CRAIGforCONGRESS

Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives

  
 

 

 

Congressional Issues 2010
EASY ESSAYS
by Peter Maurin



A Collection of Peter Maurin's "Easy Essays"


Looking for Leadership

Catholic Worker Philosophy

Historical Background

Legalized Usury

Works of Mercy

Criticism and Marxism

Communitarianism

Agrarianism

Farming Communes

What They Say They Believe

Disarmament


No Recourse

1. Politicians used to say:
     "We make prosperity
     through our wise policies."

2.  Business men used to say:
     "We make prosperity
     through our private enterprise."

3.  The workers did not have anything to say
     about the matter;

4.  They were either put to work
     or thrown out of employment

5.  And when unemployment came
     the workers
     had no recourse
     against the professed makers
     of prosperity,
     politicians and business men.
[Contents]

Politics Is Politics

1. A politician is an artist
      in the art of following the wind
      of  public opinion.
2. He who follows the wind
      of public opinion
      does not follow
      his own judgement.
3. And he who does not follow 
      his own judgement
      cannot lead people
      out of the beaten path.
4. He is like the tail of a dog
      that tries to lead the head.
5. When people stand behind their president
      and their president
      stands behind them
      they and their president
      go around in a circle
      getting nowhere.
[Contents]

Classes And Clashes

1. Business men say
     that because everybody is selfish
     business must necessarily
     be based on selfishness.

2. But when business
     is based on selfishness
     everbody is busy
     becoming more selfish.

3. And when everybody is busy
     becoming more selfish,
     you have classes and clashes.

4. Business men create problems;
     they do not solve them.
[Contents]

Teachers Of Subjects

1. Out business managers
     don't know how to manage
     the things they try to manage,
     because they don't understand
     the things they try to manage.

2. So they turn to college professors
     in the hope of understanding
     the things they try to manage.

3. But college professors
     do not profess anything,
     they only teach subjects.

4. As teachers of subjects,
     college professors
     may enable people
     to master subjects,
     but mastering subjects
     has never enabled anyone
     to master situations.
[Contents]

The Age Of Treason

1. Pope Pius IX and Cardinal Newman
     consider liberalism,
     whether it be
     religious, philosophical, or economic,
     the greatest error of the nineteenth century.

2. Modern liberalism
     is the logical sequence
     of the so-called age of Enlightenment-
     the age of Voltaire, Rousseau, Thomas Paine-
     sometimes called the Age of Reason
     in opposition to the Age of Faith.

3. By sponsoring nationalism and capitalism
     modern liberals
     have given up the search for truth
     and have become paid propagandists.

4. Modern liberals have ceased to appeal to reason,
     and have chosen to appeal to prejudice.

5. So the Age of Reason
     has become the age of Treason,
     as Julien Benda points out
     in his book entitled:
     "The treason of the Intellectuals".
[Contents]

Church And State

1. Modern Society
     believes in the separation
     of Church and State.

2. But the Jews
     did not believe in it.

3. The Greeks
     did not believe in it.

4. The Romans
     did not believe in it.

5. The Mediaevals
     did not believe in it.

6. The Puritians
     did not believe in it.

7. Modern society
     has separated Church and State
     but it did not separate the State
     from business.

8. The State is no longer
     a Church's State.

9. The State is now
     a Business Men's State.
[Contents]

Getting Stuck

1. Ethical teachers seem to wish
     every worker to be a stockholder
     and every stockholder to be a worker.

2. As a stockholder
     the worker wants bigger dividends.

3. As a worker
     he wants bigger wages.

4. And the stock promoters
     stock him with stocks
     till he gets stuck.

5. And labor organizers
     promise him better conditions
     and exact bigger dues.

6. And the worker
     finds himself exploited
     both by stock promoters
     and labor organizers.
[Contents]

A Modern Pest

1. "What ails modern society
     is separation
     of the spiritual
     from the material",
     says Glenn Frank.

2. "Secularism is a pest",
     says Pius XI.

3. When religion
     has nothing to do
     with education,
     education,
     education is only
     information;
     plenty of facts,
     but no understanding.

4. When religion
     has nothing to do
     with politics,
     politics is only
     factionalism:
     "Let's turn the rascals out
     so our good friends
     can get in."

5. When religion 
     has nothing to do
     with business,
     business is only 
     commercialism:
     "Let's get what we can
     while the getting is good."
[Contents]

Shouting With Rotarians

1. The modern man looks for thought
     so that he can have light,
     and he is unable to find it
     in our modern schools.

2. According to Professor Meiklejohn,
     "Students go school
     not to be directed
     but to become business men."

3. According to Glenn Frank,
     President of the University of Wisconsin,
     "Schools reflect the environment,
     they do not create it."

4. Which explains why
     shortly after their graduation,
     school graduates could be heard
     shouting with Rotarians:
     "Service for profits",
     "Time is money",
     "Keep Smiling",
     "Business is business",
     "How are you making out?"
     "The law of supply and demand",
     "Competition is the life of trade",
     "Your dollar is your best friend".
[Contents]

Christianity Untried

1. Chesterton says:
    "The Christian ideal
    has not been tried
    and found wanting.
2. It has been found difficult
    and left untried."
3. Christianity has not been tried
    because people thought
    it was impractical.
4. And men have tried everything
    except Christianity.
5. And everything
    that men have tried
    has failed.	 
[Contents]

The Duty of Hospitality

1. People who are in need 
    and are not afraid to beg 
    give to people not in need 
    the occasion to do good 
    for goodness'sake.
2. Modern society calls the beggar 
    bum and panhandler 
    and gives him the bum's rush. 
    But the Greeks used to say 
    that people in need
    are the ambassadors of the gods.
3. Although you may be called 
    bums and panhandlers 
    you are in fact
    the Ambassadors of God.
4. As God's Ambassadors 
    you should be given food, 
    clothing and shelter 
    by those who are able to give it.
5. Mahometan teachers tell us 
    that God commands hospitality, 
    and hospitality is still practiced 
    in Mahometan countries.
6. But the duty of hospitality 
    is neither taught nor practiced 
    in Christian countries.	 
[Contents]

Feeding the Poor at a Sacrifice

1. In the first centuries
    of Christianity
    the hungry were fed
    at a personal sacrifice,
    the naked were clothed
    at a personal sacrifice,
    the homeless were sheltered
    at personal sacrifice.
2. And because the poor
    were fed, clothed and sheltered
    at a personal sacrifice,
    the pagans used to say
    about the Christians
    "See how they love each other."
3. In our own day
    the poor are no longer
    fed, clothed, sheltered
    at a personal sacrifice,
    but at the expense
    of the taxpayers.
4. And because the poor
    are no longer
    fed, clothed and sheltered
    the pagans say about the Christians
    "See how they pass the buck."
[Contents]

A Radical Change

1. The order of the day
    is to talk about the social order. 
2. Conservatives would like
    to keep it from changing
    but they don't know how.
3. Liberals try to patch it
    and call it a New Deal.
4. Socialists want a change, 
    but a gradual change.
5. Communists want a change,
    an immediate change,
    but a Socialist change.
6. Communists in Russia
    do not build Communism,
    they build Socialism.
7. Communists want to pass
    from capitalism to Socialism
    and from Socialism to Communism.
8. I want a change,
    and a radical change.
9. I want a change
    from an acquisitive society
    to a functional society,
    from a society of go-getters
    to a society of go-givers.
[Contents]

Thirteenth-Century France

1. Henry Adams, who had in his ancestry
     two Presidents of the United States,
     says in his autobiography
     that one cannot get an education
     in modern America.

2. And the reason he gives is,
     that there is
     no unity of thought
     in modern America.

3. So he went to England
     and found that modern England
     is too much like America.

4. So he went to France
     and found that modern France
     is too much like England and America.

5. But in France, Henry Adams found
     that one could get an education
     in thirteenth-century France.

6. And he wrote a book concerning
     the Cathedral of Chartes
     and the Mount Saint-Michel,
     where he points out
     that there was unity of thought
     in thirteenth-century France.
[Contents]

Guild System - 1200 A.D.

1. In 1200 A.D.
     there was no Capitalist System,
     there was the Guild System.

2. The doctrine of the Guilds
     was the doctrine
     of the Common Good.

3. The people used to say
     as they do now:
     "What can I do for you?"
     but they meant what they said.
  
4. Now they say one thing
     and they mean another.

5. They did not look for markets,
     they let markets
     look for them.

[Contents]


Roman Law - 1300 A.D.

1. In 1300 A.D.
     the Roman Law
     took place
     of the Canon Law.

2. The Roman Law
     enables rich men
     to live among the poor men.

3. The Canon Law
     enables good men
     to live among bad men.

4. "Divide to rule"
     became the slogan
     of the politicians.

5. In his book "The Prince",
     Machiavelli
     taught them how.

6. So politics
     ceased to be policy
     and became 
     just politics.
[Contents]

Middle-Man - 1400 A.D.

1. Around 1400 A.D.
     appears the middle-man.

2. He offers to buy the goods
     and to find a market.

3. The guild's man
     thinks about the money
     offered for his goods
     and forgets the Common Good.

4. And the middle-man
     is not interested
     in selling useful goods
     but in making money
     on any kind of goods.

5. And the consumer 
     never meets the producer
     and the producer
     ceases to think
     in terms of service
     and begins to think
     in terms of profits.
[Contents]

Calvinism - 1530 A.D.

1. American Puritanism
     was to a great extent
     an outgrowth of Calvinism.

2. Andre' Siegfried says:
     "The Puritan
     is proud to be rich.

3. "If he makes money,
     he likes to tell himself
     that Divine Providence
     sends it to him.

4. "His wealth itself
     becomes in his eyes
     as well as the eyes of others
     a mark of God's blessing.

5. "A time comes
     when he no longer knows
     if he acts for duty's sake
     or for interest's sake.

6. "It becomes difficult
     in those conditions
     to make a demarcation
     between religious aspiration
     and the pursuit of wealth."
[Contents]

Banker - 1600 A.D.

1. Before John Calvin
     people were not allowed
     to lend money at interest.

2. John Calvin decided
     to legalize
     money-lending at interest
     in spite of the teachings
     of the Prophets of Israel
     and the Fathers of the Church.

3. Protestant countries
     tried to keep up with John Calvin
     and money-lending at interest
     became the general practice.

4. And money ceased to be
     a means of exchange
     and began to be
     a means to make money.

5. So people lent money on time
     and started to think of time
     in terms of money
     and said to each other:
     "Time is money."
[Contents]

Manufacturer - 1700 A.D.

1. With the discovery of steam
     the factory system
     made its appearance.
  
2. To take drudgery out of the home
     was suppose to be
     the aim of the manufacturer.

3. So the guildsman
     left his shop
     and went to the factory.

4. But the profit-making manufacturer
     found it more profitable
     to employ women
     than to employ men.

5. So the women left the home
     and went to the factory.

6. Soon the children
     followed the women
     into the factory.

7. So the men have to stay at home
     while women and children
     work in the factory.
[Contents]

Economist - 1800 A.D.

1. The Laissez-Faire Economists
     told everybody
     that competition
     is the life of trade
     and that it is a case
     of survival of the fittest.

2. So since 1800
     looking for markets
     has engaged men's activities.

3. And since trade follows the flag
     industral nations
     have also become
     imperialst nations.

4. The fight for markets
     between two industrial nations,
     England and Germany,
     was the main cause 
     of the World War.
[Contents]

World War - 1914

1. As President Wilson said,
     the World War
     was a commercial war.

2. But a commercial war
     had to be idealized,
     so it was called
     a War for Democracy.

3. But the War for Democracy
     did not bring Democracy:
     it brought
     Bolshevism in Russia,
     Fascism in Italy,
     Nazism in Germany.
[Contents]

World Depression - 1929

1. After the World War
     people tried to believe
     that a New Era
     had dawned upon the world.

2. People thought
     that they had found a solution
     to the problem
     of mass-distribution.

3. People thought
     that the time had come
     for the two-car garage,
     a chicken in every pot,
     and a sign "To Let"
     in front of every poor-house.

4. And everybody
     wanted to cash in
     on the future prosperity.

5. So stock promoters got busy
     and stocked people with stocks
     till they got stuck.
[Contents]

God And Mammon

1. Christ says: "The dollar you have
     is the dollar you give."

2. The Banker says: "The dollar you have
     is the dollar you keep."

3. Christ says: "You cannot serve two masters,
     God and Mammom."

4. "'You cannot.' And all our education consists 
     in trying to find out how we can,"
     says Robert Louis Stevenson.

