Which form of government is the best?
#51
(09-09-2013, 07:40 AM)PeterII Wrote:
(09-08-2013, 10:55 PM)devoutchristian Wrote:
(09-08-2013, 10:25 PM)PeterII Wrote:
MagisterMusicae Wrote:Thus, the State is of divine institution because man's nature requires it. He is unable to adequately provide for himself without society, and society demands some ruler or government (i.e. the State).

Further, the Church prefers no particular form of government, except that it work for the true good of society, which is to provide the material supports to help people best get to heaven.

But the Church at the same time preaches subsidiarity, so true authority can only be claimed when found in its most effectively decentralized form.  Since everything can be effectively privatized, there is no need for a government body above the family level.  Anything larger should only be voluntarily agreed too, never coerced.

Wars between France and Germany happened because of centralized authority. 

You can continue with your pipe dream that everything in the world can be privatized, but the rest of us will stick to sane Catholic social teaching.

Please stop being a Socialist troll and calling it Catholicism. 

One can always count on a troll to be the most committed of troll-busters.
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#52
(09-08-2013, 09:33 PM)PeterII Wrote:
MagisterMusicae Wrote:The logical outcome of that statement is complete anarchy.

If I have the right to commit violence against my neighbor to recover what in my judgement he unjustly acquired either from me or a third party, then this makes the judgement individual, not social.

Thus, it makes every man his own judge of his own cause. If I feel I have been unjustly treated then I can strike back in revenge.

Somehow that does not seem to be what Our Lord recommended ("Render to Caesar ...") or what he did by example.

That's the same as saying an individual does not have the right to defend himself if being mugged, since only State "authorities" can truly judge the situation.

False analogy.

No one has suggested that there is not a right to self-defense. There is, but it is limited.

If one is violently assaulted, then clearly one has at that time the right to defend himself against this unjust aggressor. Thus, you get mugged, you can fight back. But you don't get to track down your assailants and assault them in order to recover your wallet hours or days later, that isn't self defense.

At the same time, you can't act violently against a mere perceived aggression. It must be real and truly unjust and truly present. Just because you think your neighbor might be plotting to kill you does not mean you can pre-emptively end his life.

Outside of clear cut cases, a man is never a good judge of his own case (thanks to fallen human nature). Just because I park in the same spot in the street in front of my house every day, doesn't give me the right to cause damage to move or otherwise do violence to a car which took that spot because I perceive it to be mine.

If my bank botches up my balance and I lose money from my account due to some error, I don't get to steal that money from their vault.

Clearly there is a balance between these the extremes, and because that is difficult to judge, we need an independent third party who has the authority to make the decision as to what is justified and is not, and the power to enforce that decision from a neutral standpoint.

(09-08-2013, 09:33 PM)PeterII Wrote: "Render to Caeser..." is a very abused passage.  Caeser has a right to his private property, but not someone else's.

Just because it is abused does not make the principles which clearly flow from the social teaching of the Church based on this phrase somehow not true.

The government can have authority and does have the right in certain circumstances for the common good to alienate the property of someone. For instance, in the case of abandoned property, the State does have a right and responsibility to seize this property and put it to proper use. It also has the right to remove illegally obtained property, or things like illicit substances. Otherwise, we could charge a man and punish him for possession of narcotics, but then we would have to return them to him after his sentence.
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#53
(09-08-2013, 10:25 PM)PeterII Wrote: But the Church at the same time preaches subsidiarity, so true authority can only be claimed when found in its most effectively decentralized form.  Since everything can be effectively privatized, there is no need for a government body above the family level.  Anything larger should only be voluntarily agreed too, never coerced.

That subsidiarity means that the duties and responsibilities of governing should be well distributed to ensure their proper application, I grant, with one note. A town council who answers to the local magistrate, who answers to the regional authority who answers to the king is a good example of subsidiarity. Subsidiarity requires a hierarchy, and thus, requires a society greater than an individual or a family alone.

That subsidiarity means "true authority" exists only in the most decentralized form of government, I deny, for if this were true then the most decentralized form would be individualism, not the family.

