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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The right of private property is not absolute

St. John Paul II said that “there is always a social mortgage on all private property, in order that goods may serve the general purpose that God gave them.”[1] Obviously this means that the right of private property is not absolute.[2] Indeed, Pope Francis has said that “God rejects every claim to absolute ownership.”[3] The universal destination of goods is always God’s point of departure.[4] Whenever circumstances arise in which private property comes into conflict with this principle, for example, if those who have an abundance of goods are unwilling to assist those in need, then it is quite legitimate for the State to intervene. In fact, because it is the role of the State to see to the just establishment and distribution of social goods, it would be irresponsible for it to remain silent. Far from being an offense against private property, such actions may become necessary in order to maintain the institution by protecting it from abuse. Aquinas himself went even further, saying: “All things are common property in a case of extreme necessity. Hence one who is in such dire straits may take another’s goods in order to succour himself, if he can find no one who is willing to give him something.”[5] Although such a position sounds extreme, the Catechism is in agreement.[6]

[1] Address to Indigenous and Rural People, Cuilapán, Mexico (29 January 1979), 6.

[2] LS, 93; CSDC, 177.

[3] LS, 67.

[4] LE, 14.

[5] ST II-II, q. 32, a. 7.

[6] CCC, 2408.

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