5. "The poor are the true children of the Church",
     says Bossuet.

6. "Modern society
     has made the bank account
     the standard of values",
     says Charles Peguy.
[Contents]

Usurers Are Not Gentlemen

1. The Prophets of Israel
     and the Fathers of the Church
     forbade lending money at interest.

2. Lending at interest
     was called usury
     by the Prophets of Israel
     and the Fathers of the Church.

3. Usurers were not considered
     to be gentlemen
     when people used to listen
     to the Prophets of Israel
     and the Fathers of the Church.

4. When people used to listen
     to the Prophets of Israel
     and the Fathers of the Church
     they could not see anything gentle
     in trying to live
     on the sweat of somebody else's brow
     by lending money at interest.
[Contents]

Wealth-Producing Maniacs

1. When John Calvin
     legalized money-lending at interest,
     he made the bank account
     the standard of values.

2. When the bank account
     became the standard of values,
     people ceased to produce for use
     and began to produce for profits.

3. When people began to produce for profits
     they became
     wealth-producing maniacs.

4. When people became wealth-producing maniacs
     they produced too much wealth.

5. When people found out
     that they had produced too much wealth
     they went on an orgy
     of wealth-destruction
     and destroyed
     ten million lives besides.
[Contents]

Mortgaged

1. Because John Calvin
     legalized money-lending at interest,
     the State has legalized
     money-lending at interest.

2. Because the State has legalized
     money-lending at interest,
     home owners
     have mortgaged their farms;
     institutions
     have mortgaged their buildings;
     congregations
     have mortgaged their churches;
     cities, counties, States
     and Federal Government
     have mortgaged their budgets.

3. So people find themselves
     in all kinds of financial difficulties
     because the State
     has legalized money-lending at interest
     in spite of the teachings
     of the Prophets of Israel
     and the Fathers of the Church.
[Contents]

The Fallacy Of Saving

1. When people save money
     that means money is invested.

2. Money invested
     increases production.

3. Increased production
     brings a surplus in production.

4. A surplus in production
     brings unemployment.

5. Unemployment
     brings a slump in business.

6. A slump in business
     brings more unemployment.

7. More unemployment
     brings a depression.

8. A depression
     brings more depression.
 
9. More depression
     brings red agitation.

10. Red agitation
     brings red revolution.
[Contents]

Avoiding Inflation

1. Some say
     that inflation is desirable.
  
2. Some say
     that inflation is deplorable.

3. Some say
     that inflation is deplorable
     but inevitable.

4. The way to avoid inflation
     is to tighten the burden
     of money-borrowers
     without robbing the money-lenders.

5. And the way
     to lighten the burden
     of money-borrowers
     with robbing the money-lenders
     is to pass two laws:
     one law making immediately illegal
     all interest on money lent
     and another law
     obligating the money-borrowers
     to pay one per cent of the debt
     every year
     during a period
     of a hundred years.
[Contents]

The Wisdom Of Giving

1. To give to the poor
     is to enable the poor to buy.

2. To enable the poor to buy
     is to improve the market.

3. To improve the market
     is to help business.

4. To help business
     is to reduce unemployment.

5. To reduce unnemployment
     is to reduce crime.

6. To reduce crime
     is to reduce taxation.

7. So why not give to the poor
     for business' sake,
     for humanity's sake,
     for God's sake?
[Contents]

Share Your Wealth

1. God wants us 
     to be our brother's keeper.

2. To feed the hungry,
     to clothe the naked,
     to shelter the homeless,
     to instruct the ignorant,
     at a personal sacrifice,
     is what God
     wants us to do.

3. What we give to the poor
     for Christ's sake
     is what we carry with us
     when we die.

4. As Jean-Jacques Rousseau say:
     "When man dies
     he carries
     in his clutches hands
     only that which
     he has given away."
[Contents]

Why Not Be A Beggar?

1. People who are in need
     and are not afraid to beg
     give to people not in need
     the occasion to do good
     for goodness' sake.

2. Modern society
     calls the beggar
     bum and panhandler
     and gives him the bum's rush.

3. The Greeks used to say
     that people in need
     are the ambassadors of the gods.

4. We read in the Gospel:
     "As long as you did it
     to one of the least
     of My brothers
     you did it to Me."

5. While modern society
     calls the beggars
     bums and panhandlers,
     they are in fact
     the Ambassadors of God.

6. To be God's Ambassador
     is something 
     to be proud of.
[Contents]

Municipal Lodgings

1. People who are in need
     are not invited
     to spend the night
     in homes of the rich.

2. There are guest rooms
     in the homes of the rich
     but they are not 
     for those who need them.

3. They are not
     for those who need them
     because those who need them
     are no longer considered
     as the Ambassadors of God.

4. So the duty of hospitality
     is no longer considered
     as a personal duty.

5. So people without a home
     are sent to the city
     where hospitality is given
     at the taxpayer's expense.
[Contents]

Bishop-Shy

1. The Holy Father
     appoints a man
     named a Bishop
     to a seat - a cathedra.

2. From that seat - cathedra
     the Bishop
     teaches the truth
     to all men
     so the truth
     may make them free.

3. But some people
     are Bishop-shy.

4. They are Bishop-shy
     because they are
     hungry, shivering, or sleepy.

5. They must be
     fed, clothed, and sheltered
     before they will consent
     to come to listen
     to Christ's Bishop.

6. To feed, clothe, and shelter them
     at a personal sacrifice
     is to participate
     in the Bishop's apostolate.

[Contents]


Passing The Buck

1. In the first centuries of Christianity
     the poor were fed, clothed, and sheltered
     at a personal sacrifice
     and the Pagans
     said about the Christians:
     "See how they love each other."

2. Today the poor are fed, clothed, and sheltered
     by the politicians
     at the expense
     of the taxpayers.

3. And because the poor
     are no longer
     fed, clothed, and sheltered
     at a personal sacrifice
     but at the expense
     of taxpayers
     Pagans say about Christians:
     "See how they pass the buck."
[Contents]

Hospices

1. We read in the Catholic Encyclopedia
     that during the early ages
     of Christianity
     the Hospices
     or Houses of Hospitality
     was a shelter
     for the sick, the poor,
     the orphan, the old, the traveller,
     and the needy of every kind.

2. Originally the Hospices
     of Houses of Hospitality
     were under the supervision
     of the Bishops
     who designated priests
     to administer
     the spiritual
     and temporal affairs
     of these charitable institutions.
[Contents]

Houses Of Hospitality

1. We need Houses of Hospitality
     to give to the rich
     the opportunity
     to serve the poor.

2. We need Houses of Hospitality
     to bring the scholars
     to the workers
     or the workers
     to the scholars.

3. We need Houses of Hospitality
     to bring back to institutions
     the technique to institutions.

4. We need Houses of Hospitality
     to show
     what idealism looks like
     when it is practised.
[Contents]

Servants Of The Poor

1. In seventeenth-century France
     there was a priest
     by the name of Vincent.

2. Father Vincent realized
     that the country
     was going to the dogs.

3. When something goes wrong
     they say in France:
     "Cherchez la femme-
     look for the woman."

4. Looking for the woman
     Father Vincent found out
     that many woman
     were trying to be
     the mistresses of the rich.

5. St. Vincent of Paul
     gathered several women
     and told them:
     "If you want
     to put the country on its feet
     refuse to be
     the mistress of the rich
     and choose to be
     the servants of the poor."

[Contents]

Scholars And Workers

1. By living with the workers
     in Houses of Hospitality
     scholars will be able
     to convey to the workers
     why things are
     what they are,
     how things would be
     if they were as they should be,
     and how a path can be made
     from things as they are
     to things as they should be.

2. By living with the workers
     in Houses of Hospitality
     scholars will be able
     to win the workers' sympathy,
     and therefore
     keep the workers
     from being influenced
     by selfish demagogues.

3. By living with the workers
     in Houses of Hospitality
     ascholars will be able
     to become dynamic
     and therefore
     be the driving force
     of a new social order.
[Contents]

Social Workers and Workers

1. The training of social workers
     enables them to help people
     to adjust themselves
     to the existing environment.

2. The training of social workers
     does not enable them 
     to help people
     to change the environment.

3. Social workers
     must become social minded
     before they can be
     critics of the existing environment
     and free creative agents
     of the new environment.

4. In the Houses of Hospitality
     social workers can aquire
     the art of human contacts
     and the social-mindedness
     or understanding of social forces
     which will make them
     critical of the existing environment
     and free creative agents
     of a new environment.
[Contents]

Rich And Poor

1. Afraid of the poor
     who don't like to get poorer,
     the rich who like to get richer
     turn to the State for protection.

2. But the State is not only
     the State of the rich
     it is also the State of the poor
     who don't like to get poorer.

3. So the State sometimes chooses to help
     the many poor
     who don't like to get poorer,
     at the expense of the few rich
     who like to get richer.

4. Dissatisfied with the State,
     the rich who like to get richer
     turn to the Church
     to save them from the poor
     who don't like to get poorer.

5. But the Church can only tell the rich
     who like to get richer:
     "Woe to you rich
     who like to get richer,
     if you don't help the poor
     who don't like to get poorer."
[Contents]

Not Communists

1. There is nothing wrong
     with Communism,
     but there is something wrong
     with Communists.

2. The wrong thing with Communists is
     that they are not Communists,
     they are Socialists.

3. There is no Communism
     in Soviet Russia,
     there is State Socialism
     in Soviet Russia.

4. The State has not withered away,
     the wage system still prevails,
     and they are selling
     7% government bonds
     in Soviet Russia.

5. By selling 7% government bonds
     they are creating
     a new parasitic class
     in Socialist Russia.
[Contents]

Taking Over

1. The aim of the Communists
     is to take over the control
     of the means of production
     and distribution.

2. The means of production
     and distribution
     are now in the hands
     of Capitalists.

3. The class war is a war
     between Communists
     and Capitalists
     over control
     of the means of production
     and distribution.

4. Patriots believe
     that the way to bring about
     a classless society
     is a class war
     between the Capitalist State
     and the working class.
[Contents]

What Is Communism?

1. Communists believe
     in capturing the State
     so as to be able
     to use it as a club
     to prevent anybody
     from becoming a Capitalist.

2. The Communist manifesto
     defines Communism
     as "a state of society"
     where each one works 
     according to his ability
     and gets
     according to his needs."

3. Using the power of the State
     will enable Communists
     to prevent anybody
     from becoming
     a successful Capitalist
     but it will not
     make anybody
     Communist at heart.

4. To be a Communist
     according to the definition
     of the Communist Manifesto
     is to be willing to give one's labor
     for the benefit
     of a Communist Community.
[Contents]

I Agree

1. I agree with seven Bishops,
     three of whom are Archbishops,
     that the Communist criticism
     of the rugged individualism
     of bourgeois capitalism
     is a sound criticism.

2. I agree with seven Bishops,
     three of whom are Archbishops,
     that the main social aim
     of the communist Party
     is a sound social aim.

3. I agree with seven Bishops,
     three whom are Archbishops,
     that the Communists are not sound
     when they advocate class struggle
     and proletarian dictatorship
     as the best practical means
     to realize their sound social aim.
[Contents]

To Be A Marxist

1. Before he died
     Karl Marx told one of his friends:
     "I have lived long enough
     to be able to say
     that i am not a Marxist."

2. To be a Marxist,
     according to the logic of Das Kapital,
     is to maintain
     that the best thing to do
     is to wait patiently
     till Capitalism
     has fulfilled its historic mission.

3. To be a Marxist
     according to the logic of Das Kapital,
     is to step back,
     take and academic view of things,
     and watch the self-satisfied Capitalists
     dig their own graves.

4. To be a Marxist,
     according to the logic of Das Kapital,
     is to let economic evolution
     do its work
     without ever attempting
     to give it a push.
[Contents]

Karl Marx Soon Realized

1. Karl Marx soon realized
     that his own analysis
     of bourgeois society
     could not be the basis
     of a dynamic revolutionary movement.

2. karl Marx soon realized
     that a forceful Communist Manifesto
     was the necessary foundation
     of a dynamic Communist Movement.

