What do these three things have in common? It is a very simple principle:"each can be very good in its proper place,Let's take them one at a time.
but highly destructive when allowed to flow
into contexts for which it was not designed."
First, sex is easy. Natural reason tells us that sexual activity is oriented to and leads to procreation and that marriage naturally is the best context for procreation to occur. A child is best off with its biological parents. So it is hardly surprising that every culture has some form of marriage based on the mother-father-child triangle. Sex belongs in marriage and every serious form of natural law or religious morality affirms this conclusion. But sex outside marriage is destructive of personal communion, social stability and children.
So we have in human sexuality a very good thing as long as it remains in its proper context. Yet that very good thing can become perverted, twisted and destructive as soon as it bursts its channels and floods into promiscuity or adultery.
Second, socialism is in many ways a high and noble ideal. As practiced by small, disciplined, voluntary communities, for example, monastic ones, it can be a good way of life. Socialism is not bad except when it bursts its natural bonds and becomes an ideology which is imposed by coercion on society as a whole. I would go so far as to say that coercive socialism is as bad as coercive sex.
Socialism is utopian in the sense that it is incompatible with the fact of original sin. The reason that socialism always leads to tyranny, poverty and atheism in this world is because of the tragic flaw in human nature - not because of the idea of socialism itself. As an idea, it is wonderful. But when implemented in a society of fallen sinners, it becomes horribly destructive.
Third, pacifism is also in many ways a high and noble ideal. As practiced by small, disciplined, voluntary communities, for example, the Amish or monastic orders, it can be a good way of life. Pacifism is not bad except when it bursts its natural bonds and becomes an ideology which is imposed by coercion on society as a whole. I would go so far as to say that coercive pacifism (i.e. the government adopting a pacifist stance on behalf of a population containing both pacifists and non-pacifists) is as bad as coercive sex or coercive socialism.
One other feature that all three of these things have in common is that they are all highly attractive to sentimentalists...
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Some nice Sunday reading from The Politics of the Cross Resurrected blog: