things I just listed. But is the usurer "aggressing"? Do those who engage in fractional reserve banking commit "aggression"? Is buying off a politician "aggression"?

Re. "statism": I think that if the Catholic principle of subsidiarity were followed, things could be as good as they can get politically for the most part with regard to power. I think that where there are questions, erring on the side of liberty is definitely a good rule of thumb. But I also think that libertarians, as a group, ignore culture, the idea of a shared public sphere, and even the idea of "the common good" (or the idea of "we, as a society, as a people"). They tend to ignore the weak among us (the elderly, the sick, the pregnant, those who are unable to compete in the marketplace because of low IQ, etc.) in their otherwise laudable push for self-reliance, by their insistence that the NAP and market take care of everything always in just the right way. I think we need police forces and can't rely on private security companies. Same with public roads. I also think things like public libraries are a good. Ergo, I think some form of taxation makes sense. The details of how and how much when it comes to taxation are a matter of prudence, but I can't imagine a civilization existing without it.

There's the HUGE matter that fatherhood requires law

Generally, too, I lament the libertarian over-emphasis on the individual (as opposed to "the collective") rather than the family and the ideas of the True, Good, and Beautiful, and the ultimate end of man. I'm more "blood, soil, soul, & culture" than "don't hit or defraud me and I won't hit or defraud you. There, we've solved everything!" (I've said before that the Non-Aggression Principle, that great and sole libertarian virtue, can be mastered by a corpse). 

I think the notion of tolerating many (maybe even most) evils because of the harms caused in outlawing them in trying to achieve the Good (cf. at least much of the Drug War and other so-called "victimless" crimes) is a better principle than "I own myself and can do whatever I want any time I want as long as I'm not punching you in the nose." It's likely that legally allowing people to do most of what they want, most of the time, in most places, is a good idea (I mean, I sure as Hell don't want cops in people's bedrooms), but no newborn in the world "owns himself" even in a libertarian sense, never mind the fact that we belong to God. No comatose man can hire a private security company to make sure no one kills him in his "sleep."

In any case, a Catholic can vote for libertarian candidates if they're the lesser of two evils, and all that. I've done it in the past and may well do so again. I just think libertarians are missing out on some crucial details.
Freedom of religion and freedom of speech have been condemned by the church. The syllabus of errors seems to condemn many aspects of libertarianism and the US Constitution.
Vox! I love your site, and I enjoy your style of writing a ton. I have a feeling I will be learning a lot from all the work you have put in here in the coming years. Thank you so much, and God bless you!

I apologize for the long response, but let me try to address some of your comments, which I feel accurately describe the views of many (if not most) libertarians, but not all, and maybe I can answer in such a way as to give you a more nuanced view of the difference between libertarianism and most libertarians, and what the proper scope of libertarianism actually is. Maybe in answering you comprehensively, I can answer objections that others have as well.

"I've found that many libertarians use the Non-Aggression Principle as their sole political premise, the single answer to all political issues."

Yes, it is the sole political principle, meaning it is the sole principle we use in determining the just use of force in society, but it does not claim to be the panacea for all social ills. It says nothing of social principles, and most of civilization is built on social principles, i.e. Christian morality. What is lost in translation is that every other political identity also has a social identity wrapped up in it. Libertarianism is different. It is only the science of liberty - the ethics of force. Every libertarian must necessarily also (whether they know it or not) be something else (conservative, liberal, libertine, Christian, etc.) in a social or cultural sense.

Here is the way I see it. The NAP is the low bar of ethics - the bar everyone should be able to get over, and if you can't, you deserve to be hit with it. The Decalogue is the middle bar - most will not abide it perfectly, but we should! The ethics of Jesus is perfection and no human can realistically hope to get over this bar, but we get brownie points from God for trying! Love you enemy? That is impossible for me I think. 

"Would it be considered "aggression" for a 34-year old man to show porn to a 9-year old boy?"

Technically not, but it is still wrong, I believe this man would still get a good beat down from the boy's father (and he should!), and I think a private court might decide leniency for the father's use of retaliatory violence in this case. There will always be discretion in real world adjudication, but I would sooner put my trust in a court that must compete with others for customer satisfaction than a court unburdened by consumer validation due to state monopoly privilege.