3. Karl Marx soon realized,
     as Lenin realized,
     that there is no revolution
     without revolutionary action;
     that there is no revolutionary action
     without a revolutionary movement;
     that there is no revolutionary movement
     without a vanguard of revolution
     and that there is no vanguard of revolution
     without a theory of revolution.
[Contents]

The Communist Manifesto

1. Having realized
     that a Communist Manifesto
     was the basis of a Communist Movement,
     Karl Marx decided
     to write a Communist Manifesto.

2. To write the Communist Manifesto
     Karl marx did not use
     his own analysis of Capitalism.

3. He took the criticism
     of the bourgeois society of his time
     by Victor Considerant
     and made it the first part
     of the Communist Manifesto.

4. He took the definition of Communism
     by Proudhon
     and made it his own.

5. He tried to make himself believe
     that class struggle was the first step
     from a Capitalist society
     where man is inhuman to man
     to a Communist society
     where man in human to man.
[Contents]

Five Definitions

1.A Bourgeois
     is a fellow who tries to be somebody
     by trying to be
     like everybody,
     which makes him
     a nobody.

2. A Dictator
     is a fellow
     who does not hesitate
     to strike you over the head
     if you refuse to do
     what he waants you to do.

3. A Leader
     is a fellow
     who refuses to be crazy
     the way everybody else is crazy
     and tries to be crazy
     in his own crazy way.

4. A Bolshevist
     is a fellow
     who tries to get
     what the other fellow has
     and to regulate
     what you should have.

5. A Communitarian
     is a fellow
     who refuses to be
     what the other fellow is
     and tries to be
     what he wants him to be.
[Contents]

They And We

1. People say:
     "They don't do this,
     they don't do that,
     they ought to do this,
     this ought to do that."
   
2. Always "They"
     and never "I".

3.People should say:
     "They are crazy
     for doing this
     and not doing that
     but I don't need
     to be crazy
     the way they are crazy."

4. The Communitarian Revolution
     is basically
     a personal revolution.

5. It starts with I
     not with They.

6. One I plus one I
     makes two I
     and two I makes We.
     
7. "We" is a community
     while "they" is a crowd.
[Contents]

Communitarian Movement

1. The Nazis, the Fascists,
     and the Bolshevists
     are Totalitarians.

2. The Catholic Worker
     is Communitarian.

3. The principles of Communitarianism
     are expounded every month
     in the French magazine
     Esprit (The Spirit).

4. Emmanuel Mounier,
     editor of the magizine,
     has a book entitled,
     "La revolution personnaliste
     et communitaire."

5. Raymond de Becker
     is the leader in Belgium
     of the Communitarian Movement
    
6. Dr. Kagawa
     the Japanese co-operator
     is truly imbued
     with the communitarian spirit.
[Contents]

The C.P. And C.M.

1. The Communist Party
     credits bourgeois capitalism
     with an historic mission.

2. The Communitarian Movement
     condemns it
     on general principles.

3. The Communist Party
     throws the monkey-wrench
     of class struggle
     into the economic machinery
     and by doing so
     delays the fulfilling
     of the historic mission
     which it credits
     to capitalism.

4. The Communitarian Movement
     aims to create
     a new society
     within the shell of the old
     with the philosophy of the new
     which is not
     a new philosophy
     but a very old philosophy,
     a philosophy so old
     that it looks like new.

5. The Communist Party
     stands for proletarian dictatorship.

6. The Communitarian Movement
     stands for personalist leadership.

[Contents]


What Labor Needs

1. A Communist Community
     is a Community
     with a common unity.

2. A common belief
     is what makes the unity
     if a community.

3. Norman Thomas says
     that "Ramsay MacDonald
     has failed to give to Labor 
     a philosophy of labor".

4. What labor needs
     is not economic security.

5. What Labor needs
     is a philosophy of labor.
[Contents]

Three Ways To Make A Living

1. Mirabeau says:
     "There are only three ways
     to make a living:
     Stealing, begging, working."

2. Stealing is against the law of God
     and against the law of men.

3. Begging is against the law of men,
     but not against the law of God.

4. Working is neither against the law of God
     nor against the law of men.

5. But they say
     that there is no work to do.

6. There is plenty of work to do,
     but no wages.
 
7. But people do not need
     to work for wages.

8. They can offer their services
     as a gift.

[Contents]


Capital And Labor

1. "Capital", says Karl Marx,
     "is accumulated labor,
     not for the benefit of the laborers,
     but for the benefit of the accumulators."

2. And Capitalists succeed
     in accumulating labor
     by treating labor
     not as a gift,
     but as a commodity,
     buying it as any other commodity
     at the lowest possible price.

3. And organized labor
     plays into the hands
     of the capitalists
     or accumulators of labor
     by treating their own labor
     not as a gift,
     but as a commodity,
     selling it as any other commodity
     at the highest possible price.
[Contents]

Selling their Labor

1. And when the capitalists
     or accumulators of labor
     have accumulated so much
     of the laborer's labor
     that they no longer
     find it profitable
     to buy the labor's labor
     then the laborers
     can no longer
     sell their labor
     to the capitalists
     or accumulators of labor.

2. And when the laborers
     can no longer
     sell their labor
     to the capitalists
     or accumulators of labor,
     they can no longer buy
     the products of their labor.

3. And that is 
     what the laborers get
     for selling their labor
     to the capitalists
     or accumulators of labor.
[Contents]

What Makes Man Human

1. To give and not to take
   that is what makes man human.
2. To serve and not to rule
   that is what makes man human.
3. To help and not to crush
   that is what makes man human.
4. To nourish and not to devour
   that is what makes man human.
5. And if need be
   to die and not to live
   that is what makes man human.
6. Ideals and not deals
   that is what makes man human.
7. Creed and not greed
   that is what makes man human.
[Contents]

Better Or Better Off

1. The world would be better off,
     if people tried
     to become better.

2. And people would
     become better
     if they stopped trying
     to be better off.

3. For when everybody tries
     to become better off,
     nobody is better off.

4. But when everybody tries
     to become better,
     everybody is better off.

5. Everybody would be rich
     if nobody tried
     to be richer.

6. And nobody would be poor
     if everybody tried
     to be the poorest.

7. And everybody woiuld be
     what he ought to be
     if everybody tried to be
     what he wants 
     the other fellow to be.
[Contents]

Big Shots And Little Shots

1. When the big shots
     become bigger shots
     then the little shots
     become littler shots.

2. And when the little shots
     become littler shots
     because the big shots
     become bigger shots
     then the little shots
     get mad at the big shots.

3. And when the little shots
     get mad at the big shots
     because the big shots
     by becomming bigger shots
     make the little shots
     littler shots
     they shoot the big shots
     full of little shots.

4. But by shooting the big shots
     full of little shots
     the little shots
     do not become big shots,
     they make everything all shot.
[Contents]

Christianity, Capitalism, Communism

1. Christianity has nothing to do
     with either modern Capitalism
     or modern Communism,
     for Christianity
     has a Capitalism of its own,
     and a Communism of its own.

2. Modern Capitalism
     is based on property
     without responsibility,
     while Christian Capitalism
     is based on property
     with responsibility.

3. Modern Communism
     is based on poverty through force,
     while Christian Communism
     is based on poverty through choice.

4. For a Christian,
     voluntary poverty is the ideal
     as exemplified by Saint Francis of Assisi,
     while privte property
     is not an absolute right,
     but a trust,
     which must be administered
     for the benefit of God's children.
[Contents]

Looking At Property

Fr. Henry Carr, Superior of the Basilians, says:
1. Socialists and Communists
     battle against
     the unequal conditions
     of the poor.

2. Presumably they would be satisfied
     if all were on a level.
 
3. Do you not see
     that this does not touch
     the question that is vital,
     namely, whether or not the people,
     no matter how much
     or how little they possess,
     regard it and use it
     in the way they should?

4. The right way
     is to regard it
     as something entrusted to us
     to use for the benefit
     of ourselves and others.

5. The wrong way
     is to look on it as something we own
     and can use as we desire
     without any duty to others.

6. Good or bad conditions
     will follow
     good or bad use
     of property.
[Contents]

What Saint Francis Desired

According to Johannes Jorgensen, a Danish convert, living in Assisi:
1. Saint Francis desired
      that men should give up
      superfluous possessions.
2. Saint Francis desired
      that men should work
      with their hands.
3. Saint Francis desired
      that men should offer their services
      as a gift.
4. Saint Francis desired
      that men should ask other people for help
      when work failed them.
5. Saint Francis desired
      that men should live
      as free as birds.
6. Saint Francis desired
      that men should go through life
      giving thanks to God
      for His gifts.
[Contents]

On The Level

1. Owen Young says:
     "We will never have prosperity
     as long as
     there is no balance
     between industry
     and agriculture."

2. The farmer sells
     in an open market
     and is forced to buy
     in a restricted market.

3. When the farmer gets
     a pair of overalls
     for a bushel of wheat
     the wheat and the overalls
     are on the level.

4. When the farmer
     has to give
     two bushels of wheat
     for a pair of overalls
     the wheat and the overalls
     are not on the level.

5. Wheat and overalls
     must be on the level.
[Contents]

Industrialization

1. Lenin said:
     "The world cannot be
     half industrial
     and half agricultural."

2. England, Germany,
     Japan, and America
     have become
     industrialized.

3. Soviet Russia
     is trying to keep up
     with England, Germany,
     Japan, and America.

4. When all the world
     becomes industrialized
     every country
     will be looking 
     for foreign markets.

5. But when every country
     becomes industrialized
     you will not have
     foreign markets.
[Contents]

Mechanized Labor

1. Gandhi says:
     "Industrialism is evil."

2. Industrialism is evil
     because it brings idleness
     both to the capitalist class
     and the working class.

3. Idleness does no good
     either to the capitalist class
     or the working class.

4. Creative labor
     is what keeps people
     out of mischief.

5. Creative labor
     is craft labor.

6. Mechanized labor
     is not creative labor.
[Contents]

No Pleasure In Work

1.Carlyle says:
     "He who has found his work
     let him look
     for no other blessedness."

2. But workmen
     cannot find hapiness
     in mechanized work.

3. As Charles Devas says,
     "The great majority
     having to perform
     some mechanized operation
     which requires little thought
     and allows no originality
     and which
     concerns an object
     in the transformation of which
     whether previous or subsequent
     they have no part,
     cannot take pleasure
     in their work."
[Contents]

Industrialism And Art

1. Eric Gill says:
     the notion of work
     has been separated
     from the notion of art.

2. The notion of the useful
     has been separated
     from the notion of the beautiful.

3. The artist,
     that is to say,
     the responsible workman,
     has been separated
     from all other workmen.

4. The factory hand
     has no responsibility
     for what he produces.

5. He has been reduced
     to a sub-human condition
     of intellectual irresponsibility.

6. Industrialism
     has released the artist
     from the necessity
     of making anything useful.

7. Industrialism
     has also released the workman
     from making anything amusing.
[Contents]

From A Chinese

1. A Chinese says:
     I thought I had become westernized
     but now I am becoming repatriated.

2. The material progress of America
     has dazzled me.

3. I wished while there
     to transplant what I saw
     to China.

4. But now that I am home again
     I see that our two civilizations
     have irreconcilable differences.

5. Yours is a machine civilization;
     ours is a handicraft civilization.

6. Your people
     work in factories;
     our people
     work in shops.

7. Your people
     produce quality things
     that are alike.

8. Our people
     produce quality things
     that are different.
[Contents]

Regard For The Soil

1. Andrew Nelson Lytle says:
     The escape from industrialism
     is not in socialism
     or in sovietism.

2. The answer lies
     in a return to a society
     where agriculture is practised
     by most of the people.

3. It is in fact impossible
     for any culture
     to be sound and healthy
     without a proper regard
     for the soil,
     no matter
     how many urban dwellers
     think that their food
     comes from groceries
     and delicatessens
     or their milk from tin cans.

4. This ignorance
     does not release them
     from a final dependence
     upon the farm.
[Contents]

Up To Catholics

1. Ralph Adams Cram says:
     What I propose
     is that Catholics
     should take up
     this back-to-the-land problem
     and put it into operation.

2. Why Catholics?
     Because they realize
     more clearly than any others
     the shortcomings
     of the old capitalist
     industrial system.

3. They, better than others,
     see the threat
     that impends.

4. They alone understand
     that while the family
     is the primary social unit,
     the community comes next.

5.  And there is 
     no sound
     and righteous
     and enduring community
     where all its members
     are not substantially 
     of one mind.
[Contents]

What The Unemployed Need

1. The unemployed
     need free rent;
     they can have that
     on a Farming Commune.

2. The unemployed
     need free food;
     they can raise that
     on a Farming Commune.

3. The unemployed
     need free fuel;
     they can cut that
     on a Farming Commune.

4. The unemployed
     need to acquire skill;
     they can do that
     on a Farming Commune.

5. The unemployed
     need to improve
     their minds;
     they can do that 
     on a Farming Commune.

6. The unemployed
     need spiritual guidance;
     they can have that
     on a Farming Commune.
[Contents]

Professors Of A Farming Commune

1. Professors of a Farming Commune
     do not look for endowments;
     they look for manual labor.

2. Professors of a Farming Commune
     do not tell their students
     what to do;
     they show them
     how to do it.

3. Professors of a Farming Commune
     do not enable their students
     to master subjects;
     they enable them
     to master situations.

4. Professors of a Farming Commune
     do not teach their students
     how to make
     profitable deals;
     they teach them
     how to realize
     worthy ideals.
[Contents]

Laborers Of A Farming Commune

1. Laborers of a Farming Commune
     do not work for wages;
     they leave that
     to the Farming Commune.

2. Laborers of a Farming Commune
     do not look
     for a bank account;
     they leave that
     to the Farming Commune.
  
3. Laborers of a Farming Commune
     do not look for
     an insurance policy;
     they leave that 
     to the Farming Commune.

4. Laborers of a Farming Commune
     do not look for
     an old-age pension;
     they leave that
     to the Farming Commune.

5. Laborers of a Farming Commune
     do not look for
     economic security;
     they leave that
     to the Farming Commune.
[Contents]

What The Communists Say They Believe

1. Communists believe
     that the capitalist system
     has reached the point
     where it no longer works.

2. Communists believe
     that when the workers
     come to the realization
     of the downfall of capitalism
     they will no longer tolerate it.

3. Communists believe
     that the capitalist class
     will resort to all means
     that may be in their power
     to maintain their existence.

4. Communists believe
     that the Communist Party
     knows how to assure
     production and distribution
     in an orderly manner
     according to a pre-designed plan.
[Contents]

What The Fascists Say They Believe

1. The Fascists believe
     in a national economy
     for the protection
     of national and private interests.

2. Fascists believe
     in the regulation of industries
     so as to assure
     a wage for the worker
     and a dividend for the investor.

3. Fascists believe
     in class collaboration
     under State supervision.

4. Fascists believe
     in the co-operation
     of employers' unions
     and workers' unions.
[Contents]

What The Socialists Say They Believe

1. Socialists believe
     in a gradual realization
     of a classless society.

2. Socialists believe
     in the social ownership
     of natural resources
     and the means of production
     and distribution.

3. Socialists believe
     in a transition period
     under democratic management
     between two economic systems,
     the systems of production for use
     and the system of production for profits.

4. Socialists believe
     in freedom of the press,
     freedom of assemblage,
     freedom of worship.
[Contents]

What The Democrats Say They Believe

1. Democrats believe
     in universal suffrage,
     universal education,
     freedom of opportunity.

2. Democrats believe
     in the right of the rich
     to become richer
     and of the poor
     to try to become rich.

3. Democrats believe
     in labor unions
     and financial corporations.

4. Democrats believe
     in the law of supply and demand.
[Contents]

What the Catholic Worker Believes

1. The Catholic Worker believes
    in the gentle personalism
    of traditional Catholicism.
2. The Catholic Worker believes
    in the personal obligation
    of looking after
    the needs of our brother.
3. The Catholic Worker believes
    in the daily practice 
    of the Works of Mercy.
4. The Catholic Worker believes 
    in Houses of Hospitality 
    for the immediate relief 
    of those who are in need.
5. The Catholic Worker believes 
    in the establishment 
    of Farming Communes 
    where each one works 
    according to his ability 
    and gets according to his need.
6. The Catholic Worker believes 
    in creating a new society 
    within the shell of the old 
    with the philosophy of the new, 
    which is not a new philosophy 
    but a very old philosophy, 
    a philosophy so old 
    that it looks like new.
[Contents]

Right Or Wrong

1. Some people say:
     "My country
     is always right."

2. Some people say:
     "My country
     is always wrong."

3. Some people say:
     "My country
     is sometimes right
     and sometimes wrong,
     but my country
     right or wrong."

4. To stick up for one's country 
     when one's country is wrong
     does not make 
     the country right.

5. To stick up for the right
     even when the world is wrong
     is the only way we know
     to make everything right.
[Contents]

Protecting France

1. To protect French citizens
     living in Algeria
     the French took Algeria
     from the natives.

2. To protect Algeria
     the French took control
     for Tunisia.

3. To protect Senegal
     the French took Dahomey,
     the Gabon, and the Congo.

4. To protect the isle of Reunion
     the French took Madagascar.

5. They took Madagascar
     for another reason.

6. The other reason was
     that the English
     wished to take it.

7. When the English
     take something
     the French say:
     "The English do that
     because they are grabbers."

8. When the French take something,
     the French say:
     "We do that
     because we are
     good patriots."
[Contents]

Protecting England

1. To protect the British Isles
     the English took the sea.

2. To protect the sea
     the English took Gibraltar,
     Canada, and India.

3. To protect India
     the English went to Egypt.

4. To protect Egypt
     the English took the Sudan.

5. To protect the Sudan
     the English forced the French
     to leave Fashoda.

6. To protect the Cape and Natal
     the English took the Transvaal.

7. To protect South Africa
     the English prevented the French
     from giving Agadir
     to Germany.

8. So the English
     are just as good
     or just as bad 
     as the French.
[Contents]

Civilizing Ethiopia

1. The French believe
     that trade follows the flag.

2. So do the English,
     so do the Germans,
     so do the Japanese,
     so do the Italians.

3. Italy is in Ethopia
     for the same reason
     that the French
     are in Algeria,
     the English in India,
     the Japanese in Manchuria.

4. The Italians say
     thatthe Ethopians
     are not civilized.

5. The last war proves
     that Europeans
     are no more civilized
     than the Africans.

6. So Europeans
     ought to find a way
     to become civilized
     before thinking
     about the best way
     to civilize Africans.
[Contents]

Moral Disarmament

1. Theodore Roosevelt used to say:
     "If you want peace
     prepare for war."

2. So everybody prepared for war
     but war preparations
     did not bring peace;
     they brought war.

3. Since war preparations
     brought war,
     why not quit
     preparing for war.

4. If nations preparing for peace
     instead of preparing for war,
     they might have peace.

5. Aristide Briand used to say:
     "The best kind of disarmament
     is the disarmament of the heart."
 
6. The disarmament of Germany
     by the Allies
     was not the product
     of a change of heart
     on the part of the Allies
     toward Germany.
[Contents]

Home || Easy Essays || Peter's Biography || Peter's Legacy



Book 3

 Back to Christ–Back to the Land!

On the Level

Owen Young says:
“We will never have prosperity
as long as there is no balance
between industry
and agriculture.”
The farmer sells
in an open market
and is forced to buy
in a restricted market.
When the farmer gets
a pair of overalls
for a bushel of wheat
the wheat and the overalls
are on the level.
When the farmer
has to give
two bushels of wheat
for a pair of overalls
the wheat and the overalls
are not on the level.
Wheat and overalls
must be on the level.

Industrialization

Lenin said:
“The world cannot be
half industrial
and half agricultural.”
England, Germany,
Japan and America
have become
industrialized.
Soviet Russia
is trying to keep up
with England, Germany,
Japan and America.
When all the world
will be industrialized
every country
will be looking
for foreign markets.
But when every country
will be industrialized
you will not have
foreign markets.

Mechanized Labor

Gandhi says:
“Industrialism is evil.”
Industrialism is evil
because it brings idleness
both to the capitalist class
and the working class.
Idleness does no good
either to the capitalist class
or to the working class.
Creative labor
is what keeps people
out of mischief.
Creative labor
is craft labor.
Mechanized labor
is not creative labor.

No Pleasure in Their Work

Carlyle says:
“He who has found his work,
let him look
for no other blessedness.”
But workmen
cannot find happiness
in mechanized work.
As Charles Devas says,
“The great majority
having to perform
some mechanized operation
which requires little thought
and allows no originality
and which concerns an object
in the transformation of which,
whether previous or subsequent,
they have no part,
cannot take pleasure
in their work.”
As D. Marshall says,
“Previously the workman
fashioned every article
with his own hands,
bringing to bear on it
all the skill of the craft
which was his;
now all of this
is done by the machine.”

Industrialism and Art

Eric Gill says:
“The notion of work
has been separated
from the notion of art.
The notion of the useful
has been separated
from the notion of the beautiful
The artist,
that is to say,
the responsible workman,
has been separated
from all other workmen.
The factory hand
has no responsibility
for what he produces.
He has been reduced
to a sub-human condition
of intellectual irresponsibility.
Industrialism
has released the artist
from the necessity
of making anything useful
Industrialism
has also released the workman
from making anything amusing.”

From a Chinese

A Chinese says:
“I thought I had become Westernized
but now I am becoming repatriated.
The material progress of America
had dazzled me.
I wished while there
to transplant what I saw
to China.
But now that I am home again
I see that our two civilizations
have irreconcilable differences.
Yours is a machine civilization;
ours is a handicraft civilization.
Your people
work in factories;
our people
work in shops.
Your people
produce quantity things
that are alike;
our people
produce quality things
that are different.
What would Western industrialism
do to us?
Our people
would become robots.
Our cultural traditions
would be destroyed.”

Regard for the Soil

Andrew Nelson Lytle says:
“The escape from industrialism
is not in Socialism
or in Sovietism.
The answer lies
in a return to a society
where agriculture is practiced
by most of the people.
It is in fact impossible
for any culture
to be sound and healthy
without a proper respect
and proper regard
for the soil,
no matter
how many urban dwellers
think that their food
comes from groceries
and delicatessens
or their milk from tin cans.
This ignorance
does not release them
from a final dependence
upon the farm.”

Up to Catholics

Ralph Adams Cram says:
“What I propose
is that Catholics
should take up
this back-to-the-land problem
and put it into operation.
Why Catholics?
Because they realize
more clearly than any others
the shortcomings
of the old capitalist
industrial system.
They, better than others,
see the threat
that impends.
They alone understand
that while the family
is the primary social unit,
the community comes next.
And there is
no sound
and righteous
and enduring community
where all its members
are not substantially
of one mind
in matters of the spirit–
that is to say,
of religion.”

Institutions vs. Corporations

In the first issue of The Catholic Worker appeared this essay:

Institutions and Corporations

Jean Jacques Rousseau says:
“Man is naturally good,
but institutions make him bad,
so let us
overthrow institutions,”
I say: Man is partly good
and partly bad,
but corporations,
not institutions,
make him worse.
“An institution,” says Emerson,
“is the extension
of the soul of a man.”
Institutions are founded
to foster the welfare
of the masses.
Corporations are organized
to promote wealth
for the few.
So let us found
smaller and better
institutions
and not promote
bigger and better
corporations.

Some Institutions

Round-Table Discussions
to learn from scholars
how the things would be
if they were
as they should be.
Campion Propaganda Committees
for the indoctrination
of the man of the street.
Maternity Guilds
for the welfare
of needy mothers
bringing young children
into the world.
Houses of Hospitality
to give to the rich
the opportunity
to serve the poor.
Farming Communes
where the scholars
may become workers
so the workers
may be scholars.

American Institutions

The American Constitution,
the American Congress,
the American Supreme Court
are also considered
as institutions.
The American Constitution
was devised
by the American Founders
to protect the individual
against the majority,
whether in Congress
or government.
The American Supreme Court
was established by the Founders
to watch over the Constitution
so as to prevent
its misrepresentation
and its misapplication.

Bureaucracy

Bureaucracy has failed,
whether in America,
in France or Germany.
In France we say:
“Plus ca change,
plus c’est la mime chose.”
[The more it changes,
the more it remains
the same thing.]
Governments change
but the bureaucracy remains.
Political corruption
has made the French people
disgusted with their politicians.
The most efficient bureaucracy
was the German bureaucracy.
And the faith in bureaucracy
was so great
that they failed
to create a public opinion
for democratic reform.
So the Nazis beat them to it.
And created a public opinion
for racial demagogy.
The Catholic Worker
is trying to create
a public opinion
for Communitarian reform.

Five Definitions

A Bourgeois
is a fellow
who tries to be somebody
by trying to be
like everybody,
which makes him
a nobody.
A Dictator
is a fellow
who does not hesitate
to strike you over the head
if you refuse to do
what he wants you to do.
A Leader
is a fellow
who refuses to be crazy
the way everybody else is crazy
and tries to be crazy
in his own crazy way.
A Bolshevist
is a fellow
who tries to get
what the other fellow has
and to regulate
what you should have.
A Communitarian
is a fellow
who refuses to be
what the other fellow is
and tries to be
what he wants him to be.

They and We

People say:
“They don’t do this,
they don’t do that,
they ought to do this,
they ought to do that.”
Always “They”
and never “I.”
People should say:
“They are crazy
for doing this
and not doing that
but I don’t need
to be crazy
the way they are crazy.”
The Communitarian Revolution
is basically
a personal revolution.
It starts with I,
not with They.
One I plus one I
makes two I’s
and two I’s make We.
We is a community,
while “they” is a crowd.

A New Movement

The Nazis, the Fascists
and the Bolshevists
are Totalitarians.
The Catholic Worker
is Communitarian.
The principles of Communitarianism
are expounded every month
in the French magazine Esprit (the Spirit).
Emmanuel Mounier,
editor of the magazine,
has a book entitled
“La Revolution Personnaliste et
Communautaire.”

A New Social Order

The Hope of the People

The Marxists say
that religion
is the dope of the people.
Religion is not the dope of the people,
it is the hope of the people.
Modern society
is a materialist society
because Christians have failed
to translate the spiritual
into the material.
If Christians knew
how to make a lasting impression
on the materialist depression
through spiritual expression
Marxists would not say
that religion
is the dope of the people.
As Raymond de Becker says:
“The social task of the laity
is the sanctification
of secular life,
or more exactly,
the creation
of a Christian secular life.”

The Christian Front

The Christians
who consider religion
the hope of the people
should not unite
with the Marxists
who consider religion
the dope of the people.
As the editors of the Christian Front say:
“Marxism not only falsifies
the origin and the end of man
but it seeks to make of him
an anonymous animal,
a servant
of the proletarian State.”
The editors of the Christian Front
are not liberals,
they think that men
“must take their choice
to stand for Christianity
or to stand for what opposes it.”
They ask the Christians
“to dissociate themselves
from an un-Christian social order
and prepare the way
for a social order
compatible with their beliefs.”

The New Apologetics

In his lectures
on the New Christendom
Jacques Maritain
emphasizes the necessity
of laying the foundations
of a new social order.
Laying the foundations
of a new social order
is the task of the laity.
The task of the laity
is to do the pioneer work
of creating order
out of chaos.
The clergy teach the principles;
the task of the laity
is to apply them
without involving the clergy
in the application.
The application to the social problems
by the Catholic laity
of the Catholic principles
taught by the Catholic clergy
is a new kind of apologetics,
a kind of apologetics
Catholics will not have
to apologize for.
 

Yes! I am a Radical

Down to the Roots

I was once thrown out
of a Knights of Columbus meeting
because, as the K. of C. official said,
I was radical.
I was introduced as a radical
before the college students
of a Franciscan college,
And the Franciscan Father added
“I am as radical
as Peter Maurin.”
Speaking in a girls’ college
near St. Cloud, Minnesota,
I was told by Bishop Busch,
“Conservatives
are up in a tree
and you are trying
to go down to the roots.”

Poor Conservatives

After another meeting
I was told by a sociologist
“I still think
that you are a radical.”
And I told the sociologist
“We have to pity
those poor conservatives
who don’t know
what to conserve;
who find themselves
living in a changing world
while they do not know
how to keep it from changing
or how to change it
to suit themselves.”

Radically Wrong

Monsignor Fulton Sheen says:
“Modern society is based on greed.”
Father McGowan says:
“Modern society
is based on systematic selfishness.”
Professor John Dewey says:
“Modern society
is based on rugged individualism.”
When conservatives
try to conserve a society
based on greed,
systematic selfishness
and rugged individualism
they try to conserve something
that is radically wrong,
for it is built
on a wrong basis.
And when conservatives
try to conserve
what is radically wrong
they are also
radically wrong.

A New Society

To be radically right
is to go to the roots
by fostering a society
based on creed,
systematic unselfishness
and gentle personalism.
To foster a society
based on creed
instead of greed,
on systematic unselfishness
instead of systematic selfishness,
on gent1e personalism
instead of rugged individualism,
is to create a new society
within the shell of the old.
Modern society
is in a state of chaos.
And what is chaos
if not lack of order?
Sociology
is not a science,
it is an art,
the art of creating order
out of chaos.
All founders of orders
made it their personal business
to try to solve the problems
of their own day.
If religious orders
made it their business
to try to solve the problems
of our own day
by creating order
out of chaos,
the Catholic Church
would be the dominant
social dynamic force
in our day and age.

 

Feeding the Poor

At a Sacrifice

In the first centuries
of Christianity
the hungry were fed
at a personal sacrifice,
the naked were clothed
at a personal sacrifice,
the homeless were sheltered
at personal sacrifice.
And because the poor
were fed, clothed and sheltered
at a personal sacrifice,
the pagans used to say
about the Christians
“See how they love each other.”
In our own day
the poor are no longer
fed, clothed and sheltered
at a personal sacrifice,
but at the expense
of the taxpayers.
And because the poor
are no longer
fed, clothed and sheltered
the pagans say about the Christians
“See how they pass the buck.”

 

Radicals of the Right

Shouting a Word

Father Parsons says:
“There is
confusion of mind.”
When there is
confusion of mind
someone has only
to shout a word
and people flock.
When Mussolini
shouted discipline
people flocked.
When Hitler
shouted restoration
people flocked.

The Right Word

Mussolini’s word is
discipline.
Hitler’s word is
restoration,
My word is
tradition.
I am a radical
of the right.
I go right to the right
because I know
it is the only way
not to get left.
Sound principles
are not new,
they’re very old;
they are as old
as eternity.
The thing to do
is to restate
the never new
and never old principles
in the vernacular
of the man of the street.
Then the man of the street will do
what the intellectual
has failed to do;
that is to say,
“do something about it.”

Philosophy and Sophistry

Mortimer Adler says:
“Modern philosophers
have not found
anything new
since Aristotle,”
Modern philosophers
are not philosophers;
they are sophists.
Aristotle
had to deal
with sophists
in his day and age.
What Aristotle said
to the sophists
of his own day
could be read
with profit
by modern philosophers.

The City of God

Jacques Maritain says:
“There is more in man
than man.”
Man was created
in the image of God;
therefore
there is the image of God
in man.
There is more to life
than life
this side of the grave;
there is life
the other side of the grave.
Science leads to biology,
biology to psychology,
psychology to philosophy,
philosophy to theology.
Philosophy
is the handmaid
of theology.
To build up the City of God,
that is to say,
to express the spiritual
in the material
through the use
of pure means,
such is the task
of professing Christians
in this day and age.

Integral Humanism

Through the influence
of Maxim Gorki
the Marxists
have come to the conclusion
that Marxist writers
should be more
than proletarian writers;
that they should he
cultural writers.
Waldo Frank thinks
that the cultural tradition
must be brought
to the proletarian masses,
who will appreciate it
much more
than the acquisitive classes.
What the Marxists
call culture
Maritain calls
Socialist Humanism.
But Socialist Humanism
is not all Humanism,
according to Maritain.
In a book entitled
“L’Humanisme integral”
Jacques Maritain points out
what differentiates
Integral Humanism
from Social Humanism.

Thought and Action

Integral Humanism
is the Humanism
of the Radicals of the Right.
The Radicals of the Left
are now talking about
Cultural Tradition.
The bourgeois idea is
that culture
is related to leisure.
Eric Gill maintains
that culture
is related to work,
not to leisure.
Man is saved through faith
and through works,
and what one does
has a lot to do
with what one is.
Thought and action
must be combined.
When thought
is separated from action,
it becomes academic.
When thought
is related to action
it becomes dynamic.

 

Go-Getters vs. Go-Givers

Two Bourgeois

The bourgeois capitalist
believes in rugged individualism;
The Bolshevist Socialist
believes in rugged collectivism.
There is no difference
between the rugged individualism
of bourgeois capitalism
and the rugged collectivism
of Bolshevist Socialism.
The bourgeois capitalist
tries to keep
what he has,
and tries to get
what the other fellow has.
The Bolshevist Socialist
tries to get
what the bourgeois capitalist has.
The Bolshevist Socialist
is the son
of the bourgeois capitalist,
and the son
is too much
like his father.
All the sins of the father
are found in the son.

Bourgeois Capitalist

The bourgeois capitalist
calls himself conservative
but has failed to conserve
our cultural tradition.
He thinks that culture
is related to leisure.
He does not think that culture
is related to cult
and to cultivation.
He believes in power,
and that money
is the way to power.
He believes that money
can buy everything,
whether it be labor or brains.
But as the poet Emerson says,
“People have only
the power we give them.”
When people will cease
selling their labor power
or their brain power
to the bourgeois capitalist,
the bourgeois capitalist
will cease being
a gentleman of leisure
and begin being
a cultured gentleman.

Bolshevist Socialist

The Bolshevist Socialist
is the spiritual son
of the bourgeois capitalist;
he credits bourgeois capitalism
with an historic mission
and fails to condemn it
on general principles.
The bourgeois Socialist
does not believe
in the profit system,
but he does believe
in the wage system.
The bourgeois capitalist
and his spiritual son,
the Bolshevist Socialist,
believe in getting
all they can get
and not in giving
all they can give.
The bourgeois capitalist
and his spiritual son,
the Bolshevist Socialist,
are go-getters,
not go-givers.

The Personalist Communitarian

A personalist
is a go-giver,
not a go-getter.
He tries to give
what he has,
and does not
try to get
what the other fellow has.
He tries to be good
by doing good
to the other fellow.
He is altro-centered,
not self-centered.
He has a social doctrine
of the common good.
He spreads the social doctrine
of the common good
through words and deeds.
He speaks through deeds
as well as words,
for he knows that deeds
speak louder than words.
Through words and deeds
he brings into existence
a common unity,
the common unity
of a community.

Community Spirit

Communitarianism
is the rediscovery
and the exemplification
of what the Kiwanis
and Rotarians
used to talk about,
namely,
the community spirit.
The community spirit
is no more common
than common sense
is common.
Everybody knows
that common sense
is not common,
but nobody believes
that common sense
should not be common.
The community spirit
should be common.
as well as common sense
should be common.
If common sense was common,
Bolshevist Socialists
would not be
rugged collectivists;
they would be
Communitarian personalists.

Franciscans and Jesuits

Franciscans and Jesuits
believe in the community spirit
just as much
as Kiwanis and Rotarians.
While Kiwanis and Rotarians
used to talk about the common spirit,
Franciscans and Jesuits
did something about it.
Kiwanis and Rotarians
used to talk
about service
but never forgot
profitable service.
Franciscans and Jesuits
may not say much
about service,
but continue to render
unprofitable service.
Franciscans and Jesuits
believe in the responsibility
of private property
but they believe also
in the practicality
of voluntary poverty.

Counsels of the Gospel

Someone said
that The Catholic Worker
is taking monasticism
out of the monasteries.
The Counsels of the Gospel
are for everybody,
not only for monks.
Franciscans and Jesuits
are not monks.
Franciscans are Friars,
and the world is their monastery.
Jesuits are the storm troops
of the Catholic Church,
and ready to be sent
where the Holy Father
wishes to send them.
The Counsels of the Gospel
are for everybody,
and if everybody
tried to live up to it
we would bring order
out of chaos,
and Chesterton would not
have said
that the Christian ideal
has been left untried.

 

Communitarian Personalism

Basic Power

Bourgeois capitalism
is based on the power
of hiring and firing.
Fascist Corporatism
and Bolshevist Socialism
are based on the power
of life and death.
Communitarian Personalism
is based on the power
of thought and example.

Thinking Is Individual

Thinking is individual,
not collective.
Fifty million Frenchmen
may be wrong,
while one Frenchman
may be right.
One thinks
better than two,
and two
better than two hundred.
The national thinking
of Benito Mussolini,
the racial thinking
of Adolph Hitler
and the mass thinking
of Joseph Stalin
are not what I mean
by thinking.
Read The Crowd,
by Gustave LeBon.

Social Power

Social power
is more important
than politica1 power.
And political power
is not the road
to social power.
The road to social power
is the right use
of liberty.
Read Our Enemy the State.
by Albert Jay Nock.

Give Me Liberty

Patrick Henry said.
“Give me liberty,
or give me death!”
What makes man
a man
is the right use
of liberty.
The rugged individualists
of the Liberty League,
the strong-arm men
of the Fascist State
and the rugged collectivists
of the Communist Party
have not yet learned
the right use
of liberty.
Read Freedom in the Modern World,
by Jacques Maritain.

Leadership

Everybody
looks for a leader
and nobody
likes to be dictated to.
Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin
try to be at the same time
leaders and dictators.
A leader is a fellow
who follows a cause
in words and deeds.
A follower is a fellow
who follows the leader
because he sponsors the cause
that the leader follows.
Read Leadership or Domination,
by Paul Piggors.
Paul Piggors
makes a case for domination
in times of crisis,
and in this he is wrong.
Domination is not the way
to create order
out of chaos.
Leadership is always the way
to create order
out of chaos.

Communitarian Personalism

“A man is a man
for all that,”
says Robert Burns.
To bring out
the man in man,
such is the purpose
of the Communitarian Movement.
A Communitarian is a fellow
who refuses to be
what the other fellow is,
and chooses to be
what he wants
the other fellow
to be.
Read Easy Essays,
by Peter Maurin.

 

Superfluous Goods

The Problem of Today

General Johnson says
that the problem of today
is not to increase
producing power,
but to increase
the consuming power.
Saving to invest
is considered
a bourgeois virtue.
while spending to consume
is considered
a bourgeois vice.
While the thrifty bourgeois
increases the producing power
the bourgeois spendthrift
increases the consuming power.

With Our Superfluous Goods

Bishop von Ketteler says
that we are bound
under pain of mortal sin
to relieve the extreme needs
of our needy brother
with our superfluous goods.
With our superfluous goods
we build white elephants
like the Empire State Building.
With our superfluous goods
we build power houses
which increase the producing power
and therefore
increase unemployment.
With our superfluous goods
we build colleges
which turn out students
into a changing world
without telling them
how to keep it from changing
or how to change it
to suit college graduates.

Ambassadors of God

What we give to the poor
for Christ’s sake
is what we carry with us
when we die.
We are afraid
to pauperize the poor
because we are afraid
to be poor.
Pagan Greeks used to say
that the poor
“are the ambassadors
of the gods.”
To become poor
is to become
an Ambassador of God.

We Seem to Think

St. Francis thought
that to choose to be poor
is just as good
as if one should marry
the most beautiful girl in the world.
We seem to think
that poor people
are social nuisances
and not the Ambassadors of God.
We seem to think
that Lady Poverty
is an ugly girl
and not the beautiful girl
that St. Francis of Assisi
says she is.
And because we think so,
we refuse to feed the poor
with our superfluous goods
and let the politicians
feed the poor
by going around
like pickpockets,
robbing Peter
to pay Paul,
and feeding the poor
by soaking the rich.

 

A Fourth Open Letter to Father Lord, SJ

Dear Father:

We are living
in a period of chaos.
Our task must be
to create order
out of chaos.
Creating order
out of chaos
ought to be the task
of religious orders.
The Jesuit Order
would do well
to open up
Houses of Hospitality
for the benefit
of all college graduates.
non-Catholics
as well as Catholics.
In those Houses of Hospitality
unemployed college graduates
would be given
an historical background.
Professor Carlton Hayes says
that our religion
is the only historical religion.
A Catholic historical background
given the unemployed college graduates
in Houses of Hospitality
would be
the best antidote
to Marxist materialism.
It ought also to be
that kind of historical background
that would make them
Co-operators
or Guildists
or Distributists
or Communitarians.
It would make them
look up to the individual,
not to the State,
for the solution
of social problems.
Yours for the Green Revolution,

PETER MAURIN

 

Back to Newmanism

President Hutchins,
of the University of Chicago, says:
“How can we call
a man educated
who has not read
any of the great books
of the Western World?
Yet today,
it is entirely possible
for a student
to graduate
from the finest
American colleges
without having read
any of them,
except perhaps Shakespeare.
Of course the student
may have read of those books,
or at least
of their authors.
But this knowledge
is gained in general
through textbooks.
And the textbooks have probably
done as much
to degrade American intelligence
as any single force.”
Cardinal Newman says:
“If the intellect
is a good thing,
then its cultivation
is an excellent thing.
It must be cultivated
not only as a good thing,
but as a useful thing.
It must not be useful
in any low,
mechanical,
material sense.
It must be useful
in the spreading
of goodness.
It must be used
by the owner
for the good
of himself
and for the good
of the world.”

 

Outdoor Universities

Father Bede Jarrett says:
“The truths of a generation
become the platitudes
of the next generation.”
Henrik Ibsen says:
“Thought must be rewritten
every twenty years.”
That is to say
eternal principles
must at all times
be presented
in the vernacular
of the man on the street.
Emerson says
that the way
to acquire the vernacular
of the man of the street
is to go to the street
and listen
to the man of the street.
The way to become dynamic
and cease to be academic
is to rub shoulders
with the men on the street.
Some one said
that the Catholic Worker
is a movement
for down-and-outs.
And it is a movement
for down-and-outs,
including
down-and-out business men,
down-and-out college graduates
and down-and-out college professors.
In the Catholic Worker,
besides being fed,
clothed and sheltered,
people learn
to use their hands
as well as their heads.
And while they learn
to use their heads
to guide their hands,
the use of their hands,
improves a great deal
the working of their heads.
In Silver Springs,
a few miles
from Washington, D. C.,
the Missionaries
of the Holy Trinity
combine manual labor
with intellectual pursuits.
They go to the Catholic University
in the morning,
build their own campus
or cultivate their land
in the afternoon
and do their homework
in the evening.
While they do manual labor
their mind is taken off
their studies,
which is to the benefit
both of their health
and their studies.
In Silver Springs
scholars try to be workers
and workers
try to be scholars.
The machine
is not an improvement
on man’s skill;
it is an imitation
of man’s skill.
Read Post-Industrialism
by Arthur Penty.
The best means
are the pure means
and the pure means
are the heroic means.
Read Freedom in the Modern World
by Jacques Maritain.
The future of the Church
is on the land,
not in the city;
for a child
is an asset
on the land
and a liability
in the city.
Read The Church and the Land
by Father Vincent McNabb, O.P.
 

The Thinking Journalist

Mark Hanna used to say:
“When a dog
bites a man,
it is not news;
but when a man
bites a dog,
it is news.”
To let everybody know
that a man
has bitten a dog
is not good news;
it is bad news.
To tell everybody
that a man died
leaving two million dollars,
may be journalism,
but it is not
good journalism.
But to tell everybody
that the man died
leaving two million dollars
because he did not know
how to take them with him
by giving them to the poor
for Christ’s sake
during his lifetime
is good journalism.
Good journalism
is to give the news
and the right comment
on the news.
The value of journalism
is the value of the comment
given with the news.
To be a good journalist
is to say something interesting
about interesting things
or interesting people.
The news is the occasion
for the journalist
to convey his thinking
to unthinking people.
Nothing can be done
without public opinion,
and the opinion
of thinking people
who know how
to transmit their thinking
to unthinking people.
A diary is a journal
where a thinking man
records his thinking.
The Journal Intime
of Frederic Amiel
is the record of the thinking
of Frederic Amiel.
The thinking journalist
imparts his thinking
through a newspaper
by relating his thinking
to the news of the day.
By relating his thinking
to the news of the day.
the thinking journalist
affects public opinion.
By affecting public opinion,
the thinking journalist
is a creative agent
in the making of news
that is fit to print.
The thinking journalist
is not satisfied
to be just a recorder
of modern history.
The thinking journalist
aims to be a maker
of that kind of history
that is worth recording.

 

The Sit-Down Technique

On Gandhi Lines

Strike news
doesn’t strike me,
but the sit-down strike
is a different strike
from the ordinary strike.
In the sit-down strike
you don’t strike anybody
either on the jaw
or under the belt,
you just sit down.
The sit-down strike
is essentially
a peaceful strike.
If the sit-down strike
remains a sit-down strike,
that is to say,
a strike in which you strike
by just sitting down,
it may be a means
of bringing about
desirable results.
The sit-down strike
must be conducted
on Gandhi lines,
that is to say,
according to the doctrine
of pure means
as expressed by Jacques Maritain.

In the Middle Ages

The capitalist system
is a racketeering system.
It is a racketeering system
because it is
a profiteering system.
It is a profiteering system
because it is
a profit system.
And nobody
has found the way
to keep the profit system
from becoming
a profiteering system.
Harold Laski says:
“In the Middle Ages
the idea of acquiring wealth
was limited
by a body of moral rules
imposed under the sanction
of religious authority.”
But modern business men
tell the clergy:
“Mind your own business
and don’t butt into our business.”

Economic Economy

In the Middle Ages
they had a doctrine,
the doctrine
of the Common Good.
In the Middle Ages
they had an economy
which was economical.
Their economy
was based on the idea
that God wants us
to be our brothers’ keepers.
They believed
in the right to work
for the worker.
They believed
in being fair
to the worker
as well as the consumer.
They believed
in doing their work
the best they knew how
for the service
of God and men.

Proper Property

Leon Harmel,
who was an employer,
not a labor leader,
says: “We have lost
the right concept of authority
since the Renaissance.”
We have not only lost
the right concept of authority,
we have also lost
the right concept
of property.
The use of property
to acquire more property
is not the proper use
of property.
The right use of property
is to enable the worker
to do his work
more effectively.
The right use of property
is not to compel the worker,
under threat of unemployment,
to be a cog in the wheel
of mass production.

Speed-up System

Bourgeois capitalists
believe in the law
of supply and demand.
Through mass production,
bourgeois capitalists
increase the supply
and decrease the demand.
The speed-up system
and the extensive use
of improved machinery
has given us
technological unemployment.
As a Catholic worker
said to me:
“Ford speeds us up,
making us do
in one day
three times as much work
as before,
then he lays us off.”
To speed up the workers
and then lay them off
is to deny the worker
the right to work.

Makers of Depressions

Business men used to say:
“We make prosperity
through our private enterprise.”
According to business men,
the workers
have nothing to do
with the making of prosperity.
If the workers
have nothing to do
with the making of prosperity,
they have nothing to do
with the making
of business depressions.
The refusal of business men
to accept the responsibility
for business depressions
is what makes the workers
resort to sit-down strikes.
If business men
understood business
they would find the way
to increase the demand
for manufactured products,
instead of increasing the supply
through the speed-up system
and the extensive use
of improved machinery.

Collective Bargaining

Business men
have made
such a mess of things
without workers’ co-operation
that they could do no worse
with workers’ co-operation.
Because the workers
want to co-operate
with the business men
in the running of business
is the reason why
they sit down.
The sit-down strike
is for the worker
the means of bringing about
collective bargaining.
Collective bargaining
should lead
to compulsory arbitration.
Collective bargaining
and compulsory arbitration
will assure the worker
the right to work.

The Modern Mind

Organized labor,
whether it be
the A.F. of L.
or the C.I.O.,
is far from knowing
what to do
with the economic setup.
Organized labor,
as well as
organized capital,
is the product
of the modern mind.
The modern mind
is in such a fog
that it cannot see the forest
for the trees.
The modern mind
has been led astray
by the liberal mind.
The endorsement
of liberal economics
by the liberal mind
has given us
this separation
of the spiritual
from the material,
which we call
secularism.

Paul Chanson

Organized labor,
organized capital
organized politics
are essentially
secularist minded.
We need leaders
to lead us
in the making of a path
from the things as they are
to the things as they should be.
I propose the formation
of associations
of Catholic employers
as well as associations
of Catholic union men.
Employers and employees
must be indoctrinated
with the same doctrine.
What is sauce for the goose
is sauce for the gander.
Paul Chanson,
President of the Employers’ Association
of the Port of Calais, France,
has written a book
expounding this doctrine,
Workers’ Rights and the Guildist Order.

