under the patronage of St Joseph and St Dominic
By the rivers of Babylon there we sat and wept, remembering Zion;
LIFE UNDER THE BANE OF SUBJECTIVISM
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The Flourishing Of Ideology
It was a short step from the rise to dominance of the idea, to the emergence of ideology. When a thinker began his ruminations on some subject affecting mankind he would not now weigh the demands of reality but advance an idea—usually a materialistic and simplistic idea—then set about looking for evidence to justify it. Thus Karl Marx—
Thus Charles Darwin—
In similar fashion, as the twentieth century proceeded, their promoters advanced Liberalism, Feminism, Secular Humanism and Moral Relativism as demonstrating the future for mankind, when none of them was anything but the consequence of some idea dislocated from reality and taken to its logical conclusion. Inevitably each of them brought in its train suffering for the individual and disturbance for society.
The natural thing, St Thomas Aquinas teaches, is “established between two intellects...”: the one intellect is that of its Author; the other, that of the creature, man, whose discernment of the marks of intellect there enables him to conclude to the Author’s existence. The rejection of reality in the Protestant revolt brought about a the loss of the sense of causation and, critically, a loss of the understanding of the essential bond that ties matter to form. The consequence was an evil hardly less significant than subjectivism—materialism.
The assertion that matter alone can explain reality is inherently absurd. Yet the modern world is full of intellectuals who adopt that view.
The logic is clear: the rejection of God’s revelation (explicitly by Martin Luther, implicitly by Henry VIII) eo ipso involved the rejection of God’s authority and, inevitably, the rejection of God Himself. Now the rejection of God is atheism. But no one can embrace atheism unless, at least implicitly, he first rejects the doctrine of causation, i.e., denies there is any cause but matter: for each of the other causes explicitly (in the final cause and the efficient cause) and implicitly (in the formal cause) involves an influence extrinsic to matter, which is intellectual and superior to it.
Subjectivism—A belief system
Darwinian theory is grounded in an idea. According to that theory he is nothing but the end result of a series of material accidents precipitated by the operations of chance over vast periods of time. As a ruler is not a cause of a piece of wood, merely the measure of its dimensions, neither is time the cause of material being; merely the measure of its successive existence. Chance is only the accidental consequence arising on effects of convergent causes. Chance exists only through relation to a particular cause (or causes) in the mind of one whose knowledge is limited to such cause (or causes). But in an absolute sense chance does not exist, for nothing follows on the causes which is not solely attributable to them.
It matters not whether the accidental interactions of convergent causes was allowed an infinite period of time, without the intervention of intellect they could never produce the order manifested in even one natural thing. But intellect does not achieve its end (final cause) by chance, but through causation—efficient, formal and material causation. Accordingly, the appeal to chance is vacuous, albeit consistent with the irrational claim implicit in materialism that reality is without reason. In truth, the appeal to chance is an endeavour, by sleight of hand, to invoke the force of causes other than the material cause while denying their existence.
Time and chance being excluded, it follows that he who denies God and His existence believes that his own being and that of the whole universe can be explained without recourse to any cause but matter.
12. The atheist (the materialist) will say that he is a man of facts. But he is not at all interested in facts, save as they support his idea. Should some fact emerge which challenges this idea, he turns his back on it. In this he follows the path well worn by Karl Marx, and by the followers of Charles Darwin. The issue was well demonstrated in the 1970s. The writer E. F. Schumacher cited, inter alia, the instance of Thérèse Neumann of Konnersreuth in Germany. For 35 years she lived, observed by all, on no other food or drink than the daily reception of the Blessed Eucharist. Yet scientists chose to ignore the phenomenon. Schumacher wrote with justice—
The materialist cannot explain such things. He cannot explain the incorrupt body of St Marie Bernard Soubirous in the church of the Visitation nuns at Nevers in France. He must label such things as the products of hysteria, or fraud. Moreover, he dare not investigate them closely for fear his subjectivist faith may be destroyed.
The Rise Of Belief In No-God
In all the history of mankind there has been no shift in the public psyche to compare with the abandonment of belief in God which occurred in the fifty years following 1960. No greater evil has afflicted mankind, not even those committed in the forty years previous by Stalin or Hitler or the evils committed since by lesser tyrants; or even those worked by the tyranny of Muslim fanatics today. A tyrant may kill a man but he cannot sever him from God. Atheism severs him from God.
Subjectivism’s ‘Moral Evils’
As subjectivism denies reality, so does it incline its adherents to deny reality’s author, Almighty God; to deny that nature is His creation; to deny the rights He has bestowed on man with respect to the creatures He has made; and to deny the moral law and the duty to comply with it. But man was made to be subject to law. It was inevitable, then, that even as subjectivism began to deny the force of the laws mandated by nature, it would seek to create its own, laws grounded in ideology.
