MONDAY, 28 JUNE 2010

Social order on the surface

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Government is growing again, just over the past few days. Front-page news going into the weekend declared that Washington is ready to take on  new and expanded regulatory roles in the banking industry.

It can be hard to wrap your head around the eye-glazing reports on financial markets and Wall Street and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and political entanglement with investment banking, but the American Thinker has some sharp commentary and the following conclusion:

This commentary provides a flavor of what the bill did not do, despite the congratulatory and back-slapping pictures of pols declaring success.  The reality is that the bill will  be harmful over and above the fact that it did not solve the problem.

It is another of these 2,000 page monstrosities with God-knows what buried in the detail. Another bill that no one has read or understands. Another bill with special interest provisions tucked in the fine print. Probably another bill, like healthcare, that has internal inconsistencies that will require on-going interpretations and modifications to make it even workable.

The health care legislation pushed and shoved and rushed through was and remains a massive government expansion in ways we little know as yet. In fact, members of Congress who voted it into passage were largely motivated by politics and party direction. That happened here again.

An economy cannot prosper when capital is allocated politically. Capital is scarce and must be allowed to flow to the highest and best economic uses. Instead, we will be moving more toward central planning. Washington rather than markets will be allocating more of the available capital.  Your standard of living is going to decrease unless you are politically connected.

This is disconcerting to anyone who believes in a free market economy, which reminds me of an Acton Institute event I attended not long ago, at which Fr. Robert Sirico spoke of government interventionism and creeping socialism. He remarked, frankly, that people are afraid to use the term, but it is what it is, and it is spreading, in the name of social justice.

He said ‘there’s a moral impulse behind big movements like abolition, and civil rights, and equal opportunity…but it is co-opted by politicians.’

Politicians are not our leaders in a rightly ordered society, they are our followers…Not all views of culture are equal. but we can’t engage socially on our disagreements because everything becomes political…

There is no legislature that can govern the human heart…A correct understanding of who the human person is is important to social ordering. Man is prior to the state. You can’t have a ‘common good’ if the good of the individual is not taken into consideration first.

Statism is expanding in the U.S. right now under the guise of ‘the common good.’ Acton is only one institute engaging the debate about how Washington is handling the moral and ”economic dimension of human reality,” but we’d better pay attention.

Take that financial regulations bill, for instance. It’s not as dry as it sounds.

As Rep. Jeb Hensarling said during a conference committee meeting, “My guess is there are three unintended consequences on every page of this bill.”…

Sen. Christopher Dodd said the bill “deals with every single aspect of our lives.”

Now there’s a pause for thought.

Given that we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg, that’s a scary prospect.



 
 

We are in the arena of ideas, exploring issues of the day in a way that promotes critical thinking skills and intellectual honesty. Here in the Report you can expect fair reporting on topics in the news and beyond the headlines with a perspective you may not be getting in big media and the politically charged blogosphere. Don’t expect political correctness though, because politics don’t determine what’s correct. This space is grounded in the natural law and moral order. That requires civility, goodwill and an openness to truth and reason. And always striving for a healthy sense of humor and a touch of grace.

Because everything is political and politics have subsumed just about everything, the Reports will cover just about anything that impacts modern culture. The great statesman Sir Thomas More taught, by the noble witness of his life and his death, that “man cannot be separated from God, nor politics from morality.” Our focus is how academia, law, politics, entertainment and faith impact individuals and the pre-eminent human right of dignity.

Christopher Dawson wrote of the Christians in 1935: “The great danger we have to meet is not the danger of violent persecution but rather that of the crushing out of religion from modern life by the sheer weight of a State-inspired public opinion and by the mass organization of society on a purely secular basis. Such a state of existence has never occurred before because the State has never been powerful enough to control every side of social life. The coming conflict is not one between religion and secular civilization but rather between the God-religious and the social-religions – in other words between the worship of God and the cult of the State.”

It seems we are there. Let’s engage the debate of ideas. Share yours in the comments, or send thoughts, recommendations, encouragement and well-intended humour to Sheila@MercatorNet.com.


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