 

The Law of Holiness

“No man can serve two masters,
God and Mammon.”
“Be perfect
as your Heavenly Father
is perfect.”
“If you want
to be perfect
sell all you have,
give it to the poor
and follow Me.”
–New Testament.
“These are hard words,”
says Robert Louis Stevenson.
“but the hard words
of a book
were the only reason
why the book was written.”
In his encyclical
on St. Francis of Sales
the Holy Father says:
“We cannot accept the belief
that this command of Christ
concerns only
a select and privileged group.
and that all others
may consider themselves
pleasing to Him
if they have attained
a lesser degree
of holiness.
Quite the contrary is true,
as appears from the generality
of His words.
The law of holiness
embraces all men
and admits
of no exception.”
There is a rub
between the rich
who like
to get richer
and the poor
who don’t like
to get poorer.
The rich,
who like
to get richer,
turn to the Church
to save them
from the poor
who don’t like
to get poorer.
But the Church
can only tell the rich
who like
to get richer,
“Woe to you rich,
who like
to get richer,
if you don’t help the poor
who don’t like
to get poorer.”

 

Utilitarians, Futilitarians, Totalitarians

Utilitarian Philosophers

After a century
of Protestantism,
England and Scotland
saw the coming out
of a philosophical thought
known in history
as Utilitarian Philosophy.
While Luther and Calvin
discarded the authority of the Church
the Utilitarian Philosophers
discarded the authority
of Divine Revelation.
They tried to convince themselves
and convince other people
that the Church and the Bible
were a handicap,
rather than a help,
in man’s striving
towards the good life.

Futilitarian Economists

The Utilitarian Philosophers,
Hobbes, Locke, Hume,
were followed
by the Futilitarian Economists,
Adam Smith, Ricardo.
The Futilitarian Economists
thought that religion
had nothing to do
with business.
They thought that everything
would be lovely
if everybody took in
each other’s washing.
They thought that everybody
should try to sell
what he has to sell
to the highest bidder.
So people started
to think of time
in terms of money,
and ended by shouting:
“Time is money!”

Fascism and Marxism

Now that economic liberalism
is dying out,
modern liberals
find themselves
on the spot.
They try to escape,
from what they consider to be
an untenable position.
In their attempt to escape
the shifting sands of liberalism,
they look for authority;
not the authority
of the teaching Church
but the authority
of the political State,
whether it be
the Marxist State
or the Fascist State.
Fascism is a stop-gap
between the dictatorship
of bourgeois capitalism
and the dictatorship
of Marxian Socialism.

Capitalism, Fascism, Communism

In an article
published in the Christian Front,
Charles P. Bruehl says:
“Those who fondly believe
that Fascism
will save the world
from Communism
are laboring under a fatal delusion.
The ideologies
of those two
are closely allied.
They have too much in common
and their differences
can be readily effaced.
The three, capitalism, Fascism, Communism
are three in a chain.
Imperceptibly
one passes
into the other.
All three are fundamentally
materialistic,
secularistic,
totalitarian.”

 

The Way to Fight Communism

Twenty and Forty

A Dutch convert
used to say:
“When one is not a Socialist
at twenty,
there is something wrong
with his heart;
but if one is a Socialist
at forty
there is something wrong
with his head.”

Works of Mercy

The order of the day
in Catholic circles
is to fight Communism.
To denounce Communism
in Catholic halls
is not an efficient way
to fight Communism.
The daily practice
of the Works of Mercy
is a more efficient way
to fight Communism.
The daily practice
of the Works of Mercy
by the first Christians
made the pagans
say about the Christians
“See how they love each other.”

Irish Scholars

When the Irish scholars
decided to lay the foundations
of medieval Europe,
they established:
Centers of Thought
in all the cities of Europe
as far as Constantinople,
where people
could look for thought
so they could have light.
Houses of Hospitality
where Christian charity
was exemplified.
Agricultural Centers
where they combined
(a) Cult–
that is to say Liturgy
(b) with Culture–
that is to say Literature
(c) with Cultivation–
that is to say Agriculture.

Chinese Catholics

Chinese Catholics
are showing us the way
to fight Communism.
Non-Catholic writers
are writing about
the mode of living
of the Brothers of St. John Baptist.
Chinese Communists
went to visit the Brothers
and told them
that their mode of living
is more perfect
than the mode of living
of the Communist Party.
The Brothers of St. John Baptist
try to exemplify
the Sermon on the Mount.
The Sermon on the Mount
is considered practical
by the Brothers of St. John Baptist.

Five Books

If you want to know
what industrialism
has done to man,
read Man the Unknown,
by Dr. Alexis Carrel.
If you want to know
how we got that way,
read A Guildsman’s Interpretation
of History,
by Arthur Penty.
If you want to know
what it is
to be a bourgeois,
read The Bourgeois Mind,
by Nicholas Berdyaev.
If you want to know
what religion
has to do with culture,
read Enquiries Into Religion and Culture,
by Christopher Dawson.
If you want to know
what to do with freedom,
read Freedom in the Modern World,
by Jacques Maritain.

 

Against Class War

The Trouble Has Been

Hilaire Belloc says
the modern proletarian
works less hours
and does far less
than his father.
He is not even
primarily in revolt
against insecurity.
The trouble has been
that the masses
of our towns
lived under
unbearable conditions.
The contracts
they were asked to fulfill
were not contracts
that were suitable
to the dignity of man.
There was no personal relation
between the man
who was exploited
and the man
who exploited him.
Wealth had lost
its sense of responsibility.

Twin Cities

In St. Paul
there are few strikers
and few Reds.
In Minneapolis
there are plenty of strikes
and plenty of Reds.
In St. Paul
the employers
try to play fair
with the workers
and the workers
with the employers.
In Minneapolis
the employers
choose to be
rugged individualists
and the workers
consent to be
rugged col1ectivists.
Rugged individualists
and rugged collectivists
are spiritually related.

Class-Consciousness

Georges Sorel thought
that violence
is the midwife
of existing societies.
When the employers
believe in violence
the workers also
believe in it.
Class-consciousness
among employers
brings class-consciousness
among the workers.
To do away
with class struggle
we must first of all
do away
with class-consciousness
among employers.
The workers are
what the employers
make them.
When employers
are moved by greed
the workers are inclined
to carry a grudge.

Paul Chanson Says:

Whether we like it or not
the economic system
is necessarily related
to the regime of appropriation
of the tools of production.
If Bourgeois Capitalism
appropriates the ownership
the worker becomes a serf.
If Bolshevik Socialism
monopolizes the ownership
the worker’s condition
is not better.
He is reduced
to a state of slavery.
Only a Guildist
and Communitarian economy
will bring about
the worker’s emancipation.
Paul Chanson,
who says those things,
is not a labor leader.
He is the President
of the Employers Association
of the Port of Calais
in France.

 

Unpopular Front

The Unpopular Front
is a front composed of:
Humanists,
who try to be human
to man;
Theists,
who believe
that God wants us
to be our brother’s keeper;
Christians,
who believe
in the Sermon on the Mount
as well as
the Ten Commandments;
Catholics,
who believe
in the Thomistic Doctrine
of the Common Good.


Book Four

War and Peace

Barbarians and Civilized

We call barbarians
people living
on the other side of the border.
We call civilized
people living
on this side of the border.
We civilized,
living on this side of the border,
are not ashamed
to arm ourselves to the teeth
so as to protect ourselves
against the barbarians
living on the other side.
And when the barbarians
born on the other side of the border
invade us,
we do not hesitate
to kill them
before we have tried
to civilize them.
So we civilized
exterminate barbarians
without civilizing them.
And we persist
in calling ourselves civilized.

German and French

After the fall
of the Roman Empire
German barbarians
invaded Gaul,
now called France.
The German barbarians
came as invaders
and were civilized
by the invaded.
The Gallo-Germans
living in Gaul,
now called France,
were Christians.
Through a Christian technique
the Gallo-Romans
made Christians
out of the German invaders.
So the German invaders
gave up their religion
as well as their language
and took up the religion
as well as the language
of the invaded.

Italians and Ethiopians

Italian soldiers
went to Ethiopia
to civilize the Ethiopians.
The Italian soldiers
still think
that invaders
can civilize the invaded.
But the Ethiopians
do not like the way
the Italian soldiers
try to civilize them.
The best way
to civilize the Ethiopians
is to prepare
Ethiopian young men
for the priesthood.
As Christopher Dawson says,
culture
has a lot to do
with religion.

Spaniards and Moors

Moors from Morocco
ruled part of Spain
for eight hundred years.
They imposed Mohammedanism
on the Spaniards
through the power of the sword.
After eight hundred years,
the Spanish Christians
decided to give the Moors
a dose of their own medicine.
So the Spanish Christians
drove the Moors out of Spain
through the power of the sword.
Before the war,
Spanish Christians
failed to make use
of the power of the word.
Spanish Christians
seem to have more faith
in the power of the sword
than the power of the word.
So had the Moors
when ruling part of Spain
for eight hundred years.

Stalinites and Trotskyites

Eugene Lyons says
that Lenin and Trotsky
accepted the idea
that the end
justifies the means.
They thought
that an idealistic end
could be reached
by bloody means.
Because they resorted
to bloody means,
Stalin resorts
to bloody means.
The State has not yet
withered away
and the Communist ideal
is still out of sight.
 

No Party Line

The Catholic Worker
is free-lance movement
not a partisan movement.
Some of the Bishops
agree with our policies
and some don’t.
We are criticized
by many Catholics
for some of our policies
and especially
our Spanish policy.
The Communist Party
has a party line.
The Catholic Worker
has no party line.
There is no party line
in the Catholic Church.
 

Beyond Marxism

The U.S.S.R means
the Union of Socialist
Soviet Republics.
There is no Communism
in Soviet Russia.
According to Karl Marx,
“Communism is a society
wherein one works
according to his ability
and gets
according to his needs,”
Such a society is found
in Catholic monasteries
but not in Soviet Russia.
That is why Strachey
was told by Father McNabb,
an English Dominican,
“I am a Communist;
you are only an amateur.”
In the beginning of Christianity
the hungry were fed,
the naked were clothed,
the homeless were sheltered,
the ignorant were instructed
at a personal sacrifice.
And the pagans
used to say
about the Christians,
“See how they love each other.”
Father Arthur Ryan,
born in Tipperary,
used to call
this period of history
“Christian Communism.”
But it is
a long, long way
to Tipperary.
 

Priests and Policemen

Jean Jacques Rousseau said:
“Man is naturally good.”
Business men say:
“Man is naturally bad;
you can do nothing
with human nature.”
If it is true,
as business men say,
that you can do nothing
with human nature,
then we need fewer priests
and more policemen.
But if God the Father
sent His own begotten Son
to redeem men,
then we need more priests
and fewer policemen.
 

Non-Catholic Catholics

Apologetic Catholics

Some Catholics
like to apologize
for being Catholics.
Since Catholicism
is the truth,
it is foolish
to apologize
for being Catholics.
Since Catholicism
is the truth
then Catholics
ought to let non-Catholics
apologize
for not being Catholics.
To let non-Catholics apologize
for not being Catholics
is good apologetics.
To apologize
for being Catholics
is bad apologetics.

Led by the Nose

Non-Catholics say
that Catholics
are led by the nose
by the clergy.
Real Catholics
follow their consciences.
I must admit
that some Catholics
are led by the nose.
These Catholics
who are led by the nose
are not led by the nose
by the clergy.
They are led by the nose
by non-Catholics.
These Catholics
who allow themselves
to be led by the nose
by non-Catholics
ought to be called
non-Catholic Catholics.

A Wrong Way

Non-Catholic Catholics
tell us
that one cannot lead
a Catholic life
in a Protestant country.
The protestation
of Protestants
is not a protestation
against the Catholicism
of non-Catholic Catholics.
It is a protestation
against the lack
of Catholicism
of non-Catholic Catholics.
Non-Catholic Catholics
are giving to Protestants
a wrong view
of Catholicism.
To give to Protestants
a wrong view
of Catholicism
is not the right way
to make Catholics
out of Protestants.

Catholic Principles

Protestants
have principles
but Catholics
have more principles
than Protestants.
But principles
must be applied.
To have principles
and not to apply them
is worse
than not having any.
Non-Catholic Catholics
fail to bring
Catholic principles
to Protestants
because
they do not dare
to exemplify
those Catholic principles
that Protestants
do not have.

Imitators

Non-Catholic Catholics
like to tell
their Protestant friends.
“we are just as good
as you are.”
They ought to tell
their Protestant friends,
“we are just as bad
as you are.”
Their Protestant friends
ought to tell
the non-Catholic Catholics,
“you are not
just as bad
as we are;
you are much worse
than we are
for you are
our imitators,
you are not yourselves.”
 

