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Why democracies are uniquely unsuited to the moral order and the good of souls August 6, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Christendom, error, foolishness, General Catholic, history, It's all about the $$$, paganism, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the struggle for the Church, Tradition.

I’m reading a highly edifying biography of the great Ecuadorian statesman Gabriel Garcia Moreno.  Garcia Moreno is often held up as the ideal in a Catholic politician in the liberal democratic milieu.  A loyal son of the Church, he conducted all affairs of state in accord with the Truth Christ has revealed through Holy Mother Church.  Like Engelbert Dolfuss, he was made to die for his Catholic Faith.

[This post got long.  If you have to skip most of it, read the third paragraph from the bottom, which starts.….If a man were bold enough……..it gives an excellent summation of the problem of republican government]

This biography of Garcia Moreno was written in roughly 1880 by Redemptorist Father Augustine Berthe.  It was translated into English by Lady Herbert in 1889.  The book starts with a brief overview of the history of many of the Spanish colonies in South America, and their subsequent war for independence under Simon Bolivar.  The book then explores how diabolical masonic influence took Bolivar’s relatively faithful and conservative (but still disordered) views of “liberty” and succeeded in instilling a bitter Jacobin form of government that put the persecution of the Church as its highest priority.

In so doing, author Fr. Berthe lays out some quite cogent criticisms of the libertine democratic-Republican form of government and why it can often be even more repressive and totalitarian than even the most tyrannical monarchies.  By exalting man as the source of all political power and all right, and pushing God either firmly to the side or entirely out of the picture, systems are created which can propagate almost endless degrees of tyranny, and they can wind up being even worse than the worst dictatorships.  While it is theoretically possible for the liberal form of government to exist in accord with the Faith, should it be visibly grounded in Jesus Christ and recognize Christ as the source of all its authority, that has almost never happened in the past.  It should be remembered that all the real horror-show communist states saw themselves as the perfection of “democracy,” had regular “elections” and “representative” political organs, and yet in the name of the “people” these institutions were used to persecute, rob, subjugate, and torment the vast majority of the people.

A few quotes examining the problems of enlightenment-based “liberal” government below:

…….Like all men of 1789, [Bolivar] identified monarchy with despotism and the republic with liberty, confusing form with substance.  His philosophy was Rousseau’s social contract, his gospel the declaration of the rights of man, his principle of government the people’s sovereignty………Everything had to bend before the parliament, that is, the majority representing the people; everything had to bow before the legality it imposed.  We recognize here the liberal and parliamentary theory, a resurrection (in a different form) of regalist despotism.  The revolutionaries said that the monarch’s law had man’s free will as its principle – And is not a parliament composed of men? – A king could repeat the crimes of a Nero or the follies of a Caligula. – Does a majority become infallible or impeccable?  On attaining power, does a party automatically divest itself of these tyrannical passions that we call ambition, cupidity, vengeance, and impiety?  An absolute parliament is the substitution of a despotism of the many for the despotism of one man.  In fact, it is worse; a crowned tyrant may always fear the dagger or insurrection, whereas the uncrowned petty tyrants of our assemblies, impersonal cogs of the legislative machine, have absolutely no responsibility. [Point of clarity: absolutist government grew out of the Renaissance and the glorification of all things Roman.  Since Rome was seen as the height of civilization to that point, shouldn’t government rightly imitate Rome and its tyranny?  Thus developed the theory of royal absolutism/regal despotism, mentioned above, asserting even authority over the Church and spiritual sphere.  From that error we got the protestant revolution and many countries embracing heresy at the behest of their head of state.  So liberalism, meant to correct royal tyranny, has most often emerged as an even more tyrannical form of government.  Our experience in the US and Anglosphere has generally been much happier to date – but many fear that is beginning to change.  Self-serving, elitist, authoritarian “libertine” governments in South America, Africa, and many other locales have been the ruin of these nations.  We may have the same experience here soon]

……..To establish a free government it is essential to find a moral bridle that will curb human will, whether it is the will of an emperor, a king or a parliament, when this human will, borne along by the passions, becomes tyrannical.  This bridle of justice is nothing other than the law of God, interpreted by the Church, His official organ.  God alone, in commanding, does not become a despot, because He is sovereign Truth and sovereign Justice. One can debate the various merits of the respective forms of government and the way they are suited to a particular state or people; but power, in the end – whether the power of an individual, or of an assembly – will always degenerate into tyranny if it is emancipated from divine laws and proclaimed to be absolute. [And I think that’s what more and more morally minded people in this country see today, that this nation is gradually rejecting God’s truth and becoming increasingly despotic.  We see powerful people behaving more and more as if they are above the law, and we see more and more repression of ordinary people.  The examples are far too numerous to list.  Any government not visibly founded on Jesus Christ with Him as its Head and arbiter is ultimately doomed to destruction.]

…….Revolution, based on the satanic principle of man’s absolute sovereignty, was fatally bound to persecute the Church, and the Church would never abdicate the sovereignty she held from God.  [But Cardinal Ratzinger said Guadium Et Spes was a “counter-Syllabus” and a reconciliation?]

How, in the midst of an essentially Catholic country, could a majority hostile to the Church be created in the parliamentary chambers?  In this connection Santander was not ignorant of any of the maneuvers employed by the Europeans (French).  First, in Bogota’ he established a Lodge of Freemasons…….There the unsuspecting were given lessons in English and French, and subsequently they were enrolled in the sect, which was very fashionable at the time. Using their own members who controlled the press, they began a campaign of vilification of the Church and all conservative voices.  As such, this Catholic nation voted for an impressive majority of Freemasons to frame its constitution.  [I have been shocked to learn that the entire forced institution of Church-persecuting libertine government south of the border has been almost entirely founded, financed, and directed by the Lodge.  I had no idea of the depths’ of the Lodge’s diabolical influence.  I can well see why membership involves excommunication, or used to.  Now leading Masons proclaim they no longer need to war against the Church as the Church has become the toothless, indifferent institution the Alta Vendita always desired]

[Masonic favorite Bentham……]  “The majority cannot be resisted in any issue, even if it legislates against religion and natural law, even if it were to command children to kill their fathers”   The revolution….never lays down its arms.  Those it cannot vanquish, it assassinates. 

