Today’s post is at the Stream Won’t Somebody Please Rescue The Poor Tradinistas Slaving Away As Baristas?
My article is part of a series at Stream on the attempted return of socialism via Christianity, especially Catholicism.
All the best arguments against socialism have been given by Popes in the Catholic Church, and the best summary of these are in the article “A Catholic Socialism?” by somebody calling himself C. W. Strand, especially Part I of that article. Strand is a leader of the nascent Catholic Tradinista movement, which seeks to replace our increasingly crony capitalist cum socialism-lite economic system with a socialism-which-is-not-socialism system. Frying pan, meet fire.
Anyway, Strand realizes the Church must be answered, so he dutifully steps through the points of horror the Church says socialism always causes. One is the “Debasement of marriage and the family.” Pope Leo XIII correctly stated that socialism destroys “the natural union of man and woman”, leading the State to set “aside the parents” and replace them with “State supervision”. As the State steps in, the family weakens further, causing the State to subsume more authority, and so on: a negative feedback.
To this Strand says something like, “The horror is true, but it need not be that way in our version of socialism.” And in similar manner he dismisses each real horror as unthinkable in the Tradinista’s new socialism-which-is-not-socialism.
It’s all very depressing (and very long), but since the Tradinista movement has captured the imagination of those who have not yet had a chance to read the dismal history of socialism-as-practiced, and of those who have read it but believe with Strand that next time we’ll get socialism right, Strand’s errors need discussing.
A difficulty with criticizing the Tradinista movement is the embarrassment of poverties: there are so many things wrong, one must pick and choose carefully. Let’s concentrate on forms of work and “the market”.
Tradinistas condemn “the market”, i.e. people lawfully and freely disposing of their private property. “Markets,” they say, “are vehicles of exploitation when people must sell their labor-power on the market in order to survive.” Tradinista Jose Mena complains Millennials are forced to work at “barista jobs in spite of our college degrees, flip through the internet for empty consolation, and live with our parents.”
Notice Mena, a Princeton graduate, said “college degrees” and not “educations.” He bristles at work he considers non-glamorous and beneath him. How many like him choose not to work rather than debase themselves? If they are not working, who supports them? Well, others, such as parents. Yet Mena would rather have the State provide for him, which concedes Leo’s point. Notice too his admission that rather than working for a wage, he’d waste his day surfing the net instead of doing something constructive. Books at the library are still free, yet no ora et labora for Mena!
[WHAT’S THIS? SOCIALIST TRADINISTAS WOULD COMPEL PEOPLE TO LABOR FOR THE STATE?]
This movement is on the increase, so it’s well worth your time going to Stream and reading the rest.