"it seems to boil down to the questions of usury"

Is usury the same as charging interest? Or is it demanding interest on a loan which does not bear fruit for the borrower? I've heard different definitions. Is there scriptural precedent, or is this the case of clergymen making pronouncements outside their realm of competency (like Pope Francis talking about economics!)? Because loaning someone money is doing a service for them, so why shouldn't there be a return on that investment? If that is a sin then the whole market is sinful, and we should all just go back to hunting and gathering like animals.

I don't see the problem with usury unless there's a revival of debtor's prison (which is unjust - disproportionate). If you can't pay back the loan with interest, then don't pay it back. The only consequence should be that you've proven yourself a bad investment, and if you get a another loan, you'll be facing a much higher rate of interest. Interest is a positively good thing that can help expand the structure of production and encourage upstanding and moral behavior. I would suspect it's sinful status is a consequence of a misunderstanding of economic laws. Is it not true that the Church used to charge interest in the Middle Ages even when this behavior was outlawed among private Christians? Could this be a case of a human flaw (the want of monopoly privilege) masquerading as God's law? What about Matthew 25 and the "Parable of the Talents?"

"Do those who engage in fractional reserve banking commit "aggression"?"

Aggression is a blanket term that means non-consensual use of another's body or property. As far as FRB goes, I would say yes, because the bank says they have your money in deposit, but they are, without your consent, loaning 90% of it out to make money for themselves. The more heinous crime of FRB in the US is its monopoly privilege. Currency should be just another category of good to be supplied by the market, but in today's world, would-be competing currencies are shut down with government guns and cages. Digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, are different and this is suspicious to me. I think they allow it, because it plays into their agenda to eliminate cash. Also, Bitcoin, with its distributed ledger, actually tracks every transaction ever made with every single coin. It'd be the perfect state currency if they can figure out how to control it and expand it at will.

"...if the Catholic principle of subsidiarity were followed, things could be as good as they can get..."

I agree. I think the ultimate realization of subsidiarity is libertarianism.

"as a group, ignore culture"

Tragically this is true, but not for all. Many of us recognize the paramount importance of a healthy culture, especially a truly Christian one.

"They tend to ignore the weak among us"

I think this is not true even if we're talking about most libertarians. This is a caricature. I fully believe in the principle of solidarity and helping out the (for whatever reason) weak among us, and this is not incompatible with libertarianism. We need to come together to help one another, but we are not made of clay. It is not proper to force us together like putty. God gave us free will, so we must choose to come together. True virtue is voluntary is it not?

"NAP and market take care of everything always in just the right way"

I could say the same about anyone who believes in the state. We're not saying everything will be fixed, but we are saying that some modes of political organization are objectively better than others, given our nature, and we contend that our's (not to brag :cool: ) is the best!

"I think we need police forces and can't rely on private security companies. Same with public roads. I also think things like public libraries are a good"

Roads and libraries often were and are privately funded (turnpikes?), even in today's world, and I think there are actually more private police than government police in this country. It works, it has worked, and it will work in the future. Libertarianism does not preclude any of these things. It just says you cannot rob others to fund their operation or construction. If it's truly valuable, it will have no problem being funded by willing consumers. It's important to note that all things started out private before they were attempted and then commandeered by the state. Also, is this not an ends justifying the means position? As Christians, should we not reject that? Shouldn't our means be subjected to the Decalogue as well as our ends?

"rather than the family and the ideas of the True, Good, and Beautiful, and the ultimate end of man. I'm more "blood, soil, soul, & culture"

Many libertarians, such as myself, believe in all these things, and the libertarian doctrine does not preclude them. Again this is a confusion of the proper scope of libertarianism (realm of force only) and the bad example of many who go around calling themselves libertarians.

"I just think libertarians are missing out on some crucial details."

Sadly, in most cases you are right. Libertarians are often the leftist, nihilist, atheist, and atomistic sort who live and breathe what I thought was only the caricature of our position.

"no newborn in the world "owns himself" even in a libertarian sense, never mind the fact that we belong to God. No comatose man can hire a private security company to make sure no one kills him in his "sleep.""

