On Personalism

A stone
is not an individual.
You can make little ones
out of big ones.
A tree
is an individual.
It comes
from a germ.
“Only God
can make a tree,”
says the poet.
A horse
is an individual.
The horse is not
an individual
the way the tree
is an individual.
It has animal life.
Man is an individual
and has animal life
like the horse.
Man has also reason.
which the horse has not.

As an animal,
man is an individual.
As a reasoning animal,
man is a person.
The difference
between an individual
and a person
is the power of reasoning.
Through the use of reason
man becomes aware
of the existence of God.
Through the use of reason
man becomes aware
of his rights
as well as
his responsibilities.
Man’s rights and responsibilities
come from God,
who made him
a reasoning animal.
Man’s primary duty
is to act
according to reason.

To guide himself
man has
not only reason
but also faith.
is not opposed to reason,
it is above reason.
The use of reason
leads to faith,
but reason
cannot understand
all the faith.
The truths of faith
that reason
cannot understand,
we call
the mysteries of faith.
To use reason
is to philosophize
and philosophy
is the handmaid of faith.
Some truths
we get through reason
and some truths
we get through faith.

Emmanuel Mounier
wrote a book entitled
A Personalist Manifesto.
Emmanuel Mounier
has been influenced
by Charles Peguy.
Charles Peguy once said:
“There are two things
in the world:
politics and mysticism.”
For Charles Peguy
as well as Mounier,
politics is the struggle for power
while mysticism
is the realism
of the spirit.
For the man-of-the-street
is just politics
and mysticism
is the right spirit.
In his Personalist Manifesto
Mounier tries to explain
what the man-of-the-street
call “the right spirit.”

Five Forms of Capitalism

Mercantile Capitalism

In the Middle Ages
the consumer
went to the producer
and asked the producer
to produce something
for him.
There was no middle man
between the producer
and the consumer.
When the producer
started to sell his products
to the middle man
he no longer
saw the consumer.
The producer
saw only the middle man
and the consumer
saw only the middle man
and the middle man
was only interested
in buying cheap
and selling dear.
And the functional society
ceased to exist
and the acquisitive society
came into existence.
And everybody shouted:
“Time is money!”

Factory Capitalism

When the use of steam
was discovered
the middle men
started factories.
The craftsmen
deserted their craft shops
and went to work
in the factories
and became
factory hands.
Factory owners
turned out gadgets
to take drudgery
out of the home.
And then they took women
out of the home
and brought them
into factories.
And then they took children
out of the home
and brought them
into factories.
And men had to stay home
to look after young children.

Monopoly Capitalism

With the American Civil War,
monopoly capitalism
came into existence.
With monopoly capita1ism
came the trusts.
With monopoly capitalism
came high tariffs
for the protection
of infant industries.
With monopoly capitalism
came unionism
for the protection
of proletarianized workers.
With monopoly capitalism
came trust-busting laws
for the protection
of the buying public.
With monopoly capitalism
came Federal laws
for the conservation
of raw materials.

Finance Capitalism

With the first World War
finance capitalism
came into existence.
With finance capitalism
came installment buying.
In January, 1927,
the Yale Review
published an article
by a business man
in which he said
that installment buying
has the result
of booming boom years
and starving lean years.
Installment buying
gave us the New Era
and the promise
of a two-car garage,
a chicken in every pot
and a sign “To Let”
in front of every poorhouse.
But this promise
failed to materialize
and people found themselves
in the midst of the depression.

State Capitalism

Finance capitalism
has not been able
to employ
the unemployed.
The State
has now assumed the task
of employing the unemployed.
Economic activities
are now supervised
by State bureaucrats.
State bureaucrats
can give the people
State supervision.
State supervision
is not a substitute
for personal vision.
And without personal vision
people perish.
Personalist vision
leads to personalist action.
Personalist action
means personal responsibility.
Personal responsibility
means dynamic democracy.

Educational Secularism

Puritans came to America
so they could worship God
the way they wanted
to worship God.
Quakers came to America
so they could worship God
the way they wanted
to worship God.
Huguenots came to America
so they could worship God
the way they wanted
to worship God.
English Catholics
came to America
so they could worship God
the way they wanted
to worship God.

