This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

NOTICE:
This Dark Age is now available in paperback on Amazon. The print version is MUCH cleaner than this online version, which is largely unedited and has fallen by the wayside as the project has grown. If you’ve appreciated my writing, please consider leaving a review on the relevant paperback volumes. The print edition also includes new sections (Military History, War Psychology, Dogmatic Theology).

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State as protector of rights

Since the rise of Lockean liberalism, it has become common to imagine that the purpose of the State is nothing more than to act as “mediator of rights” between individuals, and that it should not concern itself in the promotion of any particular good beyond this simple role of safeguarding individual liberties. Unfortunately, this has never been the Catholic view of the purpose of political authority—or, more accurately, the Catholic view includes the protection of rights as a purpose of the State,[1] but it refuses to limit the State to this alone, as if it had no other duty.

Moreover, when the Church speaks of the maintenance of the “rights” of citizens, it usually has other things in mind than those mentioned in political conversation today. The right to meaningful work, the right to education, and the right to food and water, are all notions which the Church has in view when it asks to State to guarantee certain fundamental rights.

The role of the State is an active one—not merely mediating between individuals who exercise their liberties in opposition. It is called to play a positive role in creating an environment where rights and duties can be exercised in their fullness.[2]

[1] PT, 273.

[2] PT, 274-275.

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