Does Catholic political philosophy reduce to practical "anarchism"?


#1

Does Catholic political philosophy reduce to practical anarchism?

For instance, Catholic political philosophy entails wanting both tolerance and justice, unchanging laws and a changeable application of those laws, subsidiary and solidarity, it is an "either or" philosophy.

But a political system that favors a thing and its opposite according to differences of circumstance and intention is basically "anarchy". Indeed we need people in a perfect Catholic state to, IMO, be unimpeded when they both follow laws and when they break them (in the case of unjust laws). And since most laws are opinions and since opinions should not become the subject of contentions, it follows that sometimes people can be allowed to disagree about what law they want to follow or not.

So is Catholic political philosophy "anarchistic"?


#2

[quote="fakename, post:1, topic:283621"]

So is Catholic political philosophy "anarchistic"?

[/quote]

I would say it should be, if only for the commandments that forbid murder and theft. If government as an entity has its foundations on threatening or taking life without permission and threatening or taking property without permission, then it is obsolete.


#3

[quote="fakename, post:1, topic:283621"]
Does Catholic political philosophy reduce to practical anarchism?

For instance, Catholic political philosophy entails wanting both tolerance and justice, unchanging laws and a changeable application of those laws, subsidiary and solidarity, it is an "either or" philosophy.

But a political system that favors a thing and its opposite according to differences of circumstance and intention is basically "anarchy". Indeed we need people in a perfect Catholic state to, IMO, be unimpeded when they both follow laws and when they break them (in the case of unjust laws). And since most laws are opinions and since opinions should not become the subject of contentions, it follows that sometimes people can be allowed to disagree about what law they want to follow or not.

So is Catholic political philosophy "anarchistic"?

[/quote]

The Church has always recognized legitimate authority [a person or group above others in a hierarchy who occupy a position of responsibility] See Jesus’ “Render unto Caesar…”. This is one area that the Left clashes with the Church, for the Left wants to abolish hierarchy.

If by anarchy you mean no government, only voluntary associations, then there would be no hierarchy and consequently no one responsible. So, I don’t see how your argument holds up.


#4

[quote="sedonaman, post:3, topic:283621"]
The Church has always recognized legitimate authority [a person or group above others in a hierarchy who occupy a position of responsibility] See Jesus’ “Render unto Caesar…”. This is one area that the Left clashes with the Church, for the Left wants to abolish hierarchy.

If by anarchy you mean no government, only voluntary associations, then there would be no hierarchy and consequently no one responsible. So, I don’t see how your argument holds up.

[/quote]

Despite having coercive powers, the state is a voluntary association because if it wasn't then on one could be praised or blamed for forming or joining a state.

In anycase the meaning of the term is comprehended when one comprehends the meanings of the terms that entail it.

However, given that the state is voluntary one has to ponder what policy it would take beforehand to allow people to timely redress wrongs done by the state. If it allows people to redress such wrongs by means of secession or nullification, or by using financial tools to "short" it, then in what sense do we have something different from what I will now colloquially call "anarchy"?


#5

[quote="sedonaman, post:3, topic:283621"]
The Church has always recognized legitimate authority [a person or group above others in a hierarchy who occupy a position of responsibility] See Jesus’ “Render unto Caesar…”. This is one area that the Left clashes with the Church, for the Left wants to abolish hierarchy.

If by anarchy you mean no government, only voluntary associations, then there would be no hierarchy and consequently no one responsible. So, I don’t see how your argument holds up.

[/quote]

Despite having coercive powers, the state is a voluntary association because if it wasn't then on one could not be praised or blamed for forming or joining a state.

In anycase the meaning of the term is comprehended when one comprehends the meanings of the terms that entail it.

However, given that the state is voluntary one has to ponder what policy it would take beforehand to allow people to timely redress wrongs done by the state. If it allows people to redress such wrongs by means of secession or nullification, or by using financial tools to "short" it, then in what sense do we have something different from what I will now colloquially call "anarchy"?


#6

[quote="sedonaman, post:3, topic:283621"]
The Church has always recognized legitimate authority [a person or group above others in a hierarchy who occupy a position of responsibility] See Jesus’ “Render unto Caesar…”. This is one area that the Left clashes with the Church, for the Left wants to abolish hierarchy.

