The Empire thus fostered a deep-rooted, conservative ideal of freedom as local and particular, shared by members of corporate groups and incorporated communities. These were local and particular liberties, not abstract Liberty shared equally by all inhabitants… This [explains] why central Europeans remained so unreceptive to nineteenth-century liberalism… liberals discovered that ordinary people often did not want their version of liberty, because uniform equality conflicted with treasured corporate rights which appeared to offer superior safeguards against capitalist market exploitation. (Peter H. Wilson, Heart of Europe: A History of the Holy Roman Empire)
3 thoughts on “Unreceptive to Liberalism”
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Yes, I agree with this “local idea of freedom” which I find to be superior to the nineteenth-century-liberalism idea of liberalism. I think this is what the distrubitists also were saying.
In one of my comments on Pater Edmund’s interesting and significant piece on von Balthasar’s anti-integralism, I cited a column of Jonah Goldberg, in which he argues against Trump’s new tariffs.
But thinking about it protectionism can have arguments in its favor. (And so I am no entirely in agreement with Goldberg.) It can be to the advantage of the local against the pseudo-universal.
There are things that we ought to protect.
And if government intervention is “violence”; it can sometimes be a justified violence.
And to say this is not to say that the end justifies the means, but the very opposite: bonum ex integra causa malum ex quocumque defectu.
Or as St. Thomas says: our acts receive their species from their objects.
Thank you Fr Edmund, for bringing this passage to the internet’s attention.
It could also be added that this shows that liberals’ problem is that they think they have a monopoly on the concept of liberty. Even if a non-liberal society has people who are content and free, they cannot be so in reality, because their liberty is not liberal liberty. Of course, liberal liberty is based on a very particular view of reality (nominalist, materialist, atomist, etc.) which has not been shared by most humans for most of history. But they never let that interfere with their plans.
God bless you.
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