Communist Action in Schools A Challenge to Catholics

I Was Told

I was told
by a young Puerto Rican
that the president
of his school’s study club
was a Communist,
and that in the meetings
of the school’s study club
the Communist president
did most of the talking
and that the school teacher
was an interested listener
to the Communist president
of the school’s study club.
I was told
by the dean of a Catholic college
that Catholic professors
of Catholic colleges
have neither
the knowledge nor the courage
to bring Catholic social thought
to the man of the street.

Looking For Light

So while Catholic professors
of Catholic colleges
do not have
enough knowledge or courage
to bring Catholic social thought
to the man of the street,
Communist propagandists
yet in their ‘teens
find enough knowledge or courage
to bring Communist social thought
to the men of the school
The schools used to teach:
“If you want peace
prepare for war”;
we prepared for war
and are still looking for peace.
The schools used to teach:
“If you want prosperity
save your money”;
people saved their money,
and we are still looking for prosperity.
The modern man looks for thought
so he can have light,
and is unable to find it
in our modern schools.

Shouting With Rotarians

According to Glenn Frank,
president of the University of Wisconsin.
“Schools reflect the environment, ,
they do not create it.”
According to Professor Meiklejohn,
of the same university,
students go to school
not to be educated,
but to be business men.
Shortly after their graduation
school graduates can be heard
shouting with Rotarians:
“Service for profits,
Time is money,
Cash and carry,
Keep smiling,
Business is business,
Watch your step,
How is the rush?
How are you making out?
How is the world treating you?
The law of supply and demand,
Competition is the life of trade,
Your dollar is your best friend.”

A Protestant Agitator

Catholic teachers
teaching in Catholic or public schools
who do not know how to present
Catholic social thought
either to the men on the street
or to the pupils in the schools
will be interested to learn
that a Protestant agitator
well known in Union Square
is presenting the Thomistic doctrine
of the Common Good
to the men of the street
in the streets of Harlem.
H. Hergenhan, such is his name,
does not believe
in the rugged individualism
of capitalism
or in the rugged nationalism
of Fascism
or in the rugged collectivism
of Bolshevism.

The Common Good

He believes in the gentle personalism
of gentlemen who are gentle,
gentleness that finds its roots
in the common doctrine
of the Common Good.
H. Hergenhan believes
that the doctrine of the Common Good
is common
to humanists who are human,
to Jews who are orthodox,
to Protestants who are Christian
and to Catholics who are Catholic.
The Common Good movement
is not a movement that divides,
it is a movement that unites.
The Common Good movement
is not a new deal,
it is an old game.
The Common Good movement
is not a revolution to the left,
it is a revolution to the right.

Tawney’s Book

When in 1891 Pope Leo XIII
wrote his encyclical
on the condition of labor
he emphasized the lack of ethics
in modern society.
When in 1899 Thorstein Veblen
wrote The Theory of the Leisure Class
he emphasized the same thing.
R. H. Tawney, then an Oxford student,
learned that when the Canon Law,
that is to say, the law of the Church,
was the law of the land
there were high ethics in society.
So R. H. Tawney decided to study
how society has passed down
from the high ethics of the Canon Law
to the no ethics of today.
What R. H. Tawney found out
about the history of ethics
of the last five hundred years
is embodied in his book,
Religion and the Rise of Capitalism.