Tuesday, 20 April 2021

The Popes and Democracy - Introduction

By Yves Dupont

"The Democratic Idea favours the nurturing of a human type prepared for slavery in the most subtle sense of the term." (Nietzsche) "It disregards any criterion other than the popular will expressed at the polls and in parliamentary majorities... In the order of ideas, it is an absolute error; in the order of facts, it is absolute disorder." (Dr. Don Felix Sarda Y Salvany, 1886) "It is the complete independence of Man; Man viewed as the sole source of Truth, Goodness, Justice, Authority, Right and Wrong; Man acknowledging no other Lord and God than himself, Morality becomes a matter of common standards - as changing as Man himself; the law of God does not exist." (Rev M. Tamisier, S.J.) This treatise on Democracy was originally written in 1962 shortly before the opening of the Second Vatican Council. It was submitted to a Catholic Publishing House - and rejected. This was understandable; whilst Vatican II marked the triumph of Liberalism and Modernism, it did not initiate those evils; they had been with us for many decades but their subterranean work often passed undetected.

The rejection of this manuscript, then, was not unexpected. As early as 1956 I was aware of the tunnelling work going on within the Church. The intervening years since 1962, however, have made many of my early propositions much more credible now than they were then; civil unrest, often with bloodshed, has spread to every country. Scenes are taking place in the streets of Melbourne which we now take for granted because they have grown gradually, but they were quite unheard of in 1962. I remember discussing with a friend who shared my views that blood would soon be spilled in Melbourne. We agreed that we would be dismissed as "crackpots" if we ever mentioned this publicly. Melbourne, and Australia in general, were then remarkably free from the follies common in Western Europe. But Australia has quickly caught up with the rest of the world and ugly scenes are now not uncommon in our streets. As a result, the very ideals of Democracy are being questioned by writers who, occasionally, find space in newspapers such as "The Age" and the "Herald". This questioning is even more noticeable overseas which shows that the thinking few are beginning to wonder if there is not something radically wrong with our peculiar idea of what a Democracy should be, and if its deceptive appearances are not concealing an incurable canker. In 1962, however, such questioning was virtually unknown. And in 1945, there was such an infatuation with democratic ideas that Pius XII, when he found it necessary to warn against it, thought it expedient to make a somewhat unrealistic distinction between true and false Democracy. Not that the distinction was in itself unreal, but in 1944/45 no Western nation was prepared to admit that _its_ brand of Democracy was false, and that true Democracy in the Thomist sense can, as Pius XII himself said, be found even within an absolute monarchy. The warnings of Pius XII, therefore, fell on deaf ears. Even worse, his encyclical was interpreted as a vindication of Democracy! Why was the West so infatuated with Democracy? The reason is obvious. Hitler had just been defeated, and Hitler, in the eyes of the West, represented the very antithesis of Democracy. This view, of course, was quite absurd: Hitler came to power precisely because of the Democratic constitution of the republic of Weimar, just as Lenin came to power in 1917 thanks to Kerensky's Menshevik Democracy. In a Monarchy he would have had no chance. The Republic of Weimar was indeed democratic, but Germany had just lost World I and her economic situation was beyond repair. Moreover, the German people were smarting under the humiliation of their defeat. The Kaiser who, in 1914, had unsuccessfully tried to dissuade the militarist Prussian Aristocracy, had gone into exile, and was held in the West as the blood-thirsty tyrant responsible for the War. Thus came into being the Republic of Weimar - the brain-child of the democratic West. It did not take very long for Hitler to rise to power as, indeed, the democratic masses always give themselves the worst possible tyrants in times of acute stress. Political Democracy is not a viable, enduring regime; it is essentially unstable, open to intrigues, given to demagogy; it is a process leading to complete disintegration of the Nation first, and of the State eventually. Unrest and violence will grow into anarchy. The Western nations, including Australia (which is culturally Western), will surely experience dictatorship, an evil worse than Democracy, yet its inevitable outcome. (This note was added in 1971. The manuscript has been brought up to date with the inclusion of quotes from the Encyclicals which have been issued since 1962.) THE POPES AND DEMOCRACY "I have long been convinced that institutions that are purely democratic must, sooner or later, destroy liberty, or civilization, or both... Socialism is the infirmity that attends mature democracies." (Lord Acton)

No comments:

Post a comment

Comments are subject to deletion if they are not germane. I have no problem with a bit of colourful language, but blasphemy or depraved profanity will not be allowed. Attacks on the Catholic Faith will not be tolerated. Comments will be deleted that are republican (Yanks! Note the lower case 'r'!), attacks on the legitimacy of Pope Francis as the Vicar of Christ (I know he's a material heretic and a Protector of Perverts, and I definitely want him gone yesterday! However, he is Pope, and I pray for him every day.), the legitimacy of the House of Windsor or of the claims of the Elder Line of the House of France, or attacks on the legitimacy of any of the currently ruling Houses of Europe.