15. According to the ideology of Feminism (as, indeed, also those of Marxism and Secular Humanism) the equality between a man and a woman is a simple equality. Men and women should be treated equally in all circumstances. In this claim one hears an echo of the slogan of the French Revolution. And just as the ‘equality’ to which its revolutionaries appealed was without distinction—an equality dislocated from reality—so is the ‘equality’ to which these ideologies appealed.
For the claim is false. While men and women are equal, they are also unequal; equal under the essential aspect that both are persons, unequal in their ordinations and abilities. While a man tends to focus on the universal, a woman tends to look to the particular. Man deals with the world of things, fashioning them to serve his ends. But woman, since she was created as a helper for man [Genesis 2: 18], deals with human beings and their needs. The equality between men and women is not, then, a simple equality but a proportional equality, one that takes account of these different ordinations and of the rights and duties that attach to each.
Their error led the followers of these ideologies to insist that those who treat men and women as other than simply equal were being unjust, and that this ‘injustice’ should be remedied. The device adopted was the novel ‘offence’ of anti-discrimination. In and after 1970 legislation began to appear in the legislatures of western countries prohibiting conduct ‘discriminating’ between men and women in social intercourse, in employment, in courses of education, in accommodation, in membership of associations, and so on. Citizens were penalised for treating someone less favourably than, in the same circumstances, they would treat a person of the opposite sex. It mattered not that they might have sound reasons, i.e., reasons rooted in reality, for so acting; they were forbidden to do so.
So the principals of a hospital, or of a school for young children, who desired, because of their peculiar talents in this regard, to train young women as nurses or as teachers, could not direct their advertisements solely to young women. Carpenters, boilermakers, plumbers, or builders who wished, for a like reason, to apprentice young men to their particular trades were now forbidden to preclude young women from applying. Nor, once persons had applied for the respective positions, could the principals exclude an applicant on the ground that he, that she, did not fall within the sex he wished to favour. This social tinkering was disruptive and burdensome.
16. That the proscription embodied in ‘anti-discrimination’ offends the natural law is readily shown. Almighty God created all things in love. That character, love, manifests itself in each of His creatures, particularly among the living elements of His creation, especially in the sensitive and intellective—brute animals and men. Every animal loves itself and the life it enjoys. It loves the perfections with which God has endowed it and loves them, too, where they occur in others. This is the reason why every animal prefers its own kind; why horses associate with horses, cows with cows, sheep with sheep, and so on.
Man, too, loves himself and the perfections with which he has been invested, perfections infinitely more various than those enjoyed by the most sophisticated of brute animals. As the man who is a woodworker loves the perfection of woodworking which is his talent, he loves it also in other woodworkers; which leads him to associate with other woodworkers. A woman who is a nurse loves the perfection of caring for others with which she has been endowed. She loves it in other nurses and that leads her to associate with them. In the same way, musicians tend to associate with other musicians; painters with painters, and so on. For the same reason men of one race or language tend to associate with others of the same race or language; men of the same colour tend to associate with others of that colour. The inclination to favour one over another is natural, its exercise an essential part of human freedom. Man is discriminatory by nature.
17. Once a principle is admitted, the consequences flow. The principle of ‘anti discrimination’ having been accepted by a populace lacking insight into its foundation, it was not long before the categories of prohibited conduct expanded, each new category grounded in a further simplistic equality. As (it was advanced)—
In each case the appeal to material identity was accompanied by a refusal to acknowledge any formal distinction. All material beings are equal in being material—for they are all equally comprised of matter. It is only in formal differences that the reality of each is uncovered, whether the form be substantial or accidental. Each of the instances of false ‘equality’ cited above refers to some determining form which is accidental. But there are not wanting ideologues who think that one may ignore substantial formal differences. The philosopher, Peter Singer, for instance thinks a pig is more deserving of life than the infant human child.
This novel legislation was duly enforced by executive action involving the creation of quasi-judicial ‘anti-discrimination’ commissions and associated bureaucracies. The policing of these ‘illegalities’ has become a great drain on the public purse.
Subjectivism Breaches The Rule of Morals
There are any number of instances of this violence masquerading as law in the field of ‘anti-discrimination’. One of the most significant and troubling for parents is that preventing the principals of a school from refusing to employ sodomites or lesbians as teachers of their charges. Hardly less so is that preventing school principals from refusing to employ atheists and secular humanists.
The Inclination To Social Disorder
A person is a being which—
There are, then, two classes of beings which are not persons: 1) those that belong to some other being—as my hand, my arm, the mind, belong to me; and 2) those not of intellectual, or rational, nature, such as brute animals, plants and the whole of the inanimate universe. The least degree of intellect in one being, Aristotle remarked, is a greater reality than the whole of the rest of the non-intellectual universe.
