With my looming graduation from a Catholic, Jesuit high school in 1955, we were cautioned by the religious faculty to avoid enrolling at a secular university, if possible, because of the suspected growing philosophical Marxist and Communist influence occurring at many universities in those days – most notably at our local one.
If the Marxist philosophical slant was a growing menace at our universities at that time, it certainly has had plenty of time to establish itself in the 60 years since. Unmistakably, we are experiencing its increased visibility and palpability in our political discourse as the arrival of the millennial graduates from that Marxist environment at our universities now takes place in our society and culture. We can easily attribute credit for the rise of socialist ideas to the Mind Molders of Academia, who, for decades, have been indoctrinating and proselytizing the future leaders of our nation with their romanticized Socialist/Marxist worldview that now makes its intrusion into our nation’s conventional treasury of ideas. Bernie Sanders and his protégés are capitalizing on that insertion.
Many from Academia have been unabashed in their disdain for our President. Several of their radicals even suggesting to do him harm. So goes love of country when our academic elites, arrogant and devoid of common sense, believe they possess the ultimate wisdom and rationale for safeguarding our national security and societal order, reproaching the common man as dumb and deplorable in attempts to embarrass his opinions, faith, free speech, and freedoms, while ignoring the historical brutalities of past suppressive, murderous, socialist regimes.
Socialism, in reality, hardly gains a platform without its hostile, specious attacks on Capitalism as an evil system. Although Capitalism has no inherent morality as a system, critics attack the system instead of the selfishness that lurks within the hearts of individuals operating within it, just as in any other system and any uncircumcised heart. Current university students, burdened with demanding study schedules and tuition debt, have neither the time nor inclination to critically research and analyze the historic documented failures of former and current socialist/communist societies. Thus, they and our current millennials remain historically illiterate in need of setting in motion a resurrection of their dormant enquiry.
Most discouraging is to hurtfully admit that, while once the prophetic voice of opposition to the growing menace of Socialism, Catholic academic status has been losing its luster with its capitulation and, indeed, mutation to something of a sanctuary for fomenting notions of socialism. Nowhere is this more evident than at the historically iconic Catholic university that we cite here only as an example – Villanova.
What might be characterized as a manifesto of sorts, associate professor Eugene McCarraher of Villanova has published a commentary in The Nation in its section entitled Disaster Capitalism (JUNE 8, 2011), which features its usual criticisms of anything not liberal or not progressive. In “The End of Capitalism and the Wellsprings of Radical Hope,” McCarraher writes, “Capitalism in any form compels us to be greedy, callous and petty. Instead of reinventing it, we should replace it.”
In a nutshell, Professor McCarraher suggests that capitalism compels us to be evil, that socialism is more compassionate, its implementation will bring us to a supposed, greater level of virtue than capitalism, and that a redistribution of wealth will bring a greater state of justice and equality. He does not dwell on the cruel socialist regimes of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, Chavez, Kin Jung Un and others nor on the Holocaust, gulags, Cambodia, Rwanda and others. R.G. Collingwood, in his autobiography, suggests that if humanity wants to formulate a twentieth century philosophy, we need to pay heed to twentieth century history.
McCarraher easily gains an audience as many Americans have often shown a predilection for Socialism often based on misguided, guilt-prompted notions of idealism “for the poor,” coexisting with an embellished and often rebellious critique of the nation’s system of capitalism as being evil because it’s “mostly for the rich.” Advocating for equal outcomes rather than equal opportunities remains the great snare of Socialism camouflaged in notions of redistribution of wealth. In this modern era, it’s recorded that nearly half the nation’s students believe that socialism is an acceptable form of social and economic order for this country.
Historically, the Socialist movement in America is not new It was imbedded as early as in the days of the original, founding colonies. When the colonist’s socialist experiment resulted in hopeless and dismal failure, a switch to capitalism energized the eventual recovery and remarkable survival of the colonies.
McCarraher virtually ignores or largely minimizes the great commentaries on Capitalism of the great thinkers like Paul Johnson, P.T. Bauer, Thomas Sowell, Richard John Neuhaus, and others (several of whom are not Christian), compiled by Franky Schaeffer in a book entitled “Is Capitalism Christian?” Crossway Books 1985.
Among the most notable, was an essay by the late, famed, lay Catholic theologian/ philosopher Michael Novak entitled The Ideal of Democratic Capitalism, taken from his book The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism (Simon and Schuster, 1982). While all the authors acknowledge the deficiencies of Capitalism as not being a perfect system, they ratify that it surpasses all other systems by far, including Socialism with all its rigid controls and stifling regulations.
Capitalism excels by recognizing the inherent worth, creativity, and work production of the individual, by releasing the citizen to greater enjoyment of freedoms and rewards through incentives, by the universal characteristic rise from poverty through the typical financial upward mobility of the worker, and by allowing for grievance corrections and reforms for the worker and for his workplace.
While several nations do have socialist programs without necessarily a socialist economy, they do differ widely from the U.S. in lack of diversity and in the size of their populations. Finland, perhaps the only truly successful socialist nation on the globe, has a population 1/60th the size of the US. and a remarkably homogenous society.
Sadly, with the passing of the brilliance of men like Michael Novak, the Mind Molders in Academia like Professor McCarraher seemingly have a clear path to go unchallenged in their Socialist radicalism not only in Catholic circles but academia-wide, enhancing support for the undemocratic and often radical economic notions of the Democratic Party, Sanders, and his disciples.
“Life is a special occasion”