Liberal Democracy


#1

catholicworldreport.com/Item/5401/is_liberal_democracy_closer_to_communism_or_catholicism.aspx

This is a well written and well thought out book on the parallels of liberal democracy and communism.
Well worth the cost. It is painfully evident that the democratic construct around the world is failing. It should come as no surprise. Even the framers of our constitution knew that democracies do not last. That is why they created a republic.

The Church would be well advised to stop being caught up in the social justice trap of democracy.


#2

catholicworldreport.com/Item/5401/is_liberal_democracy_closer_to_communism_or_catholicism.aspx Legutko argues that even if we admit that liberal democracy is less brutal than communism, the lessons of Communist Poland are nonetheless extremely relevant today. Like their Communist cousins, liberal democrats purge religion from culture, place totalitarian restrictions on thought and speech, and promote the revolutionary subversion of traditional institutions. ]

Sounds just like the progressive agenda of totalitarian PC restrictions on speech and thought and labeling anyone who dare to question them a phobic. I have always believed the mandate in Obama care had the primary purpose to force Christians to change the Gospel in line with the progressive liberal agenda.

Indeed some denominations have done teaching another Gospel than that once delivered. Our Lady of Fatima said if Russia was not converted the errors of communism would spread throughout the world.


#3

Legutko argues that even if we admit that liberal democracy is less brutal than communism, the lessons of Communist Poland are nonetheless extremely relevant today. Like their Communist cousins, liberal democrats purge religion from culture, place totalitarian restrictions on thought and speech, and promote the revolutionary subversion of traditional institutions.

What particular evidence do you have that liberal democracies such as the United States substantially restrict freedom of speech and thought? Any restriction of those is largely driven by social pressure.

I suppose a better alternative to liberal democracy to these people is to live in a military dictatorship run by Catholics, such as Chile, Argentina, and Spain. There you will have your “freedom of speech” and no “totalitarian restriction of thoughts” with the preservation of “traditional institutions”, Hell, thousands of people will be murdered and tortured, but you will have your “freedom of speech” and freedom from liberal democracy.

In order for the Church to be praised, or even to be spared the heaviest blows, it is no longer enough to make the sacral architecture less hierarchical, and more democratic, or have the priest face the faithful during mass, or to consider the abolition of celibacy. Nowadays one must go much further: prohibit the condemnation of anything other than what the liberal-democratic orthodoxy mandates to condemn, and decree to praise everything that this orthodoxy mandates to praise.

Do you have any evidence that any priest is punished in a liberal democracy for speaking out against " anything other than what the liberal-democratic orthodoxy mandates to condemn"?

It seems like that unless you are doing the persecuting and torturing, you will always feel persecuted.

What these people really want is not “freedom of speech” which is given in practice in the liberal democracies, but for the government to affirm their ideologies and stifle the political expression of those against their values.

Having established such hegemony over discourse as to render their own suppositions almost invisible, liberal democrats have far surpassed the Communist Party when it comes to effecting a revolutionary transformation of society. In the modern West there is no need for anything like a “liberal democratic” faction as such, for nobody feels obliged to argue on behalf of liberal democracy. It is simply assumed, like the air we breathe. Yet according to Legutko the air is poisoned. Those who want something fresh whereby they might clear their minds are advised to seek out this bold and extraordinary book.

There are no communists anymore, so we have to create new enemies.


#4

The United States of America is NOT a democracy.

The United States of America is Federal Constitutional Representative Republic.

The word “democracy” appears NOWHERE in any of the founding documents.


