|The Prophet Henri de Saint-Simon|
One of the most interesting findings by Dr. Julian Strube of Heidelberg University in Germany is the utter obsession of early socialists (and thus modernists) with creating a terrestrial paradise. This, of course, was nothing new, having been the dream of utopians throughout history. Nor were Christians exempt, as Msgr. Ronald Knox chronicled in his magnum opus, the intensively researched yet entertaining Enthusiasm (1950). As the “New Christian” prophet (yes, he called himself a prophet; most of the early socialists did, or were called so by their fans and followers), Henri de Saint-Simon declared as the goal of the New Christianity,
The whole of society ought to strive towards the amelioration of the moral and physical existence of the poorest class; society ought to organize itself in the way best adapted for attaining this end. (“Saint-Simon,” Encyclopedia Britannica, 19: 14th Edition, 1956, Print.)
No, the urge to impose one’s personal vision of the perfect society with the alleged assistance or at the command of God seems to be almost overwhelming for persons of a certain mindset. It has surfaced in recent years with a vengeance with the call for “the Great Reset,” presented as if it was something completely new on the scene instead of the same old socialist/modernist same old.
|The Prophet Klaus Schwab|
As Klaus Schwab, the purported prophet of the Great Reset (revealed in glowing terms in a number of books with various co-authors) has declared as the goal of his vision,
The economic activities of such private actors [i.e., “private individuals and companies”] must also be protected and guided, to ensure the overall direction of economic development is beneficial to society, and no actor can freeride on the efforts of others. (Klause Schwab and Peter Vanham, Stakeholder Capitalism: A Global Economy that Works for Progress, People and Planet. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2021, 173.)
A problem arises with these fine-sounding words, however, when twenty or so pages later we read, “In principle, each stakeholder contributes it can in stakeholder capitalism and receives what it needs, to achieve the most successful societal outcomes.” (Ibid., 193-194.)
There is also a problem with how Schwab defines stakeholder: “everyone who as a ‘stake’ in the success of a firm” . . . which doesn’t really define the term (you can't define a term with the term; Peter Sellers in What's New, Pussycat reading a dictionary defining "lascivious adulterer" as "a man who is a lascivious adulterer"). It is sufficiently vague to be able to include everybody and everything (given the interconnectedness of all existence), or nobody and nothing (depending how “freerider” is defined).
For example, someone in Antarctica can be defined as a stakeholder in my farm and be included in the benefits, as the global effect of my growing a crop is real, albeit generally infinitesimal, while I could be excluded as a freerider because it is the Earth that is really growing the crop, not me.
|The Prophet Adolf Hitler|
Everything ends up depending on whether someone is a favored individual or group, or whether someone is out to “get” him, her, or them. Schwab’s vision calls to mind George Sabine’s rather pithy commentary on the deliberate vagueness of the law in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany:
[J]udicial discretion was extended practically without limit. The law itself was made studiously vague, so that all decision became essentially subjective. The penal code was amended in 1935 to permit punishment for any act contrary to “sound popular feeling,” even though it violated no existing law. . . . Totalitarianism undertook to organize and direct every phase of economic and social life to the exclusion of any area of permitted privacy or voluntary choice. But it is important to observe what this type of organization concretely meant. First and foremost it meant the destruction of great numbers of organizations that had long existed and that provided agencies for economic and social activities. [Organizations] which had existed on a voluntary basis and were self-governing, were either wiped out or were taken over and restaffed. Membership became virtually or actually compulsory, . . . The result was a paradox. Though the individual was “organized” at every turn, he stood more alone than ever before. (George H. Sabine, A History of Political Theory, Third Edition. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1961, 918-919.)
Even the call for
organizing the economy in the presumed most efficient way by imposing State
controls and redistributing production is not original with Schwab . . . nor
with John Maynard Keynes, who called for the same thing, ironically setting the
stage for the very problems Scwab is trying to solve by doing the same thing! (Of course, Keynesian economics embodies an inherent paradox: you can't finance new capital unless you cut consumption to save, but there's no reason to form new capital if you reduce consumption by the required amounts. Harold Moulton resolved the Keynesian paradox by pointing out that savings achieved by increasing production in the future are better for financing new capital than reducing consumption in the past, but Keynes declared that is impossible . . . even though the technique has been used since the dawn of civilization. . . . )
|The Prophet John Maynard Keynes|
In addition to calling for the abolition of small ownership (“the euthanasia of the rentier, of the functionless investor” — John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, V.24.ii), Keynes also demanded that the government control allocation of resources, rates of return, and the redistribution of income:
The State will have to exercise a guiding influence on the propensity to consume partly through its scheme of taxation, partly by fixing the rate of interest, and partly, perhaps, in other ways. . . . I conceive, therefore, that a somewhat comprehensive socialization of investment will prove the only means of securing an approximation to full employment; . . . But beyond this no obvious case is made out for a system of State Socialism which would embrace most of the economic life of the community. (Ibid., V.24.iii.)
In other words, as long as the State controls the economy, it does not need to extend socialism any further!
Viewed objectively, the Great Reset is nothing more than Keynesian economics under a new name, while Keynesian economics is simply an updating of Saint-Simonianism, “the New Christianity,” or “the Democratic Religion.”
Thus it comes as no surprise that the Catholic Church has deemed socialism/modernism “a theory of society utterly foreign to Christian truth.” And what the Church did about it will be in the next posting on this subject.#30#