Proof 1 : A man possess the authority over his own person to act or not act, and because of that when he acts he does so willfully, he can do good or evil. But the individual is more decentralized than the family, therefore "true authority" rests in the family

Proof 2 : The common good is the good of more than one, while the particular good belongs to an individual, but the particular good is more decentralized than the common good, thus only to the particular good belongs the "true authority" to pursue it.


That, sir, is anarchy.

That Everything can be effectively privatized, I deny.

To privatize means to make private, especially as regards business moving from public control to private control. If a thing is made private, then it was not originally, so it must have come from a public ownership. If we say that various rights or duties held by the state may be privatized we have to distinguish whether these duties are being delegated by the state to a private party, or whether the state is merely returning to individuals the rights which they had commonly forsaken and delegated to the state. Since the Catholic teaching holds that even the individual or family does not have in it is qualities of a perfect society and necessitates a broader society for its perfection (cf. Immortale Dei, 3-4), there must be at least some responsibilities of this society beyond the ability of a single family to provide, and thus not all responsibilities of the State can be "privatized".

That there is no need for a government body above the family level, I deny based on the same as above.

As noted originally, if we are applying subsidiarity, then that requires a hierarchy of authorities. Thus the chief authority delegates power to the lower level, which delegates further, etc. If it is the lowest levels that posses the only "true authority" then this is not subsidiarity, but popular sovereignty which is condemned by the Church.

(09-08-2013, 10:25 PM)PeterII Wrote: Wars between France and Germany happened because of centralized authority.

Are you seriously suggesting that the efficient cause of war between France and Germany was a centralized authority?

It was not the greed or bad will of the authority who decided to abuse power and begin an unjust war? It was not a war of vengence? It was because centralized power causes war? Seriously?
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#54
MagisterMusicae Wrote:False analogy.

No one has suggested that there is not a right to self-defense. There is, but it is limited.

If one is violently assaulted, then clearly one has at that time the right to defend himself against this unjust aggressor. Thus, you get mugged, you can fight back. But you don't get to track down your assailants and assault them in order to recover your wallet hours or days later, that isn't self defense.

The problem with your examples is that they don't address justice, they just address prudence. 

Of course I have a right to take my wallet back and use force if necessary.  That's what the police can do for me too.  The same morality applies to both parties. 

Quote:At the same time, you can't act violently against a mere perceived aggression. It must be real and truly unjust and truly present. Just because you think your neighbor might be plotting to kill you does not mean you can pre-emptively end his life.

Yes, but neither can the State.  Again morality applies universally to all.  Whether I pre-emptively kill my neighbour, or the State does (or starts a pre-emptive war) both are wrong.

Quote:Outside of clear cut cases, a man is never a good judge of his own case (thanks to fallen human nature). Just because I park in the same spot in the street in front of my house every day, doesn't give me the right to cause damage to move or otherwise do violence to a car which took that spot because I perceive it to be mine.

No, but that's only because we acknowledge the road as public access.  If the car was on your front lawn however, you most definitely could remove it. 

Quote:If my bank botches up my balance and I lose money from my account due to some error, I don't get to steal that money from their vault.

But you have a right to get your money back.  Granted it was most likely a clerical error and there are more prudent ways to retrieve it.  But if the bank actually stole it from you and refuses to give it back, then you can take it back.  Taking back what is yours is not stealing. 

Quote:Clearly there is a balance between these the extremes, and because that is difficult to judge, we need an independent third party who has the authority to make the decision as to what is justified and is not, and the power to enforce that decision from a neutral standpoint.

A third party can be very useful in arbitration and settling disputes, but clearly, they are not the final arbiter of justice as they can make mistakes too.  Ever hear of Dred Scott? 

Quote:The government can have authority and does have the right in certain circumstances for the common good to alienate the property of someone. For instance, in the case of abandoned property, the State does have a right and responsibility to seize this property and put it to proper use. It also has the right to remove illegally obtained property, or things like illicit substances. Otherwise, we could charge a man and punish him for possession of narcotics, but then we would have to return them to him after his sentence.

