Works of Charity, Social Service, Associations of Employers or Workers

February 25, 2021

[previous]

A. Works of Charity, Social Service, Associations of Employers, Workers, and So Forth

a. To the degree that these works normalize social and economic life, they are prejudicial to the development of the revolutionary process. In this sense, they are ipso facto precious auxiliaries of the Counter-Revolution, even if only in an implicit and indirect way.

b. Nevertheless, in this respect, it is worthwhile to call to mind some truths that are unfortunately often obscured among those who devote themselves selflessly to these works.

• There is no doubt that such works can alleviate and, in some cases, eliminate the material necessities that are the cause of so much unrest among the masses. But the spirit of the Revolution does not arise primarily from misery. Its root is moral and therefore religious.1 Accordingly, to the extent their particular nature allows, these works must promote a religious and moral formation that gives special emphasis to warning souls of the revolutionary virus, which is so powerful in our days.

• Holy Mother Church compassionately encourages everything that might relieve human miseries. She does not blind herself to the fact that she cannot eliminate all of them, and she preaches a holy resignation to sickness, poverty, and other privations.

The Sister of Charity by George Hardy

• Undoubtedly in these works there are precious opportunities for creating a climate of understanding and charity between employers and workers and, consequently, for demobilizing those who are on the brink of class struggle. But it would be incorrect to suppose that kindness always disarms human wickedness. Not even the innumerable benefits conferred by Our Lord during His earthly life deterred the hatred the wicked had for Him. Thus, although in the fight against the Revolution one should preferably guide and enlighten souls in an affable manner, it is evident that, against its various forms — Communism, for example — a direct and express combat by all just and legal means is licit and generally even indispensable.

Jesus in the House of Annas. Painting by José de Madrazo y Agudo.

• It is particularly to be observed that these works should inculcate in their beneficiaries or associates a true sense of gratitude for the favors received, or, when it is not a question of favors but of acts of justice, a real appreciation for the moral uprightness that inspires such acts.

St. Francis de Sales High School. It was the girls high school. Operated from 1899 to 1970. It was built and operated by St. Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for its whole time of operation. The both schools together educated 15,000 Indian and Black students.

• In the preceding paragraphs, we had principally the worker in mind. It should be pointed out, however, that the counter-revolutionary does not systematically favor one social class or another. While highly zealous for the right of property, he should nevertheless remind the higher classes that it is not enough for them to fight the Revolution in the fields in which it attacks their personal interests, and, paradoxically, to favor it — as one so often sees — by word or example in every other terrain, such as in family life, at the beaches, swimming pools, and other diversions, in intellectual and artistic pursuits, and so on. A working class that follows their example and accepts their revolutionary ideas will inevitably be used by the Revolution against the “semi-counterrevolutionary” elites.

• An aristocracy and a bourgeoisie that vulgarize their manners and dress in order to disarm the Revolution harm themselves. A social authority that degrades itself is comparable to the salt that has lost its savor. It is good for nothing save to be cast out and trodden on by men.2 In most cases, the scorning multitudes will do just that.

• Although maintaining their station in life with dignity and energy, the upper classes should have direct and benevolent contact with the other classes. Charity and justice practiced at a distance are inadequate to establish links of truly Christian love among the social classes.

Douglas MacArthur as a student at West Texas Military Academy in the late 1890s.

• Above all, those who own property should remember that if there are many people willing to prevent communism from encroaching on the right to private property (regarded, of course, as an individual right with a function that is also social), it is because this is desired by God and intrinsically according to Natural Law. Now, this principle refers to the property of the worker as much as to that of the employer. Consequently, the same principle behind the anticommunist struggle should lead the employer to respect the right of the worker to a just wage, in keeping with his own needs and those of his family. It is worth recalling this in order to emphasize that the Counter-Revolution is not only the guardian of the property of the employer but of that of the worker too. Its struggle is not on behalf of groups or classes, but for principles.

1Cf. Leo XII, encyclical Graves de Communi, January 18, 1901, in Wynne, The Great Encyclical Letters of Pope Leo XIII, pp. 485-486.
2Cf. Matt. 5:13.

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Revolution and Counter-Revolution (York, Penn.: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, 1993), Part II, Chapter XI, pg. 108-110.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Previous post:

Next post: