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FUMARE

Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Obama Needs to Read "Caritas in Veritate"



Real Clear Politics has a video posted of Obama on the Today Show being asked about placing a sur-tax on the rich to pay for universal socialized health care. The clip has a revealing exchange:

Today asks if the sur-tax is basically "punishing the rich." Obama responds: "If I can afford to do a little bit more so that a whole bunch of families out there have security when I already have security, that's part of being a community."

Mr. Obama what you are doing undermines community, breaks down solidarity and destroys the essential and necessary basis for forming community - the principle of gratuitousness.

See from Caritas in Veritate:

When both the logic of the market and the logic of the State come to an agreement that each will continue to exercise a monopoly over its respective area of influence, in the long term much is lost: solidarity in relations between citizens, participation and adherence, actions of gratuitousness, all of which stand in contrast with giving in order to acquire (the logic of exchange) and giving through duty (the logic of public obligation, imposed by State law). In order to defeat underdevelopment, action is required not only on improving exchange-based transactions and implanting public welfare structures, but above all on gradually increasing openness, in a world context, to forms of economic activity marked by quotas of gratuitousness and communion. The exclusively binary model of market-plus-State is corrosive of society, while economic forms based on solidarity, which find their natural home in civil society without being restricted to it, build up society. The market of gratuitousness does not exist, and attitudes of gratuitousness cannot be established by law. Yet both the market and politics need individuals who are open to reciprocal gift. (para 39)

You can't create community by State imposed sanctions, and being part of a "community" that imposes this form of public obligation on the wealthy, is clear evidence that a "community" no longer exists.

Obama's statement reflects either his cynicism or simply wide-eyed ivory tower neo-Marxism, but what it doesn't reflect is an understanding of what it means to be a human being and its corollary, what it means to be part of a human community.





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