#5

Eyes opening!!! Ears listening…


#6

Perhaps not yet here - though the Little Sisters of the Poor et al are precursors … how about our neighbors to the North ?!?

culturecampaign.blogspot.com/2007/12/pastor-found-guilty-of-hate-crime.html

Non-Catholic’s too
telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/7668448/Christian-preacher-arrested-for-saying-homosexuality-is-a-sin.html

Sweden - chalcedon.edu/Research/Articles/Swedish-Pastor-Faces-Jail-For-Preaching-Against-Homosexuality/

christianheadlines.com/columnists/al-mohler/criminalizing-christianity-swedens-hate-speech-law-1277601.html

Ultimate control of religious speech perhaps christiantoday.com/article/vietnam.more.than.100.christian.pastors.jailed.face.being.poisoned.for.trying.to.preach.gospel/91150.htm

And never follow the commandment of Jesus in a Muslim country
jihadwatch.org/2015/08/egypt-christian-pastor-arrested-for-preaching-christ-to-muslims


#7

Quite true and there are extremely good reasons for it.

I am concerned, though, that the internet and our culture of social media outrage are eroding republicanism (spelled with a small “r” on purpose). The republican form of government in the pre-internet, pre-mass-media age was able to function at local levels more effectively. A dispute in North Dakota was handled in North Dakota; it didn’t involve tremendous pressure from hordes of people from all over the country with no clue about the details and even less interest in learning about them. It allowed locals to govern themselves according to their laws and cultures.

That has all been washed away with immediate access by all to all. The internet encourages mass groupthink and instantaneous judgement on anyone anywhere who does not do what the crowd wants. It’s essentially the democratic mob rule that all competent political thinkers have worried about for thousands of years.


#8

I am not familiar with that case. It must be complex.

The Little Sisters of the Poor are irrelevant. If someone refused to pay taxes or conform with some government regulation because they do not want to fund US foreign policy or nuclear weapons, the government would not be sympathetic towards them. No conservative would defend them for their right of conscience.

Churches are already exempt, and it is pending whether it would be expended to other religious institutions. For-profit private corporations where the owner is religious do not have to comply with the contraceptive mandate.

Non-Catholic’s too
telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/7668448/Christian-preacher-arrested-for-saying-homosexuality-is-a-sin.html

Sweden - chalcedon.edu/Research/Articles/Swedish-Pastor-Faces-Jail-For-Preaching-Against-Homosexuality/

christianheadlines.com/columnists/al-mohler/criminalizing-christianity-swedens-hate-speech-law-1277601.html

In those cases, they were either acquitted or the charges were dropped. This should be seen as an affirmation of liberal democracy and free speech. Free speech should be defended as a principle, and that includes the speech of even unsavory groups such as communists and Holocaust deniers.

Ultimate control of religious speech perhaps christiantoday.com/article/vietnam.more.than.100.christian.pastors.jailed.face.being.poisoned.for.trying.to.preach.gospel/91150.htm

This is about liberal democracy. Vietnam is not a liberal democracy.

And never follow the commandment of Jesus in a Muslim country
jihadwatch.org/2015/08/egypt-christian-pastor-arrested-for-preaching-christ-to-muslims

I wouldn’t consider the Gulf States, North Africa, or Indonesia to be “liberal democracies”.

We could say that about the Maidan when they overthrew a democratically elected President.


#9

And the democrat party isn’t very democratic anymore.


#10

Not sure the Republican party is very beholden to republican values either, instead of plutocratic ones on the whole, and theocratic ones for a minority, of its members. Just saying. (For that matter in the UK, the Labour party seems to have forgotten those who labour, and the Conservatives are hardly that, so I’d not say it’s just a US problem).

Whether we call what we have right now in the West, democracy or another word, is a pretty bad idea, quite honestly. It’s what we seem to be heading towards, as ever more emphasis is placed on instant reaction from e.g. twitter, rather than actual reasoned debate and nuanced thinking. What the composers of the U.S. Constitution, or custom in the UK, assumed, was not democracy, and ‘letting the people speak’ about every issue. Our representatives in our legislatures are meant to be the ones considering how things work. (In the case of the US, particularly in the upper house of Congress, etc). But that’s no longer what happens. In an age when everyone can yell all across the country via the internet, people seem not to be patient with reasoned debate any more.

