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.


Lenin said:
“The world cannot be
half industrial
and half agricultural.”
England, Germany,
Japan and America
have become
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.
has released the artist
from the necessity
of making anything useful
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
and not promote
bigger and better

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 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

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,
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?
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
Hitler’s word is
My word is
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.
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;
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.
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

is the rediscovery
and the exemplification
of what the Kiwanis
and Rotarians
used to talk about,
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.


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.
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
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,


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,
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,
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

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.
one passes
into the other.
All three are fundamentally

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.


Georges Sorel thought
that violence
is the midwife
of existing societies.
When the employers
believe in violence
the workers also
believe in it.
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:
who try to be human
to man;
who believe
that God wants us
to be our brother’s keeper;
who believe
in the Sermon on the Mount
as well as
the Ten Commandments;
who believe
in the Thomistic Doctrine
of the Common Good.