If by anarchy you mean no government, only voluntary associations, then there would be no hierarchy and consequently no one responsible. So, I don’t see how your argument holds up.

[/quote]

Despite having coercive powers, the state is a voluntary association because if it wasn't then no one could be praised or blamed for forming or joining a state.

In any case the meaning of the term is comprehended when one comprehends the meanings of the terms that entail it.

However, given that the state is voluntary one has to ponder what policy it would take beforehand to allow people to timely redress wrongs done by the state. If it allows people to redress such wrongs by means of secession or nullification, or by using financial tools to "short" it, then in what sense do we have something different from what I will now colloquially call "anarchy"?


#7

[quote="fakename, post:6, topic:283621"]
Despite having coercive powers, the state is a voluntary association because if it wasn't then no one could be praised or blamed for forming or joining a state.

In any case the meaning of the term is comprehended when one comprehends the meanings of the terms that entail it.

However, given that the state is voluntary one has to ponder what policy it would take beforehand to allow people to timely redress wrongs done by the state. If it allows people to redress such wrongs by means of secession or nullification, or by using financial tools to "short" it, then in what sense do we have something different from what I will now colloquially call "anarchy"?

[/quote]

Take your pick en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchy .


#8

[quote="fakename, post:1, topic:283621"]
Does Catholic political philosophy reduce to practical anarchism?

For instance, Catholic political philosophy entails wanting both tolerance and justice, unchanging laws and a changeable application of those laws, subsidiary and solidarity, it is an "either or" philosophy.

But a political system that favors a thing and its opposite according to differences of circumstance and intention is basically "anarchy". Indeed we need people in a perfect Catholic state to, IMO, be unimpeded when they both follow laws and when they break them (in the case of unjust laws). And since most laws are opinions and since opinions should not become the subject of contentions, it follows that sometimes people can be allowed to disagree about what law they want to follow or not.

So is Catholic political philosophy "anarchistic"?

[/quote]

I think that your question is based on an inaccurate understanding of Church teaching. The Church does not have a political philosophy, per se, the Church teaches how moral governments should set priorities and act. Thus, Church teaching can be applied in a number of different political frameworks.

The thing about moral teaching is that there are often two sides, and the moral person must walk between those two sides. Sometimes the Church has to remind us about one side, sometimes the other. Thus, the Church condemns socialism and its offshoots for *too much *control over people, and libertairianism for *too little. *


#9

[quote="sedonaman, post:7, topic:283621"]
Take your pick en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchy .

[/quote]

What does that supposed to mean?

If it means that you think that anarchy is bad, let me say that I'm not proposing any form of anarchistic gov. I'm just saying that if anarchy was practical and useful for the circumstances, then Catholicism would not oppose it since Catholicism is not against decentralized or flexible governments.


#10

[quote="St_Francis, post:8, topic:283621"]
I think that your question is based on an inaccurate understanding of Church teaching. The Church does not have a political philosophy, per se, the Church teaches how moral governments should set priorities and act. Thus, Church teaching can be applied in a number of different political frameworks.

The thing about moral teaching is that there are often two sides, and the moral person must walk between those two sides. Sometimes the Church has to remind us about one side, sometimes the other. Thus, the Church condemns socialism and its offshoots for *too much *control over people, and libertairianism for *too little. *

[/quote]

Well in a sense it does have a political philosophy: it recommends a Thomistic philosophy and it holds to Thomistic ethics and since politics follows upon ethics, the Church has a Thomistic politics. So it has a Thomistic political philosophy and way of understanding constitutions.

But (and this is where my question enters in) does Thomistic political philosophy, because it favors so many checks on central power and checks on local power, essentially set up everyone as a checks on everyone, a state of "war" of all against all and therefore anarchy?

I understand that this "anarchy" is consistent with monarchy or democracy and anything in between but no matter the concrete form of state, the anarchistic spirit of that state must exist at least conditionally or subconsciously; a monarchy should not be so free of opposition in the state such that it would tyrannize and a democracy should not be so free of opposition in the state such that it would create a law against nature?


#11

[quote="fakename, post:9, topic:283621"]
What does that supposed to mean?

... I'm just saying that if anarchy was practical and useful ...

[/quote]

What form of anarchy?


#12

[quote="sedonaman, post:11, topic:283621"]
What form of anarchy?

