There has been much talk about censorship recently, and the conservative side has taken a strong position against it.
In reality, however, censorship of error is not only good, but necessary. Governments which defended traditional morals and ways of life always used censorship to repress the leftist, socialist, and communist propaganda. This was especially true in the nineteenth century.
In fact, it was the Left that constantly advocated the lifting of the censorship laws in the nineteenth century. One may be old enough to remember that it was the radical Left, in the 1960’s, which called for freedom of speech, so that they could spread their wicked ideas.
That being so, why is the Left now engaging in censorship? There are two reasons: (1) the Left is entirely pragmatist, and has no scruple about resorting to hypocrisy in order to gain its ends; (2) censorship of false ideas makes perfect sense. It is the same as preventing disease and infection. The leftists are now censoring what they consider to be false.
Now that the Left has gained control of the media, it is, of course, going to impose its leftist orthodoxy on anyone who communicates anything contrary to leftism. Natural law and common sense have now become the enemies of the Left.
The American Revolution of 1776 and the French Revolution of 1789 extolled the principle of liberalism, and established it in its laws. Liberalism teaches that man is free to do whatever he pleases, provided that he not hurt anyone else. It was popularized by the psychotic womanizer Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1788).
Liberalism, based on naturalism, denies original sin, and holds that man, when faced with the choice between truth and error, or good and evil, will choose the truth and the good. Consequently, liberalism calls for freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion.
The Catholic Faith and even common sense teach the opposite: that, owing to original sin, in the choice between truth and falsehood, good and evil, man is more likely to choose falsehood and evil. The history of the human race attests to this sad fact.
Liberalism is based on Protestantism, which revolted against the authority of the Church. “No pope is going to tell me what to think.” Each person, according to this heresy, may pick up the Bible and interpret it as he pleases, supposedly with the assistance of the Holy Ghost.
This serious error led to four other worse errors: (1) naturalism, (2) individualism, (3) subjectivism, (4) socialism.
Protestantism engendered naturalism by denying the Catholic doctrine of sanctifying grace. For Luther, the soul, even after baptism, remains in the state of sin. It is not intrinsically sanctified, as Catholic dogma teaches, but only extrinsically sanctified. Christ’s redemptive act is only to throw a blanket over our sinful nature. We are still sinners, but God looks at the merits of Christ, and not our sins, if we have “faith.”
Hence any notion of merit or progress in the spiritual life is ruined. By analogy, protestant “spirituality” consists in faith that the bridge toll has been paid, and we no longer have to worry about anything. We are “saved.” We have a “reservation in heaven.”
Human beings in protestantized countries, therefore, looked to the things of this earth, rather than the things of heaven. Protestantism deprived the human race of any notion of holiness. We are sinners and God knows we are sinner.
Luther said that God knows that it is impossible for us to observe the commandments. “Be a sinner and sin boldly,” he said, “but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly…No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.”(1)
Protestantism created individualism by making each man his own pope, an independent and supreme teacher and lawmaker for himself. Government and society, whether ecclesiastical or secular, is the product of independent and sovereign individuals coming together and permitting government to exist, but always subject to the mob of individuals. Government by consent of the governed. This is the way in which all Protestant churches are organized. In the years from 1517 to 1789, this attitude gradually infected the thinking of citizens, even in Catholic countries, with this protestant and individualistic thinking. This revolutionary thinking can be seen in the 1649 rebellion of the Puritans in England against the authority of King Charles I, and even more so in the so-called “Glorious Revolution” of 1688, against the authority of the Catholic King James II. In other words, power belongs to the mob.
Protestantism also created subjectivism. How? Very easily. If everyone can interpret Sacred Scripture for himself, then there will be no objective truth about God. As a natural result, Protestantism broke up into many, many sects, each with its own set of dogmas, each claiming to follow the Scriptures.
This religious subjectivism eventually infected philosophy. In protestant countries, especially, we saw the rise of idealism, which holds that our minds cannot absorb reality, but that the things that we know are merely our own impressions of reality. This is the principal error of Immanuel Kant. These ideas fanned the flames of individualism and liberalism, since no one, in such a system, can impose an objective set of dogmas, an objective morality, or even objective facts. Reality is what you make it. Abortion, birth control, sodomy, and transgenderism all proceed directly from this “reality-is-what-you-make-it” attitude flowing from protestant subjectivism.
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, this naturalism, liberalism, individualism, and subjectivism led straight to socialism and communism.