No newborn is a self owner, but since we can presume they will become self owners in the future (i.e. they are part of the human race), they have the right not to be aggressed against. Their parents own them only in a limited sense. They own the guardianship rights while they grow into self-owners. I mean, we shouldn't have to spell it out like this; it should be common sense and decency, but this is - for better or worse - the scientific justification for not harming children. Also the comatose man may hire an insurance/defense company to protect him while he is able, and in the event he becomes disabled, there could be a provision in the contract to take further measures to protect him. If the comatose man does not think ahead in this way, he will have to rely on family and friends, or just compassionate people around him. Libertarianism doesn't solve all problems, but neither does the state. 

"never mind the fact that we belong to God"

We can believe in self-ownership and that God owns us. God owns everything, but this fact doesn't help us create laws here on earth, other than that it should be clear we all (authorities included) should abide by the Decalogue. When people invoke the argument that God owns us, why is it always a justification for the state? God instituted authority, not the state. We should respect and abide authority, not necessarily the state. True and Godly authority is out there. We just have to find it. It is rare, but it is there. After reading a good deal of your site, I believe you are one of these authorities. I would follow you in a free world.
"I agree with you that much of what the state does today is immoral, but that doesn't change the fact that the state's authority comes from God"

True authority is instituted by God, but this doesn't necessarily refer to the clowns of the mass criminal organizations of the present we call states. To believe that all state authority is condoned by God is to say we have no criticism whatsoever to offer any government action, whether we're talking authorizing private slavery or commissioning mass public slavery, whether we're talking executing women and children or dropping bombs on masses of civilians abroad. Did God have his most faithful followers and their disciples martyred at the hands of the Roman empire in the first few hundred years after the Resurrection? Were all the atrocities and crimes committed by the Communists, Progressives, Fascists, and Nazis in the 20th century authorized by God? What if the state went around crucifying all the Christians? Would you still believe that state authority is instituted by God?

God gave us free will. It is through our free will that all earthly authority is instituted. It is good and just and true authority only if it reflects the divine part of our free will - the part which recognizes and reveres God and relinquishes our will to His will - abides His law, not our own. This is a fallen world which has by and large turned its back on God, and the state is the penultimate reflection of that fact. What you are arguing for is not a faith that works, but a faith of passive obedience to any and all injustice so long as it is committed by the biggest gangster on the block calling himself an authority. I believe this is a moral, political, and theological mistake.

If you didn't read all the way through my initial post, I certainly don't blame you, but know that to hold your position is to drop that of Thomas Aquinas.

"A human law has the character of law to the extent that it accords with right reason, and thus derives from the eternal law. Insofar as it falls short of right reason it is said to be an unjust law, and thus has not so much the nature of law as of a kind of violence." - Thomas Aquinas
Thanks for the reply Mr. Papist!

I am totally in agreement with you concerning Medieval Catholic history. This is where the freedom of the West was born!

"The one thing I would say I disagree with is the notion that Catholicism 'needs' libertarianism"

Maybe you're right, but if Catholicism recognized the validity of libertarian solutions in the political realm, it would be much less likely to be overrun by socialists. The Church is not immune to human error, or from the 'march through the institutions' advocated by the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci. Its best to have the ammunition to destroy or at least inoculate one's self against these dangerous and Godless ideologies. True libertarians have it, thanks to the traditions past down from Medieval Catholicism (Thomas Aquinas, Spanish Scholastics, and many others).

"Do remember though that the Church isn't a political entity"

I agree, but currently it seems to weigh in on the political realm frequently. I think it is being mismanaged, and it is a horrible shame. Despite this, I am thinking more and more that it is still the only institution we can turn to for power against the state.
As a practical matter, concrete Libertarian proposals in particular circumstances can be aligned with Catholicism.  But there are important differences in principle.  First, consensual governance is incompatible with Catholic doctrine on authority coming from God and being a necessary element of human society (see e.g. Leo XIII, Diuturnum).  If governance required voluntary consent, that consent could be withdrawn at any time making there be no real authority at all.

Second, Catholic doctrine teaches the reason for being of public authority is to serve the common good.  The "common good" as defined by the Church is a loftier consideration than the minimal public order or peace promoted by libertarianism.  When considering the necessary limits to certain freedoms, in some circumstances the practical conclusions would be the same under each approach, but there are other circumstances where they would be radically different.  

So to sum up, it is possible to support a Libertarian's proposals for the right reasons, even if the Libertarian's reasons are not all right.
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