The way public goods are handled is customary and always subject to change. There are no set rules or responsibilities.  The fact that you would support using force against someone for having an odd plant in his pocket is very telling though. 
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#55
I found this at Fatima Conference. Dr. Walters wrote a novel about Russia and their conversion. He has thought this through. His speech here is about the organization of a Catholic confessional State. It's a pretty good outline, and in fact if it hog ties the King and Aristocrats like this I might be for it.



tim
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#56
Quote:That subsidiarity means that the duties and responsibilities of governing should be well distributed to ensure their proper application, I grant, with one note. A town council who answers to the local magistrate, who answers to the regional authority who answers to the king is a good example of subsidiarity. Subsidiarity requires a hierarchy, and thus, requires a society greater than an individual or a family alone.

No, in subsidiarity, all that matters is that the matter gets addressed effectively.  You have not demonstrated a need for a hierarchy. I don't need a King telling the regional authority, telling the magistrate, telling the town council, telling me how to effectively peel potatoes.  You're just setting up a system that encourages micromanagement. 

Quote:That subsidiarity means "true authority" exists only in the most decentralized form of government, I deny, for if this were true then the most decentralized form would be individualism, not the family.

The family is just a few individuals cooperating together, some of whom (children, the elderly) are physically incapable of making decisions for themselves, thus requiring other family members. 

Quote:Proof 1 : A man possess the authority over his own person to act or not act, and because of that when he acts he does so willfully, he can do good or evil. But the individual is more decentralized than the family, therefore "true authority" rests in the family

Proof 2 : The common good is the good of more than one, while the particular good belongs to an individual, but the particular good is more decentralized than the common good, thus only to the particular good belongs the "true authority" to pursue it.


That, sir, is anarchy.

It makes more sense than having one individual called a King decide the fate of millions.

Quote:That Everything can be effectively privatized, I deny.

To privatize means to make private, especially as regards business moving from public control to private control. If a thing is made private, then it was not originally, so it must have come from a public ownership. If we say that various rights or duties held by the state may be privatized we have to distinguish whether these duties are being delegated by the state to a private party, or whether the state is merely returning to individuals the rights which they had commonly forsaken and delegated to the state. Since the Catholic teaching holds that even the individual or family does not have in it is qualities of a perfect society and necessitates a broader society for its perfection (cf. Immortale Dei, 3-4), there must be at least some responsibilities of this society beyond the ability of a single family to provide, and thus not all responsibilities of the State can be "privatized".

That there is no need for a government body above the family level, I deny based on the same as above.

All services were private until government usurped them, mainly from the Church.  If we need government courts and government security, then the same arguments justify government health care, government marriage, government education, and heck, why not a government religion too.  It's an argument for socialism. 


Quote:As noted originally, if we are applying subsidiarity, then that requires a hierarchy of authorities. Thus the chief authority delegates power to the lower level, which delegates further, etc. If it is the lowest levels that posses the only "true authority" then this is not subsidiarity, but popular sovereignty which is condemned by the Church.

“The people themselves immediately and directly hold the political power” St. Robert Bellarmine (“De Clericis,” c. 7).

Quote:Are you seriously suggesting that the efficient cause of war between France and Germany was a centralized authority?

It was not the greed or bad will of the authority who decided to abuse power and begin an unjust war? It was not a war of vengence? It was because centralized power causes war? Seriously?

Yes, wars are caused by a few politicians whose struggle for power send thousands or even millions to their death under the guise of obedience. 
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#57
(09-09-2013, 10:18 PM)PeterII Wrote: No, in subsidiarity, all that matters is that the matter gets addressed effectively.

Then that is not subsidiarity. That is efficiency.

Subsidiarity means that a matter of governance should be handled by the lowest order capable of handling the matter. Thus the general does not decide what brand of forks will be use in the mess hall, but appoints a man to organize and run the kitchen, and he makes the decision as to what is needed and best.

(09-09-2013, 10:18 PM)PeterII Wrote: You have not demonstrated a need for a hierarchy. I don't need a King telling the regional authority, telling the magistrate, telling the town council, telling me how to effectively peel potatoes.  You're just setting up a system that encourages micromanagement.

First, let's get off the anti-king kick. I have not suggested here that the ideal form of government is a king. What we have discussed is Catholic principles of governance, and a few practical applications. I have written many time that the Church (and thus I) have no preference for a particular form of government, so long as it formed by Catholic principles.

Secondly, I have demonstrated the need for a hierarchy, because the very notion of subsidiarity demands a hierarchy. If subsidiarity involves handling a matter at the lowest level possible, then that implies levels, or else the definition and principle are pointless. To take the mess hall forks example, if there is not a general, then there is not a mess sergeant. The lower presumes the higher, because the authority and power derive from the higher.