………Woe betide anyone on the continent of Columbus who dared to impugn the sovereign people, the great idol of the two Americas, or who dared to say that the Church is above the State and the law of the Gospel above the decrees of parliament!

…….Under the barbarous names of secularization and laicization – euphemisms that mean repudiation – have not all the European peoples, like the Americans, broken the ties that united them to Jesus Christ and His Church? ……

……If a man were bold enough to attempt to restore a nation to its condition of normality, that is, to set it on its knees before God, he would find himself confronted with……….Parties of different opinions joining forces into a consolidated army to rescue the sacrosanct principle of the sovereignty of the people, the palladium of modern societies.  Liberals [today’s “conservatives”] and radicals [today’s leftists] war against each other, no doubt, over the question who will govern the state, but they agree wondrously when it comes to proclaiming the state’s absolute supremacy and its divorce from the Church.  The only difference between these brothers and friends is that the radicals, for love of the state, what to kill the Church and shake off its claims forever, whereas the liberals are agreed to let her live, so long as they can throw her in prison whenever she seeks to assert the divine law in opposition to the edicts of the sovereign people.  There is more, however: these rationalistic principles have so penetrated public opinion that one can see a good number of Catholics  [today, virtually all]  rallying to this standard; they are Christians and the Church is their mother, so they consent to obey her; but, as citizens, they regard her as something foreign whose supremacy they cannot accept. [These views cannot be reconciled.  It was acceptance of “separation of Church and state” with the essential supremacy going to the state that started large scale apostasy within the Church.  That is to say, the first error was “Church subordinate to state,” and spread out naturally from there] They want the Catholic Church to be free, like protestantism, Judaism, and islam; but they want the State to be even more free, and absolutely independent.  Political men see this modern “right” as constituting a signal progress in civilization, so much so that those who work to restore the ancient right of the Church are now regarded as retrograde reactionaries.  

———End Quote——–

I know, for Americans, this kind of criticism of democracy comes across as unnatural, unsettling, and even unpatriotic – which only shows the degree to which we have been propagandized into accepting the “natural supremacy” of this form of government.  Anglos seem uniquely well-suited to the form of government they invented – duh – but even here and in Britain the normal checks and balances are breaking down and government of the self-anointed elites, by the elites, and for the elites is becoming more and more the norm.

That’s another key point not mentioned above: all the lip service to the “supremacy of the sovereign will” or the “will of the people” papers over the fact that, for the most part, this is not true.  Throughout history, save for a few relatively brief and idyllic examples, and certainly this is even more true around the world today, the “popular will” contained in even the best “democratic” government is really the will of a connected, moneyed elite.  That may be fine, but it’s not what we are sold.  We are sold the democracy is personal empowerment, but I think more and more people see that as a crock today.

Long post, all done.



1. tg - August 6, 2015

I don’t think there is any form of government ruled by humans that is all good. I wouldn’t trust a king even a Catholic king. Some of them in the past were corrupt. That’s why I never pray for peace on earth because I don’t think there will ever be peace on earth until Jesus Christ rules as King after the resurrection. Even after a chastisement, I think people would go back to their old ways. (When I pray for peace, it’s for peace of mind and heart.)

2. Obsever - August 6, 2015

To add anything to that excellent article would be superfluous, other than to say those forms of government that allow and promote as much decision at the local level are desirable.

3. Brian Springer - August 7, 2015

Interesting analysis, I read this several hours ago and found many of the material posted to be quite sound. Though we should know that while democracy may not be the most sound form of government, and it seldom is, that it is not incompatible with Catholicism. The Catholic Church only ask that the constitution of a state recognizes the rights of the one true God and his Holy Church.

4. c matt - August 7, 2015

My favorite take on democracy remains Mel Gibson’s in The Patriot: Why would I trade one tyrant thousands of miles away for a thousand tyrants one mile away?

Democracy, at its roots, really is a form of non-serviam.

“God, about that fruit on the tree of knowledge, Eve and I put it to a vote and ….”

5. c matt - August 7, 2015

Democracy would work under these conditions: A populace with perfectly formed consciences, wills perfectly aligned to said consciences, and operating with full and accurate knowledge – i.e., nowhere.

6. Karie - August 7, 2015

My problem is what would you have it replaced with? All forms of government are based on men ruling other men. This attracts men who want/love power and never does this end well. And yet we must have laws and a way to enforce those laws to live within a peaceful society. I do not see how pointing out the failings of government is useful if there is no other method with which to govern men.

No use saying the air is foul when there is ought else to breathe.

c matt - August 7, 2015

A constitutional monarchy, where the monarch possesses veto power, but not much else. Maybe a nice hat.

c matt - August 7, 2015

Another option would be a subsidiarity model – do away with the federal government altogether, and let each state enter into mutual treaties with one another as they see fit.

7. H-town - August 7, 2015

Fr. Schall brilliantly writes on the problems we see with arguing for religious liberty within a democracy:


8. Margaret Costello - August 8, 2015

Theocratic Constitutional Monarchy with Parliment. Jesus Christ as King, the Monarch as His steward and protector of tradition, and a Parliment of local reps with a) term limits b) voluntary/no salary. The Constitution would be saturated with Church teaching and Thomism:+) Emphasis on charity and principle of subsidiarity. One can dream:+) God bless~

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