Case Against Church-State Separation From Unlikely Source
By Peter Laarman, September 18, 2011
I’ve about had my fill of the warmed-over Edmund Burke seeping all over bien-pensant social discourse. No one seems to have a good word to say about the Enlightenment anymore. These days they don’t even bother to dot the lines they draw between Diderot and Dachau. It’s becoming quite brazen—and brainless.
We get our Burkean bits in fairly mild doses from David Brooks, but much stronger doses aren’t hard to find. Case in point: In its Fall 2011 issue, the influential journal Democracy published “The Church of Labor,” a consideration of the historical significance of corporatism (no, not that kind) and, more specifically, of solidarism: the social ethic born of Roman Catholic belief and practice.
In a lengthy and entertaining ramble, author Lew Daly illuminates little-known intersections between Catholic thought and US social history. One would have been pleased with just this much, but then Daly can’t resist grinding his axe in an unfortunate way. He wishes everyone to know that rights-based liberalism is the primary source of trade unionism’s current woes.