The following synopsis of our social-political situation will draw on the specifics of the Catholic faith and Austrian economics to characterize the details thereof.
The history of Western civilization is one of a general rise and fall. We take the rise largely for granted. Our discussion will focus primarily on the political dynamics of the fall, which has its origin and impetus in the so-called 'Enlightenment.'
A funny thing happened on the way to Christendom. Actually, two funny things happened. The first was that, without fully realizing it, that is to say, without doing so with a conscious effort, the foundations of Western civilization were laid with an important duality. This was not a philosophical duality as much as a very important concrete one. The power of religion and the rule of law, which in the autocracies of the past had always been unified, was split between the Catholic Church and the various States of Christendom, with in fact the Church taking under ideal conditions at least the primary role and the state the secondary. For the first time in human history those who held the reigns of power were seen broadly to take a secondary role subject to a higher moral authority. Political power, thus, was broken, divided, distributed, and subject to a set of values it had in a immediate sense no role in creating. This is unique to the Western political situation and quite importantly explains why the West was able to develop in a way denied to every other civilization and culture in the world.
The second funny thing is that as this situation came finally into a more conscious existence, it is precisely in this process and at this time that its enemies took credit for the good therein and began a subtle campaign of overthrowing the very foundations thereof. This is what we will speak of primarily today.
A regime of decentralized power, and we call it so only in comparison to every other system that came before it, was indeed a product of the mind of the Church. Only Catholicism champions in its Thomistic philosophy 'subsidiarity,' a notion that "just as it is gravely wrong to take from individuals what they can accomplish by their own initiative and industry and give it to the community, so also it is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and disturbance of right order to assign to a greater and higher association what lesser and subordinate organizations can do. For every social activity ought of its very nature to furnish help to the members of the body social, and never destroy and absorb them." So says Pope Pius XI in Quadragesimo Anno. Indeed, we would assert this as merely common sense. No special insight is needed to recognize such truth, except to man who is fallen. For the first time, in the West, this principle was enacted on a rather broad scale, resulting in the relatively small and overlapping 'states' and other jurisdictions of the Middle Ages which in competition with one another established favorable legal terms for voluntary associations and smaller (as well as the larger) holders of private property.
It is with sad irony then that just as the enemies of the Church began to get an upper hand during the Protestant revolt in some countries and then more broadly in the French Revolution, nationalistic uprisings and finally the moves to 'popular sovereignty' as it were towards the end of World War I, that the Church embraced more consciously the role of certain absolute monarchies, while the enemies of the Church began to identify themselves, if only deceitfully, with the emergent political self-consciousness on the part of the beneficiaries of the aforementioned decentralized political order. Part of our thesis might be summarized in this way, that as the international division of labor developed and intensified under the auspices of an expanding capitalism, the Church missed a natural alliance with the increasingly skilled, yet relatively politically weak bourgeois classes. Instead, and sometimes without sufficient consideration as to the ultimate basis for these newly self-aware capitalists, She threw Her weight more forcefully behind certain remaining centralized Catholic states. Of course, such a strategy is defensible at least in the immediate sense as this was seen at the time as the most efficacious means to defend the Church from the secular encroachment. Indeed it is the bourgeois classes that should express greater regret for having sided with the enemies of monarchy who ended up more tyrannical than the tyrannies they supposedly uprooted. However, in a broader sense it was clear that the more fully decentralized order of the Middle Ages, to which the Church in Her primordial role gave rise, was the true political order of Christendom, abandoned now because Her enemies had usurped the power of various states attacking thereby the role of the Church in society. In this way the Church was seemingly in need of somewhat comparably powerful states to defend it.
The deepest irony then is that just as the decentralized order that arose first in the Middle Ages, which gave birth to the notion of true Christian liberty wherein those who are capable of doing so are freed to fulfill their responsibilities to God directly, had obtained mere embryonic consciousness of itself under the auspices of the Church, the beneficiaries of this order allied themselves with the very enemies thereof. A fully conscious capitalism, as this economic order for better or for worse came to be known, resulted in the various, classical liberal movements in Europe. These movements were harnessed by the enemies of the Church as a means to uproot the old monarchical and ecclesiastical order. Yet both the Church, insofar as She missed Her preeminent role in giving rise to a decentralized, capitalistic order, and more especially the classical liberals, insofar as they were acting in good-faith, made a grave mistake. The logical or proper political order is such that the only way to organize society, absent a disproportionate role of the state, is the so-called capitalist or private property based social order. What was missing from many prominent voices of the Church, perhaps mistaking crasser politics for their ideal of the state, was a conscious realization that in siding with the existent monarchies without a concomitant affirmation of the role of the emergent capitalist classes they had, unwittingly perhaps, begun to intimate an out-sized role for the state. The capitalist classes, too, made the mistake of allying themselves with the contingent of radicals whose only purpose exists in overriding any duly established authority whatsoever.
The product of this mish-mash of Church allied to a centralized state, which with hindsight today it is clear is a primary competitor with Her for the souls of men, and the burgeoning capitalist class allied with the free-masonic desire to destroy all inherent social order is our current political predicament. Indeed, capitalism today is largely misidentified with the nations most enthralled to the free-masonic order, the United States and Britain, while "laissez-faire"-ism remains all but a four letter word in Catholic circles. Yet, as the foremost economist of the Austrian School today, a School gestated by the Austro-Hungarian monarchy whose principled adherence to private property and rightly-ordered decentralization is based entirely on natural law considerations, Hans Hermann Hoppe makes clear, the capitalist classes were much better off under the regime of monarchy which they had a primary role in overthrowing. The Masonic forces have made their ultimate ends much clearer with the arrival of now defunct Communism in the East and the much more resilient, at least to this point in time, popular socialism and cultural Marxism of the West. Indeed, Hoppe argues, it can only be under an umbrella of a universally recognized moral order such as the Church provided that any true capitalism can subsist. Moreover, our current political order with its state control over money issuance, education, excessive taxation, and hyper-regulation more resembles the political order envisioned by Marx and Engels than anything the bourgeois liberal parties had in mind.
Much as Christendom originally maintained herself, it is only through the physical removal of the opponents of a decentralized, private-property based social order that any semblance of civilization can be reinstated. It is only the Church, built upon Her universal morality, that can be heeded and entrusted with any such morally stringent policy. We have come full circle. The Western private property social order is largely eroded and must be re-established by the Church. This time with the aid of the Austrians, let Her do so somewhat more consciously.