Added: 2017-10-30
Added: 2017-10-30


One of the most significant mistakes of the 18th century was the belief that the success of man depends on the material forms of government, and not on the moral dispositions of individual members of the public. The philosophy of this century, whose main centre was in Paris, dealt with particularly grand social tasks; while scornfully rejecting experience, it invented theories to be applied to practical life, and – while assuming that all wickedness ailing society resulted from political forms produced in its bosom – rose against all religious and secular legislative bills with a belligerent unruliness, assigning all oppression suffered by humanity only to them.

Society is a collective of individual people gathered into a powerful and vital whole, each particle of this whole has the right to life, freedom, and some participation in all kinds of happiness, all of which is secured within social life. However, one could not obtain one's rights in any other way, but through moral betterment. How could a collective man be perfect if most parts of this collective remain dark and wicked? Asking for a similar contradiction is to want a nation composed of lazy and wasteful people to bloom in trade and industrial production.

Legal acts and political forms of nations do not create any elements, but only express elements already existing within the society's body. Rousseau, the hierophant of the 18th century, dared to say that a nation is what its political statutes make it to be; when history convinces us that political forms are always related to the disposition and needs of the nation whose fate they govern. Hence it is evident that changing the leaders lies far from changing the nation, but every general improvement of the individuals that compose a social body will be expressed in the manner each governmental form treats it.

Delving into the history of the world, I asked what do people understand by the word "liberty"? I've received not one, but many contradictory answers. The Athenians considered liberty to be the reign of the many; the Venetians – the reign of the few. The Romans fostered a hatred towards royal names and insignia; the Stoics – keeping away from all passions; the Epicureans – the opportunity to use any carnal pleasures; modern liberals – a social state, in which every single thing can be argued for with the government. It is strange, but all agree that liberty is an inherent gift to man, and yet amid all secular wisdom, only Stoics came up to look for it inside oneself, and not in material reasons. After all, every gift, if it is inborn, must in itself have conditions, everyone can develop it in themselves, and if they need to search for such means outside the boundaries of one's individuality, then it is not an inherent gift, but an acquired one, a resultant and dependant one, and thus – one that cannot be the participation of all.

Freedom is without a doubt an inborn gift of a man reborn in Christ, and the Holy Spirit spoke through his Apostle: Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Therefore, each Christian has liberty, provided they do not voluntarily relinquish the Spirit of the Lord. It is then that they abandon obedience towards God, the one true liberty, and falls under the authority of Satan, the one true enslavement.


The most thoughtful scholastic philosopher, St Thomas, defined freedom to constitute unabridged will. A definition most appropriate, as freedom can exist only in the mind. As soon as we, deluded by apparitions, attach something material to it, we find ourselves within the chasm of contradictions. If freedom is the power to do, then it is an acquired power, and not an inherent gift. An inherent gift can exist in every man, whereas if power – being either unattached or relative – remains unattached within each individuality, then it will remain passive, as the equality of all powers within self-sufficiency remains inertia absoluta, where everything seems petrified in absolute balance. If this force is relative, a man wishing to perform some deed may want to do what is opposite to the will of another man; and there comes the conflict whose solution lies either in one of them losing their life, or withdraws from their idea, only to succumb to the will of the opponent. And as soon as there are winners and losers, there are masters and slaves. What does, therefore, this inherent gift turn into? in theory: the contribution of each man, practical in its nature, is only provided to stronger men.

In fact, all present liberal theories, no matter the words and arguments they construct, do not consider liberty to be a moral disposition, but an acting force, and therefore a material one at that. And that is why they seek various forms for it; and the purer the intelligence, the greater the disgust it feels; as it is the inherent nature of intelligence to shy away from all forms that are too corporeal. Disbelief in intuition, and replacing it by statements and arranged shapes, is a testament to its weakness, because form is a measure which the mind, so to speak, uses to detach from itself. Therefore, says I, there's no need for any forms, and only when oneself is distinguished from other things, an object is placed in front and forms are recognised, because there cannot be any object without form. As soon as intelligence discovers some existing form, and cannot find it, it creates it immediately, because creativity is an attribute that cannot be separated from spirit. But spiritual elements such as: memory, reason, and freedom do not need any forms for themselves. The more something is spiritual, the less it demands shapes to express itself; dabbling in forms is always a testament by which it recognises its weakness, and remains eager to invigorate. And this applies to all the higher activities of the mind. For example, poetry. In itself, does it have any form? It can be felt, manifested in life, in manners, in addictions, but to define it, that's unheard of. Even when it passes into a dispassionate state, the more it is sublime, the more it is liberal, so much that the highest poetry can be found in hymns, a genre where forms are the least apparent. And when the poetic spirit cools down, only then those who represent this element try to replace their shallowness by multiplying forms according to some agreed norm, and the harder they work to express their barren thought with these artificial shapes, the higher they think of themselves as poets among the tainted taste of their contemporaries. But all of it won't change the nature of things. In the 18th century, French literature was regarded as exemplary, and there were many talented men who perfected written forms, but in all of literature there were only two real poets: Rousseau and Buffon, and both only wrote prose.