Whatever is of an intellectual nature is living, that is, automotive; but not simply as regards the execution of its acts, or of the form of its acts, but also as regards the end of its acts. For the intellectual being is also free; and only those beings are free which can determine the ends of their own acts.
20. While man is a person, he is a person with limitations.
Without the help of other men, that is, without the help of society, a man is incapable of acquiring those goods to which his nature impells him; namely, his life and the means to sustain it; his bodily goods, health and physical development; and his mental goods such as virtue and learning. Moreover, he requires society as matter upon which to bestow the richness of his intellectual goods, for the person is driven by its nature to display the abundance of its riches—bonum est sui diffusivum. Hence society is not, as the philosophers of the Enlightenment thought, something arising out of a contract implied between men. It is the natural increment arising on man’s creation. Man is social by nature: God made him that way. Society and its characteristic manifestations, statehood and civil authority, are from God “for there exists no authority except from God.” [Matthew 28: 18; Romans 13: 1]
Because he is a person, man is not a mere means to the end of something (or someone) else. He is himself an end. He exists for his own sake; indeed, for his own beatitude (or happiness) which is the vision of God, his Creator and his ultimate end.
21. Man has personal obligations, the most fundamental of which is that he attain this ultimate end, union with God. But since right follows on, and is correlative with, obligation, it follows that he has rights–-natural rights—which may not be disturbed by civil society without a breach of the moral law. Each man enjoys a dignity proper to his essence as a person, and a corresponding worth which precludes anyone from treating him as a mere means to an end. So, while society is entitled to require him to contribute to its welfare, and even to defend its existence, a man is entitled to have society respect his life and moral freedom.
As the individual man has a good proper to him, a virtuous life, society too has its proper good, called paradoxically, the common good. In this, the common good, all members of society are, by definition, benefited. Just as the individual man has obligations, so does society: just as an individual man has rights, so also does society. But society only carries out its obligations, only exercises its rights, correctly when it keeps clearly before it the rights and obligations of man, the person; for this thing—the human person—is the only reason for its existence. Society has rights, but those rights may not conflict with the inherent rights of the persons who constitute it. As an individual, man is inferior to society and bound by its lawful proscriptions. As a person, man is always superior to society.
But subjectivism subverts this order.
22. Subjectivism betrays the entitlement of man as a person to society’s protection, allowing the defenceless, the unborn, the disabled and the infirm elderly, to be sacrificed for what is perceived, falsely, to be society’s benefit. It entrenches divorce which attacks the very foundation of society; it endorses contraception which attacks the material foundation underpinning marriage leading to its abandonment as the only licit ground for conjugal union between a man and a woman. It defends experimentation on human gametes, and the fertilisation in vitro of human embryos as if these were nothing but expendable commodities, and not human beings. And, in matters of less significance, it exalts the rights of society over its members, stifling their rights to information and service through the evils attendant on bureaucracy.
Subjectivism betrays the entitlement of society over man as an individual to protect itself by denying that the individual has a right never to suffer the death penalty no matter how heinous his conduct may be; by denying society has a right in an appropriate case to compell its members to defend it. It subverts the natural order by denying, or inhibiting, the right of society to know the public details of the lives of its members through the plea of a ‘right’ to individual privacy. There is no moral entitlement in any individual, save in a case of reasonable apprehension of harm, for public records to be hidden from society’s knowledge. Man is a social being.
Other Consequences Of The Failure To Acknowledge Form
What matters is why an act is done. Subjectivism inclines its adherents to blindness to formality, to regard the matter of an action as the only consideration worthy of attention. This blindness leads people to folly, to condemn as evil an action which is good. So, for instance, the act by a parent of striking a child admits of a number of formalities: one of these is to do the child harm—and this is abuse, and is an evil; another, is to punish him for his evil conduct—and this is good as it serves to correct the child’s character and so assist him in arriving at the end for which he was created: it serves, moreover, to render the child tractable and to remove from society the nuisance of his noise and misbehaviour.
Under subjectivism’s pernicious influence, errors arising from this blindness to formality have been incorporated into posited law to the detriment of the common good of the societies in which this has occurred.
Confusion Of Will With Intellect
Now, subjectivism is a blind to formality. This blindness leads those under its influence to treat as one, things really distinct from each other. Typical of this blindness is the tendency to confuse will and intellect. This is the ground for the modern fallacy that if a man will only have his intellect properly instructed, he will use his will rightly; demonstrated in the practice of requiring one who has offended by his poor behaviour not to undergo training in virtue and self discipline, but to attend some course of information, which cannot affect his will except per accidens. There is a pernicious logic in the business: for subjectivism—
Subjectivism’s Characteristic Manifestations
The ubiquity of subjectivism ensures that these rafts of opinion have fertile ground in which to take root. The disposition in man to believe is fundamental. If he will not believe in God, he must believe in something. If he will not conform his life to reality, he is condemned to embrace the delusions of some false philosopher. Hardly a month passes where some new ideology does not arise to befuddle man’s reason with a pretence of profundity. The devils let loose by Martin Luther and Henry Tudor have shown themselves to be legion.
ii. Social Schizophrenia
In each of these mooted cases there is a coupling of the acknowledgement of principle with its denial. The contradiction occurs because the person allows himself to be driven not by the rule of morals, an objective thing, but by human opinion.
