The Catholic Counter-Reformation in the 21st Century
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140. The solution of the social problem

1. Mutual agreements, organised to varying degrees, enable an economic and social network to be forged among families and enterprises. This very active, flexible network is thus capable of constantly adapting itself to real needs. It is the ideal framework for resolving what is called “ the social problem ”. It has been poisoning life in our countries ever since the Revolution transformed everyday human relationships into a perpetual and omnidirectional antagonism by bringing about the triumph of individualism.

On the contrary, communitarian ecology reconstitutes the harmony of social life by restoring work to its true end, which is family prosperity, and to its primary reality, that of the free association of heads of families for the safeguarding of their material life and their best advantage through a prudent co-operative of their goods and of their work.

2. It is by bringing the social problem down to its strictest and most human proportions, by putting it in the context of local and regional communities, trading, industrial and professional activities, instead of imprudently extending it to the national level, or even the multinational and international level, that collaboration and mutual service between the various members of the world of work will prevail in men’s minds, as they do in daily reality, over the antagonism of private interests and systematic class warfare.

To rent land or to cultivate it, to lend money or invest it in an undertaking, to employ workmen or to apply for work, are fraternal human acts, mutual agreements establishing a common interest, the success, stability and better development of which has to be ensured by the prudence of the beneficiaries. It is amazing that in our Christian political society, these myriads of human relationships in the material order have become as many sparks in one great blaze of hatred, firebrands of discord between faceless and soulless collective powers in a world suddenly struck by destructive madness.

3. The immense complexity of modern economic life must not discourage those who invoke charity in order to establish a true fraternity – which is the consequence of respect for paternity, i.e. respect for authority at every level of social life – from proposing clear ecological principles, simple corporatist solutions to the social problem, drawn from reflection on nature and on history. Such principles will in any case be truer, more just, and more likely to succeed than any of the inhuman and irrational theories of those who, in the name of liberty and equality, have piled ruin upon ruin and have led the modern world to unavoidable catastrophe.

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