It's the same with liberty. All the contrived and invented forms, the supposed balancing of powers, the warranties, only protect the liberty of those who had the means, who – in their prosperity and upbringing – would be free under every rule and even without this scaffold built with human wisdom and pride. For if freedom depends on external causes, it is only an empty dream. Human spirit is independent from men and circumstances, if it is just – it remains close go God, and therefore should fear nothing, but as soon as spiritual order comes about, man immediately finds some obstacles they are forced to succumb to due to their external shapes. They experience hunger, cold, poverty, the violence of other people's passions, and the like. However, by perfecting one's spirit, they may mitigate these external adversities at least to reduce their intensity. And so: illnesses are relieved by abstinence, poverty – by work and frugality, discomfort – by cleverness, suffering of the spirit – by penance, distress lingering on all paths of life – by the bravery of thoughts looking forward to a better future, the greatest adversities – by love, faith, and hope; and as regards the general and constant innate laws of nature that overwhelm men, if I were writing for a generation prepared to accept the truth better than us, I would dare say: that love, faith, and hope can even suspend natural laws, and I would be understood.

Freedom lies only in the spirit of man, the more one forms their heart through faith, and enriches the mind through learning and interaction with God, the more they approach the self-discovery of their freedom, regardless of the blind laws of nature and political forms they are subject to. This Stoic principle: that a wise man in poverty is rich, healthy in sickness, in shackles – a king; this principle undoubtedly built on human pride, in a sense forms a foreboding of the Christian religion. In matters of spirit we are powerful, free, invincible; in matters of the flesh, we are under the influence, and almost under the authority – of everything that surrounds us. The power of our mind is so great that any other does not hesitate to ally with it. Amongst the universal moral corruption, there wasn't a Roman who was not transfixed by horror when Nero added Seneca to the long list of his victims. And there is no one so mighty as to condemn the words spoken by the most powerful king of Greece to honour its greatest philosopher, calling him to teach his newly born son. If merely human wisdom received such praise, what could happen when the truth turns out to be Christian. Political power will always be kindred to intellectual power, if the latter is diligent and just. Every ruler will be happy to welcome a Christian sage as a pride of their state, and the sage will eagerly bend the nee before the monarch's grandeur, because he will recognise not only a ruler, but also a mysterious intermediary between God and man in political and social life.

This type of liberty that secures itself by forming the mind, and above all keeping a clear conscience, exists under every form of rule. And he, who assumes to let go of the reins of his will, won't exist for anyone, anywhere, because he succumbs to the frailties of the human condition. Even approaching such a state is no longer liberty, but reign. And if authority were to involve everyone, then it would not exist, as authority is a relative thing; when some possess it, others must succumb. Those who say: we want to submit to laws, and not men, indeed, do not make the task easier, as there is no law favourable to all, and an unfavourable law may bring as much oppression as the reign of malevolent. Even the term rule of law is only theoretical, because law does not work by itself, but only when applied by some authority. And so, the steward of the authority may prove to be vehement, crooked, and abusing in applying the law. The oppression one could suffer! The rule of law is only caring when it is ladled out by God-fearing and enlightened officials, and if all of them were like that, justice would prevail even without any laws.

These great perversions – used mistakenly by some people to explain the meaning of natural rights and take advantage of them, awakening the pride of such weak creatures as men separated from God – come from the wilful separation of spirit and flesh in Philosophy, that is, the thought of nations. Without a doubt, man has a right to happiness, all religions seek to ensure it, all legislation, crafts, industries, seek to approach it, all Philosophies, to state it, whereas all of mankind craves it. But this happiness may never be, unless it is based on a real discovery of nature and the rights of men.