To say "subsidiarity" is to say "hierarchy".

The family cannot be both the lowest level of this "subsidiarity hierarchy" and also completely capable of all acts necessary for a man's life.

Because you don't seem to get that we will draw out the logical end of your absurdity.

If you argue that the family is the lowest level then we must say there are higher levels. If the family is independently capable of all man's needs, then subsidiarity would dictate that the family must handle these. But the fact is and common sense shows that there are higher levels of society which exercise power over the family. By subsidiarity these are not just superfluous but positively evil because they rob the family of authority and power it should have. Thus any social unit greater than the family is positively evil. Thus men are ethically bound not form any units larger than the family. This means that men must not associate with other men outside of their family, which means they must marry and reproduce in their own family. They also must not form a society like the Church because man possesses the power to worship God naturally, which by subsidiarity means that man should worship God privately. But because natural law demands not just individual worship but communal worship, this means that the highest community worship permitted is the family. But God has revealed that he wants a Church, which is directly counter to man's nature as asserted by subsidiarity, so God is a deceiver and not omnipotent.

So, if you insist that the family is a perfect society, and we must apply subsidiarity, you insist on incestuous reproduction and no Church, and a God that looks like a demiurge, not the Catholic notion of God, among other things.

(09-09-2013, 10:18 PM)PeterII Wrote: The family is just a few individuals cooperating together, some of whom (children, the elderly) are physically incapable of making decisions for themselves, thus requiring other family members.

So is it the individual or the family that you assert has the "true authority"? Is this cooperation merely voluntary (presuming no physical incapability)? If voluntary, then how is the family the fundamental unit then?


Quote:That Everything can be effectively privatized, I deny.

(09-09-2013, 10:18 PM)PeterII Wrote: All services were private until government usurped them, mainly from the Church.

If we need government courts and government security, then the same arguments justify government health care, government marriage, government education, and heck, why not a government religion too.  It's an argument for socialism.

History does not bear out this claim.

The State existed well before the Church. For instance the Greeks hundreds of years before even the Apostles had courts, armies, and all you complain about above. It certainly did not usurp these from the yet-to-exist Church. And clearly these services were not "private". The Greeks are not the only example. Well before the Greeks even the city-states of early Mesopotamia (well before even the Old Covenant) had similar public services.

(09-09-2013, 10:18 PM)PeterII Wrote: “The people themselves immediately and directly hold the political power” St. Robert Bellarmine (“De Clericis,” c. 7).

Given Immortale Dei, 25-26; Cum Primum, 3; Maxima quidem (1862); "Syllabus of Errors" Prop. 63, I will assume this is merely taken out of contexts. Please provide the context surrounding the quote, so we can ensure what St. Robert is trying to point out. Note that this is in a treatise on Clerics, and not on government, so it would seem that there is more to this quote.

If we look at Quadragesimo Anno 86, we do see on possible understanding which is not condemned, but is clearly more limited than you intend -- that is -- men are able to choose the form of government they please so long as they respect true justice and the common good. This is not to say that the actual power derives from the people which is manifestly false, for the power and authority are divine in origin as we read in both St. Paul and St. Peter's epistles and Our Lord clearly implies in speaking with Pilate ("You would not have any powere over me unless it were give you from above").


(09-09-2013, 10:18 PM)PeterII Wrote:
Quote:Are you seriously suggesting that the efficient cause of war between France and Germany was a centralized authority?

It was not the greed or bad will of the authority who decided to abuse power and begin an unjust war? It was not a war of vengence? It was because centralized power causes war? Seriously?

Yes, wars are caused by a few politicians whose struggle for power send thousands or even millions to their death under the guise of obedience. 

But a few politicians are not "the State", and are clearly acting beyond their authority. Abuse of power does not invalidate the legitimacy of the power itself.
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#58
(09-09-2013, 10:18 PM)PeterII Wrote: “The people themselves immediately and directly hold the political power” St. Robert Bellarmine (“De Clericis,” c. 7).

