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    • Carl

      I feel inferior adding to this because I

    • Cord Hamrick

      That was just wonderful, Joe.

      Y’know, if I’d waited about four extra years from the time you and I first started conversing via comboxes, and started now, I don’t think I’d have spilled nearly so many pixels on you, because there’s now so little daylight between our two views! But then I’d have been denied the privilege of debating with someone who answered exhaustively and without rancor, which is all too rare in the world.

      Thanks for a great analysis now, and all the enjoyable jousting in previous years. I doff my hat to you, sir.

    • Joe H

      Thanks to you both.

      Cord, the feeling is mutual. Though I’m sure if we looked hard enough we’d find something to amicably debate smilies/smiley.gif

    • Mary

      Actually, I think the problem with Locke’s state of nature is that it hypothesizes a man who predates society, not the state. Who springs into life fully grown and with no need for gratitude toward his parents

    • Teresa

      This is brilliant Joe!!

      I have only known you via the blogosphere for a matter of months now but have come to know you as a brilliant stalwart and defender of Catholic political thought.
      God Bless!

    • lIBERTAS

      >But, when what necessity demands has been supplied, and one’s standing fairly taken thought for, it becomes a duty to give to the indigent out of what remains over. “Of that which remaineth, give alms.” It is a duty, not of justice (save in extreme cases), but of Christian charity — a duty not enforced by human law. (RN, 22; emphasis added)

      Repeat, “a duty NOT enforced by human law”. While Rerum Novarum speaks to some excesses of capitalism, it categorically denounces socialism and communism. It encourages catholic business people to voluntarily to treat their employees properly, as true catholics would. Yet somewhere along the line Catholic social action has been twisted and hijacked into charity at the point of a govt gun, presumably for expediency. And the virtue of prudence is quickly thrown out by those adhering to – the end justify the means.

      Excellent article and a good reason to rediscover our Catholic roots.

    • Michael

      It is no accident that Locke was English, the only country in Europe at that time, not to be heavily influenced by Roman Law.

      Now, the Romans were a people who hated work, despised commerce and lived by plundering and enslaving their neighbours. To be successful at this (and they were very successful) it was necessary to cultivate certain very real virtues: courage, perseverance, self-control, prudence, discipline, constancy in misfortune, devotion to the community. Liberty meant sharing in the government, which is to say, in overseeing the sharing of the spoils and the most honourable as well as the most lucrative professions were those of the soldier, the politician and the jurist. Property, of course, was a matter of pure positive law; to argue that everyone is entitled to the produce of his labour would have challenged the very foundations of a state founded on rapine and slavery.

      Nothing is more characteristic of Roman Law than the stark distinction it draws between possession, which is a fact and ownership, which is a right.

      You can see this principle working to great effect in the French Revolution. Take Mirabeau (a moderate)

    • jason

      I have always read RN as a middle course (though not exactly a third way) between Locke and Marx. So, this article doesn’t strike me as so revolutionary. However, my sense is that this article represents a correction to the way CST in general is taught in American academe, particularly in Catholic institutions, where there is typically a marked bias toward Liberation Theology. LT has become for many THE motivation for teaching CST, reducing the great CST tradition to mere prelude. Thanks for writing on this subject in such a clear and necessary way.

    • Maureen

      Locke studied Bellarmine, the Spanish natural law guys, etc. Not a secret, though he emphasized the point lightly during his time. So yeah, Locke having made himself part of the natural law tradition in this area, of course Leo found him congenial. Nobody’s surprised that Lewis and certain Catholic theologians agree on certain things.

    • John Zmirak

      A bravura performance! I always did see similarities between Locke and Leo on this point, but assumed they were a coincidence, or an example of two men independently spotting the same truth. PLEASE continue your fine work exploring Catholic Social Teaching, showing that it is NOT merely a plea for moralistic bureaucracy.

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