How does liberalism produce socialism and communism? By asserting that everyone is a free individual, and therefore equal in all respects. In the liberal State, if it is consistent with its principles, the government looks only at individuals, and will not recognize any other institution between itself and the individual. Hence it has a constant penchant to control institutions within its boundaries under the principle of asserting the “rights” of free individuals. It therefore reaches down into families, businesses, the Church, and any other institution, and with brutal authoritarianism, bypasses these institutions within itself, and imposes burdensome regulations. Socialism is the next step, which seeks to keep everyone equal, represses excellence, extols mediocrity, discourages entrepreneurship, and punishes profit with debilitating taxes, because everyone must be equal.
We see the effects of this intrusion of socialism into the family in the laws and practices of public schools which unabashedly deny parents their right to teach their children moral doctrines.
For the Left, therefore, liberalism was merely a passage towards socialism and communism.
By eliminating the censorship of right-thinking governments, they were able to spread their errors and eventually infect the whole population.
To permit the unbridled propagation of error is as crazy as permitting deadly germs to be spread indiscriminately. We recently saw the stringent means imposed by governments to prevent the spread of Covid. Similar means were used in other pandemics in the past. Lepers, for example, were quarantined.
Evil ideas are more noxious and toxic than germs. They cause far more harm. Abortion, for example, is the effect of false ideas. These false ideas are responsible for the deaths of over sixty million innocent babies in the United States alone, which figure exceeds even the highest number assigned to the mass-murderer Stalin and to his fellow mass-murderer Mao Tse Tung.
There is an old saying: Ideas rule the world. Evil ideas, therefore, should be repressed through censorship.
American conservatives, however, in their attempt to combat the Left, often assert the principles of the old eighteenth-century liberalism, which, as I said, was a transitional political doctrine which naturally produced socialism and communism, and with it the censorship of the truth.
Only truth has the right to be spoken or written. This is the Catholic doctrine. Pope Leo XIII taught in his encyclical Libertas præstantissimum of 1888:
For right is a moral power which — as We have before said and must again and again repeat — it is absurd to suppose that nature has accorded indifferently to truth and falsehood, to justice and injustice. Men have a right freely and prudently to propagate throughout the State what things soever are true and honorable, so that as many as possible may possess them; but lying opinions, than which no mental plague is greater, and vices which corrupt the heart and moral life should be diligently repressed by public authority, lest they insidiously work the ruin of the State. (emphasis added)
American Catholics who are political conservatives, however, do not know of this teaching, as a rule. In the political order, most of them think with this “syllogism:” America is great. Therefore everything about its founding, its Declaration of Independence, its Constitution, and its form of government is great. Therefore to make America great again, we need to return to these ideals of 1776.
Little do they realize that the ideals of 1776 are the very principles which have given us the horrors which we are now living.
These “ideals” were concocted by protestant freemasons (Washington, Franklin, John Hancock, James Madison, Samuel Adams, Thomas Paine, Benedict Arnold, John Paul Jones, Nathaniel Greene, Alexander Hamilton, the Marquis de Lafayette, Baron von Steuben, Thaddeus Kosciuszko), as well as by the free-thinking atheist and womanizer Thomas Jefferson. Their principal source for these ideas was John Locke, who was from a Puritan revolutionary background, and known as the “Father of Liberalism.” They also drew ideas from the insane womanizer Rousseau (who abandoned his illegitimate children) and the filthy-minded atheist Voltaire.
These ideas will not “make America great again,” nor will they “save America.” Catholics should realize that American political theory is intrinsically flawed, and actually has produced the political nightmare which we are presently enduring. For freedom of speech and freedom of the press have given us the proliferation of all of the false ideas which are fueling the Left. These ideas were taught to American youths for the past hundred years, and especially after World War II.
What did make America great was the general observance of the natural law and the laws of God among its citizens, as well as their dedication to hard work. Both the natural law and common sense have now disappeared from most of its citizens, sadly, and no form of government can fix that.
What will make America great is the social reign of Christ the King, and not the cocktail of naturalism, individualism, subjectivism, and socialism that has come to us from protestantism and freemasonry, as well as from anti-Catholic eighteenth century “philosophers.”
Nonetheless this sobering realization should not make Americans despair, nor should it stop them from favoring any candidate that will bring back some sanity to our nation. Americans should understand that we are living, however, in a political system which contains the logic of its own destruction.
(1) Weimar ed. vol. 2, p. 372; Letters I, Luther’s Works, American ed., vol. 48, p. 282.