I couldn't believe that St. Robert Bellarmine held your view, so I did some googling and found this:
"St .Robert Bellarmine" Wrote:It depends upon the consent of the multitude to constitute over itself a king, consul, or other magistrate. This power is, indeed, from God, but vested in a particular ruler by the counsel and election of men” (“De Laicis, c. 6, notes 4 and 5). “The people themselves immediately and directly hold the political power” (“De Clericis,” c. 7).

This seems similar to the U.S. claim to be a "government of the people, by the people, for the people". Clearly neither Bellarmine nor the founders were throwing out government at the higher levels, just saying that it was deeply rooted in the people.  The fact that there is too much government now doesn't lead logically to the conclusion that there should be no government at all.
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#59
Doce me, here's a little more on St. Roberto  Bellarmine. All of the founding fathers had a book in their libraries named Patriarcha it was contra Divine rights of Kings and was primarily pinched from St. Roberto Bellarmine's writings.

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=6607

If you look around there are scholarly papers written on this subject. What's More St/ Roberto Bellarmine and Fr. Suarez are considered the Fathers of International Law.

tim
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#60
(09-10-2013, 01:28 AM)Doce Me Wrote:
(09-09-2013, 10:18 PM)PeterII Wrote: “The people themselves immediately and directly hold the political power” St. Robert Bellarmine (“De Clericis,” c. 7).

I couldn't believe that St. Robert Bellarmine held your view, so I did some googling and found this:
"St .Robert Bellarmine" Wrote:It depends upon the consent of the multitude to constitute over itself a king, consul, or other magistrate. This power is, indeed, from God, but vested in a particular ruler by the counsel and election of men” (“De Laicis, c. 6, notes 4 and 5).

This squares with Quadragesima Anno, as I cited above. It also agrees with the third chapter of De Laicis as Tim cited in his link above.

Leo XIII does not intend the "Divine Right of Kings", only that the authority for any form of government is from God, and then through the intermediate agency of men who choose what form that government will take.

St. Robert, however, is not suggesting Popular Sovreignity in the Enlightenment sense, which divorces the authority from its Author (God) and instead pretends to bestow it upon the subjects of that authority as if they were the authors. The key to understanding the delicate balance between Liberalism and the extremes of Divine Right is this line:

Quote:This Power is immediately in the Multitude, as in the subject of it; for this Power is in the Divine Law, but the Divine Law hath given this power to no particular man.

In fact the word immediate and subject are the key words.

Immediate means that there is no a medium between the power which comes from God and the multitude who has this power. The reason is given in the second clause, because no man has been definitively established by God as possessor of this power.

Subject means that this multitude is not the efficient cause of this power, but only an instrumental cause.

If we do not make this clear then either we fall into the Divine Right of Kings or the opposite error that the people can change the form of government on whims or without a serious reason.

Quote:“The people themselves immediately and directly hold the political power” (“De Clericis,” c. 7).

The problem I have with this quote is that it has no context to explain exactly what is meant. Because of this, Peter can suggest that this means that the Catholic Church teaches what amounts to Liberalism, or alternatively we can understand it in the light of what was just said in chapter 3, which is far more restricted than what it might at first appear to say.

This is why I asked for context. I would like that whole chapter, so the quote can be analyzed and thus have some value. Without context, it is as easily manipulated as Scripture to say whatever we want.

(09-10-2013, 01:28 AM)Doce Me Wrote: This seems similar to the U.S. claim to be a "government of the people, by the people, for the people". Clearly neither Bellarmine nor the founders were throwing out government at the higher levels, just saying that it was deeply rooted in the people.  The fact that there is too much government now doesn't lead logically to the conclusion that there should be no government at all.

The problem with the US claim (which is actually from Lincoln's address at Gettysburg), is that the foundation of this popular government is the false notion of Popular Sovreignity (without reference to the source and limitation of popular political power, i.e. God and His Laws).

Yes, even the Founding Fathers saw the necessity of subsidiarity. In fact, that was more or less what the War between the States was about -- strong centralized Federal government vs. Subsidiarity -- granted it was a naturalistic/liberal notion of subsidiarity. And in fact the failure of the Articles of Confederation turned into the effort to balance Federal and State power to achieve an effective division of powers.

I will also agree. That there is "too much government" (that the government has become abusive of its power), does not mean that the Catholic and philosophical principles governing the State and its necessity are somehow void.
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