I’m not fearful about liberal democracy, but I’m fearful of an unminded, pure democracy where the only thing that counts is how many people support your point of view, and which group of people shout the loudest.

The historian Polybius wrote about this about 150 years before Christ was even born. I think in the modern world, as someone has already written above, we can probably lay a lot of the blame on the internet - or more precisely on our inability to control ourselves when given free rein to not-indulge our critical faculties. What we’ve ended up with, or are heading towards, isn’t democracy, pure or representative, but ochlocracy. The rule of the mob. And it’s even easier to go from that, to tyranny.

This isn’t a failure or even really a fault of liberal democracy. It’s a failing by all of us who live in it not to do our damnedest to rise above our baser tendencies and actually think and value good things. I don’t mean by making sure we obey all the Commandments, precepts of the Church, and try to get our governments to (as far as possible in a secular state) follow them too - but by actual thoughtful participation in our democratic processes. There is no such thing as not having enough time to remain at least a little informed of current events, finding out facts for oneself instead of being spoonfed subjective opinion from the left or the right-wing bits of the media.

In an age when it seems we can’t always trust journalists, any more than politicians or business leaders, it is beholden on us, the people, do at least do the job of journalists ourselves: holding everyone else to account. We cannot afford to be narrowminded, or ill-informed, about anything.

Until we have forced a change to restore accountability within all our institutions, we have to do all this ourselves. It’s the only way to restore liberal democracy to what it should be, or at least to point it again in the right direction.


#11

The US is a liberal democracy, haha.

Honestly popular American political discourse is just so bad. There isn’t even an elementary knowledge of political philosophy, history or just the meaning of terms. The Founding Fathers were liberals.

Communism isn’t a totalitarian system, either. It’s a stateless, classless society where the means of production are held in common by all, and goods and labour are distributed and organized according to, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”


#12

They were liberals, but this needs to be explained further because, as you correctly point out, the level of political education today is just pathetic. A liberal back then looked more like a libertarian would today, which is why a lot of us prefer the term classical liberals to distinguish between them.

I disagree about Communism because Communism did actually accept a totalitarian system, but only as a transitional period. It was only intended to last until there were no more classes and capitalist resistance had disappeared. Then, the theory went, people would be ready for a stateless society. Of course, massive concentrations of power are difficult to get rid of and the people in power find them useful, so communism always has led to totalitarianism and never to anything beyond it. The irony of Marx is that the problems he identified in capitalism of lust for power and unbridled avarice are exactly what will always doom Communism, but on a much more devastating scale.


#13

I think this is very true.


#14

I think this is very true.
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Which probably says that capitalism in one vaguely-managed way or another, such as market liberalism, is broadly speaking the natural organisation of economic life in human societies. Communism is in lots of ways a lovely idea. But you and I (and indeed the Church) recognise that in practice it’s totally incompatible with most things that make human beings, human beings.


#15

You really want to denigrate liberals. Would you also say that liberals have a lower level of political education compared to self-identified conservatives?

Regardless of the alleged sins of modern liberals, there is no significant evidence that the religious are persecuted are persecuted in liberal democracies. I do not see any merit to complaining about “liberal democracy”. What is the alternative to liberal democracy does these conservative Catholics envision? Do they want a military junta run by Catholics that actively tortures and murders those who promote values opposed to conservative Catholicism and the interests of economic elite?

I disagree about Communism because Communism did actually accept a totalitarian system, but only as a transitional period. It was only intended to last until there were no more classes and capitalist resistance had disappeared. Then, the theory went, people would be ready for a stateless society. Of course, massive concentrations of power are difficult to get rid of and the people in power find them useful, so communism always has led to totalitarianism and never to anything beyond it. The irony of Marx is that the problems he identified in capitalism of lust for power and unbridled avarice are exactly what will always doom Communism, but on a much more devastating scale.

There is no such thing as “totalitarianism”; it is just a term created to conflate the Soviet Union with Nazi Germany. Its provenance is entirely in propaganda. I never heard anyone describe the Argentine Junta as totalitarian.