[/quote]

Well any kind of "anarchy" really but I would choose the ideal state and the ideal state is monarchical. So I would choose the anarchy that was most like monarchy so (based on my quick read of the section) I would choose Icelandic anarchy.


#13

Consider whether this kind of anarchy could work in a pluralistic society.


#14

[quote="fakename, post:10, topic:283621"]
Well in a sense it does have a political philosophy: it recommends a Thomistic philosophy and it holds to Thomistic ethics and since politics follows upon ethics, the Church has a Thomistic politics. So it has a Thomistic political philosophy and way of understanding constitutions.

But (and this is where my question enters in) does Thomistic political philosophy, because it favors so many checks on central power and checks on local power, essentially set up everyone as a checks on everyone, a state of "war" of all against all and therefore anarchy?

[/quote]

Why would you think that a system which checked power would lead to anarchy?


#15

Because to check someone’s power is to conflict with someone. So if everyone checks everyone else’s power, then everyone is conflicting with everyone. So there is anarchy.


#16

[quote="sedonaman, post:13, topic:283621"]
Consider whether this kind of anarchy could work in a pluralistic society.

[/quote]

It seems likely that this type of "anarchy" (which is really a liberalized aristocracy) would fit a pluralistic society especially well: the whole system is a giant parliament and one essentially needs unanimous consent in order to make constitutional changes. But in case this is too inefficient there is also a court of general appeals. That plus the private execution of the laws makes the law a very flexible and precise thing -it also limits the amount of people who could lawfully be killed in case one section of society wants to fight the other.

The fact that people voluntarily support any decision of the arbiters or parliaments also makes social reform easier to take hold once established: Christianity took tight hold after it was agreed upon by the Icelanders.


#17

[quote="fakename, post:15, topic:283621"]
Because to check someone's power is to conflict with someone. So if everyone checks everyone else's power, then everyone is conflicting with everyone. So there is anarchy.

[/quote]

Anarchy in political science means absence of government, not just a mess.

In the US government, we have 3 branches of government, each of which provides checks against the others. This is so that power cannot be concentrated in one institution to the detriment of the people.

It is the same way in what the Church envisions as a good thing in government, in general. In a monarchy, the monarch is not to become a despot or tyrant, with all the power in his hands: he is to be restrained from that by the aristocrats or nobility. That system failed in the time of King Louis XIIII (L'etat, c'est moi), leading to the French Revolution.

However, it worked in England, where the nobles limited the King's power with the Magna Carta.

Notice where anarchy ensued.


#18

[quote="fakename, post:1, topic:283621"]
Does Catholic political philosophy reduce to practical anarchism?

For instance, Catholic political philosophy entails wanting both tolerance and justice, unchanging laws and a changeable application of those laws, subsidiary and solidarity, it is an "either or" philosophy.

But a political system that favors a thing and its opposite according to differences of circumstance and intention is basically "anarchy". Indeed we need people in a perfect Catholic state to, IMO, be unimpeded when they both follow laws and when they break them (in the case of unjust laws). And since most laws are opinions and since opinions should not become the subject of contentions, it follows that sometimes people can be allowed to disagree about what law they want to follow or not.

So is Catholic political philosophy "anarchistic"?

[/quote]

An obedient and humble catholic community would have no need of government.


#19

[quote="St_Francis, post:17, topic:283621"]
Anarchy in political science means absence of government, not just a mess.

In the US government, we have 3 branches of government, each of which provides checks against the others. This is so that power cannot be concentrated in one institution to the detriment of the people.

It is the same way in what the Church envisions as a good thing in government, in general. In a monarchy, the monarch is not to become a despot or tyrant, with all the power in his hands: he is to be restrained from that by the aristocrats or nobility. That system failed in the time of King Louis XIIII (L'etat, c'est moi), leading to the French Revolution.

However, it worked in England, where the nobles limited the King's power with the Magna Carta.

Notice where anarchy ensued.

[/quote]

well then, does CST basically entail "a mess"?

And also, do you think that France had anarchy during the revolution? There was a government in the revolution, just a tyrannical revolutionary government. Anarchy in the sense of no state would mean that the highest social organization is the family, not necessarily that the state would be in chaos.


#20

Well it would in order to have a common organization to aim at the common good. After all, the earliest men were ruled by Adam even though they were more virtuous than we are.


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