The founders of America
agreed in this,
that there is a God
and that God wants
to be worshipped.
The founders of America
did not agree
about the way
God wants
to be worshipped.
That there is a God
and that God wants
to be worshipped
is no longer taught
in the public schools
of America.
is no longer taught
in the public schools
of America,
but politics and business
are still taught
in the public schools
of America.

When religion
has nothing to do
with education,
education is only
plenty of facts
but no understanding.
When religion
has nothing to do
with politics,
politics is only
let’s turn the rascals out
so our good friends
can get in.
When religion
has nothing to do
with business
business is only
let’s get all we can
while the getting is good.

The Marxists
and the Chambers of Commerce
agree in this,
that religion
ought to be kept
out of the public schools.
And American Protestants
keep silent
about the secularism
of the public schools.
In the nineteenth century
public schools
were the hotbeds
of bourgeois capitalism.
In the twentieth century
public schools
are the hotbeds
of Bolshevist Socialism.

Irish Culture

After the fall
of the Roman Empire
the scholars,
scattered all over
the Roman Empire,
looked for a refuge
and found a refuge
in Ireland,
where the Roman Empire
did not reach
and where the Teutonic barbarians
did not go.
In Ireland,
the scholars formulated
an intellectual synthesis
and a technique of action.
Having formulated
that intellectual synthesis
and that technique of action,
the scholars decided to lay
the foundations of medieval Europe.

In order to lay the foundations
of medieval Europe,
the Irish Scholars
established Salons de Culture
in all the cities of Europe,
as far as Constantinople,
where people could look for thought
so they could have light.
And it was
in the so-called Dark Ages
which were not so dark,
when the Irish
were the light.
But we are now living
in a real Dark Age,
and one of the reasons why
the modern age
is so dark,
is because
too few Irish
have the light.

The Irish Scholars established
free guest houses
all over Europe
to exemplify
Christian charity.
This made
pagan Teutonic rulers
tell pagan Teutonic people:
“The Irish are good people
busy doing good.”
And when the Irish
were good people
busy doing good,
they did not bother
about empires.
That is why we never heard
about an Irish Empire.
We heard about
all kinds of empires,
including the British Empire,
but never about
an Irish Empire,
because the Irish
did not bother about empires
when they were busy
doing good.

The Irish Scholars established
agricultural centers
all over Europe
where they combined
that is to say liturgy
with culture–
that is to say literature,
with cultivation–
that is to say agriculture.
And the word America
was for the first time
printed on a map
in a town in east France
called Saint-Die
where an Irish scholar
by the name Deodad
founded an agricultural center.
What was done
by Irish missionaries
after the fall
of the Roman Empire
can be done today
during and after the fall
of modern empires.

Catholic Action

Our Business

Catholic Bourgeois
used to tell the clergy
“Mind your own business
and don’t butt in
on our business.”
Catholic bourgeois
by keeping up
with non-Catholic bourgeois
have made a mess
of their own business.
And now the Holy Father
tells Catholic bourgeois
“The Bishop’s business
is your business.”

The Bishop’s Voice

The Bishop’s business
is to teach
the Christian Doctrine.
The Holy Father
appoints a Bishop
to a seat (a cathedral)
so people may hear the truth
that will set them free.
Clergy, teachers, journalists
are the amplifiers
of the Bishop’s voice.
Fathers and mothers
must also be
the Bishop’s voice.
Bishop O’Hara
is fostering the teaching
of Christian Doctrine
by fathers and mothers.
Everything connected
with the teaching
of Christian Doctrine
can be called
Catholic Action No. 1.

Works of Mercy

But the Bishop,
although he is a Bishop,
cannot teach
an empty stomach.
Some people
are Bishop-shy
because they are hungry,
shivering or sleepy.
So the Bishop
asks the faithful
to feed the hungry,
clothe the naked,
shelter the homeless
at a sacrifice.
Feeding the hungry,
clothing the naked,
sheltering the homeless
at a sacrifice
was the daily practice
of the first Christians.
The daily practice
of the Works of Mercy
is what we can call
Catholic Action No. 2.