#16

The fear is that societies remain liberal in the classical sense as long as they are attached to Christian values. They become liberal in the Progressive sense when they don’t, ala Portugal of 1910 or of Mexico the century before, or of Russia after the revolution, or Nazi socialist Germany, or Romania, or Yugoslavia, or Lithuania then in a more anti religious sense there’s Yemen and Cambodia and dozens and dozens of nations besides.

Have you heard anyone at all argue for this? Anyone?
Who put this vision in your head?


#17

I prefer The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism by Emmanuel Goldstein (aka George Orwell). It’s technically a fictional book within the novel 1984 by George Orwell, but it gives a great understanding of how all governments, sooner or later, end up becoming authoritarian. Additionally, it was just in the last eight years that China (Eastasia) was friendly with America (Oceania) and Russia (Eurasia) was a concern. Now Russia is friendly and China is a concern. And there always seems to be problems in the Middle East and Africa (disputed areas).


#18

Have you heard anyone at all argue for this? Anyone?
Who put this vision in your head?

This forum for example.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=56569
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=320615

The thread has more people defending that style of government.Praising Pinochet and Franco means you are for torture and mass murder and you think a military junta that does would be preferable and benign.

Someone with some sense said:

[quote]I generally agree with the theory of dictatorship, except in it’s Communist form. Most leaders, whether dictators or not, do terrible things, and thus it is important to judge them on the good they did.

Please tell me you are joking. By that measure Hitler was a good leader and we should just ignore the Holocaust, one of the worth human rights atrocity ever.

There is no difference between communist dictators and other types. They all claim to stand for something different, but they all stand for the same thing: everything for my supports and nothing for my opponents. Special rights for me and torture for my opponents.
[/quote]

For instance, there are great things that Stalin did, although anti-communist propaganda takes the stance of ignoring them, such as industrialization of the Soviet Union and winning the war against Nazi Germany. That doesn’t mean Stalin was a good leader or that the Gulag or the mass execution of 1937-38 were justified.

And no Hitler wasn’t a leftist.

Now, how many priests were murdered in Poland under a military junta? How many priests were killed in Chile under Pinochet, in Argentina under Videla, or in El Salvador?


#19

Hitler was absolutely a Progressive Leftist and we can discuss that if you like. Of course he was an earlier version of the Progressive Left and self identified as a progressive Socialist. As you would expect after such a horrifying catastrophe, Progressive socialists of today would not share some of his thoughts, but many of Hitler’s thoughts they still have in common.

I started reading your thread but stopped after the first few posts. Please point specifically to where Catholic Conservatives are arguing for :

a military junta run by Catholics that actively tortures and murders those who promote values opposed to conservative Catholicism and the interests of economic elite?

If any Catholic Conservatives are arguing for that then by definition they are not Catholic nor Conservative. They certainly have no support.

What percentage of Catholic Conservatives do you imagine on this forum would want what you have said?

I am not sure what this has got to do with anything. Are you making the point that there are other bad forms of government other than left socialist dictatorships?

Does it not seem obvious to you that Conservative Catholics would not argue for the kind of regimes that murder Conservative Catholics.

Conservative Catholics don’t argue for those kinds of governments. That should be easy to deduce. Why do you imagine otherwise?


#20

I already did. It is not worth arguing.

I started reading your thread but stopped after the first few posts. Please point specifically to where Catholic Conservatives are arguing for

In the first thread, there were numerous people endorsing Pinochet and Franco.

I am not sure what this has got to do with anything. Are you making the point that there are other bad forms of government other than left socialist dictatorships?

Answer the question and use evidence.

Please note the Poland and East Germany are not run by people sympathetic to communism. The government could look in the archives to see how many people (including priests) were murdered by the Jaruzelski or Honecker.

Does it not seem obvious to you that Conservative Catholics would not argue for the kind of regimes that murder Conservative Catholics.

I said priests.


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