Thursday, January 5, 2012

Catholics and Libertarianism

Some people think that between these never the twain shall meet. Ryan McMacken begs to differ with Six Myths Catholics Tell About Libertarians. Go and read it, so you know what the false differences are.

Are there real differences? Surely so. The Church believes it is appropriate for the State to restrain immorality such as pornography, contraception, and fornication by law. Libertarians do not. But I think a more laissez-faire state is better for the Church than any other. Certainly we would not have Belmont Abbey going to court for the right to enroll their employees in a health insurance plan which does not fund grave sins like contraception and abortion, or Christian counseling students told that they must never allow their belief that homosexual acts are gravely sinful and that same-sex attraction is gravely disordered to affect how they perform their jobs.

A more laissez-faire state would also provide a better means of obtaining Distributist ends. Distributism favors smaller enterprises, and more widely dispersed ownership of the means of production. Big corporations typically must rely on powerful governments that can override the property rights of individuals. Nearly anyone who wants a large parcel of land in any sort of urban area must get the local government to declare current property "blighted" (thus taking its value away from current owners) or use eminent domain (directly taking property from current owners) or some other trick to do so in a time and cost efficient manner. Without the county or the city or the state or whoever to force current owners to give up their property, they would only rarely be able to get really big.

But what do you think?

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