Social Reconstruction

We are asked
by the Holy Father
to reconstruct
the social order.
Reconstructing the social order
means the creation
of a Catholic society
within the shell
of a non-Catholic society
with the philosophy
of a Catholic society.
Catholic bourgeois
made the mistake
of trying to keep up
with non-Catholic bourgeois.
Catholic reconstructors
must create
a Catholic technique
in harmony
with Catholic thought.
Social reconstruction
by Catholic laymen and women
is what we can call
Catholic Action No. 3.

Three Kinds

Catholic Action No. 1,
or the teaching
of Christian Doctrine,
must be carried out
with the Bishop’s supervision.
Catholic Action No. 2,
or the daily practice
of the Works of Mercy,
can be carried out
with or without
the Bishop’s supervision.
Catholic Action No. 3,
or the reconstruction
of the social order,
through the foundation
of new Catholic institutions,
must be left
to the initiative
of Catholic men and women.
The function of the Bishops
is to be
not directors
but moderators.
Political action
is not to be considered
as Catholic Action.

For God’s Sake

Honest to God

One of the slogans
of the Middle Ages
was “Honest to God.”
We have ceased to be
“Honest to God.”
We think more
about ourselves
than we do
about God.
We have ceased to be
and have become

Father Denifle

Father Denifle
was an Austrian Dominican.
In 1872,
he delivered four sermons
in Graz, Austria,
about “Humanity,
its destiny
and the means
to achieve it.”
Translated by a priest
of Covington, Kentucky,
these four sermons
were published in America
by Pustet, the editor.
Father Denifle emphasizes
that having forgotten God,
cannot realize
its own destiny.
God has not
forgotten man,
but man has
forgotten God.

American Founders

The founders of America
came to America
to serve God
the way they thought
God wants to be served.
How God
wants to be served
is no longer taught
in American schools.
How to be successful
is still taught
in American schools.
Thinking of time
in terms of money
is at the base
of the thinking
of our business men.
We put on our coins:
“In God we trust,”
but persist in thinking
that everybody else
ought to pay cash.

Cardinal Gasquet

Cardinal Gasquet
was an English Benedictine.
He was a student
of that period
of English history
that preceded
the Reformation.
In a book entitled:
The Eve of the Reformation
he points out
that externalism
–another word
for materialism–
prevailed in that period
of English history.
The externalism
of English Bishops
made them
follow the King
instead of the Pope
when the King ceased
to mind the Pope.

St. Augustine

St. Augustine said,
“Love God
and do what you please.”
We do what we please
but we don’t love God.
We don’t love God
because we don’t know God.
We don’t know God
because we don’t try
to know God.
And man was created
in the image of God
and every creature
speaks to us
about God
and the Son of God
came to earth
to tell us
about God.


It Started With England

Lenin said:
“The world cannot be
half industrial
and half agricultural.”
Lenin made the mistake
of industrializing Russia.
Lenin industrialized Russia
because the Japanese
industrialized Japan.
The Japanese industrialized Japan
because the Americans
industrialized America.
The Americans industrialized America
because the Germans
industrialized Germany.
The Germans industrialized Germany
because the English
industrialized England.
It started with England.

A Few Englishmen

R. H. Tawney said
that the Englishmen wear blinkers.
Because they wear blinkers
the Englishmen
lack vision.
Because they lack vision
the Englishmen
are very strong
for supervision.
And supervision
is not a substitute
for vision.
A few Englishmen
got rid of their blinkers.
Among the Englishmen
who got rid of their blinkers
one can name:
William Cobbett,
John Ruskin,
William Morris,
Arthur Penty,
Hilaire Belloc,
G. K. Chesterton,
Eric Gill.
The best of all
is Eric Gill.

Legalized Usury

“The sex problem,
the marriage problem,
the crime problem,
the problem of armaments
and international trade,
all those problems
could be solved
if we would recognize
the necessity
of abolishing
trade in money,
and especially
the international trade in money;
that is to say,
the usury,
the legalized usury,
practiced by the banks
under the protection
of their charters
with the support
of the so-called
orthodox economists.
That is the first thing
to be recognized.”

God and Mammon

Christ says:
“The dollar you have
is the dollar you give
to the poor
for My sake.”
The banker says:
“The dollar you have
is the dollar
you lend me
for your sake.”
Christ says:
“You cannot
serve two masters,
God and Mammon.”
“You cannot,
and all our education
is to try to find out
how we can
serve two masters,
God and Mammon,”
says Robert Louis Stevenson.