THE Global Justice Movement Website

THE Global Justice Movement Website
This is the "Global Justice Movement" (dot org) we refer to in the title of this blog.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Redefining Humanity

As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, redefining a natural right means that you are, in effect, redefining what it means to be human.  That’s because natural law is based on human nature, so redefining its principles effectively redefines what it means to be human.


The job of being a human person is no longer acquiring and developing virtue to become more fully human (“virtuous”), but to be taken care of materially.  Thus, what often happens is that the meaning and purpose of life then shifts from becoming more fully human, to ensuring an acceptable quality of life.

This can be disastrous.  Why?

Becoming more fully human and enhancing quality of life can be related and are sometimes indistinguishable.  More often, however, focusing on quality of life instead of the meaning of life leads to those with power determining for others what constitutes an acceptable quality of life.  This can and does lead to abortion, euthanasia, sterilization, and other measures for those deemed “unworthy of life” or whose quality of life does not meet certain standards. (See, e.g. Karl Binding and Alfre Hoche, Die Freigabe der Vernichtung lebensunwerten Lebens (1920) — “Permitting the Destruction of Life Unworthy of Life,” the pamphlet the Nazis used to justify their T-4 Euthanasia Program.)

Robert Owen


What tends to baffle many people today is that, from a personalist perspective, there isn’t really too much of a difference (if any) between capitalism and socialism.  Many people are surprised, in fact, to discover that the first socialists were capitalists, when they weren’t of the nobility or the bourgeoisie.

Robert Owen, whose followers pretty much pre-empted the term socialism (much to the chagrin of the Saint-Simonian Pierre Leroux, who invented the term as a pejorative, and Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, who had to find a new term for their system and chose “communism”) was one of England’s wealthiest men.  Friedrich Engels was also a wealthy factory owner.

Consequently, democratic socialism and inclusive capitalism do not appear to differ materially from stakeholder capitalism, and therefore the same criticisms apply.  As for the Universal Basic Income (UBI), it is not itself a complete proposal, nor does it pretend to be.  It appears instead to be one of the elements often proposed within stakeholder capitalism.

Objectively, UBI is redistribution.  As such, it increases consumption without a corresponding increase in production.  Whether funded out of direct taxation, charitable contributions or increases in debt, the UBI (like the Great Reset itself) effectively “punishes” productive activity and rewards unproductive activity.  This throws an economy out of balance and inhibits or prevents people from becoming more fully human — virtuous.

And the bottom line here?  If you take away the fundamental principles of anything, you change the thing.  This might be acceptable in many areas, but not in natural law.