Monday, September 29, 2014

Catholic Whiggery

The Neo-Conservative Betrayal of Catholic Social Teaching

In the past 20 years or so, we have witnessed, especially here in the United States, the emergence of what some authors have termed, "Catholic Whiggery." This movement, best exemplified by such authors as Michael Novak and Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, is but an attempt at a Catholic version of the more encompassing "Neo-Conservative" movement, which has its origins with anti-Stalinist Trotskyites, who came to be considered "conservatives" during their years of opposition to Soviet Communism during the Cold War.

Led by such intellectuals as Irving Kristol, the "Neo-Cons," as they are called, embraced the "Whig Tradition," which found its modern-day expression in the social and economic writings of Friedrich von Hayek. Hayek, a Libertarian and northern European secularist, attempted to revive and promote the Whig tradition, which advances laissez-faire economics, secular democracy, and religious and cultural pluralism. This Whig tradition could be said to have its ideological origin in the writings of the defender of the English Revolution of 1688, John Locke. (This so-called "Glorious Revolution" was the one which overthrew the legitimate Catholic Stuart monarch James II and placed James's Protestant daughter Mary and her Dutch husband William of Orange jointly on the British throne.)

To understand the "world vision" of these contemporary Liberals (i.e., Libertarians), we must first remember that they themselves trace their ideological origins to the 18th- century Enlightenment.  (more...)

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