Tuesday, April 15, 2008

WWWtW-Watch #10: I Own, Therefore I Am

Dedicated to the proposition that it can happen here.

In his latest stab at profundity, Paul J. Cella, who moonlights as beadle over at WWWtW, has presented a scenario in which he purports to counsel a “correspondent” in How to Argue Against Socialism. We must admit that in so doing he does, indeed, descend to the depths.

In offering his sop of wisdom to this eager would-be disciple, Mr. Cella inadvertently discloses yet again that as a self-designated “Crusader” (Bwaa-ha-ha-ha!), he is--in heedless imitation of the Crusaders of old--out, not for the rescue of souls in captivity, but for the taking of plunder:

What I should like to recommend to my correspondent, who so boldly demanded how to argue against the Servile State which is Socialism, is this.

He should forget attacking Socialism because it doesn’t work (the politics of it), and begin attacking it on its own principles (the philosophy guiding it). Admittedly this is a greater burden on the intellect, but I believe my correspondent is up to the challenge. What he must demonstrate is that Socialism is evil even if it does what it says it will do; that to destroy the principle of private property is to amputate an irreplaceable part of what it means to be human, what it means to labor and create and be fruitful; in religious terms, that it is a heresy, an innovation that will annihilate, a revolt against the nature of man and the natural order of the world; in short, that it fails not because it doesn’t work, but rather it doesn’t work because it fails — fails utterly to reflect in any meaningful way the truth about Man and Society.

Let's examine the core of this remarkable pronouncement in isolation:

[...] to destroy the principle of private property is to amputate an irreplaceable part of what it means to be human, what it means to labor and create and be fruitful;

Setting aside for a moment the inconvenient truth that socialism per se does not proclaim as a goal the destruction of the principle of private property, what does Mr. Cella--who holds himself out as an exemplar of unquenchable zeal for the preservation of “what remains of Christendom”-- make of the words of Our Lord with regard to the concept of allowing the ownership of private property to become central to one’s life, and to one’s very self-image as a human being?:

Matthew 6:19-21: Don’t lay up treasures for yourselves on the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal;
but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consume, and where thieves don’t break through and steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

It might also be pointed out to Mr. Cella that “what it means to labor” is that Man has been cursed by God for his sin in the Garden to earn his living by the sweat of his brow. None of this, apparently, “speaks to Mr. Cella’s chest”; but it speaks to mine.

The name of Mr. Cella’s god is, evidently, I OWN THAT I OWN. Mr. Cella has clearly snatched at the offer made to Jesus Christ by Satan on the heights, and clings to it with a bitterness undiluted by such weaknesses as humility, brother-love and charity. Mr. Cella and his correspondent make a good pair, of the kind which Our Lord may have had in mind when He said, Leave the dead to bury the dead.