The Individual, The Family, and Catholic Corporate Society - Dr. John Rao
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THE INDIVIDUAL, THE FAMILY, AND CATHOLIC CORPORATE SOCIETY
Dr. John Rao

(The Angelus, March/April 2012)

Modern man is deeply confused regarding the proper relationship of the individual, the family, and society in general. This is understandable, given that contemporary civilization is primarily the product of a revolutionary naturalism that seeks to understand life apart from God and God's law. While appearing to respect the inherent value of the world and its wonders, modernity rejects the Christian teachings that gave men the ability to deal harmoniously and positively with nature's rich and complex character in the first place. This tragic "dropping of the pilot" has made its supposedly nature-friendly order of things a many-headed beast, a house divided against itself, with its various elements in total and constant war with one another. Only an opening to Catholic Truth can once again join together all the aspects of nature that modern naturalist civilization has torn asunder. What does this have to tell us?

Sacred History and Catholic Tradition both emphasize the primary significance of the human person in God's plan. It is clear from the account of Creation in Genesis that it is through Adam that all of nature is marshaled to fulfill the divine will. So important is the individual in the teaching of Christ that "every hair on his head is numbered", and the Good Shepherd leaves His flock in order to find one sheep who has gone astray. The Church Fathers, grasping the full significance of a salvation that comes through the Incarnation of the second Person of the Trinity in one sole God-Man, Jesus Christ, marvel at the ultimate "divinization" that this offers to the individual who faithfully lives his life in union with his Savior. The Canon of the Mass makes the same point. It was in defense of the supreme value of the individual, immortal soul that the great scholastics of the Middle Ages fought their battles against the impersonal, fatalistic vision of Averroes. It was in recognition of the centrality of each distinct human person in the ultimate scheme of things that Dante, in the Paradiso, shows the individual in heaven shining forth with a clarity and distinction much greater than he possessed while still alive.

But it is equally clear that even if the individual human person is the "apple of God's eye" he can only be saved as a social being. His salvation and divinization come through membership in Christ---a Christ whose corrective and transforming authority, teaching, and grace is essential in a universe where human freedom led not merely to an Original Sin weakening all of mankind, but the constant possibility of further error and evil behavior. And that membership in a corrective and transforming Christ is made palpable until the end of time through membership in His Mystical Body; His supernatural continuation in the natural realm after His own death and Resurrection; His Church.

It is precisely in discussing the individual's salvation through membership in a jointly supernatural and natural Christ and Mystical Body that we enter into the realm of social theory. For Catholic Tradition, building upon what emerges from the message of the Sacred Scriptures, has insisted that all of nature has its crucial part to play in this work of raising the individual to eternal life with God. Everything in nature, as St. Ignatius of Antioch teaches, has been "recapitulated" and redeemed in Christ. Nothing that God has created is superfluous to His plan, and nothing somehow becomes superannuated as the centuries advance. Everything thought, written, painted, sculpted, and sung to the greater glory of God under the corrective and transforming grace of Christ and His Church is of crucial importance in the work of personal salvation and divinization. And anything done for the benefit of a man's final end reverberates back on his temporal existence, illuminating its purpose and enhancing its character as well.

Highest on the list of natural aids to the individual's path to heaven with positive temporal effects are earthly social institutions. The Greeks already understood society's secular benefits, with Solon the Lawgiver (c. 638-558 B.C.), the first great western political thinker---and, instructively, a poet to boot---demonstrating that individuals, left to their own devices, destroy not only their neighbors but themselves in the process. They needed guidance through the authoritative, coordinating power of the Greek "polis" or State. For man, as Aristotle magisterially summarizes Solon's point, is essentially a social, political animal.

Greeks and Romans gave to the social authority of a monolithic State too exclusive an importance. What Catholic Christianity did---with a bit of practical historical aid from the Germanic and Slavic disruption of the ancient order of things---was threefold in character: it made it clear that the State required the corrective and transforming guidance of the supernatural authority of the Church; that other natural, non-governmental social institutions, equally subject to the teachings of the Mystical Body, were involved in the enterprise of chaining the individual's destructive tendencies; and that all of these societies, together, were ultimately intended for the positive benefit of distinct human persons and their divinization in Christ.

Read more here:
http://jcrao.freeshell.org/TheIndividual...ciety.html
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#2
This Rao guy is a totalitarian socialist who makes Hillary Clinton proud with his, "it takes a village" crap. 
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#3
(10-08-2012, 11:44 PM)PeterII Wrote: This Rao guy is a totalitarian socialist who makes Hillary Clinton proud with his, "it takes a village" crap. 

I didn't know that. Can you prove this?
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#4
(10-08-2012, 11:44 PM)PeterII Wrote: This Rao guy is a totalitarian socialist who makes Hillary Clinton proud with his, "it takes a village" crap. 