All it takes is to ponder over it while looking around oneself, to find out what is the nature of man and their rights. Human mind is closely united with their body, giving it a tangible form that can be perceived by other people's senses. The body is directly subjected to the general laws of nature, and one's will has no influence over it.

However, in some circumstances it is possible to resist these laws, which alone proves that such circumstances do not always depend on the general material order. Therefore, in addition to one's life and corporeal activities, which are subject to all worldly laws with or without one's will, there is also another life and other activities, existing under laws that belong to an entirely different order. Man is the only creature on Earth with free will, and who can – to some extent – neutralise the laws governing its own being with an ill use of this free will.

In short, whether be it material or spiritual order – which contains the noblest and most important part of life – man must be subject to certain laws in order to live, however they might not want to live, in the whole world only they might want to commit suicide, an awful privilege that shows the entirety of one's dignity, one's being.

It follows that man's destiny is to use free will to search for what can ensure the highest happiness, and the right to achieve it is so obvious that it cannot be denied. The principle of personal benefit, which made so much commotion and scandal under the pen of the Encyclopédistes, is true and in line with general common sense, to some extent, but the thing is to determine the highest happiness, and this is where the Philosophers differed amongst themselves. In ancient times, not even each of them had a theory about what they considered to be Summum bonum. However contrary their opinions, we have to do justice to ancient philosophy, that none of its masters sought it in the forms of government. It was only in the 18th century that this intellectual aberration appeared. Ancient philosophy, split into two main systems when searching for the conditions of the highest happiness. The ideal school, in line with religions, was looking for it in the intellectual order, while the sensual school, favouring the passions, pointed towards it in the material order.

This is where the entire contradiction of the latter school appears, as it recognises man's inherent right to happiness, but designates it in an order unconquered by man, tells them to seek happiness without a guarantee of finding it. This contradiction could not be redeemed even if man found some pleasant experiences using their senses, and could assure its continuous enjoyment. It would have been the destiny of all to look for what only a few may find. Happiness turned into a game of chance would give a few favourable draws, but all of humanity would lose its zeal and hardships.

Since society's philosophical thought accepts the principle that it is man's destiny to seek happiness in the dependent, limited order, in which senses can work, all categories where this thought appears, such as politics, legislation, and morality, focus to find the most accurate solution to this thought. People will turn against one another, and in the limited area they will wrench out what each of them feels they are entitled to. The liberties, riches, and the abundance of some is not ensured by the oppression, deprivation and poverty of others. And this is the terrible state we find the Roman empire in, when the blow of negative Philosophy causes even the remains of pagan morality to leave the nation. The crimes and disgraces of the Neros, the Domitians, and the Elagabaluses, were not a result of the government form of that time – indeed the legislation, on a purely human level, was wise and accurate – but they were the effect of the destruction of morality in a company already devoid of religious beliefs. The rejection of redeeming truths may not bring anything different than oppression on the society, regardless of the political form and the wisdom of the legislation. I am not saying anything that history has not proven already. The remains of inherent truths, preserved in pagan legends, could create some social bond, but when overthrown by a completely negative Philosophy, the sinister carnality took over the country even under lenient emperors. What could a virtuous ruler do among widespread corruption? Humanity suffered both under Marc Aurelius and Nero. A personal deed of the head of society, given its finite area of effect, can only be felt by the society in a limited way, but false principles – once assumed – affect everyone. If Christian truth, already developed in a more general form, had not appeared with a positive deed, without a doubt the society would have been lost, as it has lost the truth, and the truth is the only nourishment that allows a social man to retain their identity.

Everything that exists in form must have previously existed in thought. Creative force lies in thought, and as far as it remains positive, it will give way to creations, providing them with shape. Therefore, force must be positive, and it will be positive as long as it stays willing to subject itself to the laws of its own being, that is: if it imbues itself with truth. Because every truth received with love brings us closer to that great and sovereign truth that is the beginning and end of all things, and it will provide us with a speck of its omnipotence, and then we will create infallibly. And if thought turns to falsehood, thereby it shall enter a more or less close relation with that eternal deceit, which does not cease to wage a powerless war with the sovereign truth. And since falsehood is the denial of truth, and is not a positive force in and of itself, therefore the false truth, even if it showed some sort of power, this power would seek to destroy everything, and would not create the tiniest of things.