Not Liberals But Radicals

The Word Liberal

The word liberal
is used in Europe
in a different way
from the way
it is used
in America.
In Europe
a liberal is a man
who believes in liberty
without knowing
what to do with it.
Harold Laski
accuses liberals
of having used
their intelligence
without knowing
what to do with it.
Liberals
are too liberal
to be radicals.
To be a radical
is to go to the roots.
Liberals
don’t go to the roots;
they only
scratch the surface.
The only way
to go to the roots
is to bring religion
into education,
into politics,
into business.
To bring religion
into the profane
is the best way
to take profanity
out of the profane.
To take profanity
out of the profane
is to bring sanity
into the profane.
Because we aim
to do just that
we like to be called
radicals.
 

A Letter from Peter

Dec. 28, 1938
Seattle, Wash.

Dear Dorothy:
I arrived in Seattle
safe and sound
except for a couple bruises
on the chin.
We were driving
back to Spokane
from the Jesuit
House of Studies.
Father Robinson,
dean of Gonzaga College,
was the driver.
I was sitting in the back
with a Jesuit scholastic.
Our conversation
was so interesting
for Father Robinson
that he forgot to stop
at a red light
and ran into the middle
of a city bus.
The head of his car
was smashed.
His nose was cut
while his glasses,
which he was wearing,
were not broken.
The Jesuit scholastic
had a cut
above the left eye.
I was hurt
by bumping my chin
against the front seat.
The schools being closed,
I was only able
to talk to the scholastics
in the House of Studies.
It was Bishop White
who phoned Father Robinson
about me being in town.
I am coming back to Spokane
the 9, 10, 11 January.
I spent Christmas in Butte
with Elias Seaman.
With a Catholic Hindu
student in the School of Mines
we went to midnight Mass
at a Croatian Church.
This Croatian pastor
is a great friend
of The Catholic Worker.
I am sending you
a fifty-dollar check,
to help pay the debts.

While in St. Paul
I paid fifty-two dollars
and forty cents
for a 5,569-mile trip.
That trip takes me
from St. Paul to Seattle,
then to Los Angeles,
then to Denver,
then to Omaha,
then to St. Paul.
I can stop
anywhere I want
and it is good
for 150 days.
They intend
to start a Catholic Worker group
in Minneapolis.
It is also a question
of a farming commune.
Father Le Beau
at St. Thomas College,
Father Loosen
at St. Mary’s Hospital,
Sister Helen Angela
at St. Joseph’s Hospital
are great boosters
of The Catholic Worker.
Dr. John Giesen
is actively connected
with a Mexican center.
Dr. Bauer,
a German sociologist,
is now at St. Thomas
and is eager to co-operate
with The Catholic Worker.
Before leaving St. Paul
I made a short trip
to Eau Claire
and La Crosse.
The pastor of Eau Claire
agrees with us:
the youth needs a cause.
A Y. M. C. A. secretary
in La Crosse
is very much in sympathy
with the idea
of an Unpopular Front
on Personalist Democracy.
I found that the reaction
to The Catholic Worker propaganda
is very favorable.
There was very little talk
either about Franco
or Father Coughlin.
I wish you all
a Happy New Year.
Yours in Christ the Worker,

PETER MAURIN

 

Looking Backward

In New England

There are three kinds of people
in New England:
the foreigners.
the Irish
and the Yankees.
The foreigners of New England
have given up
their own traditions
to keep up
with the Irish.
The Irish of New England
have given up
their own scholarship
to keep up
with the Yankees.
The Yankees of New England
have given up
their New England conscience
to keep up
with the utilitarian, futilitarian
political economists
of the Manchester School
of political economy.
So what can you expect
from New England?

In Louisiana

Waldo Frank says
that America
is a lost continent
and that to rediscover itself
America must go back
to Mediterranean thought.
Mediterranean thought
was brought to Louisiana
by the founders of Louisiana,
but the people of Louisiana
have turned over
the State of Louisiana
to greedy corporations.
The Catholic people
of the State of Louisiana
had to have
a Baptist lawyer
by the name of Huey Long
to save them
from the grip
that greedy corporations
had on the Catholic people
of the State of Louisiana.

In Texas

Spanish Franciscans
went to Texas
when Texas was part
of Old Mexico.
Spanish Franciscans
taught the Indians
to build churches,
to build schools,
to build mission-storehouses.
The ruins of those churches,
the ruins of those schools,
the ruins of those mission-storehouses
can still be seen
in the State of Texas.
But the Catholic people
of Texas
are not interested
in the ideology
of the Spanish Franciscans.
They are interested
in keeping up
with the Yankees.

In California

The Yankees were not able
to make wage-slaves
out of the Indians.
The Yankees used to say:
“A good Indian
is a dead Indian.”
By combining cult,
that is to say liturgy,
with culture,
that is to say literature,
with cultivation,
that is to say agriculture,
the Spanish Franciscans
who went to California
succeeded in making willing workers
out of the Indians.
The Catholics of California
have not found the way
to do for the Catholic unemployed
what the Spanish Franciscans
did for the Indians.
In the meantime
the people of California
are looking for a panacea
at the expense
of the taxpayers.

Going to the Right

Frey of the A. F. of L.
says that the Communist Party
is pushing Roosevelt
to the left.
The A. F. of L.
does not know enough
to push Roosevelt
to the right.
Going to the left
is going towards
the Industrial Socialism
of Stalin.
Going to the right
is going towards
the Rural Communism
of the Franciscan Founders
who founded Rural Communes
in what are now
the State of Texas,
the State of New Mexico,
the State of California.
 

Turning to the Church

When I was in St. Louis
I met a Maryknoll Father
who had recently returned
to the United States
after eight years in China
as a Maryknoll Missionary.
He is pleased to see
that non-Catholics
in the United States
are much more curious
about the Catholic Church
than they were
before he left for China
ten years ago.
While modern nations
give the sad spectacle
of going back on their word,
intelligent people
are turning to the Church
as the one moral security
left in the world.
Father McSorley,
great friend of
The Catholic Worker,
has always favored
the opening of small offices
where non-Catholics
curious about the Church
could receive information.
 

Prostitution

Prostitution of Marriage

Birth control
is not self-control.
What is not self-control
is self-indulgence.
What is self-indulgence
is prostitution of functions.
Prostitution in marriage
is prostitution of marriage.
Prostitution of marriage
is prostitution plus hypocrisy.

Prostitution of Education

To educate
is to elevate.
To elevate
is to raise.
To raise wheat
on a piece of land
is to enable
that piece of land
to produce wheat
instead of weeds.
To raise men
from the animal state
to the cultural state
is to educate men.
The teaching of facts
without understanding
is a prostitution
of education.

Prostitution of the Press

Modern newspapermen
try to give people
what they want.
Newspapermen
ought to give people
what they need.
To give people
what they want
but should not have
is to pander.
To give people
what they need.
or in other terms,
to make them want
what they ought to want,
is to foster.
To pander
to the bad in men
is to make men
inhuman to men.
To foster the good in men
is to make men
human to men.

Prostitution of Politics

The Republicans say:
“Let’s turn the rascals out.”
The Democrats say:
“Let’s turn the rascals out.”
The Republicans
call the Democrats
rascals.
The Democrats
call the Republicans
rascals.
For the Republicans
as well as
for the Democrats
politics
is just profitable business.
By making a business
out of politics
politicians
have prostituted
the noble calling
of politics.

Prostitution of Property

All the land
belongs to God.
God wants us
to be our brother’s keeper.
Our superfluous goods
must be used
to relieve the needs
of our brother.
What we do for our brother
for Christ’s sake
is what we carry with us
when we die.
This is what the poor are for,
to give to the rich
the occasion to do good
for Christ’s sake.
To use property
to acquire more property
is not the proper use
of property.
It is a prostitution
of property.

Prostitution of the Theatre

What applies to the Press
applies also
to the Theatre.
In the Middle Ages
the Theatre
was considered
as an efficient way
of preaching,
They liked to produce
Mystery Plays.
They aimed to preach
and not to pander.
Pandering to the crowd
has brought the degradation
of the theatre.
The Theatre started
in the Church.
The Theatre has ended
in the gutter.

Prostitution of Art

In the Middle Ages
the artists
were not called artists,
they were called artisans.
When the artists
were artisans
they had the community spirit.
They had the community spirit
because they believed
in the doctrine
of the Common Good.
Now that the artists
do no longer believe
in the doctrine
of the Common Good
they sell their work
to art speculators.
As Eric Gill says,
“they have become
the lap-dogs
of the bourgeoisie.”
 

The Road To Communism

Paraguay Reductions

In a book entitled
The Magic Mountain
Thomas Mann has a character
who has become a Jesuit
after having been a Marxist.
As a Jesuit
he could understand Communism
much better
than he could understand it
as a Marxist.
In Paraguay
the Jesuits established
a Communist society.
Part of the land
was held individually.
The other part,
known as God’s land,
was cultivated in common.
The produce was used
for the maintenance
of the aged,
the infirm
and the young.

Proudhon and Marx

“Communism is a society
where each one works
according to his ability
and gets
according to his needs.”
Such a definition
does not come from Marx;
it comes from Proudhon.
Proudhon wrote two volumes
on The Philosophy of Poverty
which Karl Marx
read in two days.
Karl Marx wrote a volume
on The Poverty of Philosophy.
Karl Marx
was too much of a materialist
to understand the philosophical
and therefore social value
of voluntary poverty.
 

The Sixth Column

We Catholics believe
what Dualist Humanists believe,
that there is
good and bad
in men
and that men
ought to express the good
to get rid of the bad.
We Catholics believe
what Orthodox Jews
and Quakers believe:
the Fatherhood of God
and the Brotherhood of Men.
We Catholics believe
what Fundamentalists believe:
Virgin Birth
and Redemption through Christ.
We Catholics believe
what the other believers believe
plus beliefs
that the other believers
don’t believe:
Papal Supremacy
and the Universal Church.
The Catholic Worker
stands for co-operativism
against capitalism.
The Catholic Worker
stands for personalism
against Socialism.
The Catholic Worker
stands for leadership
against dictatorship.
The Catholic Worker
stands for agrarianism
against industrialism.
The Catholic Worker
stands for decentralism
against totalitarianism.
 

On Specialization

Ten years ago
I asked a college professor
to give me the formulation
of those universal concepts
embodied
in the universal message
of universal universities
that would enable
the common man
to create
a universal economy.
And the college professor answered:
“That is not my subject.”
College professors
are specialists
who know more and more
about less and less
and if they keep on specializing
they will end
by knowing everything
about nothing.
A Negro student
had a father
who was a Baptist minister.
The Baptist minister
gave to his son
Baptist theology
but no science.
And the son
wanted to know science.
In the University of Pittsburgh
the Negro student
learned several sciences
without correlation.
And the Negro student
was complaining
about the University of Pittsburgh
for having failed
to give him
a correlated knowledge.
Henry Adams
went to four American universities
without acquiring
a correlated knowledge.
He went to England
and failed.
He went to France
and failed.
But in France,
looking at
the Cathedral of Chartres
and the Mont Saint Michel,
he realized
that one could have acquired
a correlated knowledge
in thirteenth century France.
And he wrote a book entitled
Mont Saint Michel
and Chartres,
now published
by the American Society of Architects.

Pie In The Sky

Bourgeois capitalists
don’t want their pie
in the sky
when they die.
They want their pie
here and now.
To get their pie
here and now
bourgeois capitalists
give us
better and bigger
commercial wars
for the sake of markets
and raw materials.
But as Sherman says,
“War is hell.”
So we get hell
here and now
because bourgeois capitalists
don’t want their pie
in the sky
when they die,
but want their pie
here and now.
Bolshevist Socialists,
like bourgeois capitalists,
don’t want their pie
in the sky
when they die.
They want their pie
here and now.
To get their pie
here and now,
Bolshevist Socialists
give us
better and bigger
class wars
for the sake
of capturing the control
of the means of production
and distribution.
But war is hell,
whether it is
a commercial war
or a class war.
So we get hell
here and now
because Bolshevist Socialists
don’t want their pie
in the sky
when they die,
but want their pie
here and now.
Bolshevist Socialists
as well as
bourgeois capitalists
give us hell
here and now
without
leaving us the hope
of getting our pie
in the sky
when we die.
We just
get hell.
Catholic Communionism
leaves us the hope
of getting our pie
in the sky
when we die
without
giving us hell
here and now.

next: Campaign Finance, Corruption and the Oath of Office