Just as the Diverse Members in the Human Body Are Arranged Among Themselves, So Also the Social Classes Should Integrate in Society

May 19, 2016

[In the encyclical Rerum Novarum, of May 15, 1891, Pope Leo XIII affirms]:

The great mistake made in regard to the matter now under consideration is to take up with the notion that class is naturally hostile to class, and that the wealthy and the workingmen are intended by nature to live in mutual conflict. So irrational and so false is this view, that the direct contrary is the truth.

Just as the symmetry of the human frame is the resultant of the disposition of the bodily members, so in a State is it ordained by nature that these two classes should dwell in harmony and agreement, and should, as it were, groove into one another, so as to maintain the balance of the body politic.

Painting by George Morland 1788

Each needs the other: Capital cannot do without Labor, nor Labor without Capital. Mutual agreement results in pleasantness of life and the beauty of good order; while perpetual conflict necessarily produces confusion and savage barbarity.

(Rev. John J. Wynne, S.J., ed. The Great Encyclical Letters of Pope Leo XIII [New York: Benziger Brothers, 1903], p. 218).

Nobility book

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII: A Theme Illuminating American Social History (York, Penn.: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, 1993), Documents V, p. 480.

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