Man, as a thinking being, may grasp the truth, bind with it and develop creative effects through it, however, they may equally turn to falsehood, to the point that even if they were as independent as they are free, they could lose society just as much as they could weaken it. And although one may lose themselves, as their will is unlimited, when acting as a member of society – despite acting freely – one may not violate a certain order determined by Providence for the sake of society. One may object to the supreme wisdom, and hence lose oneself, but one must obey its will, and that is how society is redeemed. It is like a game of chess, where the worse player postpones defeat, but by no means can they win, although this inability does not impair the self-discovery of free will. The act of God is visible here. The truth is the element of the mind, and it alone preserves the existence of society. Therefore, when creating man, God must have reveal the truth to them, the dogmatic and moral truth, because any other – if needed – will be born from the womb of the main, revealed truth. Having manifested this truth, He preserves it continuously, as He does not cease to protect it from the aggressive war declared by all human passions related to science.

As soon as the first man had been created, they had to be infallible in everything that could preserve them, otherwise mankind would become an incidental occurrence, and not a necessity. As man became society, of course, the same infallibility had to imbue the society, and in its bosom, some authority had to reveal itself, expressing the unerring thought of the society, and distinguishing it from the mistaken thought of some of its members. Please note that if humankind was not unerring, man would be even equipped even worse than any other organic entity, as every living thing is infallible in all that its being can maintain. Every animal has some innate ideas it is subject to, and this we call gumption. Man is devoid of it, because since their purpose is to live in a society, common gumption would be an obstacle on the path to complete this high purpose. Infallibility, which maintains existence, must be located where existence is maintained, that is, in society.

But since man is a free being, they may turn from the truth, destroy themselves, spreading disastrous rules, or even persistently act against their own belief. Therefore, there must be a place that maintains redeeming truths, which protect society against its undoing, general, independent truths, applicable to all people without exception, expressed by a just authority that cannot be challenged by any detailed reasoning.

I have no need to venture further and discover how to recognise such authority, and everyone who cherishes truth with a humble and sincere heart will praise me for respecting important considerations and not wanting to explain matters that are quite slippery in their nature. We are not in a position to debate the relative value of each branch growing from Christ's trunk; all the more that each of them preserves enough reliable divine truths to serve as a foundation for the life of a society. It would go against common sense, and even worse, against loving one's neighbour, to aggravate one's brethren with an untimely argument at a time when everyone should gather against audacious ungodliness and cunning philosophy, which all hate them and wish their downfall.

However, that there is a promise of redeeming and preserving truths, that without God's hand no human legislation cannot last, it is so obvious that even ancient paganism never doubted it. In its eyes, the native activities of mortals were so frail, that they always summoned deities to fortify human weakness, rites, sacrifices, and oracles always accompanied the establishment of towns, founders and legislators always declared laws on behalf of a deity, either that they received it directly or brought from those lands which, according to common tales, were the cradle of humankind and had these social truths that God revealed to the original men. However, people's remembrance of the links to the original man faded away over time, but they have always believed that there must be some intermediaries between man and God, whose judgements are binding and not subject to comprehension. And this belief, more or less professed, never completely faded, and its strength – or lack thereof – proved to be the measure of the power and permanence of nations.

And in fact, the first act of the human mind cannot consist in doubt, but in faith. Bacon's philosophical doubts, on the basis of which negative philosophy attempted to overthrow solemnity and replace it with reasoning, are such an unreasonable principle, that if it were adopted in its entirety, all sciences would be gradually destroyed.

Having convinced of these great truths, it is within our power to develop powerful consequences from them. Truths placed in our heart by faith are justified in self-discovery, and the deeper the study, the more they are proved. The faith revealed eighteen centuries ago subjugated and formed the world without the help of any material strength and human passions, but in itself it evolved from another symbolic faith, which again is tied in an uninterrupted manner with the original man, bearing, of course, all the characteristics of permanence, and therefore – of infallibility. Why should we willingly trample it, when it not only can save us in eternity, but even solve the riddle of the highest happiness, the riddle that consumed so many idle dreams released by human wisdom.

