22 September, 2021

Subsidiarity, COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates, and Testing Mandates

I would like to apologize for the delay in getting articles posted lately. There have been several factors for this. One of those will be the topic of this post. This article will consist of a series of letters between my employer and myself regarding a vaccine mandate issued by the governor of my state and my request to get a religious exemption and accommodation. I have redacted or initialized names for privacy, and removed any contact information, but the letters are otherwise as they occurred, including typos. How does this apply to distributism? It applies to the question of subsidiarity and the extent to which state (and federal) government can dictate medical procedures on individuals. 

I realize that this is a very contentious topic, especially these days, but it is an important one as many states in the US and many countries around the world are implementing restrictive policies that very few would have dreamed were possible in February of 2020. Many are saying we are rushing headlong into totalitarianism. I think we are already there.
 
I would also like to state that nothing in the following is intended to be a judgment against anyone who chose to get the vaccine, including Catholics who came to different conclusions on these matters than I did.

29 June, 2021

Where Are We Headed?


 
Western democracies like to consider themselves as the bastion of freedom, especially the United States. Even beyond that, people in Western democracies are taught and believe that Enlightenment Liberalism introduced freedom to society as never before, again, especially in the United States. Ironically, an actual examination of the pre and post revolutionary governments reveals that this was never actually true. As libertarian, John Attarian, points out, "... by every measure, our government is more tyrannical towards Americans than King George's at its worst."[1] From its beginnings, our federal government had more power to trample our freedoms than the English monarchy. As the English parliament gained more direct power over government, it also increased the power it had over the English people. While we have not (yet) gone quite as far as the Soviet Union, China, and other socialist regimes, Western democracies have relentlessly increased their totalitarian powers over their subjects. As we move further away from any form of subsidiarity dispersion of power in our societies, we should ask ourselves where we are headed.

09 June, 2021

A Road Not Taken

by Thomas Storck
 
On Sunday May 8, 1949 The New York Times published a short article entitled "Vatican Paper Assails 'Atheism' in Capitalism." Consisting of only three short paragraphs the article refers to an article just published in the Vatican's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, and written by that paper's editor-in-chief, Count Giuseppe Dalla Torre. The Times quotes Dalla Torre that "capitalism `is atheistic in its structure: gold is its God,'" and goes on to say that the article "defines capitalism as substantially greedy and says its aim is to dominate because it is never satisfied." 

15 March, 2021

Can We Return to the "Old Normal?"

Now that we have reached the one year point of "two weeks to flatten the curve,"[1] some states in the US are starting to reopen their economies. This is considered to be a great relief for many who have struggled to maintain a living during this time. Even for those whose livelihoods were wiped out, there is a sense of relief that they can finally try to rebuild and restart a "normal" life. Their hope is that they will finally be able to return to how things were before the "lock down" started. For some, this is bringing to the surface a question that others have been asking for several months; can we return to the "old normal?" After such a great and lengthy disruption, can our lives truly get back to the way they were?
 

27 February, 2021

They Don't Really Believe in the "Free Market!"


It might be assumed that those who believe in the "free market" would be happy and supportive when people engage in that market. You might think this would especially be the case when average people engaging in the market are successful and look like they are going to make a lot of money. After all, isn’t one of the claims in defense of capitalism that anyone can succeed and that it is supposedly the first economic system that allowed people to improve their state in life? Recent events make it clear this is not the case, at least not for those who are already “big players” in the market and who wield significant economic, and therefore political, power.

18 February, 2021

On the Foundations of Distributism: Property, Family, Politics, Economy. Part 4

 
The following is the English version of part four of an article/interview by Thomas Storck, “Sui Fondamenti del Distributismo: Propriet√†, Famiglia, Politica, Economia,” published in Bollettino di dottrina sociale della Chiesa, July/Sept. 2020, pp. 73-84.
 
For information on the Italian publication, see here.