Deprivation Of Man’s Eternal Inheritance
This appetite for distraction, rooted in a lack of any sense of discipline, works immense harm in the individual and in society because it impedes, or stultifies, the person’s intellectual and emotional maturity. The appetite it generates, psychological in origin, finds innumerable outlets for satisfaction through each of the five senses.
The eye is enthralled with portrayals on television, computer or cinema screens whose content ranges from the tasteless and banal, to the pornographic and the violent. The ear is assailed with music ranging from the corybantic to the savage and the satanic; while the largely valueless views of commentators on passing events provide an unremitting background static. The sense of taste is tempted to unrestrained indulgence in food and drink bringing the weak to an unnatural bodily obesity and its accompanying dullness of mind. The lack of a fitting restraint in the use of the sense of touch, so closely involved in the sexual act, ensures that children are quickly deprived of their innocence and disposed to coarseness of life.
Each instance of indulgence interferes with what is fitting and due to man as the most noble of material creatures: each works to reduce him to the level of the savage of earlier ages. Indeed, it leads him lower because of the greater means to indulge in degradation provided by modern technology. Television, mobile communications, portable radios and music players, computers, the internet, video games, each provide scope for escape from the demanding business of facing, and dealing with, reality. Modern filming techniques can ‘create’ a surrogate reality whose portrayal only adds to the difficulty of discerning the real from the apparent. And all of this says nothing of those less ambiguous means of harm, illicit drugs, so called aphrodisiacs, and devices which are intrinsically evil, such as contraceptives.
28. So has subjectivism served to disturb the psychological balance of the person and to interfere with the exercise of those natural rights and duties that should lead him to the end for which he was made, union with Almighty God.
[to be concluded]
 Karl Jaspers, ‘Marx und Freud’, Der Monat, xxvi (1950); quoted in Paul Johnson, Intellectuals, London, 1988, p. 62.
 Dr Michael Denton, Evolution, A Theory In Crisis, London, 1985, p. 345
 Res naturalis inter duos intellectos constituit. De Veritate, Q. 1, art. 2, resp.
 Darwin was never so sure of the truth of his theory as were his antagonistic followers, such as Thomas Huxley. “If it could be demonstrated,” Darwin remarked, “that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous successive slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” [On the Origin of Species, 1859, p. 158]
 A Guide for the Perplexed, London, 1977; reprinted by Abacus, 1986, cf. this edition pp. 106 et seq, pp. 109-110.
 For the sake of that end the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity became a man, lived and died.
 St Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, II-II, q. 10. a. 3.
 Liberty! Equality! Fraternity! As in all slogans falsity was admixed with the truth. The liberty the revolutionaries advocated was a false liberty; the equality, a false equality; the fraternity, a false fraternity. For further light on the folly of slogans see Orwell’s Animal Farm.
 Generically both are men. “God created man in His own image; to the image of God He created him. Male and female He created them.”[Genesis 1: 27]
 This distinction is real, not imaginary: if it is not recognised the very ground of society is disturbed and grievous harm follows.
 Willing itself both to live and to be. Which is why it will do all in its power to prevent someone trying to terminate its life and its existence.
 “Human law has the nature of law in so far as it partakes of right reason; and it is clear that, in this respect, it is derived from the eternal law. In so far as it deviates from reason, however, it is to be called unjust, and has the nature not of law but of violence… Summa Theologiae, I-II, q. 93, a. 3, ad 2; and see I-II, q. 96, a. 4.
 St Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae I, q.18, a. 3; and cf. the author’s analysis in Atheism’s Great Cosmogenic Myth at http://www.superflumina.org/PDF_files/atheism's_cosmogenic_myth.pdf
 A M Woodbury SM, Ph.D, S.T.D., The Foundations of Political Theory (A text of the Aquinas Academy, Sydney), n. 14.
 As society has obligations to see that order is maintained in the interrelations and dealings between men; that the moral law is upheld; that children are properly educated. As it has obligations to defend itself against attack from without, or from within. In pursuance whereof it has the right to act in those things which individual men are unable to do for themselves, such as governing; to promulgate laws, and to enforce them.
 Cf. Mark 5: 9
 Confessions I, 1
 Evidenced in the pre-occupation with that mark of the savage, body tattooing.