I don't know anything about Mr. Rao, but in spite of Hillary Clinton's having popularized the phrase, it does take a village. We're social creatures, and we can't turn off the culture around us as if we're turning off a TV set. The culture is more like the air we breathe than an appliance we can use, or not, at whim.

Back in the day, Catholics lived in Catholic neighborhoods built around a parish Church. We could trust our neighbors to keep an eye on our kids using the same sorts of judgments and "values" that we would. Kids could go out and play, attend school, grow up and find a mate with some degree of normality and without having to go through the sort of discernment they or their parents have to today. Neighbors offered to babysit nowadays? Well, are they Buddhists or Muslim or Wiccans or Satanists or atheists? Are they practicing homosexuals who speak about homosexual sins as if they're not sins? If they found out I spank my kids or smoke in my own home, will they report me to Child Services? How much time would they let my kid watch TV at their place? And what would they think it's OK to watch? What about music? What if my kid were to ask them about sexual matters? What would they say? Doesn't the wife belong to PETA?

And for men who want their wives to stay at home and raise their children, it's inhumane the way it's done nowadays, with women stuck alone, without adults around at all, 24/7 with kids until it's time to feed the tired husband. No lady next door to have coffee and a chat with, to share work with, to watch the kids while you run to the library, etc.

This isn't how life is supposed to be. Not even close. It definitely takes a village. A village, not a government (which is what Clinton meant by the term). Radical individualists hold the individual as the be all, end all of things. Socialists do the same with government. Both are wrong: it's the family that's the heart of it all -- and families need support. Parish-based neighborhoods and extended family need to come back.
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#5
(10-08-2012, 11:53 PM)Phillipus Iacobus Wrote:
(10-08-2012, 11:44 PM)PeterII Wrote: This Rao guy is a totalitarian socialist who makes Hillary Clinton proud with his, "it takes a village" crap. 

I didn't know that. Can you prove this?

Sure, he says, "It takes coordination by the State,"  justified on the grounds that, "[w]ithout the latter, the willful strong oppress the weak, to the ultimate physical and spiritual detriment of both."  That's the great lie politicians want us to believe.  Politicians by their very nature are people who seek power to control others.  They are the "willful strong" we should be scared of.  But Rao instead condemns those who seek individualism on the basis they will fall into sin, all the while ignoring the fact that "authority" figures who control the State are themselves individual sinners! 

 
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#6
(10-09-2012, 12:56 AM)PeterII Wrote:
(10-08-2012, 11:53 PM)Phillipus Iacobus Wrote:
(10-08-2012, 11:44 PM)PeterII Wrote: This Rao guy is a totalitarian socialist who makes Hillary Clinton proud with his, "it takes a village" crap. 

I didn't know that. Can you prove this?

Sure, he says, "It takes coordination by the State,"  justified on the grounds that, "[w]ithout the latter, the willful strong oppress the weak, to the ultimate physical and spiritual detriment of both."  That's the great lie politicians want us to believe.  Politicians by their very nature are people who seek power to control others.  They are the "willful strong" we should be scared of.  But Rao instead condemns those who seek individualism on the basis they will fall into sin, all the while ignoring the fact that "authority" figures who control the State are themselves individual sinners! 

Okay, but does this necessarily mean he's a socialist?
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#7
(10-09-2012, 12:56 AM)PeterII Wrote:
(10-08-2012, 11:53 PM)Phillipus Iacobus Wrote:
(10-08-2012, 11:44 PM)PeterII Wrote: This Rao guy is a totalitarian socialist who makes Hillary Clinton proud with his, "it takes a village" crap. 

I didn't know that. Can you prove this?

Sure, he says, "It takes coordination by the State,"  justified on the grounds that, "[w]ithout the latter, the willful strong oppress the weak, to the ultimate physical and spiritual detriment of both."  That's the great lie politicians want us to believe.  Politicians by their very nature are people who seek power to control others.  They are the "willful strong" we should be scared of.  But Rao instead condemns those who seek individualism on the basis they will fall into sin, all the while ignoring the fact that "authority" figures who control the State are themselves individual sinners! 

 

Tough talk. You an anarchist?

You don't believe there can be a State that is more just. What's wrong with a worker owning his own tools and his own bench?

I guess the weak are never oppressed by the strong.

The only places you won't find sinners are in Purgatory and in Heaven. But in the meantime we have to try to get to one of those two places here on earth. You set the bar so high as to make it impossible for any kind of solution.

So maybe you're just a perfectionist.

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#8

Phillipus Iacobus Wrote:Okay, but does this necessarily mean he's a socialist?

I know it from his writings at the Distributist review and its disregard for economic science.  But in general, if you advocate the use of government force on innocent people to conform to a social blueprint, you're a socialist.   
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#9
Even in religious matters? Or the draft?
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#10
(10-09-2012, 01:47 AM)Phillipus Iacobus Wrote: Even in religious matters? Or the draft?

Forced baptisms are invalid, so the Church concurs. 

And the draft or conscription is kidnapping. 
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