So enjoy the post from Ioannes and then read mine if you have the time. I'd like a whole bunch of holes to be shot in my thinking so I know where I'm going wrong.
Deal W. Hudson at Inside Catholic has a great article entitled, Does the USCCB Understand Subsidiarity? Please left click your mouse cursor on the aforementioned hyperlinked text to read his essay. Simply put, the answer is either "no" or "yes, and we don't care", for the USCCB is wholly given over to liberal progressive Democrat ideals where the Federal Government is the source and wellspring of all solutions to society, and not Jesus Christ. As Mr. Hudson concludes:
It's a good moment in our nation's history for all of us to take a fresh look at our founding documents. And while we are at it, Catholics can lay them alongside the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church and note how a limited government with a separation of powers, as well as a respect for individual liberty and free enterprise, is not antithetical to what is found there.
But no liberal progressive Democrat actually believes in the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence as they are written and originally intended.
By the way, for those who may not know what the technical term "subsidiarity" means, here is its definition:
1. (Christianity / Roman Catholic Church) (in the Roman Catholic Church) a principle of social doctrine that all social bodies exist for the sake of the individual so that what individuals are able to do, society should not take over, and what small societies can do, larger societies should not take over
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (in political systems) the principle of devolving decisions to the lowest practical level
The Church's teaching on Capital and Labor is discussed in Pope Leo XIII's Encyclical Rerum Novarum where socialism is clearly rejected:
...it is clear that the main tenet of socialism, community of goods, must be utterly rejected, since it only injures those whom it would seem meant to benefit, is directly contrary to the natural rights of mankind, and would introduce confusion and disorder into the commonweal. The first and most fundamental principle, therefore, if one would undertake to alleviate the condition of the masses, must be the inviolability of private property.
Pope John Paul II expanded on that in his Encyclical, Centessimus Annus, where (as David Brosnich of the Acton Institute points out) he:
...wrote that the Welfare State was contradicting the principle of subsidiarity by intervening directly and depriving society of its responsibility. This "leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies which are dominated more by bureaucratic ways of thinking than by concern for serving their clients and which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending."
More on this can be found in the article, The Principle of Subsidiarity.
The time has long passed to throw the liberals out of both the Church and their political offices."
Now, onto the boring stuff:
While I agree with all you've said, who do we replace them with? The Republicans, at least the old time party apparatchiks, will use government to support corporate interest, again consolidating all power at the top to the detriment of the people.
I'm hoping that the newly elected Tea Party people won't be co-opted into this country club mentality and will stand strong against central government powers. I guess we'll see just how sincere they are when the vote over the debt ceiling comes up.
I'm quickly losing hope that short of the return of Christ himself we'll never see honest and effective government run for the benefit of the people. Hell, even our much revered Founders went off the reservation as soon as they found themselves in positions of power.
This brings me to something I’ve been thinking about. I am starting to believe that the Founders, sons of the enlightenment all and many or most being Freemasons to boot, made a critical mistake in their understanding of government and it's reverberating today.
Man doesn't create government. He doesn't design it, lend it some of his rights and thus have complete dominion over it. Government is a separate and God created thing. Existing, like man, as a God created object and, just like man, possessing its own rights and responsibilities, fully independent of anything else.
Man can only accede to it or not. He can no more create it than he can create love or honor.
I'm beginning to think that the state exists for man and man exists for the state. Neither can find its true fulfillment, its completeness without the other. We exist parallel to each other and depend on each other to restrain our propensity towards evil and to guide and support our search for the common good.
Both man and government have rights, none of which can completely override those of the other. But the ideas stated in the Declaration of Independence, “with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”, are not true. If they were, how could it be possible for a state to conscript its citizens in times of dire emergency? According to the Declaration we have an “unalienable right” to liberty. In other words, unless we harm the natural law rights of another the state has no right to infringe upon our liberty. Yet, most people would agree that the state has the natural law right to conscript its citizens in time of dire emergency when the survival of the state or its citizens rest upon it. Whether townspeople needed to sandbag because the levee is about to break or the kid drafted into a war that must be won, the state has the authority to demand that the people serve. The state has a natural law right to self defense that presupposes the means to defense in the same way our right to self defense demands that we be allowed to carry weapons, as expressed in the Second Amendment.
Further, do we have the same right to conscript that the government does? If the government derives its powers from the people then it follows it cannot posses rights that the people themselves don't. Because the government possesses the right to conscript I believe this proves the point that its rights stand apart from and are different then those of the people.
So we have a general right to liberty that can be overridden in times of emergency to our state, not an unalienable right. The state should support and protect our general right with the understanding that we have an obligation to suspend our right from time to time to support the state. The state and man are separate entities designed to support and defend each other. Neither is meant to have complete dominion over the other. Both have responsibilities to each other that come with their individual rights.
Further, I've come to the conclusion that the natural, God designed system of government is Monarchy.
When you get done laughing, hear me out.
This is precisely the system of government used by the Church and it has lasted 2000 years. Point out any other government that's made it that long.
Secondly, all government, eventually, and America is no exception, end up with some form of Monarchy. Generally, governments become oligarchies, led by a small group of individuals that pretty much control everything. This is as true for us as it is for most European Monarchies and all others around the world.
I think this natural inclination towards a Monarchy of some sort is an indication that government is just trying to return to form, to assume its true nature. The thing is, they don't become true Monarchies because the people in power don’t want them to be. They become a twisted version of the truth which is incredibly dangerous to the interests of the individual.
A true Monarchy, such as the one in Rome, does understand subsidiarity and practices it. This is why the Church, though it has an earthly king, allows and encourages most of the decision making and day to day operations of its vast empire to be controlled by the parish priest. And it allows the individual member of the Church the freedom to do and say as they please, within the bounds of a very few proclamations of the faith which must be adhered to. Sure there are Church laws but they’re generally light and easy to follow. Most apply to the functioning of the church itself, not to the people that make up the body.
Has it always functioned perfectly? No! Not because of the nature of the government, though. Our problems have come from corrupt individuals in high and low positions of power. But what can we expect? We are a corrupted species, the effects of the fall clouding all our actions.
But, I contend that since the government of the Church was designed from the ground up according to God’s plan and built as a true Monarchy, it has weathered the storms, still standing after all the attacks Satan has thrown at it.
Because America, at a foundational level, is founded upon an idea of government created by man, not God, it won’t stand the test. No republic ever has. No other form of government as ordained by man has ever lasted. Only the one, true Monarchy will still be with us, after all else has failed.
Because of their experience with an oligarchy under the name of Monarchy, the founders believed that Monarchy was inherently corrupt and evil so they designed a system that is in many ways really close to the system of government used by the Church. But it’s not the same thing and that small difference, that distortion of the truth regarding the true nature of government will prove the downfall of all they labored and died for.