If the wise politicians of the last century, instead of unfruitful work on searching for the most beneficial political forms for the society, turned their fervour to ensuring that the society fulfilled the practical consequences resulting from the law revealed to us, and applicable both to the rulers of this world, and the lowest subjects, they would spared humanity much suffering. It would be easier to device governmental forms on the basis of evangelical morals, or maybe they would come to the conclusion that fervency is of no use in this case, because on such social foundation, any form of government will be protective and caring.

Everything I say here is confirmed by experience. Enslavement, which we cannot even imagine, was the basis of the social organisation and pagan civilisation. This servitude, the evil sacrifice of men for the benefit of other men was contrary to the Christian concept revealed between the old and new society, but the Apostles disseminating the words of Christ among nations, not only did not herald political theories, but nowhere did they condemn this slavery, as it was not their goal to stir up war between masters and slaves, but to refine the morals of both groups, in order to make enslavement a thing of the past. Without disorders, without undermining other people's property, but only through developing the evangelical truth they gradually transformed merciless rulers into caregivers, and slaves into people by introducing a new feeling to the society: the respect for other people, a thing the antiquity had no idea about. Its most advanced nations revered citizens, as citizenship was based on political rights, the only ones known in the pagan world, but men themselves were not worth anything. There was no religious, nor moral comparison between men holding some political rights, and people completely dispossessed of them. Hence, without remorse, citizens treated their slaves as items, and not people, and in their opinion it was logical. However, the dogma that all people come from a single origin, constitute neighbours in the face of God, and the heirs to the same promises, changed the world. As long as faith roots this dogma in society, the society will enjoy genuine freedom, regardless of the forms of political association. Oh, the strange human blindness! Politicians, the greatest enthusiasts of people's liberties, revolted against the cosmogony of Moses and the evangelical revelation, without giving any thought to the fact that these two axes carry the triumphant chariot of human liberties. Where divine law is not known, the most repulsive slavery is the necessary foundation of social life, and where the belief in this law faints, all pompously announced theories will convince the nation that it is free, but that freedom is seeming, and in its very essence only a privilege enjoyed by a possibly smallest part of the society.

The most severe oppression suffered by men are almost always the result of injustice caused by other people. How to prevent it? Some say that it cannot be easier: one just should declare a law that prohibits injustice. And anywhere in the world, is there a law that authorises injustice? And is there a place where there is no injustice? It is all about making sure that any legislation is applied, as it is always good. But even the best law will not overcome nature, and it can be applied only if it does not oppose nature. Deeply rooted passion will not be deterred by fear of punishment, because it knows how easy it is to escape its severity. After all, in the Roman Empire even the most accurate legislation did not prevent the most heinous crimes to proliferate with impunity.

Neither laws, nor statutes or political form can alone ensure liberties and happiness, as they are only secured by the society's morality. If the enlightened public condemns offences against God and the people, in such a virtuous society, these offences will be so rare that judicial authority would be sufficient to punish them. However, if the public remains indifferent to such offences, or even favourable to them, then even the best laws without their execution will remain a protest of the inherent social reason, but it will not remedy the deeply rooted evil. On the one hand, boldness and cunning of criminals, on the other, corruption of judges, the main symptom of an illness ailing the social body, will manage to neutralise any law. In such a position, a nation will either be ransacked by more far-sighted neighbours, or – if it has enough life left in it to go down this sad path – it will form some extraordinary force in its bosom that may sometimes prove oppressive, but it will always be beneficial in its pursuit to preserve the social body. Those who curse against such force, curse against Providence, not wanting to learn the only measure conserving society, and that only their own moral improvement may lead it to geniality and moderation.

Hence comes the obvious conclusion that governments have only one measure to bring society to the blissful state, where the supreme authority may safely surrender to its innate propensities, that is, gentleness and mercy, because there is nothing more hurtful than harming its own subordinates using force that could be developed against external enemies of the nation. This measure is found in public education, and there cannot be enough attention paid to it. Since society is continuously strengthened by the youth graduating from various schools, for whom modesty, moderation, the fear of God, love for people, obedience, respect for work, and disdain for idleness become like an addiction, then such a society will gradually come close to perfection, and social perfection itself will also express itself in the government. In this way, without disorder, without victims, without sacrificing the peace of a generation for some dream of happiness of the next generation, by improving the existence, even in material terms, of individuals composing society – members of the public will achieve the greatest liberties and the greatest happiness.


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