Archive for November, 2009
Nearly 120 years ago, Pope Leo XIII wrote a comprehensive letter to his people and the world on the lies of Socialism. He warned the proletarian and the worker “to have nothing to do with men of evil principles, who work upon the people with artful promises of great results, and excite foolish hopes which usually end in useless regrets and grievous loss.” [Rerum Novarum, paragraph 20]
That Mr. Obama has “evil principles” relies perhaps on inductive reasoning rather than deductive reasoning. We know Socialism’s evil rests on its false premises (e.g., class warfare) and its false promises (e.g., peace and prosperity through the abolition of private property) but we do not have a record of Mr. Obama openly advocating for Socialism. We look at his actions as President, from the takeover of General Motors by the government and the unions to the “pay czar” setting salaries in the banking sector, and we can see socialism — or certainly fascism — at work. We can draw the conclusion that Mr. Obama is a practicing socialist, but we cannot point to any declaration by him stating his allegiance to Socialism.
We can, on the other hand, point many times to Mr. Obama’s “artful promises of great results,” such as his promise to reduce unemployment from the 8% level at the time of his inauguration, or his promise that 95% of the country would not have a tax increase, or his promise that he would simultaneously overhaul our broken healthcare system while letting those who are happy with their healthcare plan (80% of poll respondents) keep the great system they have.
We can also point to Mr. Obama’s exciting “foolish hopes” for a peaceful Middle East, a post-racial United States, and a centrist government led by someone not named George Bush. We have ended in “useless regrets and grievous loss” with a 10.2% unemployment rate, a $1.4 trillion budget deficit that must be paid by higher taxes. We have less stability and more loss of life in Afghanistan, a “beer summit” after the President of the United States blamed the “stupid” police in “Gates-gate.” We have an extremist government that calls the American people “cowards” on racial issues, hires Green Jobs czars that believe the American government had foreknowledge of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and lets senior White House officials proclaim Mao Tse Tung as one of their favorite political philosophers.
The Pope was not all that keen on community organizers, either:
[N]either justice nor the common good allows any individual to seize upon that which belongs to another, or, under the futile and shallow pretext of equality, to lay violent hands on other people’s possessions. Most true it is that by far the larger part of the workers prefer to better themselves by honest labor rather than by doing any wrong to others. But there are not a few who are imbued with evil principles and eager for revolutionary change, whose main purpose is to stir up disorder and incite their fellows to acts of violence. The authority of the law should intervene to put restraint upon such firebrands, to save the working classes from being led astray by their maneuvers, and to protect lawful owners from spoliation. Rerum Novarum paragraph 38
No, Pope Leo was not some kind of Nostradamus. He knew that evil rarely shows itself fully until it has achieved power. He was describing a type. 120 years later, we see that type in our current President.