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Journal Marxist Hacker 42's Journal: Pope Leo XIII had it right 12

More than 126 years ago, he did Libertarianism right, long before the Randroids and the Von Mises Institute got it wrong:


10. From this it is manifest that the eternal law of God is the sole standard and rule of human liberty, not only in each individual man, but also in the community and civil society which men constitute when united. Therefore, the true liberty of human society does not consist in every man doing what he pleases, for this would simply end in turmoil and confusion, and bring on the overthrow of the State; but rather in this, that through the injunctions of the civil law all may more easily conform to the prescriptions of the eternal law. Likewise, the liberty of those who are in authority does not consist in the power to lay unreasonable and capricious commands upon their subjects, which would equally be criminal and would lead to the ruin of the commonwealth; but the binding force of human laws is in this, that they are to be regarded as applications of the eternal law, and incapable of sanctioning anything which is not contained in the eternal law, as in the principle of all law. Thus, St. Augustine most wisely says: "I think that you can see, at the same time, that there is nothing just and lawful in that temporal law, unless what men have gathered from this eternal law."(5) If, then, by anyone in authority, something be sanctioned out of conformity with the principles of right reason, and consequently hurtful to the commonwealth, such an enactment can have no binding force of law, as being no rule of justice, but certain to lead men away from that good which is the very end of civil society.

  Libertas-- Pope Leo XIII

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Pope Leo XIII had it right

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  • Hedonism is slavery to sin, not the purported liberty the liars would have it be.
  • Couldn't understand a word that guy was saying, so have no idea what you mean.

    • I did excerpt section 10, so you *might* click the link and read the whole document if you're interested. There are a few other documents in the same vein- this is part of his series on the twin heresies of Americanism and Gallicism, which are loosely related to his fight against Marxism (being the opposite side of the same evil, materialism).

      But in short, what he's saying is that unlimited liberty is dangerous, that the State does have a role to play, but that the State's role is limited to laws specific

      • Sorry, I wasn't clear; my comment about not understanding was not just on your excerpt, as I did take the link and started (trying to) read it, but gave up after having difficulty in groking. (And then I noticed how long it was!)

        It sounds like he's trying to make the case that "liberty" shouldn't just be loosely defined as freedom, but freedom with certain restrictions. That we should think of that as "liberty".

        While I believe in some restrictions in life, I don't believe in what I see as the bending of tha

        • Not only that- but check out his footnotes. He's basically explaining what the Church has been trying to teach since St. Paul discovered that a Roman Prison was a great place to blog from (well, given the technology of the time).

          He was just trying to bring us *back* to the original meaning of the word Liberty (as opposed to the new definition changed by the Enlightenment, and popularized by the American and French Revolutions).

        • Also- to me a huge part of the problem is that there is almost NO understanding that taken to its extreme freedom can be a bad thing. Thus we just got 99% of Americans voting for additional freedom in one of two areas- sexual and fiscal- despite the utter abuse of freedom we ALREADY have in those two arenas. We're already to the point that we kill on average a million of our own people a year to enable greater sin in those areas between euthanasia, the death penalty, and abortion. How much more extreme f

          • I think it's understood, it's just that the lord of this world tempts us towards destruction; makes it popular, which makes it that much harder for most to resist.

            • The Lord of the World currently being Obama.....I suspect anyway. :-) Sure acts like Satan in some ways.

              But that doesn't mean that the contender for the title wasn't equally tempting- and equally destructive.

              If it is understood, how did we travel so far down this path of destruction *already* to have killed 56 million people and throw several million others into homelessness and starvation?

              Either the temptation is really strong, or the understanding is rather week. Most likely both.

              • If it's understood that eating unhealthy food and too much food and not exercising enough makes us fat and unhealthy, how did we get so far down the path of obesity?

                • It isn't understood. We can't see calories, and most obese people never noticed the change in their lifestyle from active to sedentary until it was much too late.

  • Now I must do more than just dabble with Immanuel Kant...

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen